WABI interviews Putnam about ice age research, prestigious grant

WABI (Channel 5) interviewed Aaron Putnam, the George H. Denton Assistant Professor in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences at the University of Maine, about his ice age research and being awarded one of most prestigious grants for an early-career scientist. In May, Putnam will take the reins of a $591,000 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant from the National Science Foundation. Over five years, using surface-exposure and radiocarbon dating techniques, he will develop a chronology of mountain glacier retreat during the last great global warming that ended the ice age in the interior mountains of Asia approximately 20,000 to 11,000 years ago. Putnam hopes that by studying the last great warming of the planet, scientists can better understand the forces at play in modern-day climate change and make more accurate projections, according to the report. “Right now humans are injecting CO2 into the atmosphere and yet there’s great uncertainty in terms of how the system will respond to that. And so we can look at this natural example from the Earth’s past as a means of understanding how the climate can react to things like this,” Putnam said.