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CSIRO’s RV Investigator. Credit: CSIRO Australian research voyage to investigate how life in the Southern Ocean captures and stores carbon from the atmosphere. A fleet of new-generation, deep-diving ocean robots will be deployed in the Southern Ocean, in a major study of how marine life acts as a handbrake on global warming. A BGC-ARGO bio-optical float with a miniaturised underwater vision profiler (UVP). Credit: David Luquet The automated probes will be looking for “marine snow,” which is the name given to the shower of dead algae and carbon-rich organic particles that sinks from upper waters to the deep ocean. Sailing from Hobart last Friday, twenty researchers aboard CSIRO’s RV Investigator hope to capture the most detailed picture yet of how marine life in the Southern Ocean captures and stores carbon from the atmosphere. Voyage Chief Scientist, Professor Philip Boyd, from AAPP and IMAS, said it would be the first voyage of its kind to combine ship-board observations, deep-diving robots, automated ocean gliders, and satellite measurements. “The microscopic algae in the ocean are responsible for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as much as the forests on land are,” said Prof. Boyd. “When they die, these tiny carbon-rich particles fall slowly to the ocean floor like a scene from a snow globe.” “We are excited about how this combination of new imaging sensors will allow us to get a larger and much clearer picture of how ocean life helps to store carbon.” “It’s a bit like an astronomer who has […]