Rhode Island: It's All in Our Backyard

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October 24, 2014 by chris

uri oceanography rv-knor verticalA team from Our Backyard is leading an international effort to study global warming, reports RINPR. The University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography just embarked on an expedition to collect sediment samples of the deep seafloor. The team wants to reconstruct how and why the earth’s temperature has changed over the last 20,000 years.

This expedition, funded by the National Science Foundation, requires the expertise across many different areas. The research team is made up of geologists, microbiologists, chemists and other oceanographers from URI, Boston University, California Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Montana State University, and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.

They will retrieve sediment cores of mud at eight sites along an underwater mountain chain in the Atlantic Ocean, just north of the equator. URI Professor Art Spivack, the principal investigator of the research cruise, explains that mud accumulates in layers with time, just as tree rings do, and reveals details about what’s happened in the ocean in the past.

The research team will reconstruct how carbon dioxide levels have varied between the last glacial period and today by studying the water in the ancient seafloor sediment. Spivack says scientists want to understand how the ocean carbon system might respond in the future by studying how it has behaved to changes in the past. Get the entire story at RIPR.