New Technology for Ocean Acidification Research
Ocean pH has dropped from approximately 8.2 to 8.1 pH over the past 200 years, representing a 25% increase in acidity. The development of better instruments to measure ocean pH, particularly in the deep ocean, is vital to understanding the magnitude and impact of these changes. High-resolution in-situ measurements of pH in the ocean are now possible with innovative adaptations to ion sensitive field effect transistors (ISFET). Oceanographic instruments based on the ISFET technology have been in development for over a decade, but, as with most new technologies, have had significant hurdles to overcome.
The original SeaFET Ocean pH sensors, jointly developed at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, have been recently updated with a solid state reference electrode and a new, custom-designed, pressure-tolerant housing for the ISFET chip. Scientists and engineers from Sea-Bird Scientific have presented field and laboratory data demonstrating the accuracy and stability of the new sensor for use in the deep ocean. For more on this work, please refer to Reliably Measuring pH In The Ocean.
Sea-Bird manufactures a number of pH sensors for a variety of deployment scenarios, from moorings to shipboard profiling to autonomous float profiling, for depths of up to 2000 m. For a look at the complete line of ocean pH sensors, please click here.