FSU receives $2.6 million NSF grant for climate study

Kevin Speer

Florida State University has been awarded a grant through the National Science Foundation with a total request of $2.6 million. The funds will be used to study the effects of the Southern Ocean—the ocean surrounding Antarctica—on the Earth’s climate.

In announcing the award, U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, D-North Florida, said, "The commitment of the federal government to fund research at FSU recognizes the high-quality work and research that is under way at the university. The potential of scientific research knows no bounds.

"Now, more than ever," Boyd continued, "we must support a robust research effort to advance our understanding of climate change, and I applaud FSU for being at the forefront of this issue."

The project is titled "Collaborative Research: DIMES, Diapycnal and Isopycnal Mixing in the Southern Ocean." Graduate and undergraduate students at FSU and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, located at the University of California, San Diego, will take part in the research.

"DIMES is an exciting project to measure the nature of deep upwelling in the Southern Ocean and infer its role in Earth’s changing climate," said Kevin Speer, a professor of oceanography at FSU and principal investigator of the DIMES project. "The partnership between FSU, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the University of Washington, Scripps and the United Kingdom includes floats, current meters, dye-tracing experiments and small-scale turbulence observations."

The FSU contribution has two components, Speer said.

"One is focused on acoustically tracked instruments called floats that drift nearly a mile deep, and return periodically to the surface to radio back information about the environment. The other is ocean turbulence measurements."

Additional details about DIMES can be found at dimes.ucsd.edu, and more information on the grant can be found here.

This project is a contribution to the U.S. Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) program. U.S. CLIVAR is an international and interdisciplinary research effort within the World Climate Research Programme that focuses on the variability and predictability of the climate system.