Earth Sciences Archives - State of the Planet

You Asked: What Determines the Oxygen and CO2 Levels in Our Atmosphere?

An Earth Institute climate researcher breaks down why our atmosphere is the way it is, how it’s changed over time, and what the future may hold.

by |April 22, 2019
A graphic of Mercury's internal structure.

MESSENGER Data Reveal That Mercury’s Inner Core Is Solid

The new findings offer clues about how the solar system formed and how rocky planets change over time.

by |April 19, 2019
view of icy sound from polar star

Field Work Ends … For Now

Despite some unpredictable Antarctic weather, the final G-055 team member makes it off the ice.

by |April 18, 2019
maureen raymo portrait

Maureen Raymo on Lamont’s Living Library of Earth History

The paleoclimatologist and marine geologist talks about why the miles and miles of marine sediment samples in Lamont’s Core Repository are so important.

by |April 16, 2019
granite hills in china

Unlocking Earth’s Climate Past: A New Tracer Identifies Weathering Intensity Over Time

New method helps determine how quickly silicates wear down over time, which is key to understanding natural processes that remove CO2 from air.

by |April 15, 2019
helicopter with sling

Back in McMurdo Station

The Antarctic field team returns to humanity, showers, and hot breakfasts.

by |April 9, 2019

Carbon Lurking in Deep Ocean Threw Ancient Climate Switch, Say Researchers

A million years ago, a longtime pattern of alternating glaciations and warm periods dramatically changed, when ice ages suddenly became longer and more intense. Scientists have long suspected that this was connected to the slowdown of a key Atlantic Ocean current system that today once again is slowing. A new study of sediments from the Atlantic bottom directly links this slowdown with a massive buildup of carbon dragged from the air into the abyss.

by |April 8, 2019
antarctic camp during wind storm

Snow Tornadoes, Wind Storms, and More

A team of scientists working in Antarctica faces a host of new challenges.

by |April 5, 2019

Deep-Sea Drillers Investigate Shedding of Antarctic Icebergs

Scientists are sailing to remote areas of the Southern Ocean to drill cores from the bottom that they hope will contain clues to past rapid changes in the Antarctic ice, and how it may react to warming climate today.

by |March 25, 2019
false color view of Mercury

Exploring Mercury in a New Book

Scientists from NASA’s MESSENGER mission share some of its top discoveries — and lingering mysteries — in a new compendium.

by |March 22, 2019