© Pint of Science, 2018. All rights reserved.
Carbon dioxide is essential for life on Earth but too much may not be good. Our first talk will focus on microscopic organisms found in Antarctic oceans, explaining their evolving need for carbon dioxide. In our second talk, we will learn about the future of air travel and how too much carbon dioxide can have negative impacts on human activity.
Turbulence ahead! How will climate change affect air travel?
Dr Paul Williams (Atmospheric Scientist, University of Reading)
Everybody knows that air travel contributes to climate change through emissions. But we are only now beginning to understand how climate change will affect air travel. Rising sea levels and storm surges threaten coastal airports. Warmer air at ground level makes it more difficult for planes to take-off. Extreme weather may cause flight disruptions and delays. Clear-air turbulence is expected to become stronger and twice as common. Transatlantic flights may take significantly longer due to changes to the jet stream. Come and find out how climate change could affect your flights.
Bloom and Bust: Glassy diatoms impact global ocean nutrient distributions
Dr Susan Little (Isotope Geochemist, Imperial College London)
Just like plants in your garden, microscopic plants in the ocean (called phytoplankton) need light and nutrients to grow. Diatoms are a group of phytoplankton that build their shell out of glass. They are about the size of a pinhead and they thrive in the Southern Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica. Diatoms produce about one quarter of the Earth’s oxygen, as a by-product of photosynthesis. In this talk, I will show how the spectacular ‘bloom and bust’ life cycle of diatoms in the Southern Ocean has repercussions for global ocean nutrient distributions, and therefore ocean carbon dioxide uptake.