Category: Climate

Smooth Sailing Back to Tasmania

by | 5.1.2015 at 10:12am
Antarctica, NBP1503 science team

After a surprisingly smooth crossing of the Southern Ocean, with favorable winds we arrived back in Hobart, Tasmania. The weather maps show that we just got ahead of another big storm system.

Taking a 4,000-Meter-Deep Profile of Antarctic Waters

by | 4.27.2015 at 10:47am
NB Palmer, West Antarctica, CTD system

In addition to understanding potential pathways for “warmer” circumpolar deep water to reach the ice shelf, we are also measuring what the structure and properties of the water column are and determining if there is already warmer water on or near the continental shelf that could already interact with the glaciers of East Antarctica today.

A Climate Battle Cry for Earth Day

by | 4.22.2015 at 7:00am
Amazon River Delta Courtesy NASA, Johnson Space Center

A group of 17 renowned scientists from around the world are appealing for dramatic action to forestall the worst effects of climate change, issuing an “Earth Statement” that calls for a world powered with zero carbon emissions by mid-century.

Mapping the Seafloor

by | 4.20.2015 at 11:53am
In addition to depth, we can identify many features in the high-resolution multibeam data that we produce. Most of the seafloor near the shelf break (where the water is between 300 and 500 meters deep) is covered with these irregular furrows that are created when large icebergs are grounded here.

One of the goals of this expedition is to investigate if water from the Southern Ocean with temperatures above the melting point of glaciers could reach the glaciers in East Antarctica, and if there are any obstacles on the seafloor of the shelf that impact the ability of such water to reach the glaciers and ice streams.

Lamont-Doherty Strategic Plan

by | 4.17.2015 at 10:58am
Lamont Strategic Plan

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has been a leader in the study of our planet since its founding 65 years ago. Today, Observatory scientists continue the institution’s long tradition of addressing important questions in the Earth and planetary sciences. 

In a Melting Iceland, Drilling Deep to Stem Climate Change

by | 4.13.2015 at 4:22pm
Underground, carbon dioxide disperses through volcanic basalt, and solidifies into a substance similar to limestone. A geologist shows off a core taken from the injection zone.

Iceland is pioneering a new technology to deal with climate change. Its Hellisheidi geothermal power plant, the world’s largest, hosts arguably the world’s most advanced program to capture and lock away globe-warming carbon dioxide.

Photo Essay: Iceland at the Cutting Edge of Climate Change

by | 4.13.2015 at 4:21pm
DSC_1009

Iceland has a complicated relationship with climate change. As in much of the far north, global warming is already exerting many effects here–arguably both good and bad. Yet the country contributes relatively little to the warming, since most of its energy comes from geothermal and hydro plants, which produce little carbon dioxide. Now, it is on the scientific cutting edge of the issue.

In the Ice

by | 4.10.2015 at 9:12am
Some examples of the sea ice that we have encountered so far. Top left: bands of grease ice, Top right: small pancake ice merged together; bottom left: larger pancake ice; bottom right: The Nathaniel B. Palmer steaming through dense sea ice cover.

Several days ago we reached our main work areas along the margin of East Antarctica. Our expedition is relatively late in the season and the seas around Antarctica are starting to freeze.

Closing in on Antarctica

by | 4.6.2015 at 11:29am
During our transit south to Antarctica we deployed seven ARGO floats (yellow device in picture) for the University of Washington. They drift with the currents in the oceans, measure profiles of salinity and temperature and send those via satellite to researchers on land. They are part of an international effort to better monitor the conditions of the oceans.

We are less than a day away from our first study area on the continental shelf in front of the Dibble Glacier. As we approach Antarctica we are starting our science program with a 4500 meter deep CTD and multibeam acquisition.

On Our Way: Avoiding the Storm

by | 3.30.2015 at 10:24am
Map showing the planned track of our expedition with the modifications made due to the storm systems. Our main study areas are on the continental shelf in front of some major East Antarctic glaciers.

We are now aboard the R/V Palmer and on our way to East Antarctica. Due to two storms in our direct way we are heading west first to go around the storms and we’ll then head south on their backside.