Environmental Research: Coastal Carbon Cycling

Environmental Research: Coastal Carbon Cycling

Just like fluxes in the weather and atmosphere, the ocean experiences cycles and carbon dynamics. With the oceans in close proximity to humans, this cycle is affected in several ways including upwelling, river influxes, air-sea gas exchange, export, production, and sediment burial.

Coastal Carbon Dynamics

There is an array of ecological, biological/biochemistry, and economic benefits of coastal oceans. However, the variable carbon fluxes are poorly quantified. It is important to document the magnitude and variability of coastal oceans, as well as open oceans, to learn which processes control the fluxes.

Kestrel Weather Meters can help provide a link between coastal oceans, human activity, and coastal carbon cycling.

A Real-World Look at Carbon Cycling

"Our Union College Biogeochemistry class took a trip to Panama where we did coastal carbon cycling research. Due to the very high relative humidity (100%!) all other electronic equipment started to fail. But the Kestrel not! This is a robust instrument and the wind speeds measured with the Kestrel allowed us to calculate CO2 flux from the waters around Island Colon.

Spent 5 days doing fieldwork at 100% RH in Panama. The Kestrel was the only electronic equipment that didn't fail."

Such studies and research include carbon cycling in mangroves. Mangroves are an essential part of forests within the tropics, such as housing shark nurseries, and other ecological and economic benefits.

Mangroves only occupy 0.5% of the global coastal area, but they contribute 10%-15% to coastal sediment carbon storage, along with 11% of particulate terrestrial carbon to the ocean.

The disproportionate contribution to carbon sequestration is a means for the conservation of Mangrove forests. Their presence helps improve greenhouse gas emissions; therefore, deforestation is a critical concern for potential carbon loss.

Other areas with carbon cycling research include coral reefs, karst streams, and swamp forests. Researchers and scientists can experience very high levels of humidity, along with other environmental factors that make an impact on research results.

How Kestrel Helps with Carbon Cycling Research

The Union College Biochemistry class specifically used the Kestrel 5200, which provides the following:

  • Calculates evaporation rate based on current weather conditions
  • Air velocity
  • Airflow
  • Relative air density
  • Delta T
  • Relative humidity
  • Wind speed
  • Wet bulb temperature
  • And more

When taking readings in high humidity environments such as the mangroves of Panama, be sure to keep your fingers away from the chamber opening. Keep in mind that the human body can raise the relative humidity level by 5% or more. The best approach is to allow the meter to sit by itself if possible and collect data. A Kestrel vane mount will hold and isolate the meter from outside influences.

Our customer's research process found that high CO2 in mangrove sediments does not lead to acidification of waters over the adjacent corals. Sulfate reduction leads to high alkalinity buffering in the system.

Kestrel Weather Meters are highly beneficial tools in environmental sciences. They have helped in a range of studies and experiences from all corners of the globe. Whether you are studying carbon cycling or other biochemistry elements, count on Kestrel to bring you the most accurate readings in the industry and aid in your next significant discovery.

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