Southern Ocean GasEx Blog

Dispatches from the Southern Ocean Gas Exchange Experiment

Silver lining

Posted by sogasex on April 10, 2008

By Steve Archer, Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Back to the weather – it’s the limey again: flying fish off the bow, egrets off the stern, warmth, gentle rolling, blue seas: relief. The ship and folk on it have taken a bit of a pounding over the last couple of days but there’s a lot more of a relaxed atmosphere onboard today. It’s a fine way to finish up. For one, it’s a great day for packing up and clearing up after the gales (see Mike below), especially if you can do it outside. My equipment has to get flown back to the UK then Canary Islands for the next experiment in a few weeks time but first I’ve got to rebuild a couple of boxes that took a ‘green one’ over the side.

However, to a few of us, the high winds and seas that we’ve struggled through on the transect to Montevideo have been a bonus in scientific terms; we obtained what we hope are sea-to-air flux rates and transfer velocities, from the highest winds and biggest waves of the experiment (see photo). If the measurements have been successful this will certainly extend the range of wind speeds over which the fluxes between ocean and atmosphere of DMS have been recorded; shedding more light on what controls the rates of exchange at that critical, high end of the wind-speed-spectrum. Every cloud has some silver lining!

So cheerio to the generally grey, cold and not-so-windy-this-time Southern Ocean; and cheerio to my uncle Chriso who passed away the other day; his enthusiasm for fishing, wildlife, boat-building and the sea had a big influence on me as a child. There will be a lot of fish sighing with relief now he’s gone, amongst many things, he was a master-craftsman-angler; he would have done a decent job of rebuilding those two crates too!

swamped-scaled.jpg

Mike ‘dries out’

heavy-seas-scaled.jpg

South Atlantic spray.

track-to-the-so-scaled.jpg

Cheerio to the SO; what a difference a day makes.

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