Arctic

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Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork: 2017 and Beyond

On every continent and ocean, Earth Institute field researchers are studying the dynamics of climate, geology, natural hazards, ecology and other subjects with direct applications to the challenges facing humanity.

by |March 6, 2017
Greenland's ice can "darken" in ways we can see and ways we can't. Photo: Marco Tedesco

State of the Arctic: Longer Melting Seasons, Thinning Sea Ice

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, and scientists are seeing the effects across ice and ecosystems. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory’s Marco Tedesco describes the changes underway.

by |December 13, 2016
When frozen land thaws, the loss of ice in the soil creates landscapes that can be easily eroded. “This study suggests that similar processes occurred during past warming events with important implications for the land-to-ocean permafrost carbon fluxes,” says lead author Tommaso Tesi. Illustration: Tesi, et al. 2016

When Permafrost Melts, What Happens to All That Stored Carbon?

A new study documents evidence of a massive release of carbon from Siberian permafrost as temperatures rose at the end of the last ice age.

by |December 2, 2016
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Photo Essay: Where the Trees Meet the Tundra

Due to warming climate and increasing human exploitation, far northern forests and the tundra beyond are undergoing rapid changes. In northern Alaska, scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and other institutions are studying the responses of trees at the very edge of their range.

by |November 16, 2016
Near the arctic circle in northern Alaska, forests begin giving way to tundra. as cold air, frozen soils and lack of sunlight squeeze out trees. Researchers are investigating how warming climate may affect the ecology of this boundary. (All photos: Kevin Krajick) CLICK TO VIEW A SLIDESHOW

Where Trees Meet Tundra, Decoding Signals of Climate Change

In northern Alaska’s Brooks Range, the earth as most of us know it comes to an end. The northern tree line-a boundary that circles all of earth’s northern landmasses for more than 8,300 miles, and forms the planet’s biggest ecological transition zone–runs through here. Scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are studying how climate may change it, and the tundra beyond.

by |November 16, 2016
Sea  ice near the east coast of Greenland. All forms of ice in the Arctic are in rapid decline. (Margie Turrin/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory)

Red Flags Over the Arctic’s Future

A new white paper reviews climate impacts already underway in the Arctic, and examines further changes expected to take place even if the world meets the goals of the Paris Agreement. It will be presented today at a meeting at the White House of national-level science ministers and advisors from around the world.

by |September 28, 2016
Participants in Students on Ice listen to scientist Maureen Raymo (top left) discuss climate change at the foot of Greenland’s Illissaat Icefjord. (Image: Martin Lipman/Students on Ice)

Facing Rapid Change in the Arctic

An expedition to the Canadian Arctic and west coast of Greenland is a moving and motivating experience for Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory climate scientist Maureen Raymo.

by |September 15, 2016
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American Geophysical Union 2015: Key Earth Institute Events

Scientists at Columbia University’s Earth Institute will present important findings at the American Geophysical Union fall 2015 meeting, Dec. 14-18–the world’s largest gathering of earth and space scientists.

by |December 3, 2015
Kayaktivists greet Shell's Arctic Drilling Rig in the Port Angeles, Washington.

Alaska: Hotspot for Oil and Climate Change

In September, Shell Oil abandoned its offshore oil drilling projects in the Alaskan Arctic. Why is Arctic drilling so controversial and what impacts will Shell’s announcement have?

by |November 12, 2015
Healy on ice

Anatomy of an ‘Ice Station’

Completing an “Ice Station” means collecting samples over a wide range of Arctic water and ice conditions. Each station means a major orchestration of people and resources.

by |October 11, 2015