The 24th Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) research cruise will be leaving Immingham at the end of this week with PML scientists on-board, spending 6 weeks sailing the Atlantic to arrive in the Falklands in early November.
AMT is an inter-disciplinary scientific programme that undertakes biological, chemical and physical oceanographic research during an annual voyage between the UK and destinations in the South Atlantic. This journey crosses a range of marine ecosystems from sub-polar to tropical and from shelf seas and upwelling systems to mid-ocean gyres.
The AMT crew perform on-going measurements of the oceanic conditions such as chlorophyll, sea surface temperature, nutrients, optical properties, dissolved gases (including carbon dioxide and nitrogen) and plankton community structure. This year, the crew will also be deploying five bio-argo floats to measure characteristics of the ocean, for example, salinity and temperature. The new data collected by the bio-argo floats, combined with ship-borne observations and satellite data, will revolutionise our understanding of biological, chemical and physical processes and interactions of the marine environment.
This year’s cruise has seven scientists from PML. Also joining them will be Rafael Jose Rasse Boada (pictured right) from the Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientiicas, Venezuela who will be funded by the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO). POGO has funded a berth for a scientist from a developing country to join the expedition for the last seven years, to learn monitoring techniques aboard a large research vessel.
The scientists on-board AMT continue to provide the Earth science discipline with the knowledge base it needs to understand how this ocean is changing and what it might mean for the ecosystem, as well as the wider implications on climate and society. AMT provides one of the few datasets that will be able to highlight significant shifts in the Atlantic’s processes and functions as a result of climate change and other environmental stressors.
Image: PML scientist Giorgio Dall'Olmo (left) and POGO fellow Rafael Rasse (right) preparing a bio-argo instrument for the AMT cruise. Image courtesy of V.Cheung POGO.