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|October 15, 2018|
UC San Diego to build huge ocean simulator on campus
UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography plans to build a huge flume that will have an unmatched ability to simulate the interaction of the ocean’s surface and the atmosphere.
The $4 million machine will replace a decades-old flume that helped Scripps to greatly expand scientist’s understanding of climate and weather.
The new 100-foot long flume “will take a piece of the ocean and simulate it, from polar conditions to tropical conditions,” said Grant Deane, the Scripps researcher who is leading the project.
“It will simulate the biology, the chemistry, the waves, the wind — the whole top of the ocean. It is vitally important for climate and weather.”
The flume, which will enter service in 2021, will be able to produce 31 mph winds and control the temperature of the air and water. The machine also will be to generate phytoplankton blooms, and better enable scientists to study how air pollution and greenhouse gases affect Earth’s climate.
“One of the great discoveries that we’ve had in the last 15 years is that all these things are connected — the biology drives the chemistry, the chemistry drives the connection between the ocean and the atmosphere,” Deane said.
“If you don’t simulate all of it you’re missing some critical piece. We designed a machine that would have all of that.”
The National Science Foundation is providing $2.8 million to help develop the Scripps Ocean Atmosphere Research Simulator (SOARS) The institute will provide an additional $1.2 million. (Source: The San Diego Union Tribune)
Story Date: November 12, 2017