Carlos Moffat

Polar Scientist in the Spotlight

Learn about all sorts of careers that polar scientists have as we explore their different research areas through the featured Polar Scientist of the Month.

Carlos Moffat

Physical Oceanographer, University of Delaware

What do you do?

I am a coastal physical oceanographer and I am interested in how the water properties and circulation in the the coastal ocean around Antarctica are evolving as a result of climate change, and in turn, in how those changes impact the larger climate system.


What is the best thing about your job?

I really enjoy fieldwork in remote, challenging environments, and the opportunity this work provides to collaborate with many smart students and colleagues across different disciplines, including biology, glaciology, and biochemistry.

What is the most important tool you use for research?

While we have made great progress in observing the ocean from space or using autonomous platforms, research ships continue to be an amazing tool to observe the oceans. Their versatility and ability to serve as a multidisciplinary sampling platform is unique.

Why is what you do important?

Although Antarctica is very remote, the environmental changes that are occurring there—including changes in sea ice, water properties, and circulation—have impacts around the world, including on sea level rise and the global water cycle. Polar ecosystems are also unique, and the work we do to understand them will help us preserve them for future generations.

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