RS Aqua is pleased to announce that we have recently supplied multiple RBRconcerto CTD loggers to the University of Southampton for use on the SO-CHIC (Southern Ocean – Carbon and Heat Impact on Climate) project. These CTD loggers are going to be supplying millions of extremely high accuracy measurements from a subsea mooring in the depths of the Southern Ocean.  Mark Barham, from project partner British Antarctic Survey, has kindly provided the following overview of the SO-CHIC project:

“The Southern Ocean is responsible for about 70±30% of the excess heat absorbed by the World Oceans each year, and has also been recognised to have a profound influence on long term variability of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which is essentially controlled by variability in the Southern Ocean circulation. This makes the Southern Ocean a global climate choke point, yet it is very poorly observed, understood, and not well represented in climate models.

To contribute to improving the quality of in climate change predictions, the SO-CHIC project aims to understand and quantify variability of heat and carbon budgets in the Southern Ocean through an investigation of the key processes controlling exchanges between the atmosphere, ocean and sea ice using a combination of observational and modelling approaches.

Focusing on the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean, the observational element of the project will complement and refine the existing observation system. While existing observations enable us to describe the overall structure of the circulation, they are often too sparse to resolve the short-lived dynamics that ultimately control the circulation and its impact on heat and carbon uptake.

As part of these new observations, four deep-water moorings, ranging from 2500m – 4000m, will be deployed for an extended period between austral autumn and spring, bookending the harsh southern winter. The moorings will be instrumented with current meters, an ADCP, CTDs and high-precision thermistors in an effort to capture the physical processes controlling the emergence and remarkable persistence of Weddell Polynyas, and their key impacts on the large-scale circulation of the Southern Ocean.”

For more information on RBRConcerto loggers, click here.

Photo credits: J.B. Sallée

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