polar exploration Archives - State of the Planet

The Melting of the Greenland Ice, Seen Up Very Close

A small team of scientists ventures out onto the Greenland ice sheet to study the forces large and small that are accelerating the melting of the world’s second-largest ice mass.

by |October 1, 2018

Photo Essay: Melting Greenland, Up Close

As climate warms, the Greenland ice sheet is melting, helping to fuel global sea-level rise. Follow a small team of scientists as they hike onto the sheet to investigate the forces large and small that are demolishing the ice.

by |October 1, 2018
traversing the thwaites glacier

U.S., UK Scientists Join to Study Possible Collapse of Massive Antarctic Glacier

An international collaboration will study the wasting of the Thwaites glacier, which already accounts for around 4 percent of current global sea-level rise, and could collapse within decades or centuries.

by |April 30, 2018

Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork, 2016 and Beyond

  On every continent and ocean, Earth Institute field researchers are studying the dynamics of climate, geology, natural hazards and ecology, and their practical applications to modern problems. Below, a list of expeditions in rough chronological order. Work in and around New York City and the U.S. Northeast is listed separately toward bottom. Unless otherwise stated, projects originate with… read more

by |February 2, 2016

Over Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica

PUNTA ARENAS, Chile–After flying for several hours over a windswept Southern Ocean, the mission director announces that we will be slowly descending towards Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier. Just below are the Hudson Mountains, a small group of extinct volcanoes poking through the ice. As we approach our survey area, John Sonntag from NASA’s flight facility… read more

by |October 28, 2009