The Telluride Science Reasearch Center Tuesday Town talks are back! The season kicks off with a scientist-explorer Dr. Ted Maksym of the British Antarctic Survey. His presentation, “In the Footsteps of Shackleton: A natural history of Antarctic sea ice” will be held from 6:00 to 7:15 pm, Tuesday, June 21, 2011, in the Palm Theatre in the Telluride Middle School/High School.
Maksym is an expert in Antarctic sea ice, which covers 8.5% of the world’s oceans in the winter. Maksym's current research measures the thickness of Antarctic sea ice to understand more about the influence of climate change. Surface area can be imaged by satellite, but scientists need information on the thickness of sea ice to understand more precisely if it’s growing, melting, or moving.
Sea ice also unlocks mysteries about Earth's biodiversity. Ice floes function as floating habitats for some of our favorite species (penguins, seals and polar bears), and as tiny ecosystems composed of bacteria and algae which flourish in fissures within the ice itself.
And it contains critical information for astrobiology, a field of study that explores the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. “Sea ice is used as a proxy habitat for studying what life might be like on other worlds, for instance, on some of the moons of Jupiter or Saturn,” Maksym says.
Information discovered in sea ice can crack open hidden worlds in climate change, biodiversity, and our solar system. Come discover Antarctica and sea ice for yourself at the Town Talk this Tuesday. Call Nana Naisbitt, TSRC executive director at 970-708-0004 for more information or visit this link.
The 2011 Town Talk season will be held every Tuesday evening from June 21st through August 2nd (except July 19) and is produced by the Telluride Science Research Center. The talks are free, but donations are encouraged.