Schools on Board: Phytoplankton and the Arctic Ecosystem

October 1, 2011

Today, we learned about phytoplankton, which is important because it is responsible for most of the primary production in the Arctic ecosystem. Scientists want to know if the Arctic Ocean will be emitting or absorbing CO2 in the future due to climate change.

It’s starting to feel like we will be leaving the ship really soon. We started discussing a farewell presentation for the scientists and crew. The helicopter pilot also started giving safety briefings to prepare us for getting off the ship.

Even though we are leaving soon, we are still doing exciting activities. The chief engineer gave us a tour of the engine room this afternoon. It was very loud and smelled like diesel, but it was cool to see the inner workings of the ship. What I found interesting was the fact that the heat from the engines is used to boil seawater in order to obtain freshwater for the ship. —Karen Butt ’12

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2 thoughts on “Schools on Board: Phytoplankton and the Arctic Ecosystem

  1. Karen, is there any concrete data on temperature increases in the water? If so, have their been any observations regarding wildlife and any shifting balance within the eco-system (i.e., the impact on pre-existing species or the arrival of wildlife previously unknown to these waters).

    Has the ice cap permanently melted in the Northwest Passage and if so, is there a marked increase in shipping vessels passing through? Who has jurisdiction over this area and what is being done to enact legislation that is designed to protect the eco-system and globally respected.

    We think that our projet intégrateur should have something to do with the experience you’re having on the Amundsen. So think of an idea…

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