BIOS and US university join forces to research climate change
An island research organisation has teamed up with a US university to study the role of the ocean in climate change.
The Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences has joined forces with Arizona State University’s Global Futures Laboratory to carry out the work.
Bill Curry, the president and CEO of BIOS, said: “For BIOS, the merger with ASU provides an excellent growth opportunity by providing a stable career pathway for our scientists, a large pool of excellent undergraduate and graduate students and talented engineers for developing the sensors and robotic systems needed to monitor the inevitable changes in the ocean during the coming decades.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled about this opportunity to join with ASU.”
Michael Crow, the university’s president, said: “Our partnership with BIOS points to the growing awareness of the critical role ocean health plays in Earth’s ability to cope with rising CO2 levels and other human impacts.
“When you couple the science-based efforts at BIOS in the Atlantic to our Centre for Global Discovery and Conservation Science efforts led by Greg Asner in the Pacific, a clearer picture of the overall ocean dynamics and health will begin to come into full view.
“We expect that this new partnership will be a huge benefit to all Earth scientists seeking a clearer and more concise view of the state of the planet.”
A BIOS spokeswoman said the organisation had studied changing conditions in the Atlantic for years, but that the partnership would help to “amplify” its work.
Researchers in Bermuda have collected statistics from the Atlantic for more than 100 years.
The research will be linked to ASU researchers in the Pacific where Hawaii-based researchers have worked to map the ocean and coral reefs.
BIOS and ASU said it was also intended to develop collaborative research projects that spanned a range of land and marine environments and improve sensor and sampling systems used to monitor the environment.
The collaboration will also provide additional training and research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students, with the BIOS campus integrated into ASU’s educational and research initiatives.
Peter Schlosser, the university’s vice-president and vice provost of the Global Futures Laboratory, said: “From ASU’s perspective, it is critical to add the study of the ocean to the expertise of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory so that we can explore possible future states of our planet in a holistic fashion.
“Given the central role the ocean plays in the dynamics of the Earth system, this is not possible without a strong ocean programme – after all, Earth is the water planet.”
Mr Schlosser added that it was important not only to look at how the oceans affected the world’s heat and carbon levels, but also to understand how it reacted to problems such as global warming, ocean acidification and plastic waste.
He said: “Our partnership with BIOS will provide a vital link to peer into the ocean, assess its health to see how well it is handling these stressors and to explore what options we have to solve the problems we have already created and anticipate future pressures in order to avoid them altogether.
“Adding a strong ocean programme to our capacity in the Global Futures Laboratory will enhance our ability to see the planet more as an intimately interactive system, rather than a conglomeration of disparate parts.”