UT researcher heads out on drill ship to study Earth’s past

A UT researcher set sail on a drilling ship and is looking to dig up some answers about earth’s past in order to shed light on the future. 

"It’s very busy, there are no breaks, but it’s a lot of fun. We are the first people to look at these sediments and rocks and they tell us how the earth has changed in the past," said Chris Lowery a UT Research associate.

Lowery is one of the many scientists from across the world onboard the Joides Resolution, a drill ship which Is set up in the Atlantic Ocean. For the next two months, Lowery will study core samples taken 500 meters into the sea floor. 

"It’s a part of the ocean where we don’t really have good records."

What he’ll be observing is called ocean Circulation and will help see how conditions were more than 60 million years ago. 

"This is really important to study because it tells us how the ocean responds to changing climate. We can look in the past 60 million years when climate was warm for a long period of time and then about 35 million years ago it started getting colder you had the ice ages." 

By studying the past Lowery said it can give us an idea of how the earth may change in the future. 

"Understanding how ocean circulation went from warm to cold will help us understand ocean circulation in the future if we go back from cold to warm."

"What’s really cool about this is we are the first people to lay eyes on this thing, and it really is like a sense of discovery. It’s exactly why I got into science it’s so much fun."