Features Archive - State of the Planet

colorful recycling bins

Sustainable Living

With all the information that’s out there, living your best climate- and eco-conscious life isn’t always as straightforward as it seems. So, folks from around the Earth Institute are here to share their challenges, successes, expertise, and advice on how we can live well with the environment in mind.

Ocean of Extremes

The Southern Ocean is notorious for having some of the strongest winds and largest waves ever seen on the planet. It is also home to the largest current in the world, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. This mightiest current connects all three major basins of the global ocean — the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans —… read more

You Asked

Got a burning question about climate change? Feeling curious about conservation? “You Asked” is a series where Earth Institute experts tackle reader questions on science and sustainability. To submit a question, drop a comment below, message us on Instagram, or email us here.

Tracking Climate Change in the Páramos

For more than 10 years, adjunct researcher Daniel Ruiz Carrascal from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society has been studying Colombia’s páramos. This unique mountaintop ecosystem is important in terms of biodiversity and water supply, but is particularly threatened by climate change; the páramos are warming nearly as fast as the Arctic, and… read more

Taking a sample from a moraine boulder for cosmogenic surface exposure dating during the 2011-2012 Antarctic field season near Conrow Glacier, Wright Valley. (Photo: Jen Lamp)

Landscape Evolution in the McMurdo Dry Valleys

From November 2018 to February 2019, our team is studying how rocks alter and erode in one of the most extreme environments on the planet—Antarctica. The project is called Landscape evolution in the McMurdo Dry Valleys: Erosion rates and real-time monitoring of rock breakdown in a hyperarid, subzero environment, and it is funded by the… read more

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade is a new series that brings you inside the labs of Earth Institute scientists. Learn about the equipment scientists are using, and discover how those tools are used in their research.

Helicopter in Greenland

The Future of Snow on Ice

What if the warming Arctic climate were to result in more snow? Could decreasing sea ice cover actually drive more evaporation of newly exposed Arctic ocean water into the atmosphere? And could that increased moisture in the air fall on the ice sheet as snow? If yes, will this stabilize the Greenland Ice Sheet, stopping… read more

Understanding Ecosystems off the Hawaiian Islands

Biological oceanographer Sonya Dyhrman’s team is embarking on a research cruise off Hawaii as part of the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE) on the R/V Kilo Moana. Gwenn Hennon and Matthew Harke will be at sea for nearly three weeks with logistical support from Sheean Haley back on shore. The cruise will be… read more

The Paris Climate Agreement

Learn more about the 2015 Paris climate agreement, the science behind climate change, and what the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the agreement means for the future.

Cruising to an OASIS

Bridgit Boulahanis, a graduate student at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, joined a team of 18 scientists from across the United States on an expedition to the eastern Pacific Ocean. Their mission: to investigate a chain of submarine volcanoes, or seamounts, along the East Pacific Rise. The OASIS (Off Axis Seamounts Investigation at Siqueros) team will be… read more