15 April 2004
As time permitted, scientists on the SAGE voyage posted descriptions of their daily activities and images of the work they were doing. The voyage track shows the position of RV Tangaroa as the experiment progressed.
Thursday, 15 April 2004
The final day
As the SAGE voyage comes to an end, it is only fitting that we have the best weather of the month. After all, we did ask for strong wind conditions to assist in giving high gas exchange, and we certainly got it. So now as we bask in sunshine amidst the warm sub-tropical waters, we have been reflecting on the voyage; a voyage with exciting, challenging, intriguing and unexpected aspects that make the scientific endeavour so rewarding.
There have been several highlights. The first was the opportunity to make dual-tracer gas exchange coefficient measurements at higher wind speeds than had previously been sampled. The high wind speeds were also a feature for the MAERI remote sensing of sea surface skin temperature, and microwave radar measurements of waves.
A second highlight was to find that we did not stimulate a phytoplankton bloom with the addition of iron, a result unlike previous experiments. This has the biologists intrigued, and will keep them busy examining the results of the onboard experiments to determine the missing factor(s).
This is the final wrap-up for the fieldwork, and now the scientific personnel go their separate ways to begin the lengthy work of analysing the data in detail. From this will emerge an improved knowledge of the biological and physical controls of the interchange of gases between the ocean and atmosphere, and the subsequent role in influencing climate change.
With a goodbye from the whole SAGE science team, we say a very big thank you to the many individuals and organisations that made SAGE possible. We owe special thanks to Captain Roger Goodison, his officers and crew for rising to the challenge and providing us with the highest level of logistic support and the required flexibility to run the many and varied deployments and operations of SAGE. The range and amount of equipment presented a considerable engineering challenge and this was handled extremely competently by the engineers Allan Harvey and Fred de Jager, along with Greg Foothead and the staff at the NIWA workshop in Wellington.
We also thank the ground support back at NIWA co-ordinated by Mark Hadfield, assistance with ocean colour provided by Steve Wilhelm at University of Tennessee, IT support from Chris Edsall and the IT team, and the many participating organisations that provided equipment for the voyage. None of this would have happened without the funding of the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) through the programmes “Drivers and Mitigation of Global Change” (C01X0204), “Ocean Ecosystems: Their Contribution to NZ Marine Productivity” (C01X0223), the US National Science Foundation, the International Science and Technology (ISAT) fund, the many collaborator institutions who also provided support and, of course, NIWA itself.
Mike Harvey and Murray Smith (NIWA)