Dive deep with UNC Aquarius aquanauts

From now through Wednesday (Aug. 17), UNC marine science researchers will be streaming live video from the world’s only undersea research station as part of a mission to study the acidification of the ocean.

Chris Martens, William B. Aycock Distinguished Professor of marine sciences, and Niels Lindquist, professor of marine sciences based at the Institute of Marine Sciences, lead a research team that includes a postdoc, graduate student and three undergraduates from UNC.

Aquarius is a laboratory 63 feet underwater and adjacent to deep coral reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary where researchers can stay up to 10 days. The UNC team is using state of the art undersea analytical instruments to study the emerging problem of ocean acidification and its effect on coral reefs.

In a video explaining the mission, Martens compares the ocean to an acid-filled stomach and the calcium-rich reefs to antacids that are dissolving in them.

During missions, there are live video feeds from Aquarius, both inside and outside. The aquanauts blog during missions and post pictures on the Aquarius homepage. Follow them on Twitter, @reefbase.