Climate Change Measured By Ocean Buoys

How exactly is climate change affecting the pH level of northern seas? A  new set of buoys in Alaska waters will help scientists find out.

In what is believed to be the first dedicated ocean acidification mooring to be deployed in a high-latitude coastal sea, University of Alaska researchers hope to get a handle on how rising level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are getting absorbed into the planet’s northern waters, increasing their acidity.  According to the latest estimates, ocean waters today are 25 percent more acidic today than they were 300 years ago.

University of Alaska climate buoy

image via University of Alaska

The three buoys will be stationed at the mouth of Resurrection Bay, in the Bering Sea, and the Chukchi Sea, respectively. Each will collect data via two sets of instruments. The first set, at the water’s surface, will measure the water’s pH, as well as water temperature, carbon dioxide levels and other data; the second set of instruments, near buoy’s anchor at the bottom of the sea, will collect data on pH, carbon dioxide, temperature, salinity and other information.

All data will be beamed directly to climate scientists via real-time satellite feed.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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