University of Wisconsin–Madison

Science with a Passion; Life and Death on a Remote Pacific Reef

A robust crowd of citizens, scientists, and climate-curious individuals were on hand to hear Dr. Kim Cobb deliver the keynote address at the 2018 Climate Change Symposium on Thursday, February 22, 2018. The annual event hosted by the Nelson Institute poses the question of how global climate change will affect the ways in which we live and interact with the world.

Dr. Cobb’s extensive experience studying oceanographic climate models of El Niño events and coral reefs as a professor of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology made her the ideal choice for the annual event hosted by the Nelson Institute that poses the question of how global climate change will affect the ways in which we live and interact with the world.

Much of Cobb’s work focused on one specific reef, the Kiritimati Island reef, which is also the largest coral atoll in the world. The goal of her studies is to understand how oceans were affected by past El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events and construct a model of past ocean climates. Her work began in 1997 when she found this research site and she has returned to the reef nearly every year since.

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