Here we go!

by Stefan Gary

Welcome to the 2016 Extended Ellett Line blog. We’re aboard the RRS Discovery for a 18-day science cruise between Scotland and Iceland. We left the port near Glasgow this morning after a couple days of spectacular sunshine while loading equipment. As of this writing, we’ve just passed Islay and headed into pea soup fog.

The Extended Ellett Line is a repeat hydrographic section where we have been measuring the water properties for more than 40 years. The Extended Ellett Line is also the eastern termination of the OSNAP line. This year, some questions that our cruise will help to address are:

1) Is the temperature of the open-ocean, upper waters between Scotland and Iceland continuing to decrease?

2) Can we still detect the imprint of the exceptionally strong 2013/2014 winter storms in the subsurface waters offshore of the UK?

3) Be there whales? In particular, how many beaked whales and sperm whales can we detect with a towed hydrophone?

4) Have microplastics made it into the bellies of deep sea creatures?

Over the next 17 days we will post short updates and thoughts about life at sea on this blog and tweet with #AtlanticObs.

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