Every year the ocean absorbs about a quarter of our CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning and cement production and helps slow down climate change. The magnitude of this sink needs to be monitored closely; this helps understanding its sensitivity to climate variations and change, constraining estimates of the other components of the carbon budget and can provide early warnings of any loss of sink efficiency.
Norwegian Marine ICOS is the Norwegian component of the European and Global observing network for surface ocean CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) measurements. These data are used to determine the air-sea CO2 exchange and the magnitude of ocean uptake of man-made CO2. Currently, autonomous instruments for pCO2 measurements are installed onboard 4 vessels that operate in the northern North Atlantic (Nuka Arctica) , Nordic Seas (G.O. Sars), North Sea (Trans Carrier) and Arctic Ocean (Lance).
The European and Global networks, of which we are a part, are presented here and here. All of the data that are collected are synthesised annually into the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas. These data can also be used to determine rates of ocean acidification, as presented for example here.
This picture shows the basic setup of a CO2 measurement system on one of our ships, here Nuka Arctica as an example. The main part of the instrumentation is located underneath the water surface, close to the seawater intake. On the commercial vessels the system is built into the engine room. From here, a long pipe was drawn to the atmosphere intake at the bow of the ship. The deck unit has a electronic connection to the control unit and is recording the position and the outside air pressure.
Contact person: Are Olsen (firstname.lastname@example.org)