The South Pacific Gyre is a naturally occurring carbon sink, meaning that it absorbs
atmospheric carbon dioxide by dissolving it into the moving surface water (Crueger et al., 2007).
The dissolution of CO2 level will dictate the water's acidic levels a larger
the concentration of dissolved CO 2 is known to increase the salt water’s acidity.
A great amount of the ocean's biomass is composed of calcifying organisms,
which produce tests or shells made from calcium carbonate CaCO 3 (Hense, 2010).
The goal of our project is to determine if there is a correlation between the water acidity
across various locations, as we sailed through the South Pacific gyre and the biomass and/or
biodiversity in those same locations. By studying the connection between zooplankton
and acidification will allow for a better understanding of the ocean environment as acidification
continues to increase.
We conduct nine nighttime and twelve daytime collections which indicated no statistical significance. Our research along the S-282 cruise track was unable to find any positive or negative correlations between pH levels and zooplankton density.