A Large Sea Rig

980 Words Nov 16th, 2015 4 Pages
A large sea rig, reaching almost 500 feet long, sails the remote areas of the ocean supporting a large Eiffel tower like structure aboard called a Derrick. The ship, named Joides Resolution, carries practically a whole village: complete with electricians, diesel mechanics, drillers, a captain and his crew, and a bunch of nerdy scientists. These “nerdy scientists” have one objective: to recover deep-sea sediment from the ocean floor in order to attain an age model to reconstruct the earth’s climate.

By analyzing microscopic shelled organisms from the ocean floor, associate professor Daniel Clay Kelly of UW-Madison’s Department of Geoscience, can study these samples, which show age, acidity, ocean temperatures, and carbon dioxide levels. From his research, he has found that the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen almost 30% since 1960 and from 2011 has risen almost 2%; these huge increases are causing catastrophic damage to the planet.

“So if this was a patient in the intensive care unit, and you were monitoring their pulse, they basically just had a heart attack,” said Kelly.

Kelly is able to use deep-sea sediment records as an archive of the Earth’s climate, which spans the last 170 million years of earth’s history.

“As paleontologists and geologists, we know the rock record is incomplete,” said Kelly. “It’s like a book and a lot of the pages have been torn out. But as you go around from place to place you can find the pages that are missing in…
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