In our current political system, science is not celebrated or even believed. However, science is needed to understand how we are changing the climate, and the impacts that change will have on us. This semester, I’ve been working with several amazing environmental scientists and helping with their research. One scientist, Dr. Branwen Williams, does research on algae and corals. Dr. Williams’ research hopes to determine how climate has changed in the past, to show how we are changing it in the present. I’ve been working with algae skeletons that were collected above the arctic circle. Algae grows in layers, like a tree ring, and each layer can be used to show changes in the ocean as it was growing. We use instruments like mass spectrometers to figure out what and how many elements are present. We can then use it as a proxy to show what past climates were like. Dr. Williams uses this research to show how the ocean changes on its own, which can be used to show how we are changing it through fossil fuel burning.
Federal funding for science is being drastically cut by the new administration, and not even the head of the EPA believes in science about climate change. However, it is apparent that now is the time when we should be investing in this kind of research. Not only is it important for our future, but it’s also just really cool.