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Follow up…

September 8, 2009

You may be wondering what’s happened since the end of our Arctic trip, so I thought I’d write a short post to keep you updated.

The short story is that many of us are still analysing data and writing up our results. Once scientists get back to “the real world”, like everyone, we have lots of other things to deal with. It is a bit of a shock to the system coming home after a long field trip or a research cruise. Not only do we have to integrate ourselves back into normal society but we have to get back into the routine of working, cooking, cleaning and attending to family needs. We have been a bit spoilt being in the Arctic, because we are taken care of – all our cleaning and cooking is done for us, so we can just spend all the time focussing on enjoying the science.

I would like to update this blog with some of the interesting results that will hopefully come out of this trip. The information should start coming out soon, so as soon as it does, we will get the information out to you. Watch this space…

We had the first EPOCA annual meeting in Plymouth at the beginning of July and it was a good opportunity to catch up with everyone from the trip. This was quite a mixed meeting, with lots of session dealing with project management and how everyone was getting on with their individual role in EPOCA. But there were a few snippets of science data as well. The concern over the Arctic ocean was one of the most relevant – cruise and model data suggesting that continued emissions of CO2 will result in the Arctic becoming undersaturated with respect to aragonite (the mineral pteropods and other shelled organisms use to form their shells) by the year 2030. Steeve Comeau’s work on pteropods from last summer in the Arctic showed that pteropods seem to be affected by these changes in aragonite conditions, so that doesn’t look good for them. Other work is showing that the double whamy of temperature and ocean acidifcation are going to cause complicated interacting impacts. And although ocean acidifcation is no doubt important, we should not forget the multitude of other stresses that humans are forcing on our fragile environment.

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