What are you measuring?

I will be measuring the gases that are produced by the plankton communities during the experiment.

What techniques/instruments are you using?

I use an instrument called a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) to identify which gases are present in the seawater. Although the name is long and complicated, the instrument can essentially detect or “smell” the gases, even though they occur in tiny amounts. This then enables me to calculate exactly how much of each gas is present in the seawater.

How frequently you will be taking measurements?

I will be taking measurements of the gases in the seawater everyday during the experiment.

Why is it important?

The gases that we will be measuring in the seawater are released by the oceans and enter the atmosphere, and are responsible for the “smell of the sea”. Not only do they evoke childhood seaside memories, they also influence the climate and air quality. If the production of these gases was to change in the future as a result of ocean acidification, the climate and the chemistry of the atmosphere may be significantly affected.

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