By Cameron Chai
The University of Gothenburg and five marine organizations in Sweden are collaborating in a new project involving automatic metering buoys to study climate change. The new environmental monitoring system includes setting up of a system to monitor climatic changes along the Swedish coast. The Swedish Research Council is funding the project.
The director of the Sven Lovén Center for Marine Sciences at the University of Gothenburg, Professor Katarina Abrahamsson, stated that for determining whether any changes are occurring in the seas due to greenhouse gas emissions and other such human activities, environmental measurements have to be performed. The professor, who is also leading the project, said that so far, the measurements had been done by researchers on board ships at irregular intervals as the exercise is expensive. A system of automatic metering buoys will help collect more data, she added.
Around ten buoys will constitute the continuously monitoring system and they will be placed at specific locations along the Swedish coast. Sensors that are capable of measuring the temperature, flow velocity, oxygen, acidity (pH), salinity, nutritive salts, plankton and other data will installed in the buoys. The sensed measurements will then be sent to researchers on land.
The automatic metering buoys will provide data that will help analyze the variation of acidity levels (pH) along the Swedish coast. The data will enable researchers improve their understanding of the biological, physical, and chemical processes that occur in the sea.
Professor Katarina Abrahamsson further stated that the monitoring system will provide new knowledge for basic environmental research. It will also help the society to plan for taking appropriate measures to reduce the human footprint on the environment, she added.