Oceanographer plows the Southern Ocean
Texas A&M oceanography professor Alejandro (Alex) Orsi is one of 40 scientists braving Antarctic weather and waters aboard the ice-breaker research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer.
Orsi is co-chief scientist for the NSF- and NOAA-funded expedition, which sends researchers to remote locations near the coast of Antarctica, southeast of New Zealand.
Why they call it a wet lab.
This cruise is part of a program of global ocean measurements for the World Climate Research Program CLIVAR (Climate Variability) Repeat Hydrography Program and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project.
The research team’s primary scientific focus is collecting water samples between Cape Adare and the Antarctic Peninsula (near the southern tip of Adelaide Island). The measurements will be used to study or predict:
- Global warming-induced changes in oceanic heat and salt circulation
- Water mass structure response to atmospheric variability
- Climate models, specifically predicting future atmospheric CO2 levels and global heat and freshwater balances
The expedition’s cruise blog.
About Nathanial B. Palmer
Associate Professor 979.845.5105