A breathing ocean

Latitude: 62°48′  N
Longitude: 002°36′ W
Waveheight: 2.5 meters
Water temperature: 6.7 Celcius
by Gisle Nondal & Emil Jeansson

A group from the Uni Bjerknes Centre and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research in Bergen, Norway, are on-board to perform measurements related to the oceanic cycling of carbon, in addition to measurements estimating the flux of oxygen directly involved in biological activity.

The parameters describing the oceanic carbon cycle include total inorganic carbon dissolved in the seawater (DIC), total alkalinity, pH, and the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2).

Projected ocean acidification in the North Atlntic, and related impacts on corals by 2020, 2060 and 2100: from better (blue) to worse (orange) conditions for coral skeletal growth. Source: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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A blooming ocean

Latitude: 61°30′ N
Longitude: 011°00′ W
See latest position
Waveheight: 2.5 meters
by Mario Esposito onboard the FS METEOR

The reason we measure dissolved nutrients is because, together with light, they are the key ingredients for a blooming ocean. And a blooming ocean absorbs vasts amounts of carbon.

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Flying through microspace

Latitude:  61°06′ N
Longitude:  001°06′ W
See latest position
Air Temp.: 3.3° C
Water Temp.: 8.1° C
by Klas Moeller onboard the FS METEOR for Leg II

The Video Plankton Recorder (VPR) is non-destructive modern, optical sampling gear. Imagine flying a sophisticated underwater microscope through the water at night. The VPR`s rapid camera images plankton and suspended particles (the base of the food web) at up to 30 frames per second.

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Back on track

Latitude: 60°42′ N
Longitude: 000°30′ E
Wave height: 1 m
Air Temp.: 2.1° C
Water Temp.: 8.4° C
by Chris Lindemann onboard the FS METEOR for Leg II

After a successful first leg we arrived in Torshavn (Faroe Islands) early morning on last thursday (5 April). Most of us invaded the town right way, eager to set their feed on land and to interact with civilization outside our tiny microcosm universe.

Full crew party for Deep Convection Leg I. See Crew page for details.

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Surface Blooms as convection goes strong

Latitude: 62°48′
Longitude: 003°12′
Wave height: 2.5m
Air Temp.: 3.1° C
Water Temp.: 6.3° C
by Ivo Grigorov, EURO-BASIN Project Office

Chlorophyll a satellite imagery around the sampling trinagle of the 'Deep Convection' sites. ©NEODAAS/PML/NERC

Following a short stop at Torshavn (Faroe Islands) last weekend for a crew swap, the FS METEOR is back in the sampling area in occassional heavy seas.

Due to a problem, 24hrs were lost from the schedule, but the team is now trying to catch up. Seniour scientist aboard, Michael St John, mentions that the surface has not yet stratified, but FS METEOR is sailing in surface bloom conditions.

“Convection is still spinning out here. Amazing!!” Continue reading

Snow above, snow below

by Ivo Grigorov, EURO-BASIN Project Office

While waiting for the expedition to change over the scientific party before heading back out to sea, how about an imaginary journey. Imagine you had James Cameron`s DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible for a day, and you were descending down just below the FS Meteor in the Faroe-Shetland Channel. What would you see?

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Snowy end to Leg I

Latitude: 61°48′ N
Longitude: 005°54′ W
Air temperature: 6.7°C
Wind: 14 knots, south-west
by Michael St John, Seniour Scientist onboard FS METEOR

FS METEOR under snow near Faroe Islands.© C.Lindemann, DTU Aqua

Greetings from Meteor docked in Thorshavn, Faroe Islands. Here we are just finishing off our first circuit around the triangle. The weather gods have been relatively friendly, we have missed but a few hours due to rough seas which is rather surprising. To give you an idea, last night we had snow on the deck leading some to test their snowball skills, but again, no big seas.

The night before we took a wave over the back deck that twisted the big metal frame of the MOCNESS. The power of water is truly amazing! It seems every time we get close to the side of the boat, Neptune has a greeting for us. This is now an expected by all on board. I guess he does not want to give up his secrets without a comment or two. Anyway, we can hope for more friendly weather for the next leg, but as we all know this can be a stormy time of the year. Continue reading

Laser counting in bouncy seas

Latitutde: 60°18′ N
Longitude: 001°00′ E
Water temperature: 7.6
Sea state: waveheight 1.5 meters
by Sunnje Basedow, aboard FS Meteor

Over the last 48 hours we have crossed the Faroe-Shetland Channel, and are relatively sheltered by the Shetland Islands to the west of us.

Waves crashing over the side is a regular event while sampling the North Atlantic.

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MOCNESS ‘monster’ released over the stern

Latitude: 62°48′ N
Longitude: 002°30′ W
by Anneke Denda, onboard FS METEOR


Zooplankton drift passively with the currents, and although most are less than 2 cm in size, their grazing on marine algae transfers significant amounts of carbon away from the surface, and contact with the atmosphere.

MOCNESS samples

What lives at what depth? MOCNESS zooplankton samples, down with depth (left to right)
©Anneke Denda

On this cruise we are aiming to pinpoint at what depth zooplankton concentrate, while waiting for the spring bloom to occur.

Our tool of choice is a Double-MOCNESS (Multiple Opening and Closing Net and Environmental Sensing System): a net system with 2 x 9 nets of 333 μm mesh size and a net mouth opening of 1m2.

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