Dissolving Before Our Eyes: Ocean Acidification and Why it Matters to Floridians
Dr. Hastings' research focuses on using minor and trace elements in the marine environment as a tool for understanding the history of past climate change and marine biogeochemical processes, as well as the history and severity of anthropogenic contamination. Dr. Hastings' primary research interest is paleoclimatology, which is to reveal the history of past climate changes. He is exploring the utility of a proxy for sea surface temperature based on the incorporation of Mg and Sr into the shells of foraminifera, a ubiquitous marine protist, as well as other microfossils such as ostracods, The reconstruction of ocean temperature is an essential component in understanding the controls of past and future climate change throughout Earth's history. The beauty of this method is that by measuring 18O on the same sample – a standard procedure - we can also determine changes in salinity, which can be directly related to central climate processes including meltwater discharge and evaporation/precipitation. Currently, he is focusing on rapid climate changes in the Gulf of Mexico during the deglacial period, to determine how the timing meltwater pulses relates to possible changes in thermohaline circulation.