Monday, July 19, 2010

How to evaluate marine and ocean pollution?

In order to keep our seas and oceans clean we need to have some advanced monitoring systems that would give us an early warning signs for all types of pollution so we can prevent the worst. Our oceans are experiencing many different forms of pollution: ever-increasing climate change impact is having a major negative effect as warming water is provoking fish migrations, while a rising level of CO2 makes our oceans and seas more acidic. And of course there are also oil spills that remain a constant threat to marine environment.

Luckily there is Marine Environmental Remote-controlled Measuring And Integrated Detection (MERMAID) which represents an international team of scientists and engineers who have developed automatic sensors and analyzers, mounted on a network of radio-controlled stations, to sample, measure and record chemical and biological changes to water in our ocean and seas.

This helped set the foundations for reliable, widespread monitoring systems that provide accurate early warning of pollution, allowing marine authorities to take timely counter-measures to prevent catastrophe.

MERMAID showed its true worth at a heavily polluted maritime ecosystem, namely the European North Sea, where for the first time in history it was possible to detect in real-time "polluting events" such as algal blooms with associated heavy metal enrichment or the sudden release of nutrients from swollen rivers.

Hopefully MERMAID will open the door for many more advanced evaluating and measuring systems that would not only measure and evaluate but also to prevent the worst types of ocean and sea pollution.

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