In the News

Princeton geoscientists find new fallout from ‘the collision that changed the world’

Paleomaps. Courtesy of the researchers
Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications
When the landmass that is now the Indian subcontinent slammed into Asia about 50 million years ago, the collision changed the configuration of the continents, the landscape, global climate and more.

130-year-old brain coral reveals encouraging news for open ocean

Ocean floor image. Photo courtesy of the researchers
Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research
When nitrogen-based fertilizers flow into water bodies, the result can be deadly for marine life near shore, but what is the effect of nitrogen pollution far out in the open ocean? A 130-year-old brain coral has provided the answer, at least for the North Atlantic Ocean off the East Coast of the United States.

Carbon ‘leak’ may have warmed the planet for 11,000 years, encouraging human civilization

Image showing three fossils
Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications
The oceans are the planet’s most important depository for atmospheric carbon dioxide on time scales of decades to millenia. But the process of locking away greenhouse gas is weakened by activity of the Southern Ocean, so an increase in its activity could explain the mysterious warmth of the past 11,000 years, an international team of researchers reports.

The Future of Carbon and Heat Uptake by the Southern Ocean

The Future of Carbon and Heat Uptake by the Southern Ocean lecture
Princeton Environmental Institute
Heat uptake by the ocean is slowing the greenhouse gas-driven warming of the atmosphere, and the ocean represents the dominant long-term sink for the carbon dioxide gas deriving from fossil fuel use. However, these beneficial roles of the ocean are tempered by the slowness with which surface waters are carried into the deep ocean, through a process known as “deep ocean ventilation” that occurs at high latitudes. Moreover, most global climate models have predicted that deep ocean ventilation will slow further in the future as global warming proceeds. The Southern Ocean around Antarctica is active in deep ocean ventilation and thus particularly important in the uptake of fossil fuel carbon dioxide and global warming heat. Evidence will be presented that deep ocean ventilation by the Southern Ocean was slower during past ice ages and faster during warm interglacial periods. These findings raise the possibility that deep ocean ventilation by the Southern Ocean will accelerate into the global warming future, counter to most model-based expectations. The origins and significance of this apparent disagreement will be discussed.

CBC Vancouver Radio One Interview Regarding Iron Fertilization During the Last Ice Age

Image courtesy of Alfredo Martínez-García of ETH Zurich and Science/American Association for the Advancement of Science
CBC Vancouver Radio One
Prof. Daniel Sigman, co-author of the study "Iron Fertilization of the Sub-antarctic Ocean During the Last Ice Age" talks with Vancouver's CBC Radio One host Gregor Craigie on the scalability and viability of boosting salmon populations in coastal water off of British Columbia.  Full article: (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/343/6177/1347.full)