Specifically, they were coring for ocean sediments, which contain various amounts of dust. “We can use the dust,” Murray says, “to tease out information about how climate changed in the Southern Hemisphere over millions of years.”A dusty oceanDust is not only found on land, though that is where it is most familiar to us. As a result, dust has a direct and important impact on climate. Scientists at WHOI are investigating the amount of dust blown into the Southern Ocean over tens of millions of years. She says looking at dust fluxes in the ocean over time enables her to understand the climatic history of the Southern Hemisphere and know, for example, at what point Australia became a dry and dusty place.