In this new edition of the Barcelona World Race, the number of scientific projects has increased, constituting the Oceanographic Observatory of the Barcelona World Race. Its goal is to present the various indicative systems obtained throughout the course of the regatta, in accordance with the respective projects.
The new body of projects envisions a collection of data relating to the following aspects of oceanographic research:
1 - The dynamics of ocean water masses, their physical characteristics of surface and depth (temperature, salinity and density levels), and the relationship to and effect on climatology.
2 - The environmental and biological quality of sea waters and the impacts of man-made contamination.
This third edition of the Barcelona World Race, in particular, incorporates four different projects. All teams will participate in two of these projects – Argo Beacons (dynamics of water masses and physical characteristics) and the Citclops app (environmental and biological quality of surface seawaters). The other two – the new editions of the Tracking of Surface Temperature and Salinity levels, and the Contamination of the waters by Microplastics – will be carried out using specific equipments installed aboard the One Planet One Ocean, a racing vessel serving the purpose of a scientific boat.
The climate is written on the surface of the sea
Surface temperature and salinity levels of seawaters.
Temperature and salinity level of seawater are two simple variables, yet extremely valuable to science. If oceanographers managed to gather these data in any part of the seas of the Earth, they would learn a lot about the dynamics of oceans and how it relates to the climate changes which threaten us. The One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton revisits the experience of the Fòrum Marítim Català of the last edition and performs automated, continuous readings of surface temperature throughout the course of the race, as part of the GOOS global program (Global Ocean Observing System). Obtaining this new reference of records, equivalent to those of the last edition, will enable us to establish an updated assessment. Read more...
Microplastics and other contaminants.
The One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton also carries out this project which consists of the automated collection of water samples, using a microfilter system to measure the presence of microscopic particles of plastic, which are very harmful if ingested by many marine species. It is a unique and innovative project in that it will allow us to obtain relevant data regarding a major contamination that we know little about, especially in the various zones of the course where little to no information is available.
Our future is hidden at the bottom of the ocean
Each of the teams in the Barcelona World Race has deployed an Argo beacon which has been added to the 3,000 some-odd others drifting in the seas of Earth. These floats are mini-submarines which plunge 2,000 meters deep and then return to the surface. The ascent takes about six hours, during which time the float sensors collect valuable data on temperature and salinity. They repeat this cycle every 10 days up to 150 times. The project is linked to the programs of IOC / UNESCO in relation to the study of the structure and dynamics of the water masses of the oceans, an international project that has been in process for more than 10 years. Read more...
Chlorophyll appears in the photo
A simple photo provides important data for scientists to assess the health of phytoplankton, microscopic algae vital to marine life. This is made possible thanks to the simple method of the Forel-Ule scale, a water color comparator scale, which characterizes the chlorophyll at the surface. The innovative value of the Citclops project in particular is the development of a mobile application of this scale, available to the general public free of charge. It is therefore a genuine, participatory scientific project whose goal is to spread environmental values and promote eco-friendly practices.