The Arctic and Antarctic are more different than literal polar opposites. Antarctic is a thermally isolated continent. The Arctic is a thermally isolated ocean. Antarctic's only human inhabitants are scientific visitors. The Arctic has been inhabited for thousands of years by Indigenous Peoples who developed the technology to adjust to a climate that killed many a White explorer. People of non-Indigenous heritage now reside in the warmer portions of the Arctic or operate extractive industries on a fly-in/fly-out basis.
Both poles are warming much faster than mid to equatorial latitudes, but the impact to humans is more immediate and direct in the Arctic region. Dramatic loss of sea ice is opening the Arctic to more resource extraction, direct shipping between Europe and eastern Asia, and cultural distortion by tourism. Rapid coastal erosion is requiring relocation or abandonment of entire Native villages. Thawing of permafrost threatens infrastructure Arctic-wide.
By the end of the century, Earth will have a new open ocean, for good or for ill.
Our presenter is Professor John Eichelberger, whose career has spanned both fire and ice. He earned both an SB and an SM in course XII MIT '70, and PhD Geology Stanford '74. He started work at Los Alamos in the Energy Division, then went to Sandia National Laboratories Geosciences Division in 1979. In 1991 he joined the University of Alaska Fairbanks, becoming Professor of Volcanology. Between 2007 and 2012 he moved south to be the Program Coordinator at the US Geological Observatory's Volcano Hazards Program. In 2012 he returned to Fairbanks to become the Dean of the Graduate School, while also serving at the University of the Arctic as their Academic Vice President until May 2017.
He is well known for work with the mixing and degassing of magmas, which was considered so heretical in the US that he had to publish in Nature instead of in Science.
"Professor of Volcanology" would not have passed the laugh test before Mount St. Helen.
By accident, he was not present at the St. Helen's eruption, so he is now still an active researcher instead of a permanent part of the landscape.
In 2015 he was awarded the Sergey Soloviev Medal of the European Geosciences Union for international hazards work.
If you're interested in the fire side of John's work, Professor Eichelberger has kindly provided us with a PDF of the special edition of Geosciences, which he edited, on magma-hydrothermal systems. You can also Google the term John Eichelberger magma. You'll get links ranging from a 2 minute PBS educated layperson explanation of what makes a volcanoes erupt, to an hour and a half talk on finding magma only 2.5 Km below your feet (spoiler alert - do your drilling in calderas). This latter link has a Brit doing a 3 minute introduction in Spanish.
We know you get it: climate change is happening and is impacting Americans now. But we also know you have questions -- and want a straight-forward answer, without the technical details, rhetoric, or hype. Join us for a jargon-free explainer on climate change science with our guest expert, MIT's Prof. Noelle Selin. We'll answer questions like:
How bad is climate change, really?
What's in store for the future?
What will it take to slow down climate change -- or is it already too late?
What could we expect with a Biden presidency and what would it mean for America?
Join our jargon-free, virtual Q&A with guest expert Prof. Noelle Selin of the MIT Institute for Data, Systems and Society; MIT Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences; and MIT Technology and Policy Program. Together, we’ll unpack where the world stands with climate change today and what we can expect in the years to come.
Send us your questions before and during the event:
Text or leave a voicemail at (617) 398-0051 so we can play your question during the event! Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our guest expert:
Prof. Noelle Selin is Associate Professor in the Institute for Data, Systems and Society and in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. She also serves as the Director of MIT's Technology and Policy Program. Her research uses modeling and analysis to inform sustainability decision-making, focusing on issues involving air pollution, climate change and hazardous substances such as mercury.
Join a live, interactive forum with Susan Solomon, Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies in the MIT Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.
Solomon's talk, "Climate Change Science and Policy: Hope For Our Planet," will spotlight advancements made towards better climate policy in recent years. After the talk, Solomon will field questions from participants. Closed captioning will be available.
About Susan Solomon:
Susan Solomon is internationally recognized as a leader in atmospheric science, particularly for her insights in explaining the cause of the Antarctic ozone "hole". She and her colleagues have made important contributions to understanding chemistry/climate coupling, including leading research on the irreversibility of global warming linked to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, and on the influence of the ozone hole on the climate of the southern hemisphere. Her current focus is on issues relating to both atmospheric chemistry and climate change
Join us for a special MIT Faculty Forum Online webcast to discuss the Mars 2020 Perseverance Mission ahead of its scheduled landing in February 2021.
In this interactive forum, Professors Tanja Bosak and Ben Weiss, both investigators for the mission and members of the 10-person Returned Sample Science team, will discuss site selection for the landing, exploration of the Jezero Crater for signs of ancient life, the capabilities of the Perseverance Rover, and the prospect of returning rock and soil samples from Mars. Moderator: Fatima Husain SM '18, Graduate Student, EAPS.
This event is open to the entire MIT community. The talk will be live-captioned and an archive made available on the MIT Alumni Association YouTube channel within a week of airing.
About Mars 2020
Launched in July 2020, the Mars 2020 mission will search for signs of past microbial life, characterizing the planet's climate and geology, and will be the first planetary mission to collect and cache Martian rock core and dust samples. Subsequent missions, currently under consideration by NASA (in conjunction with the European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these cached samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis...[more]
About Tanja Bosak
Tanja Bosak is the lead for the Returned Sample Science team. She is a Professor of Geobiology at MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. She is an experimental geobiologist, and her work integrates microbiology, sedimentology and stable isotope geochemistry to ask how microbes shape sedimentary rocks, become fossilized or leave organic, mineral and chemical signals in sediments. Professor Bosak obtained her B. Sc. in Geophysics from the University of Zagreb and her Ph.D. in Geobiology from the California Institute of Technology...[more]
About Ben Weiss
Benjamin Weiss is Professor of Planetary Sciences and chair of the Program in Planetary Sciences at MIT. His research concerns the formation, evolution, and history of the terrestrial planets and small bodies, with particular interests in paleomagnetism and geomagnetism, planetary geophysics, meteoritics, and planetary paleoclimate and habitability. He studies meteorites and samples from extraterrestrial bodies to understand the history of these planetary geophysical and geochemical processes. He joined the MIT faculty in 2004...[more]
About Fatima Husain SM '18
Fatima Husain is the host of MIT Abstracts and is a graduate student in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT. In her research, Fatima applies geobiology and geochemistry to study ancient climates and environments and phylogenomics to study the history of evolution of microbes on Earth. Husain graduated from the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing in 2018, and worked as MIT's Curiosity Correspondent before pursuing her graduate studies. Husain has reported on the Mars2020 mission for MIT EAPS News, PBS NOVA, and for other science communication efforts.