Posts Tagged «projects»

Naturally produced brominated organic compounds are ubiquitous in the oceans and are thought to be largely responsible for the formation of the Antarctic “ozone hole” in Spring. In order to accurately model and forecast global ozone and the climate, it is critical to include reactive bromine and brominated organic compounds (bromocarbons). However, bromocarbon measurements for the Antarctic are limited, especially during Spring.

In this pilot project (funded through the NASA Exobiology program) our Astrobiology team (PI: Karen Junge, Polar Science Center, APL, UW; postdoc: Ardith Bravenec, UW Earth and Space Science, graduate student Kaitlin Harrison, UW oceanography, both associated with the UW Astrobiology program) will join with the Navy as it conducts its biennial Ice Exercise (ICEX2024 – Operation ICE WHALE) this March (2024, see Fox News video) on sea ice off the coast of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. We will study how microbes, temperature, and salt content affect the biological and freezing equilibrium signatures of this system with relevance to Enceladus and Europa while also training junior scientists in astrobiology-related field and laboratory work. Liquid water is essential to life as we know it.