Development of a Carbon Dioxide Seaglider for ocean acidification monitoring and inorganic carbon process studies
Funded through the National Oceanographic Partnership Program by the National Science Foundation, in collaboration with Advanced Offshore Operations Inc., 4-H Jena, and Alutiiq Pride Marine Institute
September 2018 – September 2022
Co-PI: Andrew McDonnell (UAF)
The oceanic reservoir of carbon dioxide is large, dynamic, spatially variable, and of critical importance to Earth’s climate, biogeochemical cycles, and the health of marine ecosystems. At present, the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) is vastly undersampled throughout the oceans. This is due to conventional sampling approaches that rely primarily on discrete water sample collections from dedicated research cruises, underway measurements of surface ocean properties from transiting vessels, or time series measurements from in situ sensors on fixed moorings. This sparse sampling coverage greatly limits the understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of carbon dioxide, the processes that control its cycling, and how its accumulation in the ocean impacts marine life via ocean acidification. In a collaborative effort between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Kongsberg Underwater Technology, we are developing an autonomous Carbon Dioxide Seaglider by integrating the Kongsberg CONTROS HydroC CO2 sensor into Kongsberg’s autonomous coastal underwater Seaglider C2. For the first time, the new Carbon Dioxide Seaglider provides the ability to autonomously conduct high-resolution and adaptively sampled, high quality pCO2 measurements throughout the water column and across a large range of spatial and temporal scales. First Carbon Dioxide Seaglider sea trials will happen in June 2019 in Pudget Sound and in August in the Gulf of Alaska. These initial trials will demonstrate the Carbon Dioxide Seaglider’s pCO2 sensing capabilities through large pCO2 gradients and in dependence of different sensor configurations and operational schemes as well as the glider platform’s capability of operating in the challenging glacially influenced coastal environment of the Gulf of Alaska. The planned 2020 missions will then build on lessons learned and improved mission and sampling design, power budget.
Ocean acidification and marine heatwaves: Compound extreme events in the Gulf of Alaska Large Marine Ecosystem
Funded by the North Pacific Research Board
December 2021 – June 2024
Co-PI: Remi Page, Collaborator: Darcy Dugan (AOOS)
The Gulf of Alaska marine ecosystem is experiencing stress on multiple levels as a result of warming and a changing chemistry due to the oceanic uptake of carbon dioxide (ocean acidification). Multiple species important to commercial and subsistence fisheries are sensitive to either one or a combination of these threats. While warming and ocean acidification are relatively slow background processes that lead to a gradual and noticeable change over multiple decades, shorter term climate driven disturbances can intermittently push the system across potentially harmful thresholds with far reaching consequences for the ecosystem. For example, between 2014 and 2016 seawater was more than 5 degrees Celsius above the average from previous years for a duration of more than 350 days. Similarly, climate driven decadal pulses cause ocean acidification extreme events that push the Gulf of Alaska ecosystem across harmful thresholds earlier than if ocean acidification were the only driver. Here, we propose to use a well evaluated regional ocean model to study the co-occurrence and duration of ocean heat and acidification extreme events and their drivers in the Gulf of Alaska over the past few decades. This will be an important step towards a long-term goal of providing extreme event forecasting, and building an early warning system for fisheries and mariculture. This project has a strong community interaction and engagement strategy to ensure the model and its output are relevant, usable and understandable by species response researchers, fisheries managers and other stakeholders. With input from fisheries and research audiences, we propose to build an interactive online tool that simplifies the investigation of impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on species of interest. With opportunities for training, the tool would be circulated to inform species response research and future fisheries management practices.
The Chukchi Sea Ecosystem Observatory
Funded by the North Pacific Research Board (Long Term Monitoring Program) and the Alaska Ocean Observatory System.
The HauriLab is responsible for the inorganic carbon measurements on the observatory. It is a joint effort between variety of investigators, institutions, and funding agencies to maintain a year-round moored ecosystem observatory in the NE Chukchi Sea.
LINK TO PROJECT WEBSITE HERE
The Gulf of Alaska Ecosystem Observatory
Funded by the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
The HauriLab is responsible for the inorganic carbon measurements on the observatory. It is a joint effort between a variety of investigators and institutions to maintain a year-round moored ecosystem observatory in the Gulf of Alaska. The first deployment will take place in summer 2019.
Northern Gulf of Alaska Longterm Ecological Research (NGA-LTER)
Funded by the National Science Foundation.
The Gulf of Alaska Large Marine Ecosystem (GOA-LME) is naturally low in carbonate ion concentrations due to the increased solubility of CO2 at low temperatures, ocean mixing patterns and unique riverine and glacial inputs . For these reasons, seawater saturation states with respect to aragonite and calcite are typically lower here than in temperate and tropical regions. The GOA’s large spatial and temporal variability in inorganic carbon chemistry is driven by a multitude of physical and biogeochemical processes such as phytoplankton blooms and remineralization, freshwater inputs, downwelling, on-shelf intrusion of deep water, tidal mixing, and eddies. Many of these processes are sensitive to rising CO2 and climate change.
The HauriLab uses both in situ water samples and a regional model to study and understand ocean acidification and climate change related long-term changes to the inorganic carbon system and ecosystem. This is especially important because the GOA-LME is home to highly productive commercial and subsistence fisheries including salmon, pollock, crab, Pacific cod, halibut, mollusks and other shellfish. Some of these abundant living marine resources are likely to be vulnerable to the effects of ocean acidification.
This site is a member of the U.S. LTER Network.
Members of the Network are accessible through the LTER Site Portal.
Fire and Ice: Navigating variability in boreal wildfire regimes and subarctic coastal ecosystems
Funded by the National Science Foundation through Alaska EPSCoR.
The Coastal Margins Team uses physical and chemical conditions along a gradient of glacial to non-glacial coastal waters to study biological responses to climate-induced changes.
The HauriLab is part of the Coastal Margins Team and focuses on the influence of freshwater influences on the coastal inorganic carbon and nutrients dynamics.
The Fire and Ice Project is the newest Alaska EPSCoR project.
Atautchikkun Ilitchisukluta: Coming together to learn: Co-producing knowledge across the Northwest Passage
Funded by the National Science Foundation throug “Navigating the New Arctic Track 2.
PI: Courtney Carothers (CFOS-UAF)
- Build and strengthen the relationships necessary to ethically and meaningfully engage in
co-production of knowledge. The “co-production of knowledge” means that western and
Indigenous scientists fully engage collaboratively in research processes from the
development of questions, to data collection, stewardship of data, and interpretation and
application of results.
- Develop a mutually respectful process for the co-production of knowledge and co-create
a conceptual model that will guide and form the centerpiece of a grant proposal.
- Provide a safe space for mutual learning through the inclusion and mentorship of
Indigenous youth as the next generation of scientists and community leaders.
Carbon Glider Development
Funded by the Coastal Marine Institute and Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management.
The final report is available HERE.
Unraveling the controls of inorganic carbon dynamics in the Gulf of Alaska with a regional three-dimensional biogeochemical model
Funded by the National Science Foundation.
August 2015 – August 2021
Co-PIs: Seth Danielson and Kate Hedstrom
This project will identify the dominant controls and patterns of high carbon dioxide environments in the northern Gulf of Alaska. The few available observations document a seasonal manifestation of aragonite undersaturation in subsurface waters on this continental shelf. Particularly if it expands in time and space, such undersaturation could engender detrimental consequences for carbon dioxide sensitive organisms and potentially lead to altered food web structures, ultimately imparting large ecosystem and socio-economic consequences. However, the currently limited spatial and temporal data coverage precludes a detailed conceptual understanding of the physical and biological mechanisms controlling the local carbon dynamics and thus impedes our ability to anticipate and mitigate future changes. We have just recently finished a 33 year-long regional biogeochemical hindcast simulation for the Gulf of Alaska. The model uses explicit forcing of coastal freshwater discharges, and modeled iron limitation. The model suggests more sustained and widespread aragonite undersaturation across the shelf in 2013 compared to 1980. The decreasing long-term trend of the aragonite saturation state in coastal regions is driven by both uptake of atmospheric CO2 and increased freshwater input. We will use neural networks, dye tracers and Lagrangian floats to detangle the complex interplay of mechanisms that drive aragonite undersaturation in the study region.
Webinar by Claudine: Learning from a regional ocean model: How ocean acidification has changed the seascape of the Gulf of Alaska
Ocean acidification and climate change are quickly altering the Gulf of Alaska marine ecosystem. Dr. Hauri will present her latest modeling results on how ocean acidification has changed the marine habitats of some of Alaska’s most important species. She will also demonstrate how her publicly available model output can be easily used to study the seascape of the Gulf of Alaska.
Natural and anthropogenic controls on the inorganic carbon dynamics in the Chukchi Sea
Funded by the National Science Foundation
August 2016 – August 2021
Co-PIs: Seth Danielson (UAF), Kate Hedstrom (UAF), and Scott Doney (UVA)
Frequent but poorly studied late-season mixing episodes on the Chukchi Shelf may be important drivers of the marine carbon budget and the intensity and duration of ocean acidification events as they alter the degree to which carbon is retained on the shelf, released to the atmosphere, or mobilized and transported into the Arctic Ocean. Little is known about these processes and the carbon dynamics in fall, winter and spring due to limited spatial and temporal data coverage in this remote and often inaccessible area. Here we utilize an ocean and ice circulation regional physical-biogeochemical numerical model to study Chukchi Sea carbon dynamics and ocean acidification throughout the year. We will perform Hindcasts (1980-present) that will be forced by meteorological reanalysis products and will account for lateral transport from the Bering Sea and central Arctic as well as input of organic and inorganic carbon from rivers and sea-ice melt water.
Our project will improve the conceptual understanding of the controlling forces that mediate ocean acidification and carbon fluxes in the Chukchi Sea and in the Arctic Ocean. It will also give us insights into how ocean acidification may affect the lower trophic ecosystem structure. Research products will include more robust assessments of: regional ocean carbon uptake and aragonite undersaturation in the Chukchi Sea, factoring in synoptic storm forcing and mesoscale circulation; the impact of global climate variability and trends on the Chukchi Sea CO2 system; the influence of the Chukchi Sea on the larger-scale Arctic Ocean CO2 and biogeochemical system; and the modeled ecosystem structure in a high- CO2 world. An improved ability to anticipate future changes to the carbon dynamics, chemical habitats of organisms, and lower trophic ecosystem structure is critical in an area like the Chukchi Sea that is undergoing rapid transformations due to unprecedented warming temperatures, ocean acidification, extensive sea-ice loss, increases in storm frequency/magnitude, elevated rates of coastal erosion, increasing inputs of terrestrial organic matter, exploration and development of offshore energy resources, and increased ship traffic.C