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Fred Sayles and Bill Martin with Robotic Analyzer for Total CO2 in Seawater

RATS Ready for Duty

WHOI marine chemists Fred Sayles (left) and Bill Martin have spent the last several years designing and developing a water-measuring device they call RATS, for Robotic Analyzer for the Total carbon dioxide system in Seawater. Researchers attach the instrument to an ocean mooring, where over time it measures and records levels of the water's pH and total carbon dioxide. They then use these records to learn about carbon cycling and its relationship to ocean acidification, a problem that results in part from an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide due to burning of fossil fuels. The instrument proved successful in a 5-week field test this summer and will be used this fall for an experiment in Waquoit Bay on Cape Cod. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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