People Directory : Benjamin Harden
WHOI Mailing Address:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
266 Woods Hole Rd.
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1050
2008-2012, PhD, University of East Anglia, Meteorology and Oceanography
2006-2007, M.Sc, University of Cambridge, Natural Sciences (Physics)
2003-2007, BA, University of Cambridge, Natural Sciences (Physics)
My science research centers around ocean circulation in the seas around Greenland and the role these currents have in regulating our planet’s climate. The Nordic seas to the east of Greenland are a unique confluence or waters that have travelled over vast distances. Warm salty tropic waters flow in to the ocean from the south, some of this continues on into the Arctic and the rest circulates in the Northern basins. Cold fresh meltwater streams out of the Arctic, spreading out into the nordic seas and progressing on down in to the North Atlantic. Dense water is also formed through intense cooling from Atlantic storms and exits at depth through channels in the ridge connecting Scotland with Greenland, cascading 100s of meters down in to the deep ocean to return towards the equator. In undertaking these movements, these waters transport huge amounts of heat from the Equator towards the pole and help regulate the climate of our planet.
My research is about looking at the particular branches of this global system and asking how they work locally. How do the waters entering the Nordic Seas interact with one another? where do they flow and why? how do winds act to drive them around the planet? and how might they be influencing and be influenced by a changing climate? I work mainly with observational data and I’m motivated by how much there is to find out in this historically data sparse region.