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Paleoceanography

This category contains 25 posts

A change in ocean circulation makes for long glacial periods through the Mid-Pleistocene Transition

Isotope records from the Southern Ocean imply that prolonged epochs of time between glacial and interglacial periods through the Mid-Pleistocene Transition were caused by a reduction in deep waters mixing with the surface and the positive feedback it created with the salinity gradient. Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, I’m a […]

Marine Snow & Muddy Megacoring on the Southern Ocean

Check out this guest post by Marlo Garnsworthy to read about an exciting voyage to the Southern Ocean…Marlo took part in a several week research cruise to learn about climate change using sediment samples from the region…read on to learn about the experience and see Marlo’s great pictures! Anna RobuckI am a third year PhD […]

The Once and Future Ocean

A newly collected sediment core from the Labrador Current gave Dr. Harunur Rashid a glimpse of the ancient ocean. What he saw might help inform our predictions of the future climate. Eric OrensteinEric is a PhD student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research in the Jaffe Laboratory for Underwater Imaging focuses on developing […]

Paleoshorelines: Time capsules of the ocean’s ancient shorelines

In celebration of World Ocean’s Week, let’s take a moment to think about how far we have come in discovering the history of the oceans. Katherine BarrettKate is a 3rd year PhD candidate in the Biological Sciences Department at the University of Notre Dame, and holds a Masters in Environmental Science & Biology from SUNY […]

The Bipolar See-Saw: Dansgaard-Oeschger Events and the Antarctic Climate

Within large timescales of glacial and interglacial periods, mini, rapid climate shifts may occur thanks to oceanic circulation processes and balancing global ocean budgets. The events in question originate in the North Atlantic; but, how do they affect the Antarctic? Zoe GentesZoe has an M.S. in Oceanography and a B.S. in Geologic Oceanography from URI, […]

Glaciers have big league role in silica budget.

Glaciers get a lot of attention because they’re expansive sheets of ice. They’re important to understand because they can impact sea level, circulation, climate, albedo, and they are homes to microbial organisms and large animals. A new reason they are getting attention is their recently realized importance to the global silica budget. Researchers found that […]

Sharkcano, a melting pot for biology

No, a Sharkcano is not a volcano that erupts sharks. IT IS WAY COOLER THAN THAT! It is a submarine volcano that hosts a diverse macro community in water that is much warmer and more acidic that the surrounding seawater. Read more to find out about this alien-esc ecosystem in the South Pacific Ocean. Anne […]

Mediterranean Magnetism shows Ancient Oceanic Crust

Compared to the continents, oceanic crust is relatively young, less than 200 million years. But in a corner of the Mediterranean Sea, a remnant of the ancient Neo-Tethys Ocean lurks from the time of Pangaea. Zoe GentesZoe has an M.S. in Oceanography and a B.S. in Geologic Oceanography from URI, with a minor in Writing […]

Can bumps in the seafloor explain glacial-interglacial cycles?

The best scientific theories bring lots of things together in unexpected ways. This one has ice ages, seafloor volcanoes, sea level changes, wobbles in the earth’s rotation, and much more! caelCael was once told by a professor that applied mathematicians are ‘intellectual dilettantes,’ which has been a proud self-identification for Cael since that moment. Cael […]

Paleo-oceanography from satellite data reveal ancient tsunamis…on Mars?!

Extraplanetary tsunamis. Need I say more? Eric OrensteinEric is a PhD student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research in the Jaffe Laboratory for Underwater Imaging focuses on developing methods to quantitatively label image data coming from the Scripps Plankton Camera System. When not science-ing, Eric can be found surfing, canoeing, or trying to […]

Tiny shells tell the history of Antarctic ice

Over the past 10,000 years, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has gone through long periods of growth and long periods of retreat. Shells from the tiny organisms living in the seawater throughout the millennia can be used to reconstruct the history of times when warmer water from offshore came onto the shelf and weakened the […]

The Down, Up, and Down Again of Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay region is a densely populated area, and also experiences more rapid sea level rise than anywhere else along the North American Atlantic Coast. Why? Scientists look to the lithosphere for answers, finding that the subsidence of an ancient lithospheric bulge may be partially to blame, and will continue for millennia. Zoe GentesZoe […]

CSI Holocene: Who started the fire?

Sediment and ice cores suggest that peaks in fire activity that happened 2,500 years ago in Europe was likely caused by early humans applying the slash and burn technique to clear away forests. This demonstrates that the anthropogenic carbon footprint dates back further than the Industrial Revolution. Kari St.LaurentI received a Ph.D. in oceanography in […]

Balancing Act: Marine Sediments Reveal Past Carbon Cycle Fluxes

Researchers conducted a study that looks at marine sediment records to investigate sediment weathering patterns over long-term climate cycles. Somewhat surprisingly, it appears the Earth may have a mechanism for balancing variations in weathering during these glacial-interglacial cycles and mediating carbon cycle fluxes. Zoe GentesZoe has an M.S. in Oceanography and a B.S. in Geologic […]

Path of Corrosion: How Scientists Modeled Ancient Sea-Floor Acidity

Today, we see a rapid release of CO2 to the atmosphere associated with climate change. The same was true 55 million years ago during the PETM, a time when – sediment records show – there was pervasive carbonate dissolution along the sea floor. But it was not the same pattern everywhere. Scientists attempt to model […]

A 2.5 billion year old story about iron in the ocean, told by a rock

New light has been shed on the possibility of an alternative iron sink than previous thought prior to the oxygenation of the oceans 2.45 billion years ago. The findings could affect our interpretations of the early seawater chemistry, nutrient cycling, and trace metal distribution in the Precambrian. Anne M. HartwellHello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name […]

Best of Benthics

The Top 5: Highlights and notes from an eventful Benthic Ecology Meeting! Gordon OberPostdoctoral Researcher, Claremont McKenna College I am currently a postdoc at Keck Sciences, Claremont McKenna College. I work with Dr. Sarah Gilman, measuring and modeling energy budgets in intertidal species. I am a climate scientist and marine community ecologist and my PhD […]

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 […]

Rapid Reductions in North Atlantic Deep Water during the Peak of the Last Interglacial Period

North Atlantic deep water forms primarily in more extreme northern latitudes due to the colder, saltier water with a higher density. When this flow of water goes south it mixes with the cold Antarctic water and then redistributes into other parts of the world. As high latitude warming and ocean refreshing reduce water density, North […]

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