How Will Technicians Research the Ocean Deserts? - 22/10/2019
Last week the RRS Discovery sailed from Southampton (UK) to Punta Arenas, in Chile, as part of the annual Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) research expedition. National Oceanography Centre (NOC) technicians are on board using sediment traps to capture particles of sinking material within a large system of circulating water in the Atlantic. These systems, or gyres, occupy 40% of the Earth’s surface and are characterised by a relatively low level of marine life. So much so, they are often referred to as ‘ocean deserts’.
Global Carbon Cycle
The sheer size of these gyres means that carbon cycling within them plays a significant role in the global carbon cycle. These gyres are likely to be growing larger as the climate changes, therefore this research expedition presents an excellent opportunity to record and monitor the movement of carbon in this region.