We’ve been to the moon and we’ve explored remote corners of our universe. What is next in our quest to unlock the secrets of our solar system?
Hear from Charles Kennel, chair of the National Academy’s Space Science Board and former Scripps Institution of Oceanography director, as he reviews NASA’s past accomplishments, present projects, and anticipated goals in “The Future of Human Space Exploration.”
To see more programs on Astrophysics and Space Science, visit our archive.
Leopard sharks are a special species of shark found only along the West coast of North America, their territory spanning from Washington to Baja California. A distinctive characteristic of these creatures is their mild temperament. Unlike most sharks, which will bite anything that might be food, leopard sharks are timid and have such small mouths that they pose essentially no danger to humans. In fact, a leopard shark bite on a human has never been recorded by the International Shark Attack File.
Every Summer La Jolla Shores is the gathering site of hundreds of leopard sharks. A common misconception of this behavior is that these sharks convene here to mate or give birth, but in fact scientists are not quite certain what they do at this annual conference.
Even then scientists were aware of the green house effect created by CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere. Keeling tracked the increasing levels of CO2 for decades, but it didn’t take long for him to link the rising CO2 levels with the burning of fossil fuels. Although it was known that the burning of fossil fuels created CO2, it was widely believed that the ocean absorbed all of that excess carbon dioxide. Keeling was the first person to prove that CO2 was accumulating in the atmosphere, as it still is today.
In this video, Somerville further explains this research and his ideas for how to reduce the emissions causing climate change. If you want more information on climate change and ocean science, check out the “Perspectives on Ocean Science” series.
In spring 2012, the Deep Sea Challenge Expedition, with film director and National Geographic Explorer in Residence James Cameron, conducted submersible operations in the deepest point on Earth, the Mariana Trench.
In “Exploring Beyond the Abyss: The Deep Sea Challenge Expedition,” Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Doug Bartlett, the chief scientist of this headline expedition and a leading expert in microbial life in the planet’s most remote and extreme places, describes what the journey was like and how his research is providing greater insight into how organisms thrive in such extreme depths of the ocean.
Thanks to Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a “second front” of climate change mitigation has emerged, reviving hopes that the most dangerous consequences of climate change can at least be delayed for several decades. (If you haven’t already, you can follow his remarkable journey and landmark discoveries in the first three episodes of UCTV Prime’s series “Lifting the Blanket: The Pursuit of a Climate Solution.”)
But when an African teenager attending a United Nations event for high schoolers asked him what he is doing personally about climate change, Ramanathan realized that his recognized authority within the climate science community could only get him so far in affecting change. That encounter set Ramanathan off on the next phase of his career, forming meaningful alliances with religious and spiritual leaders who offer the moral authority to help make the matter of global warming — and the simple steps he’s helped develop to effectively reduce it — resonate on a personal level with today’s global citizens.
With enough involvement from policymakers and individuals around the world, Ramanathan projects that society can reduce the rate of global warming by as much as 50% during our lifetimes, which could help slow down the melting of the Himalayan glaciers, arctic sea ice, and sea level rise, while possibly saving as many as 4 million lives per year among those living under the blanket of pollutants that contribute to 40% of the current global warming problem.