Antarctica -1 Brrrrrrr

Antarctica -1 Brrrrrrrr

I’m McKensie Daugherty, your host for On the Ocean. Feel that chill in the air? It’s getting cold outside. But beware, even now in the midst of summer at bottom of the Earth, it is much colder there. That’s right, this month we are talking about the white continent, and how the Antarctic region uniquely influences the rest of the planet. The Antarctic continent itself covers about 14.1 million square miles, nearly one and a half times larger than the U.S., but its terrain is almost entirely covered by ice. A trans-Antarctic mountain range separates West and East Antarctic Ice Sheets over a mile thick in some areas that weigh down the bedrock to below sea level. Frozen, but not stationary, the Antarctic ice is always on the move. It is discharged into the Southern Ocean by a network of continental ice streams, glaciers, and floating ice shelves. The world’s strongest winds fuel the continuous eastward flow of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current around Antarctica, the largest ocean current on Earth. This swirling current extends throughout the entire water column, and essentially isolates Antarctic glaciers and ice shelves from direct oceanic influences. In some segments of the Antarctic continental shelf, the coldest and densest waters on the planet are produced during wintertime. In summer these areas are home to whales, seals, penguins, exotic cold-water species of algae, and unique invertebrates that thrive in nutrient-rich waters. Antarctica has no permanent human establishments by any nation or ethnic group, but a couple of thousand people live year-round on the continent at research stations established by several countries. In 1961 The Antarctic Treaty System, now involving 52 parties (including the U.S.), was established to ensure that Antarctica is used only for scientific investigation. Researchers study the ocean-ice-atmosphere interactions at key Antarctic locations with global relevance. This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

 

Contributing Professor: Dr. Alejandro Orsi

Dr. Orsi Bio

More information and links:

http://woceatlas.tamu.edu/

http://sassi.tamu.edu/

REU

REU Program
I’m McKensie Daugherty, your host for On the Ocean.Texas A&M University has a new Research Experience for Undergraduates program (or, R E U) focusing on Observing the Ocean that will be led by faculty in the Department of Oceanography and the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group. REU programs are funded by the National Science Foundation to provide active research opportunities for undergraduate students. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he or she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. Students in Texas A&M’s “Observing the Ocean” REU program will learn about the  tools used for ocean observing, such as autonomous underwater gliders, wave gliders, imaging systems, remote sensing, and analytical analyses. And, more importantly, they will learn how to use the data from ocean observatories, buoys, time series and sea-going studies to investigate oceanographic questions.  They will work with faculty who study issues facing the coastal ocean, such as hypoxia, harmful algae, oil spills and ocean acidification, to conduct individual research projects and to acquire analytical skills. Communication is also an important part of research, so students will give frequent updates on their projects, and will compete for a travel award to allow the student to present his or her research at a national conference. Undergraduate students, particularly those majoring in physics, chemistry, computer science, and engineering, are encouraged to check out the details on the Department of Oceanography’s REU site at ocean.tamu.edu/academics/reu/ and join us for an exciting summer. This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.
REU information:
Texas A&M Oceanography scientist, students and crew of the R/V Trident at the boat basin at Texas A&M Galveston located on Pelican Island on June 26, 2015.  The mission of the day was to launch two gliders intot the Gulf of Mexico to study the oxygen levels of the dead zone.
Texas A&M Oceanography scientist, students and crew of the R/V Trident at the boat basin at Texas A&M Galveston located on Pelican Island on June 26, 2015. The mission of the day was to launch two gliders intot the Gulf of Mexico to study the oxygen levels of the dead zone.

Hurricanes 4 -How to study a Hurricane

I’m McKensie Daugherty, your host for On the Ocean. Hurricanes are incredibly destructive, and need warm ocean temperatures to form. In the wake of a warming world due to global climate change, researchers are determined to better understand hurricanes now and in the future. To do this, scientists use satellites to track and study conditions of the ocean and the climate surrounding it. For example, the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites are a set of weather satellites that generate images of the earth every 30 minutes using Visible, Infrared, or Water Vapor images to track weather conditions around the world. By using these satellites, scientists are able to study what conditions can create and affect hurricanes, and use this data for tracking and forecasting of these gigantic storms. NASA also has research aircrafts (manned and unmanned) that are flown into and above the hurricanes to gather data such as wind speed and rain. In fact, a group known as the “Hurricane Hunters” made up of National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration, United States Navy, Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and units fly into these storms to gather information satellites cannot provide, such as barometric pressures and more accurate wind speed measurements. All data of this nature are necessary to get the most reliable forecast for hurricane development and movement. Another avenue of research is using computers to model hurricanes, a process that constructs predictions on storm paths and intensities to help the public prepare for these storms in a time-sensitive matter. Models use a lot of data, including collections from satellites, buoys, tide gauges, aircrafts, and Doppler radar. By working together with ocean observing teams from universities and government centers, scientists can help improve the storm preparation and evacuation process, which helps save lives. This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.

More Information and Links:

Contributing Professor: Dr. Courtney Schumacher

http://atmo.tamu.edu/people/faculty/schumachercourtney.html

ResearcherID

Links:

Information/Preparing for Hurricanes:

Ready.gov-Hurricanes

National Hurricane Center

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/

REALLY cool satellite images:

http://www.goes.noaa.gov/

http://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/