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Dispatch 16: Arctic Poetry

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Cassandra Konecny (Snax)

September 21, 2018

Location: 78° 0' N 150° 0' W

Weather: -2°C (28°F), Mostly cloudy, snow showers, seas ice covered, Northwest winds at 9 knots, seawater temperature -1.2°C (29.8°F)

Sea Ice: Scattered ice coverage.

We have another quest dispatcher today, Cassandra Konecny.  She has written a poem for everyone to enjoy.

Do you see what I D.I.“Sea”?

Anthropogenic changes are causing increases in the acidity of the ocean,
which has set a whole new field of research into motion.
We are no longer just interested in global warming and things getting hotter,
But also changes in the rate of dissolution of carbon dioxide into seawater.
This dissolution increases the seawater’s hydrogen ion concentration,
and the result is process called ocean acidification.

Ocean acidification can have negative impacts on marine life when it comes to growth and survival,
as it increases energy budgets, alters competitive interactions – and some species find new rivals.
This isn’t to say that some organisms won’t benefit from an increased amount of dissolved CO2,
but many of the beneficiaries will be phytoplankton and not animals like me and you.

In order to track changes in the amount of carbon dioxide in the sea,
we measure many parameters, one of which is called DIC.
Dissolved Inorganic Carbon is what those letters represent,
and to measure this parameter in seawater we must use a fancy instrument

This machine that we use is called the VINDTA 3D.
It outputs carbon count data in water samples taken at sea.
The system works by scrubbing the CO2 from a known volume of water,
moisture is removed from the gas and then it is sent through an auto-titrator.

Once the sample has run for a minimum of 8 minutes in total,
the coulometer will read out a CO2 concentration and store it in the data portal.
Then it is time to change the bottle and put on a new sample,
while each one is running, time to plot daily-check data is ample.

Some may argue that DIC is an over-appreciated water parameter,
but it is those who don’t understand its use and don’t know better.
DIC enables us to track changes in the ocean when combined with temperature and salinity,
and we can get an even clearer picture with the measurement of pH, and alkalinity.

-Cassandra Konecny (Snax)

P.S.  Another quick update on Mooring B.  The redeployment went off without a hitch and we have turned South as we start our journey back towards Kugluktuk.


Last updated: October 7, 2019

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