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young barnacles cover a topfloat recovered from a mooring in the Chukchi Sea

Barnacle Buoy

Instruments, buoys, and rigging lines placed in the sea attract a wide variety of organisms. After 13 months in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska, this orange float sported a thick coat of young barnacles that had attached themselves to the hard surface. Such biofouling has been a challenge for sailors and oceanographers ever since boats and buoys were put into the water. The mooring this float belonged to was part of Edge of the Arctic Shelf project, a multi-year, multi-institution study of how circulation within the Arctic Ocean might be affected by global climate change. (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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