PICO-LOVE (Pivers Island Coastal Observatory – Longitudinal Oceanographic Variability Experiment) measures physical, chemical and biological variability along a zonal transect from Beaufort to the Gulf Stream (weather permitting) approximately once monthly. The goal of this study, as part of our ocean acidification experiment work, is to understand zonal variability of environmental variables and their affect on ocean acidification including how microbes are genetically adapted to various stressors (e.g. pH, temperature, oxygen, etc.). This work is performed on the high-speed SAFEBoat R/V Richard Barber. The PICO-LOVE project is a spatial component of our long term time-series (PICO) focusing on microbial communities and processes that influence them.
While on PICO-LOVE #6, we saw some strange cloud formations. They turn out to be fallstreak holes – relatively rare phenomena that are formed when the water temperature in the clouds is below freezing but the water has not frozen yet due to the lack of ice nucleation particles. When ice crystals do form it will set off a domino effect causing the water droplets around the crystals to evaporate: this leaves a large, often circular, hole in the cloud.