Autonomous vehicle helps measure gases in coastal ecosystems

Coastal ecosystems play an important role in the cycling of carbon, an element essential for life. However, coastal ecosystems are complex making it difficult to determine their exact contribution to carbon cycling with single point measurements. In the study highlighted here, David Nicholson and his colleagues introduce an autonomous (driver-less) surface vehicle that will allow for a better understanding of carbon cycling in coastal ecosystems.

Read more

Marine Snow & Muddy Megacoring on the Southern Ocean

Our polar oceans and diatoms, a kind of microalgae, in particular play a major role in regulating atmospheric carbon dioxide. Led by oceanographers Dr. Rebecca Robinson and Dr. Mark Brzezinski, our SNOWBIRDS Transect team has been studying how the influence of nitrogen and silicon on the productivity of diatoms is recorded in sediments.

Read more

Watching Grass Grow from Space: NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Satellite Gives Insights into Photosynthesis and Climate Change

The mission of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 satellite is to improve our understanding of the factors that control global carbon dioxide levels. The satellite was designed to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide, but it can also detect a signal of plant photosynthesis — a key carbon sink. NASA scientists are working to use these two pieces of information together to disentangle natural and human influences on the carbon cycle.

Read more