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isotopes

This tag is associated with 8 posts

Human mercury pollution found at the deepest ocean

For many decades, humans have been putting mercury into the ocean, contaminating big fish like tuna and swordfish. But we haven’t fully realized how deep human-produced mercury could move down the ocean until now – and now scientist have found mercury pollution at the deepest parts of the ocean. Jiwoon ParkI am a PhD student […]

Fossilized Deep-Sea Corals Reveal Ancient Ocean Circulation Patterns

An increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations helped end the last ice age. But what caused the carbon dioxide increase in the first place? A team of scientists used the fossilized skeletons of deep-sea corals to find out. Amanda SemlerI’m a PhD candidate in Earth System Science at Stanford University, and I study how microbes […]

Life at One Hundred Million Years Old

A team of scientists traveled to the South Pacific Gyre and discovered 100 million year old, energy-starved microorganisms hidden below the seafloor. With a little bit of food (and patience), the team brought these ancient microbes back to life in the laboratory, using carbon isotopes for their detective work. Amanda SemlerI’m a PhD candidate in […]

Uneven Ocean Warming as the Planet Shed its Ice

Our oceans underwent major changes when the planet transitioned from the Last Glacial Maximum to our current interglacial (or “between glaciations”) period. So what was going on in the ocean during this transformation? Julia DohnerJulia is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. Her focus is on biogeochemistry, which, as […]

The Subtle Response of Plants to Rising CO2 Levels

Plants need carbon dioxide. What do they do when there’s more and more of it in the atmosphere? Julia DohnerJulia is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. Her focus is on biogeochemistry, which, as the name suggests, centers on the combined effects of biological, geological and chemical processes on […]

New Nitrogen in Town: Nitrogen Deposition on the Open Ocean

Life in the ocean depends on a variety of nutrients, an important one being nitrogen. Phytoplankton, at the bottom of the oceanic food chain, require it to photosynthesize. Burning fossil fuels releases nitrogen into the atmosphere, and a portion of it is known to settle into the ocean. Has the ocean started to show signs […]

A New Tool for Understanding Where Carbon Dioxide Goes

We know that CO2 is being absorbed from the air by the ocean, but how can we measure how much of the carbon in the ocean comes from human activity? By examining carbon data in the Pacific Ocean, scientists show that the ratio of heavy to light carbon atoms in the water can help answer […]

Dust detectives: tracing the origins of Antarctic ice core debris

Tiny dust particles punch above their weight by delivering nutrients to remote ecosystems. A new study uses the chemical fingerprint of dust particles to retrace their origins and how this important process has changed over the last 800,000 years. Read on to learn more! Michael PhilbenI recently completed a PhD in Marine Science at the […]

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