Harry Elderfield is a marine geochemist and leads a climate science group within the Department. In this photo, a researcher working with Harry is deploying a plankton net off the RRS (Royal Research Ship) Charles Darwinin the southwest Indian Ocean near Madagascar, to catch foraminifera (pictured below, magnified) and other zooplankton.
In these days of soaring CO2 and impending climate change, it is vital to understand what Earth's climate has been like in the past and what role the ocean and biogeochemical cycles play in its control. Studying the oxygen isotope composition of foraminifera can provide clues about ocean temperature in the past. For example, we have discovered that the Earth's climate has cooled by 15ºC over the last 60 million year.
Harry Elderfield teaches geochemistry and climate science. He is a fellow of St Catherine's College.
Last updated on 18-Jan-12 10:16