ice Archives - State of the Planet

Why Cry for the Cryosphere?

A new book paints a daunting and detailed picture of earth’s natural ice under threat, and explains why what happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic.

by |June 11, 2019

Warm Autumn Winds Could Strain Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf

New research shows that the Larsen C ice shelf—the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica—experienced an unusual spike in late summer and early autumn surface melting in the years 2015 to 2017.

by |April 11, 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
astronaut with earth behind

Congratulations! You’ve Been Chosen To Colonize A New World.

Posing as an interplanetary flight attendant in an upcoming show, researcher Christine McCarthy will lead a geological journey through the solar system.

by |June 14, 2018
snowflake

‘X-Snow’ Project Needs Your Help To Unlock The Secrets of Snow

Citizen scientists can gather data to help uncover how snow is changing over time.

by |February 27, 2018
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

One of Largest Icebergs Ever Breaks off Antarctica

One of the largest icebergs ever – roughly the size of Delaware – just broke off of Antarctica, according to scientists who have been observing the area for years. While it’s not unusual for ice shelves to calve, many in the climate community fear that the breaking of Larsen C may be a signal of other events to come.

by |July 12, 2017
Scientists have discovered that seasonally flowing streams fringe much of Antarctica’s ice. Each red ‘X’ represents a separate drainage. Up to now, such features were thought to exist mainly on the far northerly Antarctic Peninsula (upper left). Their widespread presence signals that the ice may be more vulnerable to melting than previously thought. (Adapted from Kingslake et al., Nature 2017)

Water Is Streaming Across Antarctica

In the first such continent-wide survey, scientists have found extensive drainages of meltwater flowing over parts of Antarctica’s ice during the brief summer. Many of the newly mapped drainages are not new, but the fact they exist at all is significant; they appear to proliferate with small upswings in temperature, so warming projected for this century could quickly magnify their influence on sea level.

by |April 19, 2017

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
Research engineer Ted Koczynski explains how rock surfaces representing the rock bed of a glacier put pressure on a block of ice from each side as the ice is pushed downward in the new cryogenic deformation apparatus. Depending on the configuration, sensors throughout the device can measure friction, viscosity and anelasticity. Image: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Crushing Ice to Learn About Glaciers & Icy Moons

To understand how quickly ice from glaciers can raise sea level or how moons far across the solar system evolved to hold vast, ice-covered oceans, we need to be able to measure the forces at work. A new instrument designed and built at Lamont does just that.

by |June 6, 2016