Department of Biological Sciences, University of Essex
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The dataset comprises hydrographic data, including salinity, temperature, depth, dissolved oxygen, transmittance (for suspended sediment), chlorophyll, irradiance, and current velocities. Both oceanographic and benthic measurements of nutrients (nitrate, nitrite, silicate, phosphate and ammonium), phytoplankton and zooplankton abundance, dissolved and particulate trace metals, primary and bacterial production, sulphur compounds and halocarbons were collected, as well as atmospheric physical and chemical measurements. The data were collected in the North Sea between August 1988 and October 1990 over a series of 38 cruises on RRS Challenger. Oceanographic measurements were taken using hydrographic profilers, moored instruments and shipboard underway systems. Underway meteorological data were also collected in addition to a comprehensive atmospheric sampling programme. Both continuous and discrete water samples were collected, providing biogeochemical and biological data. These were supplemented by net hauls. Benthic processes were investigated with sediment cores taken on eight survey cruises at six sites of varied character, three being in the area of summer stratification. Water and benthic sample analyses were supplemented by results of seabed and shipboard incubation experiments. The North Sea Project evolved from a NERC review of shelf seas research, which identified the need for a concerted multidisciplinary study of circulation, transport and production. The Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (POL), now the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) hosted the project. It involved over 200 scientists and support staff from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF - now DEFRA) and other academic institutes. The data are held at the British Oceanographic Data Centre and are available on CD-ROM.
The cross-disciplinary themes will result in a diverse data catalogue. The ship collected data will be in the form of sea surface meteorology (2-D wind speed and direction, total irradiance, Photosynthetically Active Radiation/PAR, air temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity); atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO2); biological, chemical and physical properties and processes in the marine photic zone (carbonate chemistry - pCO2, total alkalinity, pH, DIC; dissolved gases - oxygen; nutrient concentrations, ammonium regeneration, nitrification, nitrogen fixation, zooplankon ecology, chlorophyll concentration, photosynthetic pigment composition, bacterial production, phytoplankton and bacterial speciation, concentrations of biogenic trace compounds such as dimethyl sulphide/DMS and dimthylsulphoniopropionate/DMSP, salinity, temperature, zooplankon ecology) and bioassays of these same parameters under different future IPCC CO2 and temperature scenarios. The long-term (18 month) laboratory based mesocosm experiments will include data on individual organism response (growth, immune response, reproductive fitness) under different future IPCC CO2 and temperature scenarios in rocky intertidal, soft sediment and calcareous biogenic habitats, as well as the effects on commercially important species of fish and shellfish. The analysis of sediment cores will provide greater resolution of the paleo record during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). Data will be used to aid the parameterisation of coastal and continental shelf seas (Northern Europe and the Arctic) model runs as well as larger scale global models. The shipboard fieldwork will take place around the UK, in the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean. The mesocosms will look at temperate marine species common to UK shelf seas. Sediment cores have been collected from Tanzania. The models will look from the coastal seas of Northern Europe to the whole globe. Data to be generated will include data collected at sea, short-term (2-3 day) ship-board bioassays, from long-term (18 month) laboratory based mesocosm experiments and reconstructed paleo records from sediment cores. The 5 year UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme is the UK’s response to growing concerns over ocean acidification. Aims: 1 - to reduce uncertainties in predictions of carbonate chemistry changes and their effects on marine biogeochemistry, ecosystems and other components of the Earth System; 2 - to understand the responses to ocean acidification, and other climate change related stressors, by marine organisms, biodiversity and ecosystems and to improve understanding of their resistance or susceptibility to acidification; 3 - to provide data and effective advice to policy makers and managers of marine bioresources on the potential size and timescale of risks, to allow for development of appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies. The study unites over 100 marine scientists from 27 institutions across the UK. It is jointly funded by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).