Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ocean Station Obama

While we are back at the station, our USAP research vessel LM Gould is out at sea on the annual Long Term Ecological Research cruise to collect environmental and climatological data. Today they made the news with their innaugural celebration. Let me know if you are interested and I'll talk more about what the LTER project is doing in future posts.

Washington Post

Antarctic Climate Researchers Hold Distant Inaugural Celebration

By Juliet Eilperin

In what may well be the furthest-flung celebration of Barack Obama's
inauguration, scientists aboard the U.S. research vessel Laurence M
Gould held a commemoration 10,000 miles from Washington D.C. off

The researchers, who are spending three days at sea examining signs of
climate change, decided to call the temporary study area they have
established "Ocean Station Obama."

Doug Martinson, an oceanographer at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty
Earth Observatory and the cruise's chief scientist, said they named the
station after the 44th president and his incoming administration "to
recognize their vital interest in the problem of climate change."

"The setting of our study, in an area of rapidly changing climate and
ecology, is an appropriate spot and moment in our history to dedicate
this sampling station to the events taking place in Washington,"
Martinson said in a statement. "In doing so, we hope to bring ocean
sciences and climate change research to the public's attention."

The three-day cruise is a part of a seven-week oceanographic expedition
known as the Palmer, Antarctica Long-Term Ecological Research Project
(PAL-LTER), which has surveyed a section of the western Antarctic
Peninsula each year since 1993.

The peninsula has warmed nearly 11 degrees Fahrenheit since 1950,
leaving the area with 90 fewer days of sea ice cover compared to 1978.
The warming has particularly hurt an Adelie penguin colony near Palmer
Station, which has declined by 80 percent since 1975.

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