A major goal of this proposal will be to improve the net surface mass balance estimate of Antarctica by incorporating the mass loss due to wind-drifted sublimation over wind-scour zones.
Centers, Projects & Initiatives
Scientists from several nations are working together to launch a flagship program to explore a major mountain range buried by a large continental ice sheet and bounded by numerous subglacial lakes.
Using geophysical instruments, GAMBIT will peal back more than 600 meters of ice to explore the last hidden mountain range on Earth.
The Antarctic and Southern Ocean Data Portal provides access to geoscience data, primarily marine, from the Antarctic region.
The ring of deep water around Antarctica not only links the major ocean [Atlantic/Pacific/Indian] , but also produces dense waters along the continental margins of the frozen continent, which sinks
August 18, 2017With its mission complete, the Rosetta-Ice Project will give scientists an unprecedented look at the Ross Ice Shelf and how it’s changing with the climate.
July 12, 2017
One of the largest icebergs ever, roughly the size of Delaware just broke off 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
June 01, 2017
In recent years, scientists have discovered hundreds of lakes lying hidden deep beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. Now a team of researchers has found the remains of at least one sub-ice lake that existed when the ice was far more extensive, in sediments on the Antarctic continental shelf. The discovery is significant because it is thought that such lakes may have accelerated the retreat of glaciers in the past, and could do so again. Their study appears this week in the journal Nature Communications.
May 31, 2017
Antarctica’s ice locks up enough fresh water to inundate coastal regions around the globe. And the ice is on the move: The continent’s vast glaciers are sliding toward the coast and out over the ocean, forming huge ice shelves that in some places are collapsing. Researchers from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory have spent the last two Antarctic summers flying over the massive Ross Ice Shelf, deploying a custom-made package of instruments to probe the ice. Their goal: to untangle the interactions between ice, ocean and land, to try and gauge the effects of warming climate.
April 19, 2017
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. Researchers already knew such features existed, but assumed they were confined mainly to Antarctica’s fastest-warming, most northerly reaches. 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. An accompanying study looks at how such systems might influence the great ice shelves ringing the continent, which some researchers fear could collapse, bringing catastrophic sea-level rises. Both studies appear this week in the leading scientific journal Nature.
February 02, 2017
Many giant shelves of ice hanging off Antarctica into the Southern Ocean are now melting rapidly. But up to now, it has been a mystery why much of the resulting fresh water ends up in the depths instead of floating above saltier, denser ocean waters. Scientists working along one major ice shelf believe they have found the answer: earth’s rotation is pushing meltwater sideways as it bleed off the ice, preventing it from reaching the surface. The finding has implications for how ocean circulation may affect the planet’s future climate. The research was published this week in the journal Nature.
December 01, 2016
A metal tube packed with scientific instruments parachuted into the ice-cold waters of Antarctica’s Ross Sea on Tuesday, marking a new frontier in polar research. This ALAMO float and five others being deployed over the coming weeks are the first explorers of their kind to begin profiling the water adjacent to Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf and sending back data in real time. Their mission: find vulnerabilities where warmer (but still near freezing) water from the deep ocean may be seeping in under the ice shelf and melting it from below. That information, paired with aerial surveys currently mapping the ice shelf and the sea floor beneath it, will help scientists assess the stability of the Ross Ice Shelf as they seek to understand how quickly Antarctica will lose ice in a warming world and what that will mean for sea level rise globally.
October 13, 2016
A special section in the October issue of BioScience examines the effects of a single season of intense melting on two Antarctic ecosystems, tracking impacts all the way from microbial food webs to shifting penguin populations.
October 11, 2016
Twenty-three million years ago, the Antarctic Ice Sheet began to shrink, going from an expanse larger than today’s to one about half its modern size. Computer models suggested a spike in carbon dioxide levels as the cause, but the evidence was elusive – until now. Ancient fossilized leaves retrieved from a lake bed in New Zealand now show for the first time that carbon dioxide levels increased dramatically over a relatively short period of time as the ice sheet began to deteriorate. The findings raise new questions about the stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet today as atmospheric CO2 concentrations rise to levels never before experienced by humans.
August 24, 2016
In a new study, Lamont's Michael Previdi and Lorenzo Polvani found that the effect of rising temperatures on snowfall in Antarctica has so far been overshadowed by the frozen continent's large natural climate variability. By mid-century, however, as temperatures continue to rise, the effect of human-induced warming on Antarctica's net snow accumulation should emerge above the noise, and the increase in snowfall could begin to help partially offset sea level rise.
November 24, 2015
The fate of the ice sheets has a direct impact on populations worldwide: as the land-based ice melts, it raises sea level, and that can threaten coastal communities and economies.
September 14, 2011
Readers can follow a New York Times blog from the arctic as the U.S. flagship vessel for charting geology under the seabed sails the Chukchi Sea, north of Alaska and Siberia. By sending sound pulses to the seabed and reading the echoes, scientists conducting the Chukchi Edges project aboard the Marcus G. Langseth hope to understand the structure and history of the continental shelves running underwater off Asia and North America, and the Chukchi Borderland, an adjoing region of dramatic deep-sea plateaus and ridges some 800 miles from the North Pole.
September 13, 2011
The frigid seabottom off Antarctica holds a surprising riot of life: colorful carpets of sponges, starfish, sea cucumbers and many other soft, bottom-dwelling animals,shown on images from robotic submarines. Now, it appears that many such communities could fast disappear, due to warming climate.
June 24, 2011
Stronger ocean currents beneath West Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf are eroding the ice from below, speeding the melting of the glacier as a whole, according to a new study in Nature Geoscience. A growing cavity beneath the ice shelf has allowed more warm water to melt the ice, the researchers say—a process that feeds back into the ongoing rise in global sea levels. The glacier is currently sliding into the sea at a clip of four kilometers (2.5 miles) a year, while its ice shelf is melting at about 80 cubic kilometers a year - 50 percent faster than it was in the early 1990s - the paper estimates.
March 13, 2009
Warming Climate Drives Plankton and Penguins Poleward
Adélie penguins are flocking closer to the South Pole. A new study in the leading journal Science explains why: they’re following the food supply, which is moving southward with changing climate.
October 22, 2008
Under Miles of Ice, Range May Hold Secrets of Geology and Climate
Scientists from six nations will combine efforts over the next three months to try and penetrate one of earth’s last unexplored places: Antarctica’s vast Gamburtsev Mountains, never seen by humans...
August 07, 2006
Each year nearly 40,000 tons of cosmic dust fall to Earth from outer space. Now, the first successful chronological study of extraterrestrial dust in Antarctic ice has shown that this amount has remained largely constant over the past 30,000 years, a finding that could help refine efforts to understand the timing and effects of changes in the Earth's past climate.
March 23, 2006
Seismologists at Columbia University and Harvard University have found a new indicator that the Earth is warming: "glacial earthquakes" caused when the rivers of ice lurch unexpectedly and produce temblors as strong as magnitude 5.1 on the moment-magnitude scale, which is similar to the Richter scale. Glacial earthquakes in Greenland, the researchers found, are most common in July and August, and have more than doubled in number since 2002.
|Kirsty Tinto: Mapping on and under Antarctica's Ice|
|Western Antarctic Peninsula: Rapid Climate Change and an Ecosystem Near a Tipping Point|
|Basal Plumbing for the Changing (ice) Masses||Earth Science Colloquium|
|A Delicate Balance: Antarctica and its Surrounding Oceans||Part of the 2011 Public Lecture Series|