Paleoceanography

Meet Paleoceonographer, Dr Heather Ford from Queen Mary University London.   What is Paleoceanography you ask? Great question. It's the study of the oceans as they were in the past, how currents moved about, the chemistry, biology, geology and productivity.   


As a paleoceanographer, Dr Ford uses the geochemistry of microfossils called formanifera from marine sediment to reconstruct past ocean conditions. The oceans play a central role in the climate system, and marine sediment from the ocean provides a rich archive of past climate.   Determining past ocean conditions will help us to understand how the oceans will cope with human inputs and increasing carbon content.  


So where do you start and what timeframe does she use as a reference point? The Pliocene Warm Period about 3 million years ago which experienced the same carbon levels as today.  To see more of Dr Ford's work check out her website: https://www.heatherlford.com/