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Climate Change and Ocean Circulation Systems

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Date and time
Monday, September 28, 2020
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Dr. Bower explains the structure and dynamics of deep ocean currents and the vital role of these currents in maintaining the Earth’s climate. She discusses the concern among climate and ocean scientists about one of the major systems, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) and the implications of a slowdown in that system. Dr. Bower also describes the technical challenges of measuring systems like the AMOC.

Physical oceanographer Amy Bower and her team set out in September 2007 aboard the research vessel Knorr to install an experimental device in the Labrador Sea. It is designed to wait for certain currents to flow by and then launch monitoring floats into them. Growing up near the sea, Bower was at home in and fascinated by the natural world. In graduate school she was diagnosed with macular degeneration--a progressive eye disease resulting in loss of central vision. Legally blind, she uses adaptive technologies such as text reading and magnification software to pursue a scientific career (including more than a dozen research cruises in which she has dodged hurricanes in the Atlantic and modern-day pirates in the Indian Ocean) and a life outside of work in which she skis, sails, and promotes activities for the visually impaired community. In 2003, the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Mass., named her Blind Employee of the Year in Massachusetts. On her Labrador Sea cruise, she built in an innovative outreach project with students and teachers at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass.

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