Faculty Lecture Series Continues with Mea Cook

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., February 9, 2018—Mea Cook, associate professor of geosciences, will present the second lecture in Williams College’s annual Faculty Lecture Series on Thursday, Feb. 15. The talk will take place in Wege Auditorium at 4:15 p.m. and will be followed by a reception in Schow Atrium. It is free and open to the public.

In her lecture, Cook will discuss “Carbon Dioxide and Ice Age Cycles” and the key role played by oceans in absorbing carbon dioxide emitted from fossil fuel burning and deforestation. The oceans absorb about one third of these emissions, but the anthropogenic carbon dioxide that remains in the atmosphere is causing warming that is increasing with continued emissions. She will describe the processes that control the movement of carbon dioxide between the ocean and the atmosphere, and how this balance varied naturally through time. She will explain what we know about the large changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration with the rise and fall of ice age cycles, and how this informs our understanding of future evolution of the ocean’s response to emissions.

Cook earned a B.A. in geosciences from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in marine geology and geophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution joint program in oceanography. At Williams, she teaches courses on oceanography, climate change, and environmental science. In her research, she studies the ocean’s role in natural climate variability on timescales ranging from decades to hundreds of thousands of years.

The Faculty Lecture Series will continue on Feb. 22 with economics professor Jon Bakija, who will discuss “Tax Policy in the Age of Trump (and Beyond).”

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