Georgia Institute of Technology: Georgia Tech Leading in the Quest for Ocean Solutions

From a fishing community on the Mediterranean Sea to a research institution in a landlocked city four hours from the Atlantic, the quest to find solutions for challenges in our oceans has taken Georgia Tech’s Emanuele “Manu” Di Lorenzo on an interesting path in life. He has founded the Ocean Science and Engineering program at Georgia Tech and the Ocean Visions consortium — both of which are dedicated to connecting research and ocean solutions to the research partners, investors, and stakeholders who can put those solutions into action at scale. The size of the climate change problems we face demands these coordinated efforts, connections, and actions. Learn more: c.gatech.edu/ocean-solutions

Earth’s average surface temperature has risen approximately 2.12 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 1800s — most of that rise in the past 40 years, according to NASA. That’s due in large part to the increase of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, caused by human activity. This has led oceans to warm, ice sheets to melt, and sea levels to rise faster — and it has accelerated the frequency of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes.

When it comes to facing these challenges, “It’s all hands — and all solutions — on deck,” says Susan Lozier, dean and Betsy Middleton and John Clark Sutherland Chair in the College of Sciences at Georgia Tech and president of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). “While we as scientists continue to embrace discovery science, we need to more fully embrace solution space.”

Georgia Tech faculty across a number of disciplines are working on projects in ocean science and engineering aimed at identifying, projecting, mitigating, and even reversing the effects of climate change. Many of these researchers are doing so in conjunction with Georgia Tech’s Ocean Science and Engineering (OSE) program and its founding director, Emanuele “Manu” Di Lorenzo, professor of ocean and climate dynamics.

Though the OSE program is relatively new — accepting its first students in 2017 — it has attracted attention for its ability to coordinate and integrate the ocean systems work being done at Georgia Tech and beyond to solve significant problems. “There is a new cohort of people who are needed — problem-solvers of Earth climate, and this involves the ocean,” Di Lorenzo says. “Our hope is that through the OSE program, we will provide students with the tools and the knowledge and resources to be active players as new ocean leaders. This goes beyond them being researchers.”

Read more about the Georgia Tech scientists, engineers, and researchers who are working to reverse the effects of climate change and harness the power of the world’s oceans.

ADDITIONAL VIDEOS

The drive to find solutions for the biggest environmental issues on the planet often leads to our oceans, and most of the answers to these challenges will only be realized by engaging the energy and ideas from all backgrounds and all perspectives. Georgia Tech’s Susan Lozier is a global leader in physical oceanography, dean of the College of Sciences, president of the American Geophysical Union, and leads the NSF-funded OSNAP: Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program. Her hope when facing the daunting task of reversing climate change lies in the commitment and dedication she sees in a diversifying pool of early career scientists.

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