It is difficult to evaluate a topic so large from a single research topic. We are both Arctic Marine Geologists, specializing in using seismic data to quantify the amount of carbon stored in marine sediments in the arctic.
(what is seismic data? check it out here!)
One small facet of studying arctic environments and climate is the storage of carbon beneath the seafloor. Naturally, hydrocarbons may seep out of the seafloor without any human interference, however methane stored in the shallow subsurface is particularly vulnerable to escaping its sandy confines by warming waters and changes in sea level. Unfortunately, the more methane there is in the atmosphere the warmer the earth and oceans become, and therefore more methane can escape from the seafloor. This is a called a positive feedback loop. Being able to quantify the amount of methane that could potentially leak from the seafloor allows scientists to predict future climate.
Luckily, we don’t have to attempt to evaluate climate from our research alone, we also work with an awesome team of scientists who study everything from microbial interactions in the seabed and water column, biological communities in the arctic oceans, to oceanographers and atmospheric scientist to glaciologists who provide insight and knowledge in our quest to understand whats going on the Arctic.