(Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research via ScienceDaily, 14 February 2008) -- In the Southern Ocean, large quantities of surface-drifting plankton
algae are able to significantly reduce the carbon dioxide content of
the surface waters, which can affect the global carbon dioxide cycle.
This is one of the results from an Antarctic expedition which has just
drawn to a close in Cape Town on February 4, and which was led by the
Alfred Wegener Institute, part of the Helmholtz Association. The goal
of the exploration is to understand the role of the Southern Ocean for
past, present and future climate.
During expeditions of the research vessel Polarstern, and within the
framework of the International Polar Year 2007/08, researchers from all
over the world are making pioneer contributions to the understanding of
the Southern Ocean. This massive water body surrounding the Antarctic
continues to be largely unexplored. However, since it has a significant
effect on the climate of the entire earth, it is absolutely necessary
to intensify research activities. The International Polar Year provides
a unique opportunity for combining the scientific efforts of various
countries in order to gain major insights.
Posted by Amanda Graham – 14 February 2008; 8:50:22 PM – Permalink
Tagged: IPY project, News