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Changes in Earth’s climate have a profound impact on ocean ecosystems, but did you know that life in the ocean can also change the Earth’s climate? Heather and Ros will talk about the impact of climate change on life in the Arctic ocean, and the potential of marine organisms to limit the impact of global warming.
Living on the Ice Edge
Professor Heather Bouman (Professor of Biogeochemistry)
The rapid reduction in Arctic sea-ice could be seen as an advantage to those living things that use sunlight to fuel their growth. As the canopy of snow and ice that blankets the Arctic Ocean continues to get smaller and thinner, more light is able to reach the microscopic algae that are embedded within, and floating under, the sea ice. Yet the impacts on the diversity and ecology of these microscopic organisms and on the animals that graze on them are poorly known. This talk will focus on the use of new technologies to monitor the Arctic Ocean ecosystems in a changing icescape.
Dinosaur Burps and a Pint of Chalk
Professor Ros Rickaby (Professor of Biogeochemistry)
Microscopic mineralising algae make their shells from a combination of the ingredients of rock weathering and atmospheric carbon dioxide. This carbon cycle acts as a natural thermostat and has helped the Earth recover from extreme “greenhouse” conditions and from short-lived “catastrophic burps” of greenhouse gas emissions. This talk will explore the natural feedbacks that have maintained Earth within habitable conditions. Could mankind accelerate natural feedbacks to solve the challenge of limiting global warming to <2C by 2100?
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