Chasing cyanobacterial blooms with a small sailboat (Jens Müller, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, Germany)
Cyanobacteria (aka blue-green algae)
blooms contribute to the biggest problems in the Baltic Sea: eutrophication and oxygen depletion. We can roughly judge the size of the blooms through satellite imaging and automated CO2 measurements on voluntary observing ships, but only see what happens on the surface of the water.
Ordinary research vessels are expensive and inflexible, making it difficult to investigate these sporadic and short-lasting blooms. Reasons for the formation of the algal blooms, and knowledge of what happens in the deeper water levels remain a mystery. In the summer of 2018, Jens Müller will set sail for a four month expedition with his sailboat Tina V. He’ll be there with his crew, ready when the drama begins, to study the blooms with precise CO2 measurements.