Author: Liz Perotti/Thursday, March 10, 2022/
Why we care
Long-term observations of carbonate chemistry at U.S.-affiliated coral reef sites are critical to understanding the impact of ocean acidification on coral ecosystems over time.
What we are doing
Incorporating an interdisciplinary approach, this project will collect, process, analyze, and steward continuous data measuring parts of ocean carbonate system, the ocean’s buffering system. Specifically, this project will include partial pressure of carbon dioxide, pH (measure of acidity), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and total alkalinity to document seawater carbonate chemistry at a newly established climate monitoring site in Fagatele Bay, American Sāmoa.
Benefits of our work
This work produces long-term, continuous, high-quality data of seawater carbonate chemistry needed to track where and how ocean chemistry is changing. The work will initially provide an increased understanding of the natural biogeochemical influences of reef carbon dioxide. In the future, this work will help determine if the magnitude of acidification occurring in the open ocean is also occurring at coral reefs. The buoy at this site will provide freely-available, high-quality carbon dioxide data people can use to better understand the carbon cycle of coral reefs in American Sāmoa and the impacts to coral ecosystems. This will be the only southern hemisphere Class III site in both the Atlantic and Pacific, spanning a large latitudinal gradient.
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