No single topic touches as many aspects of the YSI business as climate science. The instruments we build are used in every environment on Earth—on glaciers and pack ice, in the tropics, in springs, rivers, lakes, estuaries and oceans. They are monitoring water in pristine natural environments and rugged industrial sites. The vast streams of data these instruments collect provide us with a snapshot of the health of our planet.
YSI recognizes the importance of our company’s actions on the environment and how we can have an impact on climate change; therefore we all need to do our part to combat this pressing global issue. There are a number of things we do to practice sustainability. Reduction in our reliance on fossil fuels by transitioning to renewable resources or decreasing our annual water and natural gas consumption are just some examples.
In our recently released eBook, “Global Explorers: Navigating Climate Data” you can better understand the depth of global climate change, and how a combination of instrumentation and a technicians’ intellectual capacity are becoming part of the solution.
Here’s a sample of what the eBook has to offer:
“Here Be Dragons
In the Golden Age of Exploration, cartographers often drew sea monsters and dragons in uncharted seas to indicate the mystery and awe of those far-away realms. The Lenox Globe, crafted in 1510, even has the phrase HC SVNT DRACONES (“Here Be Dragons”) emblazoned across East Asia.
Today, navigators can find their position to within centimeters on any ocean and chart any course they like. But in scientific terms, the seas (as well as the estuaries that line their edges and the rivers that empty into them) are still full of mystery and wonder.
The questions are as massive as the globe and as minute as barely-perceptible changes in pH or conductivity. Our dawning awareness of what we still don’t know about climate science makes this a new Golden Age of Exploration—a second discovery of our planet’s rich waters.
Today’s maps aren’t hand-colored vellum scrolls crossed with trade routes: instead, they’re massive data sets that plot the connections among water, land and air. Maps guide scientific exploration and help policymakers understand our position and chart courses to the future. This data also provides a universal language for climate change and environmental issues.
From Gas to Liquid
Most conversations about climate science shift quickly to greenhouse gases and other atmospheric phenomena. But scientists at the frontier of climate science recognize that those gases are active in the water, too, and that rivers, lakes, estuaries and oceans are massive sinks and sources of heat and chemicals.
Rivers and lakes bear the first marks of changes in land use and terrestrial climate change as they carry heat, sediment, nutrients, pollutants and living matter downstream from forests, farms, countryside, city streets and industrial areas.
At their mouths, rivers deliver a cleansing flush or pollutant loads that can positively or negatively impact lakes, estuaries and oceans—in patterns and volumes that change with the weather. Estuaries, the rich nurseries of coastal life, are in flux. Reacting to complex pushes and pulls in river systems, the open ocean, and human activity, estuaries experience changes in level, salinity, pH and turbidity.”