Irina Marinov: Deep Ocean Current May Slow Due to Climate Change

Irina Marinov. Credit: University of Pennsylvania

Irina Marinov, of the Department of Earth and Environmental Science and the University of Pennsylvania, is an author on a recent study that shows how ‘conveyor belts’ in the ocean may be slowing due to climate change.

Irina studies how the Earth’s climate will change in the future by working with climate models. Her work is particularly focused on the role of the oceans in global heat and carbon cycling.

Heather Graham speaking in the evening session of the 2012 FameLab regionals, held at National Geographic in Washington DC.

Here is another highlight from the ladies of FameLab. This is a great presentation from Heather Graham (no, not that Heather Graham) Thomson talking about what it’s like to be part of the 1% (no, not that 1%). Heather gave this fantastic talk at the 2012 regional competition at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC.

This is another highlight from past years of the FameLab competition supported by NASA’s Astrobiology Program. Aomawa Shields presents in front of a public audience during the evening competition of the 2012 regional competition in Denver.

This year’s national competition for FameLab is now over… so we thought we’d celebrate by featuring some of the highlights from previous years. Here is Rebecca Turk MacLeod, from the 2012 FameLab Astrobiology competition in Houston, with her Preliminary Round performance.

      Julienne Stroeve

Julienne Stroeve specializes in studying snow and ice remotely in the visible, infrared, and microwave wavelengths. Stroeve recently took part in a study showing that the melt season for Arctic sea ice is lengthening. The melt season is starting earlier, and this means the Arcitic Ocean is absorbing more solar radiation… resulting in more melting of the Arctic ice cap.

Julienne Stroeve. Credit: UC Boulder

"The lengthening of the melt season is allowing for more of the sun’s energy to get stored in the ocean and increase ice melt during the summer, overall weakening the sea ice cover." - Julienne Stroeve, NASA Press Release

"Alas, with organic aerosol formation, plants have yet another way of hiding themselves from our detection by promoting cloud formation."

- Nancy Kiang, of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, on detecting plants on distant worlds. 

A recent study shows that plants are the source of naturally occurring aerosol particles (called climate-active organic aerosols), which promote cloud formation.

      How to Get Girls to Choose, and Stick With, STEM Careers

This is a really interesting article from Slate discussing how to narrow the gender gap in STEM industries.
When Ashley Gavin wants to convince girls to start computer science or coding careers, she shows them her high-school report card. Biology: F. Math: straight Ds. An MIT computer science major who now writes the curriculum for the non-profit Girls Who Code, Gavin never even took calculus. But after a…

Anyone excited for a mission to Titan? The Planetary Lake lander is in its second year of funding from the Astrobiology Program. In this video, Dr. Nathalie Cabrol explains how updates to software and sensors will change to prototype robot. 

Kepler Art of Discovery – Art Contest

NASA Astrobiology
Kepler Art of Discovery – Art Contest Announcement (March 10 – May 5, 2014)
As part of the celebration of, and to help commemorate, the 5th Anniversary of NASA’s Kepler Mission, (which launched in March 2009), this art contest will be open to artists from the age of 13 through adult.  They will be encouraged to submit their creative artwork that depicts, or relates to, the exciting discoveries made possible by the Kepler Mission space craft and its team of scientists and engineers. 
The best artwork, selected by a combination of participants’ votes and expert judges’ scores, will be displayed as the Top 100 in the Gallery of the Art of Discovery website.  For more information about the art contest, visit:
Contact information: Gary Nakagiri, EPO specialist, SETI Institute/Kepler Mission
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Skeptic Check: Paleo Diet

This podcast from the SETI Institute features Louise Humphrey, an Archeologist from the Natural History Museum in London. Really interesting take on the history of (human) life… and a diet that is all the rage today. 

Dr Louise Humphrey. Credit: Natural History Museum of London

Dr. Rosalba Bonaccorsi of NASA has been studying Ubehebe Crater for years, looking at the geological markers of molten magma and groundwater contact, and the subsequent erosion and sediment forming at it’s bottom. Finding similar features on Mars helps understand evidence of water and volcanic activity on the planet, and perhaps places to find evidence of life. Image credit: Robert Fullton