Ring Around the Rosette: The Science of Seawater Sampling

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Taking CTD Samples offshore from Baja California Sur, Mexico. Photo credit: Melissa Ward

In the open ocean, water can be thousands of feet deep. When oceanographers need to test seawater from such depths, how do they get their samples? The most experienced divers can only go to a few hundred feet, and even then, a diver can only bring back as much seawater as he or she can carry.  Therefore, specialized equipment is needed in order to obtain samples from the deep ocean. A CTD rosette is often the equipment of choice for such a task. Continue reading “Ring Around the Rosette: The Science of Seawater Sampling”

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Too much of a good thing: the CO2 story

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The CO2 in this picture is dramatized at ~1 billion times its actual size. Note: real CO2 doesn’t have eyes.

Scientists are trained to prefer being correct over being clear, and humor is discouraged in research journals, so you might imagine you’ve just stumbled onto the most boring imaginable blog outside of a live-tweeting of continental drift.  I’ll be trying to forget my training for the moment, however.  Continue reading “Too much of a good thing: the CO2 story”

First Impressions: Life at Sea

As I prepared to leave for the West Coast OA research cruise, many family and friends skipped right over the ‘research’ part, and jumped straight to ‘cruise’.

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As close to a Carnival Cruise as it gets- enjoying the last few hours of travel before arriving at our first station in Mexican waters. Photo: Emma Hodgson

Continue reading “First Impressions: Life at Sea”

It’s called a test station for a very good reason…

Dolphins at sunset
Silver fish flash their greetings
Then we troubleshoot.

We left San Diego under nearly perfect conditions, with partly cloudy skies and lower winds than the previous few days.  We arrived at our test sampling station just about sunset, under the escort of our diminutive dolphin* guides.  Continue reading “It’s called a test station for a very good reason…”

Acidifying Seas – Investigating OA impacts in the intertidal zone

Looking North along the intertidal zone at the very tip of Point Loma, in Cabrillo National Monument. Photo: Johnny Jones
Looking North along the intertidal zone of Cabrillo National Monument, at the very tip of Point Loma. Photo: Johnny Jones
https://www.nps.gov/cabr/planyourvisit/maps.htm
Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma; intertidal samples were collected samples from the tidepool beach on the lower left. Credit: National Park Service.

If the scientists unloading onto the Ron Brown had taken a moment to look up from their boxes of equipment yesterday, they might have noticed a small Navy vessel cruising past the Point Loma Light Station. Continue reading “Acidifying Seas – Investigating OA impacts in the intertidal zone”

A View from the East

Point Loma Naval Base San Diego; https://www.flickr.com/photos/kenlund/5143862373
Naval Base Point Loma from Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma, San Diego, California. Photo: Ken Lund (Flickr Creative Commons)

We’re off! The NOAA Research Vessel Ronald H. Brown left the San Diego Naval Base this afternoon and started ‘heading for the border’… Past it actually; the first transect lies more than 500 miles to the south, off the west coast of Baja California, a region more famous for its wintering population of eastern Pacific gray whales than its carbonate chemistry.  Continue reading “A View from the East”

Welcome to the West Coast OA 2016 Cruise Blog!

The fifth West Coast Ocean Acidification cruise in May–June 2016 will be the first coastal cruise to reoccupy study areas extending through the entire California Current System — from Baja California to British Columbia — since the first West Coast Carbon Cruise in 2007.  Continue reading “Welcome to the West Coast OA 2016 Cruise Blog!”