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ICPMS study

Calcium in the Carbon Cycle

MIT-WHOI Joint Program graduate student Sara Rosengard measures the amount of calcium in seawater samples using an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICPMS). The amount of calcium helps Rosengard determine the amount of calcite in the water, a mineral found in high concentrations in an area of the Southern Ocean known as the Great Calcite Belt. Calcite is produced by coccolithophores, a common species of plankton in that part of the ocean. Understanding its role in the ocean's "biological pump" can, in turn, help scientists determine how it influences the climate system by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in the ocean. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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