Energy Research at the University of Washington

Steven Emerson

Energy Research Area: I study the carbon cycle of the ocean with an emphasis on the mechanisms of atmosphere-ocean CO2 exchange. Since this exchange process greatly influences the atmospheric concentration of this greenhouse gas, we’d like to understand ocean feedback as the climate warms in response to global increases in anthropogenic CO2.

College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences
College of the Environment

About one third of the fossil-fuel-generated CO2 that humans release to the atmosphere as a result of industrial processes ends up in the ocean by transfer across the atmosphere-ocean interface. Part of the ocean invasion is controlled by physical mechanisms of gas transfer and part is controlled by the biological creation of organic and inorganic carbon and its flux to the deep sea. We are actively involved in the study of these mechanisms with an emphasis on the biological “carbon pump” of the ocean. As the globe warms in response to increased atmospheric pCO2 it will be essential to understand these mechanisms so that the feed back of these oceanic processes can be assessed.

Emerson and Students
Emerson and Students

Campus and Other Collaborators/Partners

Record last updated on November 28th 2011 PDT.