Carbon Explorer Overcomes Obstacles
Source: LBNL News Center and Dan Hawkes
Carbon Explorer floats, developed by ESD’s Jim Bishop (with help from ESD’s Todd Wood) to track the processes of the ocean carbon cycle, recently overcame some mishaps (including an incorrect clock setting on one float) to keep on reporting new data from the deep.
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Carbon Explorers, which won a 2006 R&D 100 award (honoring the top 100 technologies in the U.S. for that year), measure the concentration of carbon at ocean depths down to a kilometer, including particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) such as the shells of coccolithophores, one-celled plants armored in calcium carbonate. Visible from satellites as milky blooms covering hundreds of miles of ocean, the onset and dissipation of coccolithophore blooms has yet to be observed in detail. Carbon Explorers are designed to fill such gaps in our knowledge of marine biology.