Underwater drone promises better CO2 tracking in Alaska’s oceans
Ocean acidification is a serious threat to marine ecosystems. When carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed by seawater, chemical reactions occur that reduce seawater pH. This affects the ability of marine organisms such as corals and crabs to build and maintain their shells. The Gulf of Alaska’s cold waters naturally hold more carbon dioxide. And in an era of climate change, it’s always at risk of reaching a tipping point. This is why researchers are now hoping that a 7-foot-long, bright pink underwater drone will help them get a deeper understanding of the ocean’s chemistry.
The Nanuq underwater drone recently completed a test mission in Alaska’s Resurrection Bay. The result of a collaboration between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and international commercial partners, Nanuq has been designed to dive up to 1,000 meters and carry out weeks-long missions in remote parts of the ocean in every season.
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