Antarctica Archives - State of the Planet

Robin Bell

Wonder Woman: Lamont Polar Pioneer Robin Bell

Lamont’s Robin Bell is living proof of the importance of encouraging young women to study STEM disciplines. Her breakthrough research, fueled by passionate intellectual curiosity, has been critical to understanding our planet.

by |March 8, 2018
sunset in antarctica

Reflections from Antarctica: A Landscape in Flux

Working as an Antarctic field scientist, I witnessed the destruction provoked by a rapidly warming planet. But I also found inspiration.

by |January 16, 2018

In Antarctica, Enough is Never Enough

Almost out of nowhere we were given a surprise opportunity to fly one more survey line on our second-to-last day in Antarctica, and we jumped at it!

by |December 16, 2017
antarctic ice shelves

Tiny Losses of Ice at Antarctica’s Fringes May Hasten Declines in Interior

A new study shows that even minor deterioration of ice shelves can instantaneously hasten the decline of ice hundreds of miles landward.

by |December 11, 2017

American Geophysical Union 2017: Key Events From the Earth Institute

A chronological guide to key talks and other events presented by Columbia University’s Earth Institute at the American Geophysical Union 2017 meeting. 

by |December 4, 2017

A Bit of Sun on an Antarctic Thanksgiving

The Rosetta team made two big accomplishments this week: Our lidar returned some beautiful 3D images of the sea ice topography, which can be used to study small details of the ice. And our own Chloe Gustafson won first place in the Antarctic Turkey Trot. She now holds the honor of being the first woman to win the race!

by |November 28, 2017
Snowy day in Antarctica.

Wind, Snow and Ice: Summer in Antarctica

The theme of the past week has been the weather. Weather is of course always happening, but in the lingo of McMurdo Station, ‘weather’ means ‘bad weather.’

by |November 21, 2017

Let’s Talk About Crevasses—Deep Fractures in Antarctica’s Ice

The word “crevasse” sends shivers down the spine of anyone who works on a glacier. Sometimes hundreds of feet deep and hidden beneath a thin layer of snow, these cracks have claimed the lives of many polar explorers and scientists. They also appear quite frequently in our sensors as we fly our survey flights for Rosetta-Ice.

by |November 16, 2017

Flying is Easy, Just Think Happy Thoughts…

For scientists mapping Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf, data collection flights require a demanding schedule: The day starts at 4am and sometimes continues throughout the night.

by |November 7, 2017

Settling in at McMurdo Station in Antarctica

Even though our tent is within a short drive of McMurdo (a small town with most of the safety and logistical equipment on the entire continent), we still need to prepare ourselves for sudden, extreme weather. Every time we leave the relative safety of McMurdo, we carry our Extreme Cold Weather equipment and our tent has emergency food and sleeping equipment.

by |November 2, 2017