#ICOScapes - Simon Stevin

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Location: Belgian part of the North Sea
Type: Ocean measurements
Greenhouse gases measured by ICOS: Partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), potential Hydrogen (pH), dissolved oxygen (DO), alkalinity, salinity

The 36-metre long ICOS Simon Stevin research vessel and the VLIZ Thornton buoy measure greenhouse gases in the ocean. The vessel operates from the harbour of Ostend in Belgium and sails in the North Sea and in the Eastern part of the English Channel. The VLIZ Thornton Buoy is deployed at the Thorntonbank Wind Farm.

Every month the vessel stops at the buoy to collect water samples, in order to get information about the greenhouse gases and the biogeochemical composition of the ocean, as well as to ensure the accuracy of the measurements from both the buoy and the vessel.

The Belgian coast and the southern part of the North Sea is a very dynamic tidal marine environment. The area is close to highly urbanised land areas and receives significant water loads from a local estuary of the Scheldt river.

ICOS measurements help us understand the role of the oceans in climate change. The oceans are generally acting as a sink for carbon dioxide, absorbing approximately 25 percent of the carbon dioxide atmospheric emissions originated by human activities. This amount affects marine carbon cycling and consequently marine life. The increase of carbon dioxide decreases the potential of Hydrogen (pH) in the ocean, which will lead to ocean acidification.

ICOS Simon Stevin research vessel and the VLIZ Thornton buoy are part of the ICOS Ocean Network measuring the greenhouse gas fluxes over the marine ecosystems.


#ICOScapes - Simon Stevin





Follow Konsta's journey through some of the ICOS greenhouse gas measuring stations around Europe! Help us raise awareness on
climate change during his trip to each of the 12 member states part of ICOS!
For more information about the #ICOScapes Photo Campaign and our activities, please get in touch with the ICOS Communications team by mailing at icos-comms (at) icos-ri.eu.
Photographs © Konsta Punkka