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Earth Matters: Polar Windows to Earth's Climate

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Bishop Auditorium, Lathrop Library

Free; no advance registration required. 
Please allow extra time for parking, due to other events happening on campus this evening. 

SERIES: EARTH MATTERSEarth Matters is a quarterly public program co-sponsored by Stanford’s School of Earth Sciences and Stanford Continuing Studies. With the global population expected to exceed 9 billion people by 2050 and per capita consumption on the rise, the world faces an unprecedented challenge: meeting human needs for fresh water, food, and energy while protecting the planet’s ability to produce these essential resources for generations to come. This series addresses problems, facts, and myths; explains potential solutions; and engages the local community in a lively discussion. Polar Windows to Earth’s ClimateAlthough they are smaller than a grain of sand, tiny marine plants known as phytoplankton play a surprisingly prominent role in sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide in the deep ocean. In polar waters, phytoplankton form the basis of the food chain that nourishes everything from penguins to whales. Stanford biological oceanographer Kevin Arrigo has led numerous research cruises to the Arctic and Antarctic to study firsthand how phytoplankton affect biological productivity in the poles and regulate the Earth’s climate. In this talk, Arrigo will discuss how his team’s discoveries provide insight into how polar ecosystems will change as the rates of global warming and glacial melt increase, as well as geoengineering ideas for reversing climate change that involve fertilizing the oceans with iron to influence phytoplankton growth. Kevin Arrigo, Donald & Donald M. Steel Professor in Earth Sciences, Stanford
Kevin Arrigo’s principal research interest has been in the role marine microorganisms play in the biological productivity of the polar oceans as well as the Earth’s carbon and nitrogen cycles. He received a PhD in biological sciences from the University of Southern California and worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center before joining the Stanford faculty.

Event Sponsor: 
Continuing StudiesSchool of EarthEnergy & Environmental Sciences
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