Just ahead of the annual New Zealand Ocean Acidification workshop being held at the University of Waikato, Tuesday 13th to Wednesday 14th February, key scientists in the CARIM project have come together for their annual meeting today.
Each of the work packages within CARIM is being discussed - both the research progress to date, including key results, as well as what future plans the leaders of each work package have for the next year and beyond. CARIM is now just over halfway through its duration.
What is striking about CARIM are the following: the multi-disciplinary nature of the project; just how many scientists are involved in making these experiments happen; and the challenges and logisitics involved in running these large experiments.
It's fascinating to hear about the many components of CARIM and how they fit together. CARIM, for example, includes monitoring of three key coastal locations around New Zealand (Firth of Thames, Nelson Bays, and Karitane) for changes in water pH, oxygen levels and temperature (RA1). Building a variety of models that describe acidification in coastal waters is another important aspect (RA2). CARIM is also analysing the impacts of pH, temperature and food availability on lower food web levels (e.g. plankton) using mesocosm experiments - think large plastic bags acting like giant test tubes (RA3). RA4 focuses on looking at the impacts of future pH levels on different life stages of paua, greenshell mussel and snapper. RA5 is using selective breeding approaches to look at the ability of greenshell mussels to evolve to changing pH in coastal waters. And RA6 aims to put all this information learned together.
A number of CARIM scientists will also be participating in talks about their research results at the New Zealand Ocean Acidification Workshop, which has a theme this year of "Linking science to policy". The programme can be found here.