Peter Rona, Rona, professor of marine science and earth and planetary sciences at Rutgers since 1994, was best known for his exploration of hydrothermal vents in the ocean’s Mid-Atlantic Ridge. He also served as a science director for the renowned IMAX film Volcanoes of the Deep. Read more at Rutgers Today.
Peter A. Rona, an oceanographer who dived into the depths of the world’s seas and surprised his peers by discovering vast mounds spewing hot smoke at the bottom of the icy Atlantic, exciting interests in deep-sea mining and the origins of life on earth, died on Feb. 20 in Plainsboro, N.J. He was 79. The cause was complications related to multiple myeloma, according to Rutgers University, where Dr. Rona was a professor of earth and planetary sciences. Fascinated by the mysteries of what he called "the last frontier on earth," Dr. Rona specialized in exploring the dark abyss for more than a half-century, starting around 1960…"I was one of those kids who collected rocks and minerals, climbed mountains, loved the outdoors and identified with geology," he told a Rutgers publication.
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By the late 1990s, scientists had observed more than two decades of rapid global warming, and expected the warming trend to continue. Instead, despite continuing increases in greenhouse gas emissions, the Earth’s surface temperatures have remained nearly flat for the last 15 years. The International Panel on Climate Change verified this recent warming "hiatus" in its latest report…Alan Robock, a professor of environmental sciences at Rutgers University and a leading expert on the impacts of volcanic eruptions on climate, says these findings are an important part of the larger climate picture. "This paper reminds us that there are multiple causes of climate change, both natural and anthropogenic, and that we need to consider all of them when interpreting past climate and predicting future climate."
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The recent slow down in global warming has been attributed to a number of factors, including excess heat being stored in the deep ocean and reductions of certain greenhouse gases. Now add volcanic eruptions to the mix of contributing factors. A new analysis published in Nature Geosciences on Sunday shows that a series of relatively small eruptions since 2000 have likely helped dampened the rise in temperatures…”Since none of the standard scenarios for evaluating future global warming include volcanic eruptions, this paper will help us quantify the impacts of future large and small eruptions when they happen, and thus better interpret the role of humans in causing climate change,” said Alan Robock, a leading expert on the intersection of volcanoes and climate at Rutgers University.
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As the prospect of a warmer planet becomes reality, scientists are seeking ways to control the climate and keep the planet cooler. It’s a risky and highly controversial idea and, if successful, could imperil the ozone layer and lead to changes in rainfall patterns worldwide. It could also pit nations against one another as they try to control the weather or even use it as a weapon. "Whose hand would be on the thermostat?" a leading climate scientist at Rutgers University, Alan Robock, asked the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology in 2009. "What if Canada or Russia wanted the climate to be a little warmer, while tropical countries and small island states wanted it cooler?"
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