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Brian Caccioppoli

Brian Caccioppoli has written 30 posts for oceanbites

Strengthening Winds and Upwelling in a Changing Climate

In 1990, Andrew Bakun hypothesized that warming temperatures and changes in sea-level pressure gradients would lead to warm season intensification of upwelling favorable winds. This highlighted study puts his hypothesis to the test by analyzing historical wind trend data in four eastern boundary current systems of the world. The strength and spatial extent of upwelling […]

Tipping the Domino in East Antarctica

Researchers use modeling experiments to understand the conditions necessary for irreversible melting in East Antarctica, a region previously thought to be stable. The results of this research show that the stability of the Wilkes Basin is a mere “tip of a domino” away from runaway melting, which would result in a slow and steady global […]

Just How Permanent was El Niño in the Past?

New data refutes the hypothesis that permanent El Niño conditions existed in the tropical Pacific more than 3 million years before present, favoring climate variability more similar to modern-day. Brian CaccioppoliI am a recent graduate (Dec. 2015) from the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, with a M.S. in Oceanography. My research interests […]

Ironing Out the Details of the Last Ice Age

“Give me a half tanker of iron and I will give you an ice age!”, as was once said by Dr. John Martin, simplistically describes the iron hypothesis. This concept suggests that additions of iron to the ocean can ramp up biological productivity and account for some of the decreasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations during […]

Hello Glaciers, Goodbye Winds!

With the intensification of glaciation in the northern hemisphere approximately 2.7 million years ago, the prominent westerly wind belts responded by shifting towards the equator based on evidence from sediment cores. But how exactly are scientists able to determine the position of the winds millions of years ago? The answer lies in proxies! Brian CaccioppoliI […]

A Cool Breeze Amidst Global Warming

Climate scientists have affirmed that we are currently in a warming hiatus, similar to the 1940s – 1970s, where global warming has stalled or is occurring at an unusually slow rate. The cause of these warming hiatuses are under investigation, though it is well understood that they are temporary deviations from the normal warming trend. […]

Reconstructing climate history from sediments in the Gulf of Taranto, Italy

What was the climate like in Southern Italy 10,000 years ago? This question and many more can be answered by collecting sediment from the seafloor. Understanding the types of sediment and where it all came from, and determining the age of deposition make it possible to reconstruct the history of regional climate. Brian CaccioppoliI am […]

Riding the Waves of Change: A Revised Beach Cycle for Mixed Sand and Gravel Beaches

A seasonal cycle of sand volume for typical sand beaches has been described for decades. This cycle does not hold true for beaches of mixed sand and gravel compositions. The highlighted study revises the beach cycle based off of observations during a year of strong storms. Improving our understanding of how the beach responds and […]

From the beach to the abyss: A sand grain’s journey at La Réunion Island

The path a grain of sand takes from land to the deep sea is largely made possible by turbidity currents- dense currents of sediment and water traveling rapidly through the ocean. A recent study focused on La Réunion Island, a volcanic island in the Indian Ocean, highlights the importance of submarine canyons and turbidity currents […]

Catastrophic floods or drought? What caused the water level drop of glacial Lake Agassiz?

Formed from the meltwater of a colossal ice sheet that once blanketed North America, glacial Lake Agassiz experienced a sudden drop in water level approximately 12,900 years ago. The timing of this event aligns with a climatic return to cold conditions for 1,000 years, known as the Younger Dryas. A well-established hypothesis suggests that catastrophic […]

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