A mile or so of glacial ice covering much of North America and plowing down from the north once terminated in the New York metropolitan area, at a front stretching roughly from exit 13 on the New Jersey Turnpike (Rahway), on across southern Staten Island, the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn, and northeastward through Long Island. But exactly when that ice started [...]
Earth Institute scientists explore how the physical world works on every continent — over and under the arctic ice, in the grasslands of Mongolia, on volcanoes in Patagonia, over subduction zones in Papua New Guinea, and on the streets of New York City.
As we in North America emerge from a remarkably mild winter, the brief and sunny summer in the world’s deep south is drawing to a rapid close. Antarctica’s days are becoming shorter, and come the vernal equinox the South Pole will enter into its yearly hibernation—six months of dusk and night. Researchers from Columbia University and elsewhere have spent these bright months bearing the chill in pursuit of access to a realm deep beneath the soaring, scathing surface of the glacier.
By chiseling hunks of stone from recently exposed bedrock near the edge of the Rhone Glacier, scientists were able to decipher the comings and goings of the ice over the past 11,000 years. That should help predict what will happen to glaciers in the warming world to come.