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Journals 2008/2009

Jeff Lawrence
Lowrey Middle School, Tahlequah, OK

"Factors Controlling Coccolithophore Calcification in the Ocean"
R/V Roger Revelle
December 4, 2008 - January 2, 2009
Journal Index:
December 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
                11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17
                18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24
                25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 - 30 - 31 January 1 - 2

December 12, 2008
CO2 Levels and Coccolithophores

Dave Drapeau has set up his experiment on the fantail of the boat to test the effects of differing CO2 levels on the health of the coccolithophores. The base CO2 level, which is concurrent with today's levels, is 380 ppm (parts per million). Dave will test coccolithophore development at this level and at 500 ppm, 750 ppm, and 1200 ppm. The idea is to see what may happen to these important creatures of the ocean and of the earth ecosystem if the current CO2 levels in our atmosphere continue. It is feared that the increased CO2 will make our ocean more acidic and thereby make it harder or impossible for these coccolithophores to form harden shells, which are made of carbon and transported to the bottom of the oceans where they are sequestered as eventually limestone for eons of time. This experiment lasts for 72 hours and will be repeated four more times on the cruise. Marlene is assisting Dave in taking samples from the bottles. Marlene is a scientist from Bermuda and one of many who are sampling the carboys from Dave Drapeau's experiment to determine the effects the increasing CO2 levels may have on coccolithophores.

Dave Drapeau and Marlene Jeffreys are getting the lab underway.
Carboys filled seawater containing coccolithophores with added CO2

Other small things that live in the ocean are a keystone species are Copepods. They are tiny shrimp like organisms that live deeper in the ocean in the day time and come to surface at night to feed on phytoplankton. They live deeper when the sun is up to avoid fish and other predators looking for a snack. The ship's underway system is an opening in the bow of the ship that allows water to pass through it. It works when the weather is too rough for the other instruments to go into the water such as the CTD. The water enters the ship and travels to a lab toward the back of the ship where it is sent through filters. A computer then analyzes what is in the water. This night the Copepods decided to show up, no doubt they were looking for a meal of phytoplankton.

Underway System in Hydro Lab

Questions of the Day:
  1. Carboys are simply plastic containers used for water sampling, how did they get their name? Investigate using Google, no one onboard seems to no why either. (xpts.)
  2. Find Bermuda on a map and name its capital as well as its capital latitude and longitude.
  3. What is limestone and how does it form?
  4. What is a keystone species? (extra points)