How much and how fast can climate change occur naturally? How do we detect the man-made climate change fingerprint? How will the polar oceans, with their sea ice and adjacent ice sheets and abundant marine life, respond to a warming world?

These are questions that Stanford Woods Institute Senior Fellow Rob Dunbar (Earth Sciences, FSI) has spent three decades investigating. On Feb. 12, he will be heading to sea again, this time to study the fate of the world’s largest phytoplankton bloom as Antarctica slips into winter.

Before Dunbar embarks for the Ross Sea, you can ask him questions about his research and his upcoming expedition. Post your questions on Stanford’s Facebook page here, and Dunbar will respond via video from McMurdo Station, Antarctica by Feb. 12. To see the video in your newsfeed, "like" the Stanford Facebook page.

The online Q and A session is part of Stanford Open Office Hours, a free public version of the university tradition in which instructors take a few hours each week to talk with students outside of class. Anyone can watch the videos, but must have a Facebook registration and be logged in to comment or ask questions. The experiment has featured conversations with professors including Stanford Woods Institute-affiliated Associate Professor of Energy Resources Engineering Margot Gerritsen (Earth Sciences) and outside speakers such as Bill Gates.

Dunbar’s research interests link climate dynamics, marine science and environmental policy and solutions. His research group works on topics related to global environmental change, with a focus on the hydrological cycle, air-sea interactions, tropical ecosystems and polar biogeochemistry. Dunbar has traveled widely across the earth in his studies of climate change during the past 50 to 12,000 years.

Watch woods.stanford.edu for updates on Dunbar’s 70-day Antarctic voyage.