[Text appears on screen: Where does half the world’s oxygen come from?]
[Music plays and image changes to show Nick looking out from a hill top over a valley]
Nick Roden: I’m Nick and I’m an oceanographer. I study the chemical changes that are happening to our ocean as a result of our carbon dioxide emissions, otherwise knowns as ocean acidification.
[Image changes to show Nick working with scientific equipment]
Most of my work is done in the Southern Ocean and around Antarctica.
[Image changes to show a large iceberg]
I’ve spent nearly two years of my life doing field work in some of the coldest and most remote places on the planet.
[Image changes to show two snow mobiles out on the ice and then changes to show Nick working inside the laboratory]
I came to science later than many; in fact I was actually a golf professional in my earlier days.
[Image changes to show Nick playing golf]
I soon discovered though that I wasn’t a very good one, so I thought that a career change was in order, and it wasn’t until one of my coaching clients suggested I go and study science at university that my life took on a different path.
[Image changes to show Nick seated and sharing a meal with other people and then changes to show Nick back in the laboratory talking with a colleague]
My longest expedition to Antarctica was for 13-months, during that time I worked as a weather observer for the Bureau of Metrology.
[Image changes to show Nick standing on a snow covered mountain looking out over the ice]
So I had a bit of spare time on my hands, I took on some voluntary work for CSIRO collecting seawater from beneath the sea ice.
[Camera pans over different scientific equipment]
It was during this field work for CSIRO that I discovered how amazing and how fragile these polar environments are. We discovered that the ocean acidity had changed much greater than we anticipated.
[Image changes to show different shots of demountable buildings with the Aurora Australis in the sky and then moves to show Nick looking at a CSIRO ship]
Most people don’t realise that over 90-per cent of the excess heat energy that’s being trapped in the earth system over the last 50-years, is it actually ends up in the ocean.
[Image changes to show Nick reading information from a laptop]
So when we’re talking about global warming, we should really be talking about ocean warming in a very real sense. The most serious changes that we’ll see in the earths system as a result of climate change will stem from the ocean, without a doubt.
[Image changes to show Nick standing on rocks on a hill top overlooking a valley]
One thing that still blows my mind about the ocean is that every second breath we take contains oxygen that was produced by microscopic plants or phytoplankton that drift in the worlds ocean. So even if you live in one of the most remotest, sandiest, driest deserts in the world, you still have a very real connection to what’s happening in your oceans, simply by the fact that you’re breathing air.
[CSIRO logo appears with text: Find out more csiro.au/seven]