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Carbon dioxide experiments on the seafloor

This video shows an experiment to study the effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) on deep-sea animals. About one third of the carbon dioxide that humans release into the atmosphere each year is absorbed by the ocean. As more and more carbon dioxide enters the ocean, it effects the plants, animals, and microbes in the water and on the seafloor.This experiment was conducted by James Barry at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) using a robot submarine. You can see parts of the robot submarine in the foreground at the beginning of the video.At a depth of about 3,300 meters (2 miles) below the surface, the robot submarine touches down on the seafloor, then pours carbon dioxide into white plastic rings. The carbon dioxide turns into a liquid because of the high pressure and near freezing temperature of the surrounding seawater.As the carbon dioxide in the rings gradually dissolves into the surrounding seawater, the seawater becomes more acidic. Around the rings are cages containing deep-sea animals, including hagfish and octopus. An underwater camera near the cages collects video to document any changes in the behavior of the caged animals. A rattail fish (grenadier) swims past the experiment, apparently unaffected.At the end of the video, the robot submarine collects a sample of seafloor mud using a clear plastic push core. This mud is brought back to the surface so that researchers can find out if the acidic seawater affected tiny animals that live in the sediment.MBARI dive video T-0387-05; Lat 36.2 N; Long 122.6 E
Length: 01:30


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