Science On Tap: To the Top of the World: Measuring toxic mercury in the Arctic Ocean

Feb 22 @ 7:00pm

FREE EVENT in the Crepe Place garden!

Outdoor event, so please dress accordingly. Call 831-429-6994 for reservations.

Katlin Bowman

Postdoctoral Researcher in Oceanography at the University of California, Santa Cruz

Title: To the Top of the World: Measuring toxic mercury in the Arctic Ocean
Abstract: Many predatory marine mammals and seabirds in the Arctic contain high levels of mercury, a toxic metal known to disrupt neurological, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems. Levels of mercury in marine mammals vary throughout different regions of the Arctic pointing to a number of possible sources, however, due to the remoteness and extreme conditions at the top of the world, there is little data to fully understand mercury cycling in the Arctic Ocean. In 2015 a team of 50 scientists from across the United States spent over two months on a Coast Guard icebreaker to map the chemistry of the Arctic Ocean from Dutch Harbor, Alaska to the North Pole. In addition to mercury, dozens of elements were measured to document the chemistry of the Arctic Ocean so we may understand how warming temperatures and disappearing ice cover will change Arctic ecosystems this coming century.