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Seafloor carbon dioxide experiment

Seafloor Experiment

This experiment on the seafloor examined whether pumping carbon dioxide to the bottom of the ocean might affect organisms living there. That is one proposed strategy to combat the buildup of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. WHOI geobiologist Joan Bernhard and Jim Barry of Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute used a robotic vehicle to push cylinders into seafloor sediments more than 3,000 meters deep in Monterey Bay, Calif. They injected a carbon dioxide hydrate slurry into the sediments and retrieved samples a month later. The experiment showed that some shell-less organisms survived high levels of carbon dioxide, but no species that form calcium carbonate shells survived. (Photo courtesy of Monterey Bay Research Institute)


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