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Humans and the Ocean: Part II: The great carbon dioxide experiment

ocean fall 21

We conclude the fall 2019 course — Humans and the Ever-Changing Coast — in an addendum expanded to four weeks. What happens in the ocean as humans perform the “experiment” of adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere? We begin with an overview of how life extracted huge amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, and then buried some of it in muddy banks over many millions of years. This process changed the planet, making an oxygen-rich atmosphere that made possible our course’s iconic duo from yesteryear: Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne. They arrive to withdraw buried carbon from the bank at industrial scale, making machines go and saving whales, but also releasing carbon dioxide to upshift the blue planet into more of a greenhouse. We’ll emphasize how this release can make the seas warm, rise, and sour — changing the comfort level for its various inhabitants — and discuss how such effects are predicted, tested, and documented. These topics supplement the material covered in the fall 2019 course, though it is not a prerequisite. 

Instructor Larry Mayer was a professor of oceanography at the University of Maine. He taught at the Darling Marine Center and elsewhere, on topics similar to this course, in pre-K to senior college formats. Larry’s research field is marine biogeochemistry, which means that he wanders  among the fields of oceanography, biology, geology and chemistry. He assists with citizen science efforts in lakes and estuaries.

Members must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to register for this in-person class.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 9:30 AM until Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 12:00 PM
Darling Center, library classroom
193 Clarks Cove
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Larry M Mayer
Fall 2021
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
You must be an active CSC member to register for this course.
Cancellation Policy:
A member may cancel a course registration up to 3 days prior to the start of class and will receive a course credit that can be used for a future registration. No refunds will be given.
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