Service 1 updateMay 4, 2009
I think the video says it all… It’s been fun! (although it does go on a bit…)
The acidification system is now up and running. This was our number one priority to get started once we had arrived in Ny Alesund. Without this system we would not be able to carry out any experiments so it is a big relief to be able to now sit back.
Helen and Hannah setting up the system. Photo Hannah Wood
Hannah and Helen spent most of the first couple of days unpacking and putting together all the component pieces. Each header tank is set up with a CO2 cylinder, a regulator, which is connected to a solenoid valve which electronically switches the CO2 on or off. The valve is connected to a pH controller which is monitoring the pH levels in the water in the tanks. The controller is set to a specific pH level so the CO2 is switch on when the pH gets above that level, and it switches off when the pH drops below that level.
CO2 system with header tanks. Photo Helen Findlay
We had a couple of problems with a few bits of kit that had either been forgotten or didn’t quite work they way we needed to so we had to engineer a few solutions with tubing and space but it seems to be working (fingers crossed!) and now we are left to just monitor and tweak it…
We have decided to use five pH / CO2 treatment levels and two temperature levels. The current atmospheric CO2 level is 380 ppm, so we have this as our “control” treatment. Then we are increasing the CO2 levels to 550 ppm, 750 ppm, 1120 ppm and 3000 ppm. This gives us values that span several of the predicitions for next 100 years and also a slightly more extreme value (3000 ppm) for biological interest. The animals can now be put in the tanks, indeed Steve’s urchins have gone in already and the Hyas crabs have just gone in too…