A team of Rutgers DMCS Scientists and affiliates are currently at sea aboard the RV Joides Resolution on an expedition to drill into the sediement in search of clues about the Earth's past climate. Yair Rosenthal is co-chief scientist on the cruise and is accompanied by Greg Mountain, Tali Babila (former PhD), Sam Bova (post doc) and Stephanie Spary.
The Western Pacific Warm Pool is the name we give to the large body of warm water in the Western Pacific. This warm water has a big impact on global climate and ocean currents. This Western Pacific Warm Pool influences the temperature and water content of the atmosphere near it, which in turn influences global climate. Ocean currents also play a part in global climate as they move very large amounts of heat around the planet.
On this expedition they will take samples or cores of deep sea sediment from key locations. Then scientists will identify the different species of plankton in the sediment whilst others will analyse the composition of the plankton's shells. By examining these core samples we will gain a greater understanding of past climates and ocean currents in this area. This will help us understand how global warming might change the climate in this area and how this may influence climate elsewhere.