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Benthic processes

Ocean chemistry of the greenhouse gases II
Project Manager: Ed Peltzer
Lead Scientist: Peter Brewer 

Peter Brewer and Jim Barry will be continuing their landmark studies of the fate of CO2 in the deep ocean and its effect on deep sea biology, a project jointly funded by MBARI, the Department of Energy, and the government of Japan. 

They will be aided in their characterization of the chemical behavior of CO2 and methane hydrates by the in situ Laser Raman Spectrometer (LRS) developed previously at MBARI. In contrast to previous experiments that used pure CO2, the 2003 experiments will use a mixture including secondary contaminants commonly founded in industrial grade gas. These contaminants may have an important effect on both the chemical behavior and the biological impact of CO2 in the deep sea. 

In addition, they plan to take the LRS to the Gulf of California to study methane hydrates in the warm water basins where temperatures are as high as 12 C at 1500 meters depth. This study will allow characterization of hydrates in situ along a portion of the phase curve never encountered along the Pacific margin.