Collaborative Research: ORCC: Carbon Fixation in Future Oceans: Experimental Adaptation of Algal and Cyanobacterial CO2-concentrating Mechanisms to a Changing Climate

Lead PI: Dr. Sarah J Hurley , Wing, Boswell A

Unit Affiliation: Biology and Paleo Environment, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

January 2023 - December 2025
Africa ; South Africa
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: Despite intense scientific scrutiny, the relative importance of different physical processes in driving Arctic amplification (AA) remains uncertain. Most studies to date to understand these processes have focused on long time scales (e.g., multidecadal and longer). This project, in contrast, focuses on the short time scales of AA. More specifically, the project will test the hypothesis that rapid adjustments to external forcing ? which are the response to the forcing that is independent of global mean surface temperature change ? are fundamental to the occurrence of AA. This hypothesis will be tested by analyzing a series of new and existing global climate model (GCM) simulations. The project will provide the most systematic investigation to date of the role of rapid adjustments in AA, potentially transforming current understanding of AA and its underlying physical mechanisms. The project will also enhance understanding of rapid adjustments more generally, including how they differ between CO2 and non-CO2 forcings, and how they depend on the method used to define them (e.g., ?Gregory? regression versus fixed sea surface temperature GCM simulations). The new GCM simulations created for the project will be made freely available to the scientific community, thus contributing to scientific discovery beyond the scope of the project.

BROADER IMPACTS: This project will train a postdoctoral researcher and a Ph.D. student. It will contribute to the professional development of a female, first-time investigator, and early career researcher in collaboration with a senior scientist. It will increase the exposure of underrepresented groups to marine climate change science in three ways. First it will support the operation and improvement of a mentoring program (GEMS) designed to increase diversity in climate related fields to promote innovative solutions to societal challenges. The GEMS program provides undergraduate students interested in pursuing graduate degrees in climate, Earth, ocean, geobiological, and biogeochemical sciences (broadly defined) with mentors to support their career development through the graduate program and fellowship application process. Second the project will further support a summer undergraduate intern at Lamont to improve the GEMS matching algorithm and graphical user interface. Finally the project will provide a research framework for three summer interns through CU Boulder’s Summer Multicultural Access to Research and Training program.


National Science Foundation




U of Colorado Boulder