Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

ArCS Blog

Installation of atmospheric greenhouse gases measurements system on research vessel MIRAI (MIRAI Arctic cruise 2016: Theme 3)

During a period from August 20 to October 5, 2016, an oceanographic research vessel “MIRAI” owned by Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) will conduct observational cruise in the Arctic Ocean. We visited Shimizu port on August 9th to install measurement systems of the atmospheric greenhouse gases to the R/V MIRAI.

The Arctic region is considered to be vulnerable to the global warming, and it is also considered that the temperature increase would potentially enhance further emissions of the greenhouse gases from the region. The objective of our study is to detect the increases in the atmospheric greenhouse gas levels associated with the ongoing global warming in the Arctic region in the early stage.

In the installation, air intakes (photo2) were first fixed to a mast located at the front of the upper deck and tubing used for the air sampling was laid between the intakes and a cabin for the observation. Then, the continuous observation system for the atmospheric CO2, CH4, and CO (photo3) and the air sampling system were placed in the cabin. Although the cabin is air-conditioned and comfortable, it was very hot as hell on the upper deck in the broiling sun. I drained two bottles of water.

The observation systems were successfully installed, providing the atmospheric data during the whole Arctic cruise. After the work, we enjoyed local sea foods for dinner. In Shimizu area, sakura shrimp and whitebait are very famous local foods, which go with beer!

Yasunori Tohjima (NIES / A member of Theme 3)

Photo1: Research vessel “MIRAI”

Photo2: Air intakes for the atmospheric greenhouse gas measurements

Photo3: Observation system for the atmospheric greenhouse gases

Photo4: Sakura shrimp and whitebait