February 26, 2017

Talking about the Arctic and Black Sea in Hawaii

I must admit, I’ve been slacking a little with these posts, but I’ve been focusing my time on wrapping up my PhD and applying for my next position (i.e. a postdoctoral position or “postdoc”), and have had a hard time making the time. Regardless, there is no excuse!

What am I doing in Hawaii?

I’m here at the Aquatic Sciences Meeting to present results from the second chapter of my dissertation, which focuses on organic matter cycling in the Black Sea. I will soon submit my chapter to a scientific journal (I’m thinking Limnology and Oceanography), which will be peer-reviewed and published for the scientific community to learn from my findings. The abstract for my talk is a bit dense, but you can check that out here if you’re interested.

One of the things that is unique about the Black Sea is that its deep waters are anoxic (no O2), and this anoxic water spans for ~2000 m (1.25 miles) below upper ~150 m (~0.1 miles), which can provide insights on the ocean in the past and in the future, as its chemistry and O2 content are not constant, especially with humans in the mix. A recent study published in the journal Nature found that the ocean’s oxygen content has decreased in the past 50 years, so understanding systems like the anoxic Black Sea can offer insights on what regions of the ocean may look like in the near future.

Video source: GEOMAR Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel Facebook page. For more info from GEOMAR, click here.

In addition to my talk on the Black Sea, I’m also in Hawaii for two workshops that follow-up on the 2015 Arctic Expedition(s). Today (Sunday) I am attending an early career Arctic GEOTRACES networking event, where I will meet with fellow early-career scientists from not only the U.S. expedition, but also the German and Canadian expeditions, which all happened in August-October of 2015. For this workshop, I will present a slide of pH distribution, which relates to dissolved CO2 distribution, and I will chat with others who also focus on carbon biogeochemistry, hoping to open up collaborative doors for the future CO2 system across the entire Arctic Ocean system with the international scientific community.

On Tuesday, there is another Arctic workshop that focuses on the marginal ice zone (MIZ), which is the region between open water (i.e., ice free) and completely ice covered water, and I will be presenting a similar slide as the one I present at the early career workshop. In preparation for the workshops, I've been looking at the pH and CO2 system data in the MIZ, and I noticed that there was a region where values were odd, and as it turns out there appears to have been an eddy there. I look forward to discussing the eddy, MIZ and Arctic Ocean’s carbon biogeochemistry with others at both workshops.

Beyond Hawaii

As I mentioned above, I’ve applied to some postdocs, and I hope to update you next month regarding those, hopefully with some good news. Also, be sure to check the Arctic News tab regularly, as this winter has been a peculiar one, with the Arctic sea ice extent remaining below the ±95% of the 30-year variability (i.e., 2 standard deviations) for the past four months, which is crazy!

I will also write a post following the Aquatic Sciences Meeting, to give you an update on the productive week I have ahead of me.

As always, let me know if you have any questions (email under Ask a Question tab).