The oceans of the world are a vast unexploited source of clean, reliable and predictable renewable energy. Could this energy help replace fossil fuels and be a solution to climate change?
A new coral salinity record shows that the location of the most significant hydroclimatic feature in the Southern Hemisphere, the South Pacific Convergence Zone, influences a major Pacific Ocean current.
The final phase of our revolves around visiting chars, sandy river islands, on the Ganges and Brahmaputra River. Chris and Dan are making measurements of soil salinity and moisture and spectra of the soil reflectance, while Liz and I collected samples for OSL dating and understanding the OSL properties of the river sediments here. This entails a mixture of driving around the country and spending time on small country boats and walking around the chars.
More than 85 percent of the ocean floor remains unmapped, leaving us in the dark about much of the earth’s topography. A global, non-profit effort will try to remedy that, and influence everything from climate research and weather prediction to mineral resource exploration and fisheries.
Up to now, it has been a mystery why much of the fresh water resulting from the melting of Antarctic ice shelves ends up in the depths instead of floating above saltier, denser ocean waters. Scientists working along one major ice shelf believe they have found the answer.
After helping Chris an Dan with soil salinity and reflectance measurement, Humayun, Liz and I moved onto the smaller M.B. Mewl to sail through the Sundarban Mangrove Forest to service our GPS station at Hiron Point.
Humayun, Liz and I headed to Khulna in SW Bangladesh a day after Chris and Dan. Along the way, we stopped at our sediment compaction meter for surveying and removing the GPS, and getting feasted by the family that hosts the system.
I’m back in Bangladesh with a small team after a year and a half away. One different is a police escort as a result of the attacks last year. We start by successfully sampling river sediments to correct the date of an earthquake that caused a river to shift over 3,500 years ago. We also will be fixing broken equipment, visiting the ever changing rivers and hopefully meeting with the public and government officials about the earthquake hazard.
S. George Philander of Princeton University and Mark A. Cane of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who untangled the complex forces that drive El Niño, the world’s most powerful weather cycle, have won the 2017 Vetlesen Prize for achievement in earth sciences.
Researchers studying the West Antarctic Peninsula marine ecosystem will recognize President Obama’s efforts to combat global warming by collecting climate data at an oceanographic station they named for the 44th president.