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Project Partners

National Oceanography Centre (NOC)
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Participants from NOC

Elaine McDonagh leads the ABC consortium, and the work to synthesis new information from ABC measurements. Her research interests include the heat content of the deep ocean and carbon storage and transfer within the North Atlantic.

Darren Rayner has overseen the design and evolution of the 26°N RAPID array since 2004. In ABC he leads the installation of new biogeochemical sensors on the array.

Sue Hartman is part of NOC's seagoing chemistry team and runs its carbon dioxide laboratory. She leads ABC work on testing, calibration and deployment of the chemical sensors.

Sinhué Torres-Valdés studies the role of nutrients in sustaining export production of organic carbon. His methods for organic nutrient analyses on preserved samples which will be used in ABC.

Brian King' research interests include variability in the ocean circulation. He leads the integration of ABC data from sensors on the RAPID array with data from biogeochemical floats.

Richard Sanders' research focuses on the way that ocean biological processes take up and store carbon in the oceans' interior. In ABC he contributes to the synthesis of the new information from the biogochemical measurements.

David Smeed leads the team that runs the 26°N RAPID array. In ABC he contributes to the calculation of biogeochemical fluxes across 26°N.

Kim Marshall-Brown is a science writer from the NOC Communications office, working with ABC scientists to bring their results to a wider audience.

Val Byfield looks after the ABC web site, assists Elaine with project management and works with Kim and ABC scientists on project outreach.

Exeter Department of Geography
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Participants from Exeter

Andrew Watson pioneered the use of sea-surface and deep-ocean CO2 with tracer data to study ocean up-take of anthropogenic CO2. He is involved in synthesis of information from ABC research activities, and acts as a link to NERC's greenhouse gas programme RAGNARoCC (see 'collaborations' below).

Paul Halloran has extensive experience developing and running Met Office models and investigating Atlantic circulation and carbon cycling within CMIP climate models. He leads the work using models to add value to the ABC observations.

Ute Schuster has overseen the operation of a seasurface pCO2 system installed on a ship operating from the U. K. to the Caribbean for over 15 years, documenting interannual variations (and possibly a long term change) in the air sea flux of CO2 in the North Atlantic Basin.

Marie-José Messias' research includes the use of transient tracers to study ocean circulation and ocean mixing rates and improve estimates of the oceanic uptake and storage of anthropogenic CO2.

Ocean and Earth Science (OES)
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Participants from Southampton OES

Mark Moore's research focuses on patterns of nutrient limitation in the oceans and on the biological implications of ocean acidification.

Nicholas Bates has 25 years experience with observations of inorganic carbon. Along with Ute Schuster from Exeter, he will oversee the analysis of samples from the automated samplers on the RAPID array.

Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML)
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Participants from PML

Tim Smyth studies primary production using using satellite ocean colour data and in situ measurement. In ABC he is involved in the calibration and testing of the remote access samplers (RAS), and optimization of the RAS sampling 26°N.

Stefano Ciavatta leads PML's biogeochemical data assimilation and analysis of biogeochemical monitoring data. In ABC he will work with other modellers to assess the contributions from the RAPID array to the biogeochemical and Earth system modelling.

Giorgio Dall'Olmo has been working with float data for over 10 years, with a major focus on data quality and interpolation. In ABC he is involved in the collection and analysis of biogeochemical data from 26°N.

NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML)   show participating scientists
Participant from NOAA-AOML

Molly Baringer is lead scientist on the AOML Florida Strait and Hydrography programme, which complements the measurements made by the U.K. RAPID programme. Molly has been working with the RAPID 26N team since the start of RAPID in 2004.

Met Office
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Participants from the Met Office

Rosa Barciela leads research and development of the operational marine ecosystems and sediment modelling systems for the Met Office, and will be working with the ABC modellers at NOC, Exeter and PML to evaluate the contribution of RAPID array measurements to biogeochemical modelling.


Research collaborations


RAGNARoCC (Radiatively Active Gases from the North Atlantic Region and Climate Change) aims understand how large, and how variable, are sources and sinks of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere from the North Atlantic.   MORE

The emphasis on carbon dioxide, and the project hopes to deliver a comprehensive budgeting of natural and anthropogenic components of the carbon cycle in the North Atlantic, as well as an understanding of why the air-sea fluxes of CO2 vary regionally, seasonally and multi-annually.

RAGNARoCC research is highly relevant to ABC Fluxes, and the two projects share results to mutual benefit. Andrew Watson participates in both projects, ensuring close collaboration between them.


RAGNARoCC web site


The RAPID array across the Atlantic at 26.5°N has been monitoring the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) since 2004, and will continue to do so at least until 2020.   MORE

ABC scientists will work closely with the 26°N team to include carbon and nutrients to the suite of measurements collected by the 26%°N mooring array and research cruises, and calculate the effect of the overturning on Atlantic budgets of anthropogenic CO2

Darren Rayner and David Smeed participate in both projects, ensuring close collaboration between them.


RAPID-MOC web site

Overview of the ABC Fluxes project

The North Atlantic Ocean plays a pivotal role in the global carbon cycle, by storing carbon released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned, and by supporting the sinking flux of organic matter.

Our understanding of how horizontal oceanic fluxes in the subtropics contribute to these processes is largely based on shipboard expeditions which occur every 5 years at 24°N. Sampling at that interval is insufficient to resolve and understand the role that horizontal transfers play in regulating these processes.

Time-series of temperature, salinity and current speeds from the RAPID array at 26°N indicate that the fluxes vary on a range of timescales. Measuring this variability will almost inevitably modify our understanding of the role played by the subtropical North Atlantic in the global carbon cycle.

ABC Fluxes addresses these issues by deploying new chemical sensors and samplers on the RAPID mooring, by using the new observations to calculate time-series of nutrient and inorganic carbon fluxes across 26°N, and by interpreting this data in the light of other observations and the output of biogeochemical models.

Research objectives

  1. To calculate time series (including uncertainty estimates) of inorganic carbon and nutrient fluxes in the Atlantic at 26.5°N using a hierarchy of approaches including new observations.
  2. To determine how nutrient fluxes control the strength and variability of nutrient inventories and export production in the subtropical gyre.
  3. To determine how inorganic carbon fluxes drive the size and variability of the anthropogenic carbon inventory and air-sea carbon fluxes in the North Atlantic.

Assessing the North Atlantic's role in the global carbon cycle

Starting with existing observations, followed by new oxygen observations and finally direct observations of the carbon and nutrients, ABC will identify the added value of each successive set of observations.

We will interpret our direct flux calculations as contributions to the North Atlantic budget in conjunction with other observations and models, to assess how oceanic fluxes control the strength and variability of the role the North Atlantic plays in the global carbon cycle.

NOC rapid Southampton University Exeter University PML Met Office NOAA NERC


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