Hamme, Roberta

Associate Professor


Phone number: (250) 472-4014
Email: rhamme@uvic.ca
Department: Earth and Ocean Sciences

Research description:

-Understanding what drives the cycles of gases like Carbon dioxide and oxygen
-Measuring inert and bioactive gasses

Expertise Database
Where does carbon go in the ocean and why? Where will it go next? Chemical oceanographer Roberta Hamme measures dissolved gases in the ocean to answer these questions about the carbon cycle, which is critical to life on Earth.
Dr. Hamme studies air-sea gas exchange, biological productivity and the transport of gases from the surface to the deep ocean.

"Few people realize that the ocean ultimately controls atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and that it currently absorbs about one-third of the excess carbon dioxide we produce," says Hamme. "Determining how that absorption is evolving and what factors control it are essential to predicting the progression of global climate change."

To understand the ocean's carbon cycle Dr. Hamme takes precise measurements of other dissolved gases such as oxygen and nitrogen, as well as inert rare gases such as argon, krypton and xenon.

"We think that how the ocean takes in carbon from the atmosphere is probably going to change over time as the ocean gets warmer and more acidic. But because of the complexity of the carbon cycle we don't really understand how that's going to affect ocean carbon," Dr. Hamme says. "The ocean carbon cycle is complex but we're really making progress on understanding it and getting some answers to our questions."

In 2010 Dr. Hamme was lead author of a high-impact paper that linked iron fertilization by a volcanic eruption to the largest bloom of phytoplankton (tiny marine floating plants) ever recorded in the subarctic North Pacific.

Related Links
Dr. Hamme's Faces of UVic Research video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp0-w6eXY_U

Countries lived or worked in:

United States

< Browse all experts