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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X034860/1
Title: Core Carbonate Chemistry Equipment
Principal Investigator: Lettice, Professor F
Other Investigators:
Todd, Professor JD Bakker, Dr DCE Marin, Dr MJ
Gates, Dr AJ Robinson, Professor C Heywood, Professor K
Kaiser, Professor J Nolte, Dr S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
NERC Grouped
Department: Environmental Sciences
Organisation: University of East Anglia
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 03 January 2023 Ends: 02 July 2024 Value (£): 445,036
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Instrumentation Eng. & Dev.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Nov 2022 EPSRC Core Equipment Award - Panel Two Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The oceans cover two thirds of the Earth's surface and contain about 97% of the water on the planet. The oceans are a vast reservoir for dissolved inorganic carbon, which is central to life in the oceans and exchanges the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide with the atmosphere.

Since the industrial revolution the oceans have taken up a quarter to half of the carbon dioxide emissions from human activity. This has strongly reduced climate change but has also changed the carbonate chemistry of the oceans, a process known as ocean acidification, which impacts on life in the oceans. Ocean carbon research is a frontier for engineering and technology in urgent need of high-quality, efficient, easy to use sensors and instrumentation during the climate emergency. It requires specialist techniques for accurate chemical analyses in challenging, remote, saline conditions from the dynamic sea surface to the high pressure, dark, cold deep ocean.

For many years oceanographers have studied ocean uptake of carbon dioxide by analysis of samples from the ocean interior collected on research ships. Increasingly, autonomous robotic platforms with new pH sensors are used for data collection in remote ocean regions, including in winter. However, pH measurements in seawater are challenging and pH sensors need checking against accurate instrumentation.

This investment in core carbonate chemistry equipment will enhance and upgrade the University of East Anglia's capability for world-class research on ocean uptake of carbon dioxide and ocean acidification during the climate emergency, while enabling efficient pH sensor calibration. The instruments will be central to evaluation of the impacts on carbon storage of marine renewable energy, marine bioenergy, blue carbon storage and deliberate sub-seabed carbon storage. The equipment will be critical for determining the evolution of ocean uptake of carbon dioxide as societies worldwide reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, while moving towards net-zero. The research will inform the public and policy makers during climate negotiations.
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