“Doomsday Glacier” in Antartica
Mekki Bayachou was teaching his students about the physical chemistry of global warming when a National Public Radio story gave him a crazy idea.
The piece covered the arrival of the science ship and icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer to Antarctica where it would be conducting one of the first comprehensive studies of the Thwaites Glacier, nicknamed the “Doomsday” glacier because the massive amount of water trapped in it could drastically impact sea levels globally if it fully melted.
The expedition is part of a five-year collaboration between the U.S. National Science Foundation and the UK Natural Environment Research Council to collect data and analyze the rapid changes occurring on the glacier and in the surrounding ocean.
Chemistry Professor Bayachou thought the mission would make a tremendous real-world example for his class and reached out to try and set up a class discussion with the scientists. Amazingly, given the communications challenges involved, he succeeded.
During the live call-in and Q&A, scientists discussed their efforts aboard the research vessel and the potential negative impacts that could occur as the Thwaites Glacier recedes and potentially breaks down.
“This real-time class interaction with scientists on the front lines in Antarctica is a fantastic embodiment of engaged student learning,” says Dr. Bayachou. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to illustrate to students the real-world impact of climate change.”
Northeast Ohio marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuyahoga River igniting.
Cleveland State, with its prime location near the river and Lake Erie, is joining in the celebration.
Through research, conservation and other means, CSU faculty, staff, students and alumni are focusing their energies on this most precious natural resource.