Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 20 S/V Kaisei: Thank You North Face

Sunday, 23 August 2009
Lat: 39°05’ N Lon: 130°05’ W

“Our ocean should not be our world’s dumping ground. We need to start taking responsibility for our waste, not just from production to landfill, but the entire life-cycle analysis.”- Nicole Argyropoulos

We would like to start this journal with a gracious thank you to North Face for sponsoring the Project Kaisei Science Team (PKST) with beanies and water-resistant jackets. These items have not only helped PKST endure the harsh elements of the sea, but have allowed us to conduct our research comfortably. Thank you North Face for your gracious donation and supporting our mission!
Today, PKST conducted two daytime trawls revealing a decrease in marine debris, and these samples will be used for Dr. Gonsior’s hydrogen peroxide experiment to show the influence of marine debris on the major reactive oxygen species. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is the most stable of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) and is involved in oxidative stress for organisms. This H2O2 may be stable in the open ocean for days. It is produced by sunlight interacting with light-absorbing organic molecules. The hypothesis of this study is that marine debris promotes the hydrogen peroxide production in ocean surface waters and is responsible for an increased release of this oxidative stress component into the surface ocean. First results do show a substantial effect of marine debris on hydrogen peroxide production rates. These findings need to be further evaluated to investigate the reasons for this increased production of H2O2. Experiments such as these, will help PKST understand a variety of components and stresses involved with marine debris and our oceanic environments.

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