Currents of Climate

Currents of Climate Change, written by 9th-grade integrated science teacher and Fund for Teachers research grant winner Megan Frayne, was born from the question: how can we get the youth of today invested in preserving our environment and seeking solutions to the climate change issues we are presented with if they are not invested in the environment to begin with?

Currents of Climate Change is a project aimed at tracing the physical flow of glacial melt waters from the Greenlandic Ice sheet, into the Atlantic Ocean currents, and back to us here in Connecticut. Ultimately, by connecting Norwich Free Academy students with authentic local and state level research experiences, in addition to top scientists in the Arctic, we can begin to make a difference!

Please subscribe to this blog to stay involved. Be sure to follow @nfaschool on Instagram and Twitter. You can also follow @currentsofclimate on Instagram, for additional photos and information for how you can help. Questions? email Ms. Frayne during her trip at fraynem@nfaschool.org.

I've dreaded this moment for awhile now. For over a year I've been following the progress of the fracture along the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica. The images coming from the flyovers were incredible. Here was this gash across the ice shelf, an ominous warning of what to come. But the iceberg that was just produced from Larsen C is not important for the reasons you might think. At the moment, most scientists in the field are hesitant to say that this event had roots in climate change. That might be true, but it certainly is a red flag that the ice shelves in Antarctica are destabilizing---both by natural means, and due to anthropogenic (or human) contributions to climate change. 

The ice shelves around Antarctica are already what we consider as sea ice. Meaning, that entire shelf, while anchored to the continent of Antarctica, is essentially floating atop the Southern Ocean. As the ocean warms, which it is steadily doing (see coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef for more evidence), that warm water gets underneath and chips away at the ice shelves. BUT! Sea ice will not be a contributor to sea level rise. That is reserved for land ice. 

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I'm staring out across the ice sheet again. It's become an obsession. It just never ends. If I squint I swear the white of the sheet and the white of the clouds just merge into one infinite entity. I ponder the same deep, existential thoughts I've been wrestling with for a day or so now. 

No other human has walked here before and probably never will

It makes me stop and take in a sharp breath of the crisp Arctic air. The wind is up today. I'd been enjoying a balmy -20C temp (-4F) for a bit now, the wind has even my New England blood freezing a bit. Without any shelter the tips of my fingers are starting to go towards frostbite levels quite quickly despite multiple layering. 

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Recently the New York Times ran an excellent story on climate change that puts things into terms everyone can understand. So without further ado, here is the link below. Please give it a read! It really is great at tackling big questions. 

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