polar science Archives - State of the Planet

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

Autonomous Robots Carry Out First Long-Term Missions Under Antarctic Ice

A team of autonomous ocean robots deployed in January 2018 has carried out the first year-long observations under an Antarctic ice shelf.

by |January 24, 2019
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

What We Know (and Don’t Know) About Sea Level Rise

Polar scientists Marco Tedesco and Robin Bell provide a primer on how climate change will impact our coastlines.

by |April 24, 2018
Robin Bell

Wonder Woman: Lamont Polar Pioneer Robin Bell

Lamont’s Robin Bell is living proof of the importance of encouraging young women to study STEM disciplines. Her breakthrough research, fueled by passionate intellectual curiosity, has been critical to understanding our planet.

by |March 8, 2018
hugh ducklow

Live from Antarctica: Scientists #TakeoverNSF

On January 31 at 1:00 p.m. EST, Lamont-Doherty’s Hugh Ducklow and his colleagues will use National Science Foundation social media to discuss their research on Antarctic ecology.

by |January 31, 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

Fueled by Melting Glaciers, Algae Bloom Off Greenland

Iron particles catching a ride on glacial meltwater washed out to sea are likely fueling a recently discovered summer algal bloom off the southern coast of Greenland, according to a new study. Microalgae, also known as phytoplankton, are plant-like marine microorganisms that form the base of the food web in many parts of the ocean…. read more

by |July 5, 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