NAAMES-II Expedition: June 3, 2016June 4th, 2016 by Kristina Mojica
One more day to go!!
NAAMES 2016 field campaign is almost reaching its end. We are going to reach WHOI on Sunday (Jun 5, 2016). A very relaxing summer atmosphere is prevalent on board R/V Atlantis. Having toiled day and night for nearly 3 weeks, scientists are enjoying their well-deserved break on our transit back. Galley transforms into a social club where most of the scientists hang out after dinner, while, few enjoy the evening with their guitars and well almost every one gather on deck to witness some of the beautiful sunsets. Unfortunately, due to heavy mist and fog like conditions we could not see the sun going down the horizon today.
For me, this day began with photo shoot. All the scientists and crewmembers gathered on the bow to mark the ending of the field campaign with a group picture.
While most of the researchers are busy packing their instruments and wrapping up things, our instruments are still running and collecting data on marine aerosols. Marine aerosols affect the Earth’s radiation balance triggering a variety of global climate effects. Physicochemical properties of these aerosols is quintessential for the quantification of climate effects, solar radiation transfer and cloud processes. Changes in ecosystems due to warmer climates could alter the marine aerosol burden in the atmosphere, which in turn affects the global climate. The main focus of our group is to understand the impact of the biological cycles of phytoplankton on marine aerosol particle composition and in turn their impact on climate. The information from this study may be used to improve climate model predictions of current and future climate changes. To achieve this goal, we measure physicochemical properties of ambient marine aerosols in real-time throughout the cruise using a suite of real time instruments.
Our group consists of four researchers taking care of variety of instruments. Our daily routine includes loading filters to collect marine aerosol particles, changing desiccants, data acquisition, and data consolidation and processing. In addition, we take turns to monitor our instruments. Although, our routine is simple enough on a sunny day (when all our instruments behave properly), it gets quite exciting and stressful when the instruments misbehave (which is what we often encounter). Some of our instruments are highly sensitive and needs extreme special care and we had our own little adventures with these instruments. I can safely say that against all odds, our team (Derek Price, Chia-Li Chen, Maryam A. Lamjiri) managed to successfully complete the campaign and are looking forward to return and analyze the data in detail.
Written by Raghu Betha