We “atmospheric people” are working on that! Let me explain.
Ocean is a source of gases and tiny particles which help to make clouds and cool the atmosphere. Isn’t this great news during these super hot days at Stareso?
To be more exact: The goal of the atmospheric experiments here is to understand which type of particles and in which quantities are released into the atmosphere from Mediterranian Sea. We take samples from three mesocosms of different levels of acidification. Then we “bubble” the samples in an aquarium simulating the particle release process by winds and waves over the sea. For this, a bit noisy pump is needed.. When we have the particles in the air inside the aquarium, we study their ability to form clouds (to make the climate less hot). This depends, at most, on the particle chemical composition and size. In addition to this, several types of samples are taken of the aquarium air, in order to analyse the gas and particle phase compositions afterwards in the lab. Quantities and properties of organics are on top of our interest list. Thanks to Alina, we can also sometimes “enrich” our samples with the surface layer – this is important since surface is in direct contact with the atmosphere.
It is amazing how little we still know on the fluxes of particles (and gases which can condense on the particles) from the oceans. And even less on the possible effects of ocean acidification on these fluxes. So this can be really mind blowing science we’re doing (mind blowing not only because of the noise…)! Bear with us for couple of more days…