Friday, August 2, 2013

International team launches climate research voyage from Iceland

The American research vessel Ronald H. Brown carrying American scientists arrived in Iceland to pick up a group of colleagues from Norway, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and Russia prior to beginning a voyage that will take the ship straight down 20° West latitude line all the way to Antarctica. The Ronald H. Brown, operated by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is one of the most technologically advanced research vessels in the United States, and a vital tool in international scientific cooperation to understand the natural and man-made forces that drive global climate variability. The team of scientists is engaged in a very important longitudinal study on climate change. They will be stopping every 30 nautical miles to take measurements of a number of variables (e.g. CO₂ concentrations, water temperature, Ph levels, currents, metal levels, black carbon, etc.), replicating measurements taken ten years ago and twenty years ago. This type of work allows scientists to paint a picture of how the planet’s oceans are changing. We invited a group of Icelandic scientists, colleagues from Embassies whose nationals are on board the vessel, and a group of international interns for a briefing on board the ship from Captain Mark Pickett and chief scientist Dr. Molly Baringer. During the briefing we also learned about some of the joint research between Iceland and the United States. The only way we can tackle climate change effectively is through this sort international collaboration. Thanks to all the scientists and crew on board the Ronald H. Brown for their contributions.