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See detailSea ice CO2 flux in the Southern Ocean during mid-winter and early spring
Nomura, D.; Delille, Bruno ULg; Dieckmann, G.S. et al

Conference (2014, March)

There seems little doubt that sea ice is permeable to CO2 and other gases although air–sea ice gas flux is more or less inhibited at a brine volume fraction of less than 5% representing the threshold for ... [more ▼]

There seems little doubt that sea ice is permeable to CO2 and other gases although air–sea ice gas flux is more or less inhibited at a brine volume fraction of less than 5% representing the threshold for fluid permeability of sea ice. Generally, air–sea ice CO2 flux is at its minimum in winter due to low sea ice temperatures and consequently reduced permeability despite the fact the partial pressure of CO2 in sea ice is usually high at that time and sea ice has therefore the potential to release CO2 to the atmosphere. Here, we present first evidence that snow laden Antarctic sea ice can act as source for atmospheric CO2 even during mid-winter and early spring. During a mid-winter cruise to the Weddell Sea (AWECS, 2013) and an early spring cruise off east Antarctica (SIPEX-2, 2012), due to thick insulating snow covers, the bottom of the snow and the surface of the sea ice were relatively warm (>–10°C) even though air temperature was sometimes below –30°C. In addition, in both areas, sea ice was characterized by high bulk-salinities, resulting in brine volume fractions that are generally higher than 5%. Automatic “open-closed” chamber measurements indicated positive CO2 fluxes of up to +2.5 mmol C m–2 day–1, illustrating that sea ice acted as a source of atmospheric CO2. Higher fluxes were measured at bare ice surfaces after removing the snow. However, generally low snow densities (mean: 339 kg m–3), indicating a permeable snow cover, facilitated degassing of CO2 at the snow-air interface. Our results therefore suggest that even in the winter and early spring, Antarctic sea ice can act as CO2 source for the atmosphere, particularly in areas with a thick insulating snow cover. [less ▲]

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See detailORIGIN: metal creation and evolution from the cosmic dawn
den Herder, Jan-Willem; Piro, Luigi; Ohashi, Takaya et al

in Experimental Astronomy (2012), 34

ORIGIN is a proposal for the M3 mission call of ESA aimed at the study of metal creation from the epoch of cosmic dawn. Using high-spectral resolution in the soft X-ray band, ORIGIN will be able to ... [more ▼]

ORIGIN is a proposal for the M3 mission call of ESA aimed at the study of metal creation from the epoch of cosmic dawn. Using high-spectral resolution in the soft X-ray band, ORIGIN will be able to identify the physical conditions of all abundant elements between C and Ni to red-shifts of z = 10, and beyond. The mission will answer questions such as: When were the first metals created? How does the cosmic metal content evolve? Where do most of the metals reside in the Universe? What is the role of metals in structure formation and evolution? To reach out to the early Universe ORIGIN will use Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) to study their local environments in their host galaxies. This requires the capability to slew the satellite in less than a minute to the GRB location. By studying the chemical composition and properties of clusters of galaxies we can extend the range of exploration to lower redshifts ( z ˜0.2). For this task we need a high-resolution spectral imaging instrument with a large field of view. Using the same instrument, we can also study the so far only partially detected baryons in the Warm-Hot Intergalactic Medium (WHIM). The less dense part of the WHIM will be studied using absorption lines at low redshift in the spectra for GRBs. The ORIGIN mission includes a Transient Event Detector (coded mask with a sensitivity of 0.4 photon/cm[SUP]2[/SUP]/s in 10 s in the 5-150 keV band) to identify and localize 2000 GRBs over a five year mission, of which ˜65 GRBs have a redshift >7. The Cryogenic Imaging Spectrometer, with a spectral resolution of 2.5 eV, a field of view of 30 arcmin and large effective area below 1 keV has the sensitivity to study clusters up to a significant fraction of the virial radius and to map the denser parts of the WHIM (factor 30 higher than achievable with current instruments). The payload is complemented by a Burst InfraRed Telescope to enable onboard red-shift determination of GRBs (hence securing proper follow up of high-z bursts) and also probes the mildly ionized state of the gas. Fast repointing is achieved by a dedicated Controlled Momentum Gyro and a low background is achieved by the selected low Earth orbit. [less ▲]

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