News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Photo Gallery Cruising Int
Sail-World.com : Leisure sailors wanted to help track effects of climate change
Leisure sailors wanted to help track effects of climate change


'Secchi disk - simple to make at home. Watch the video below for explanation'    .

This is your chance to do something valuable while you sail. As a leisure sailor you and other seafarers are being encouraged to take part in a unique global study to record the effects of climate change, using a simple piece of equipment you can make yourself at home and an iPhone or Android free app.

Secchi free app for iPhone or Android -  .. .  

To explain, the marine phytoplankton account for approximately 50% of all photosynthesis on Earth and, through the plankton food web that they support, they both underpin the marine food chain and play a central role in the global carbon cycle strongly influencing the Earth’s climate.

Living at the surface of the sea the phytoplankton are particularly sensitive to changes in sea surface temperature. A recent study of global phytoplankton abundance over the last century concluded that global phytoplankton concentrations have declined due to rising sea surface temperatures as a consequence of current climate change.

We need to know much more about these changes and you can help by making a simple piece of scientific equipment called a Secchi Disk and using the Secchi App.

The public science project will measure the amount of phytoplankton, minute organisms at the very start of the marine food chain, currently residing in the world’s oceans. Scientists fear the population of the microscopic beings is in decline due to rising sea temperatures and, if true, that could have consequences for every aspect of marine life.

The project is being spearheaded by Plymouth University’s Marine Institute, which hopes to build a map of the oceans that charts the seasonal and annual changes of phytoplankton from now and into the future.

Plankton biologist Dr Richard Kirby, who is leading the study, said: 'As the phytoplankton live at the surface of the sea they are being affected by rising sea temperatures due to climate change. A scientific paper published last year suggested the ocean's plankton population had declined by as much as 40 per cent since 1950 as sea temperatures had warmed due to climate change.

'The scientists suggested that a warming of the ocean surface may have reduced vertical mixing of the water column thereby reducing the supply of nutrients from deeper waters – in effect the input of fertiliser to the surface had lessened with effects upon phytoplankton growth.

'Their results provoked debate among marine scientists however, some who thought they saw no change, or even an increase in phytoplankton in some places. Since the phytoplankton begin the marine food chain, we need to know more about if, how, and why they are changing in order to understand the effects on the ocean's biology.'

To check the levels of phytoplankton in our oceans, marine experts have developed a free smart phone app for sailors and fishermen to use wherever they are in the world. Because the phytoplankton – each thinner than a strand of human hair – exist at the sea’s surface, mariners can carry out a simple experiment using an easy to make ‘Secchi Disk’.

The Secchi Disk, simple to make at home:

Attached to a measuring tape, the Secchi Disk is lowered over the side of a boat and the depth at which it disappears from sight estimates the amount of phytoplankton in the sea. This depth can then be uploaded to a database using the Secchi app.

Dr Kirby added: 'The Secchi Disks are still used by marine scientists to study phytoplankton but there are too few scientists to survey the world's oceans as well as we would wish. This app enables seafarers around the world to take part in a science project and if we can just get a small percentage of the global population of sailors involved, we can generate a database that will help us understand how life in the oceans is changing. It would help us learn much more about these important organisms at a crucial time when their habitat is altering due to climate change.'

Secchi screen menu -  .. .  
The Secchi App on iPhone or Android:
The Secchi app has been developed by Dr Nicholas Outram and Dr Nigel Barlow, from Plymouth University’s School of Computing and Mathematics, and the database will be maintained by Pixalytics Ltd, a company founded by Dr Sam Lavender, an Honorary Reader at the University.

A major design consideration of the apps is that they have to be able to operate in places where the phone has no Internet connection. Participants record as many Secchi readings as they like, and these are stored as 'pending readings' on the phone. Exactly how many pending readings can be stored depends on the capabilities of the phone, but the number is very large. These pending readings can be uploaded at a later date when an Internet connection is available.

In addition, the app has an easy to follow workflow to minimise errors. The participant’s location is taken from the phone’s GPS, eliminating transcription errors. The user interface has been designed to be clean, intuitive and uncluttered, and in particular to be a UI that works on a boat at sea. Small and fussy layouts are not used, and the 'depth disk' uses a logarithmic scale to enable shallow depths to be entered quickly and accurately.

The free app is called Secchi after Father Pietro Angelo Secchi, an astronomer who invented the disk device in 1865 to measure water turbidity in the Mediterranean. You can find out more about the project at www.secchidisk.org.

To see how to make and use a simple Secchi disk, watch the video below:



About the Ocean Cruising Club, who kindly provided the information for this story:
The Ocean Cruising Club is an international club for cruisers and is well worth joining, particularly for roving cruising sailors. The distinctive blue and yellow burgee with a stylized Flying Fish is a welcome and respected sight in any anchorage. The Club, known affectionately as the OCC, exists to promote long-distance cruising in all its forms. It has no premises, regarding the oceans of the world as its clubhouse. However, it enjoys visitors' rights with a number of major clubs world-wide. For more information go to its website.


by Daria Blackwell, Ocean Cruising Club/Sail-World

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=109561

9:31 PM Thu 16 May 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.








Cruising USA











4.8 million Legos all at sea by Adam Clark Estes,




Dredging activity near corals can increase frequency of diseases by ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies,




Understanding the Ocean's role in Greenland Glacier melt by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI),




Three Defensive Docking Strategies for Sailors by Captain John Jamieson, Florida


Revealing report on Search for American yacht Nina released *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,














Baby Nemos finding their way home by ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies,










The real ‘Supermoon’ story by Sail-world.com,




Sailor rescued after Facebook call for rescue by RNLI/Sail-World Cruising,










The Galley Guys' favourite shrimp recipe by Andy Adams and John Armstrong,




BoatUS speaks out about 'Ethanol-at-all-cost Agenda'
Tidal current installations will increase boating hazards
Eco-Sailboat of the future - Catherine Chabaud at work
Calling yachts in the South Pacific - rally to New Zealand
The final touch - which wax should I use on my boat?
ARC Baltic sets sail to discover Europe's 'east sea'
Another boom death. Australian sailor dies, hit by swinging boom
Galley Guru vital to the life of the cruising sailor
'Boat Handling in Marinas' by Rob Gibson - and how to get it reliably
Heart-stopping moment as whale capsizes Zodiac
If we stop killing parrotfish we can bring back Caribbean coral reefs
Climate change could stop fish finding their friends
Vanuatu ups their welcome to cruising sailors with new approach
Criminal charges mooted for owners of sunk HMS Bounty
Red faces after authorities inadvertently aid boat thief to get away
Mobiles drive traffic - 72% increase in Sail-World.com page view *Feature
Sail Estonia: a VERY new idea
Tie This 'Lifesaving' Bowline in Seconds - the easy way!
A Beer Bummel on the Thames River
Online weather routing - possible? Predict Wind says yes
Why Boats Sink: Ten best tips on prevention   
The North West Passage calls: Who will answer this year?   
Polish adventure sailor in second try at North West Passage   
Whale research - new techniques expand for non-lethal methods   
Jessica Watson, solo sailing star, four years on...   
Americas solo non-stop circumnavigator crosses Pacific for research   
What is an El Niño and how will it affect my sailing? (Part 1)   
The Dinghy Nav Light Solution- a brilliantly dumb idea   
Spike in water temperatures evidence of ‘irreversible’ El Nino *Feature   
Sailing crew's battle to save yacht lost in the Indian Ocean   
Five Top Tips for selecting the best boatyard   
Tips for selecting the best boatyard   
Predictwind unlocks more features on free accounts   
Composite Rigging launches new campaign for ECsix   
When is a Captain not a Captain?   
Free app for managing your yacht   
Amazing MOB survival - 13 hours floating, rescued by fishermen   
Boater hit by lightning survives: 'It was the worst pain ever'   
Inauguration of the new Yacht Club Monaco - Images by Carlo Borlenghi   
Lessons for sailing clubs - how does YOURS rate?   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News








Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS Cru USA
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT