Scientists Map Ocean Acidification Across the Globe

The most comprehensive picture yet of how acidity levels vary across the world’s oceans has been published in the journal Marine Chemistry by geochemist Taro Takahashi and his colleagues. The maps the scientists created provide a monthly look at how ocean acidity rises and falls by season and geographic location, along with saturation levels of calcium carbonate minerals used by shell-building organisms. These maps will serve as a benchmark for years to come as enormous amounts of human-caused carbon emissions continue to wind up at sea.

Sean C. Solomon Receives National Medal of Science

President Obama presented the National Medal of Science to Lamont’s director, geophysicist Sean C. Solomon, at a White House ceremony last Thursday. Solomon is the principal investigator of NASA’s mission to Mercury and was cited for his, “Creative approaches and outstanding contributions to understanding the internal structure and evolution of the Earth, the Moon, and other terrestrial planets, and for his leadership and inspiration of new generations of scientists.” A video of the ceremony is now online; advance to 19:35 to see Solomon receive his medal.

Fountain of Youth Underlies Antarctic Mountains

A new study led by Tim Creyts reveals why the ice-covered Gamburtsev Mountains in the middle of Antarctica looks as young as they do. The Gamburtsevs were discovered in the 1950s, but remained unexplored until scientists flew ice-penetrating instruments over the mountains 60 years later. The study, which appears in the latest issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters, explains how the blanket of ice covering the Gamburtsevs has preserved its rugged ridgelines.

Studying Alaska's Ice and Snow to Track Climate Change

In May, marine ecologists Craig Aumack and Andy Juhl traveled to Barrow, Alaska to study algae living in and below Arctic sea ice. During late winter and spring, large communities of these algae flourish, or bloom, inside and on the undersurface of the sea ice. As the ice melts, algae are released into the nutrient-rich waters, and become food for plankton and higher trophic levels, including fish, whales and seals. Aumack and Juhl discuss how the loss of sea ice is changing the Arctic food chain in this PBS News Hour video.

Our Experts in the News 

CBS News: Underwater Robot Allows Scientists to Map Uncharted Antarctic Sea Ice
Salon: How I Learned to Love the Polar Vortex Hype
Scientific American: Acid Maps Reveal Worst of Climate Change
Beacon Reader: A Planetary Fix?
The Guardian: A Scientist's Prophetic Warning for New York City
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