The project contributes to our understanding of the role of both chemical and biological production and degradation of organo-halogens in regulating the oxidising capacity of the atmosphere. It also improves our knowledge of the natural biogeochemical cycling of halogens in polar regions.
The aim of this project was to quantitatively investigate the mechanisms driving the oceanic carbon dioxide system and the CO2 air–sea flux in areas differentiated by water column stratification, ice cover/extent and freshwater input in the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean.
The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth. The western peninsula, Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas have recently experienced declines in sea ice extent and duration, and glacier fronts are retreating.
The overarching objective of this project was to investigate physical and biogeochemical variability in the Amundsen and Ross Seas, two regions which show contrasting responses to climate change and are perhaps the least sampled in the Southern Ocean.
Since controls on the production and destruction of climate-active gases are very likely coupled to the extent and type of microorganisms living at or near this critical interface, changes in both the extent and type of sea ice will greatly affect the balance between the marine environment and the biosphere.