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Seminar: Dr. David DeMaster, NCSU
September 28, 2016 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Seminar Title: Climate Change in High Latitudes: Benthic Responses and Labile Carbon Inventories under Collapsed Ice Shelves
Presenter Affiliation: Dept. of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University (NCSU)
Summary: High latitude environments, such as the Antarctic Peninsula, exhibit some of the most apparent responses to Global Climate Change on the planet. In this study my research group is examining the benthic response to Climate-Change-induced ice shelf collapse on the Larsen A and Larsen B shelves (eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula). When an ice shelf collapses, light is able to penetrate the nutrient-rich water column in some cases for the first time in 100,000 years. Light penetration throughout the euphotic zone stimulates primary production in these collapsed ice shelf environments, and this signal of freshly produced planktonic organic matter (i.e., labile organic) is transmitted to the seafloor, which prior to ice shelf collapse was a biological desert (only old refractory organic matter accumulating). Our research documents the accumulation of planktonic organic matter (labile) in the seabed following ice shelf collapse. Naturally occurring C-14 is used to resolve the labile and refractory components of organic matter in the seabed, and the inventory of this labile reactive material (primary benthic food source) is determined as a function of time since ice shelf collapse.