Image of the Week: Diving for Foraminifera

Image of the Week: Diving for Foraminifera

 

Bärbel Hönisch

Oceanographer Bärbel Hönisch collects free-floating planktic foraminifer—single-celled marine organisms with calcite shells—off the coast of Puerto Rico as part of a project involving researchers from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Australian National University. The team studied the effect of ancient seawater chemistry on the chemical composition of plankton shells, one of the tools paleoceanographers use to reconstruct climate change from the fossils contained in seafloor sediments.

In this video, Hönisch explains how scientists use ancient shells from the sea floor to understand how ocean chemistry has changed over time and might continue to change in the future.