Rutgers University-New Brunswick doctoral candidate Ryan Glaubke attended the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) 2022 Fall Meeting (December 2022) in Chicago, Ill, to present his latest research on the oceanographic history of the South Indian Ocean. Ryan is a paleoceanographer and paleoclimatologist whose work explores the ocean’s role in the last great example of major global climate change—Earth’s transition out of the last Ice Age approximately 20,000 years ago. Ryan’s latest results suggest deep ocean waters rose to the surface of the South Indian Ocean early in the planet’s deglacial period after being sequestered in the deep sea for thousands of years. While an important source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, these deep waters also contained a great amount of salt, an important source of buoyancy that drives the global network of ocean currents that help mediate the planet’s climate. As such, Ryan’s work suggests glacial deep waters are an underappreciated source of salt that may have helped reinvigorate this “great ocean conveyor” and propel Earth into the warm interglacial state we enjoy today.
Ryan noted, “the AGU Fall Meeting is the world’s largest congregation of Earth and Space scientists, policymakers, journalists, and communicators who come together each year to share research results, network, and strategize next steps in the community’s shared effort to help understand and foster a healthy planet.” He let RCI know that participating in the meeting provided opportunities for him to engage with his international collaborators, make new connections, and discuss ideas that will help establish a research life beyond his PhD. “I always get a jolt of inspiration and motivation after attending the AGU meeting,” Ryan said. “There’s nothing more galvanizing than being surrounding by smart, passionate, and engaging people with the common goal of understanding and preserving our planet.”