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First NOAA GO-SHIP cruise in 5 years departs to Study unique Atlantic Basin

On March 6, a team of scientists on the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown departed from Suape, Brazil for a 55-day cruise to the northerly waters of Reykjavik, Iceland. With 150 planned stops along this cruise track known as A16N, measurements of heat, freshwater, carbon, oxygen, and nutrients will be taken from the ocean’s surface to the seafloor, sometimes reaching depths greater than 5,000 meters (3.1 miles)! 

This is not the first time such a holistic snapshot of the Atlantic Ocean basin has been made. Every 10 years for the past 30 years, a team of scientists have embarked on this cruise track with the aim of understanding long-term trends in the health and functioning of our oceans. These research cruises are part of a larger international project known as the Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program (GO-SHIP), which makes repeat ocean observations at decadal intervals through a global network of cruise tracks.

Data gathered on this cruise will address critical questions regarding changes to ocean circulation and the ocean’s uptake of human-released carbon dioxide. Scientists will investigate how the warming of our ocean impacts the movement of ocean water across the entire planet and influences our climate, including at critical locations in the North Atlantic.

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