Investigating the impact of ocean acidification on biogeochemical cycling through sea ice
This expedition occurred during March 2010 and April 2010 at a Sea Ice Station 78°N and 104°W in the Canadian High Arctic.
The research aimed to investigate the impact of ocean acidification on biogeochemical cycling through sea ice, and how this affects Arctic marine communities. The research focused on certain characteristics of the Arctic Ocean, specifically the carbon chemistry, nutrient content and biological communities inhabiting the ocean.
Data were collected by cutting square metre holes in sea ice up to five metres thick, through which water samples were collected using oceanographic instruments. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were also measured over a 45 day period. Back in the lab in the UK, the water samples were analysed to measure levels of minerals and ions, organic matter, light levels, levels of chlorophyll and the numbers / DNA of microorganisms living in the water.
To determine how the carbon chemistry, nutrient content and biological communities of the Arctic Ocean might change in different physical and chemical conditions
To consider how biological communities might respond to ocean acidification. Will they survive?
To understand how carbon dioxide transfers from the atmosphere to the ocean. This affects how ocean acidification happens in the future
Evidence for climate change: scientific research as a means of providing evidence for climate change on the short, medium and long term
Impacts of climate change: the direct impacts of global warming on vulnerable and fragile environments and ecosystems
Ocean acidification: the process and implications of an increase in the acidity of sea water, including the impact on ecosystems and biological communities
Sunset at Camp
Unit lesson content summaries
Links to the A-level and IB specifications
Ocean Acidification fact file
Ocean Acidification: The Facts (EPOCA, 2009)
Ocean acidification: Connecting science, industry, policy and public
Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Catlin Arctic Survey 2010
European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA)
UK Ocean Acidification Programme
Dr Helen Findlay
Dr Helen Findlay is the Lord Kingsland Fellow at Plymouth Marine Laboratory. Helen received the Society's Ralph Brown Expedition Award in 2010 to support her work on ocean acidification in the Arctic.
'From the field' Awards - Inspiring fieldwork supported by the RGS-IBG
Delivered in collaboration with The Goldsmiths' Company, these awards enable geography teachers to work alongside practioners at the cutting edge of geographical research to develop educational resources for the classroom.
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