RRS Discovery is currently sailing to remote waters beyond the southwest tip of Chile as part of a National Oceanography Centre (NOC) led project to understand how the Southern Ocean takes up and stores carbon from the atmosphere.
The Carbon Uptake and Seasonal Traits in Remineralisation Depth (CUSTARD) project will focus on the “biological carbon pump,” the collective effect of marine life in transporting carbon from the surface deep into the ocean interior. In particular, CUSTARD will explore how the seasonal cycle of growth and death of phytoplankton in the well-lit surface waters influences the depth to which this pump can transport carbon.
CUSTARD is part of the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) funded “Role of the Southern Ocean in the Earth System” programme.
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