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J. Tuzo Wilson Public Lecture
November 3, 2016 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Dr. Susan Lozier,
Earth and Ocean Sciences,
Nicholas School, Duke University
In 1800 Count Rumford ascertained the ocean’s meridional overturning circulation from a single profile of ocean temperature constructed with the use of a rope, a wooden bucket and a rudimentary thermometer. Over two centuries later, data from floats, gliders and moorings deployed across the North Atlantic has transformed our understanding of this overturning circulation, popularly termed the ocean ‘conveyor belt’. While Rumford appreciated the role of the ocean’s overturning in redistributing heat, today we understand the crucial role that this circulation plays in sequestering anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the deep ocean. In this talk I will discuss our current understanding of the ocean’s overturning circulation, its role in our global climate and what we currently do and don’t understand about the mechanisms controlling its temporal change.