Mallon Andrews Talks to Science News About Climate Change and the Color of Seawater
September 6, 2023
Kyrstin Mallon Andrews
In 2015, Assistant Professor of Anthropology Kyrstin Mallon Andrews went to the Dominican Republic to investigate water issues in the region. She spent days standing on a bridge overlooking a bay with the divers and soon learned their ocean language.
“Their mode of communicating ocean conditions was always based around color,” she says. “Some colors you can dive in. Some colors have consequences if you dive in them. And some colors are used for navigation purposes.”
As the divers taught her over several years to dive, Mallon Andrews too began to see those nuances in color. She eventually realized that the divers’ color scheme was more than descriptive; it was also diagnostic.
As the divers taught her over several years to dive, Mallon Andrews also began to see those nuances in color and realized that the divers’ color scheme was more than descriptive; it was also diagnostic. Once, for instance, one diver described the water as “methylene blue.” Mallon Andrews had never heard the term, so she looked it up and found that methylene blue is a medication used to treat people suffering from hypoxia. “What he is saying is that previous to these conditions, there was more oxygen in the water,” she says.
Read more in the Science News article, "Nature’s changing colors makes climate change visible."
Sep 6, 2023
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Aug 30, 2023