Ocean research fundamental to study of life on earth

‘A good percentage of the carbon dioxide increase is being taken up by oceans.’

When Thomas Rossby retired from teaching last fall after 36 years at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, he was not only one of the university’s longest-serving professors, but one of the most distinguished in his field. Since first studying oceanography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the late 1960s, Rossby used his engineering background to develop new techniques for measuring ocean currents, including through individual floats and on instruments attached to ocean-going ships. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



NEWSMAKERS

Ocean research fundamental to study of life on earth

‘A good percentage of the carbon dioxide increase is being taken up by oceans.’

COURTESY URI/MICHAEL SALERNO SEA O2: Thomas Rossby, professor emeritus of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, says a good percentage of the carbon dioxide increase is being taken up by oceans.
Posted 2/6/12

When Thomas Rossby retired from teaching last fall after 36 years at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, he was not only one of the university’s longest-serving professors, but one of the most distinguished in his field. Since first studying oceanography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the late 1960s, Rossby used his engineering background to develop new techniques for measuring ocean currents, including through individual floats and on instruments attached to ocean-going ships.

At a recent URI “Rossby Symposium,” former students and colleagues gathered to discuss his research and contributions to the understanding of the world’s oceans.

PBN: For years scientists have wondered whether rising global temperatures and melting polar ice could result in significant changes to the Gulf Stream. From your research, what is going on in the Gulf Stream and is it in any danger?

ROSSBY: From the measurements we have taken over 20 years now, we can say with considerable confidence how the Gulf Stream varies seasonally and from one year to the next. The good news is that the Gulf Stream is not changing – it is quite stable. It is fluctuating from year to year thanks to wind systems that vary, winters are never the same, so it fluctuates, but there is no evidence whatsoever that it is slowing down or speeding up.

PBN: Are there any major changes that you do see in the Atlantic water currents?

ROSSBY: We are seeing quite large changes in the northern Atlantic, east of Labrador and west of the United Kingdom. There are large expansions and contractions of the pool of cold water, what is called the polar gyre east of Greenland. Those are probably mostly related to changes in heating and cooling but the winds are also playing an important role. There is a lot we don’t understand there and that is an area we must instrument better. There is much interest in being able to do a better job in measuring the North Atlantic.

Next Page
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Join PBN for the best networking event and party of the winter - January 15, 2015 - the Book of Lists Party at the Providence Public Library. Reserve your spot by December 31st and get a holiday gift from PBN!
  • Best Places to Work
    Enroll in the 10th Annual Best Places to Work Event and join an impressive group ...
  • Manufacturing Awards
    Applications are now being accepted for the 2nd Annual Manufacturing Awards. Dea ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement