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Scientists scrutinizing African waters to measure marine pollution

The Tara research vessel left Lorient’s homeport in France in December 2020 and embarked on a 70,000-kilometer journey. Since then, it has crossed the coasts of Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and the Weddell Sea in Antarctica.

Scientists announced on Saturday that they have begun a five-month mission to study how plastic pollution and climate change stress in major African rivers affect microbes in the Atlantic Ocean.


The study is being conducted by a 33-year-old Tara Research Schooner who arrived in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday prior to an expedition to the West African coast.

Researchers analyze how nutrients and pollution in major African rivers (Congo, Orange, Gambia, Senegal) affect the Atlantic Ocean.

They track the causes of plastic pollution in estuaries and understand the types of substances associated with their distribution.

The research station will also cast nets up to 1,000 meters below sea level, collect samples from an ecosystem called the “microbiota,” and analyze them in terrestrial laboratories. The data collected will help you answer important questions about the world’s oceans.

Researchers will also study the Benguela Current, which travels from South Africa to the coasts of Namibia and Angola.

Pull up Cold water A process called upwelling brings nutrients to the surface from the depths of the ocean.

“Here you get more nutrients than anywhere else in the world,” Emma Rock, a researcher at the University of Cape Town, told AFP.

“Understanding it and characterizing it at the microbiota level is something that has never really been done before, and more importantly, it is not incorporated into it. Climate change model”.

She said the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports published so far did not take into account the microbiota. “Without it, marine life would not have existed.”

Marine biologists will later study the world’s third-strongest upwelling off the coast of Senegal, after the Benguela Current and the Peruvian-Chile Upwelling System.

Tara Ship is on the 12th Global Mission, 42 is involved research Institute In the world.

The Tara Ocean Foundation’s Romaine Trouble, 46, said this was the first time a ship had crossed the coast of West Africa.

“There is little data on this ecosystem, microbiota,” he said.

Thulani Makhalanyane, 37, Professor of Microbial Ecology and Genome at the University of Pretoria, is a professor of agriculture and Plastic pollution From a river in Africa.

“We expect to see evidence of high levels of pollution in coastal areas,” said Makalanyan. “I’m also interested in other pollutants that are probably less characterized, such as antibiotic resistance genes.”

The ship left Lorient’s home port in France in December 2020 and embarked on a 70,000-kilometer journey. Since then, it has crossed the coasts of Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and the Weddell Sea in Antarctica.


Hidden upwelling system can overlook branches of ocean circulation


© 2022 AFP

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Scientists scrutinizing African waters to measure marine pollution

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