Extended Warkentin Lecture: "Our Shrinking Cryosphere" - Dr. James Bockheim

Dr. James Bockheim
Professor Emeritus
University Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Bockheim has been working in the Antarctic for over 40 years.  He is considered a leading experin in the formation of high latitude and alpine soils.

Our Shrinking Cryosphere

There are soils in the Antarctic which are among the oldest in the world.  What might such soils tell us about the dynamics of terrestrial systems on Earth?

The Epica ice core, subglacial Antarctic lakes, and 50,000 yr old microbes.

The cryosphere includes all glaciers and ice caps, ice sheets, ice shelves, sea ice, seasonal snow cover, and permafrost on the surface of Earth. The speaker will show that all of these cryosphere components have diminished in a real extent over the past century. These cryospheric changes are impacting and will continue to impact thermohaline circulation, opening of the Northwest Passage, a rise in sea-level, thawing of permafrost and release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, and other disruptions of natural resources. Several case studies are presented, including the EPICA ice core that covers the past 0.5 million years, drilling through the East Antarctic Ice Sheet to reach huge subglacial lakes that may contain valuable keys to Earth’s history, and the discovery of viable genes and microbes in 8 million-year-old Antarctic ice. The speaker will conclude with a brief description of “cryosphere art.”

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 9:00am - 10:30am
Trang Nguyen
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Crop & Soil Science