The BEAGLE Expedition

As an impressive follow-up to the São Paulo Declaration of POGO, which called for increased observations in the Southern Hemisphere, JAMSTEC proposed a circumpolar cruise on its research vessel Mirai, in the Southern Hemisphere, with international collaboration and participation. The Scientific Objectives of the BEAGLE Cruise were:


• To study the changes in the temperature of the surface and the deep waters of the Antarctic Overturn System through high-quality observations along the lines of the Hydrographic Programme of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE).
• To estimate the amount of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) taken up by the surface ocean and its transport to the deep sea through both the physical and biological pumps.
• To characterize the bio-optical properties of phytoplankton along the BEAGLE track. 
• To investigate historical changes in:
(a) The transport rates of carbon from the sea surface to the deep ocean
(b) The sea-surface temperature
(c) The ventilation rate of the intermediate water since the last interglacial period
(d) The release of carbon dioxide from the sea surface with changes in the expansion of Antarctic sea ice.


Three trainees were accommodated on each leg of the cruise. Accordingly, POGO, the International Ocean Colour Coordinating Group (IOCCG), and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), awarded a number of scholarships for young scientists to participate and to receive hands-on training on board the RV Mirai. All on-board expenses and berth fees for the trainees and bio-optical specialists were covered by JAMSTEC.

 

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