|Taking Measurements from Chile to Seattle|
Cruise to Sail Seven Thousand Miles to Collect Data
From the tip of South America where Chile breaks into the Strait of Magellan to the port of Seattle, Washington, a group of scientists from Texas A&M and four other institutions will capture data from air and sea.
Shari Yvon-Lewis, assistant professor in Oceanography, heads the nearly 7,000-mile journey off the coasts of North and South America. She and her colleagues will spend a month gathering data from the Pacific Ocean to analyze the levelsof chemical compounds such as methyl bromide and halocarbons. Methyl bromide originates from both industrial and natural sources, and for a long time it was used in soil sterilization products. The resultingemission to the atmosphere from agricultural land as well as its natural production by certain marine life leads to stratospheric ozone depletion and, as such, its levels are regulated by the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of harmful substances.
The shipboard crew of scientists, which includes two professors, two graduate students and one post doc from Texas A&M University, will use a variety of instruments and methods to measure the level of these chemical compounds to better understand how they originate and cycle through the oceans and in the atmosphere. In turn, this knowledge will help scientists predict how the air and sea fluxes of the oceans’ trace gases will respond to global climate changes.
Yvon-Lewis is chief scientist for the cruise, which leaves out of Punta Arenas, Chile, March 28 and will tack among the South American fjords before taking to the open seas of the Pacific. Supported by the National Science Foundation, the cruise uses the University of Washington’s research vessel Thomas Thompson.
Joining Yvon-Lewis are Sarah Brooks, assistant professor of atmospheric sciences, graduate students, Lei HuandYina Liu and post doc, German Vidaurre. Other participating univerities are the University of California, Irvine, the State University of New York, Albant, and two institutions from Spain. The University of Washington will also sail technical crew members.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. OCE-0927874.