State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Decoding the mysteries of the Ross Ice Shelf

  • In Antarctica, Enough is Never Enough

    In Antarctica, Enough is Never Enough

    Almost out of nowhere we were given a surprise opportunity to fly one more survey line on our second-to-last day in Antarctica, and we jumped at it!

  • A Bit of Sun on an Antarctic Thanksgiving

    A Bit of Sun on an Antarctic Thanksgiving

    The Rosetta team made two big accomplishments this week: Our lidar returned some beautiful 3D images of the sea ice topography, which can be used to study small details of the ice. And our own Chloe Gustafson won first place in the Antarctic Turkey Trot. She now holds the honor of being the first woman…

  • Wind, Snow and Ice: Summer in Antarctica

    Wind, Snow and Ice: Summer in Antarctica

    The theme of the past week has been the weather. Weather is of course always happening, but in the lingo of McMurdo Station, ‘weather’ means ‘bad weather.’

  • Let’s Talk About Crevasses—Deep Fractures in Antarctica’s Ice

    Let’s Talk About Crevasses—Deep Fractures in Antarctica’s Ice

    The word “crevasse” sends shivers down the spine of anyone who works on a glacier. Sometimes hundreds of feet deep and hidden beneath a thin layer of snow, these cracks have claimed the lives of many polar explorers and scientists. They also appear quite frequently in our sensors as we fly our survey flights for…

  • Flying is Easy, Just Think Happy Thoughts…

    Flying is Easy, Just Think Happy Thoughts…

    For scientists mapping Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf, data collection flights require a demanding schedule: The day starts at 4am and sometimes continues throughout the night.

  • Settling in at McMurdo Station in Antarctica

    Settling in at McMurdo Station in Antarctica

    Even though our tent is within a short drive of McMurdo (a small town with most of the safety and logistical equipment on the entire continent), we still need to prepare ourselves for sudden, extreme weather. Every time we leave the relative safety of McMurdo, we carry our Extreme Cold Weather equipment and our tent…

  • What’s a Few Days’ Delay When Preparing to Visit a 33 Million-Year-Old Ice Sheet?

    What’s a Few Days’ Delay When Preparing to Visit a 33 Million-Year-Old Ice Sheet?

    With the Rosetta-Ice team delayed in New Zealand, let’s take a minute to discuss why Antarctica’s weather is so forbidding.

  • Final Stop: Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf

    Final Stop: Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf

    We have embarked! Our third Antarctic field season is underway, putting us only 18 flights away from completing our mission to map the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf in Antarctica.

  • Using LiDAR to Shine a Light on Ross Ice Shelf

    Using LiDAR to Shine a Light on Ross Ice Shelf

    LiDar (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing technique that uses light to develop an elevation image of the surface of the Earth. It is sensitive enough to image small items such as seals lying on the ice surface.

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Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

  • In Antarctica, Enough is Never Enough

    In Antarctica, Enough is Never Enough

    Almost out of nowhere we were given a surprise opportunity to fly one more survey line on our second-to-last day in Antarctica, and we jumped at it!

  • A Bit of Sun on an Antarctic Thanksgiving

    A Bit of Sun on an Antarctic Thanksgiving

    The Rosetta team made two big accomplishments this week: Our lidar returned some beautiful 3D images of the sea ice topography, which can be used to study small details of the ice. And our own Chloe Gustafson won first place in the Antarctic Turkey Trot. She now holds the honor of being the first woman…

  • Wind, Snow and Ice: Summer in Antarctica

    Wind, Snow and Ice: Summer in Antarctica

    The theme of the past week has been the weather. Weather is of course always happening, but in the lingo of McMurdo Station, ‘weather’ means ‘bad weather.’

  • Let’s Talk About Crevasses—Deep Fractures in Antarctica’s Ice

    Let’s Talk About Crevasses—Deep Fractures in Antarctica’s Ice

    The word “crevasse” sends shivers down the spine of anyone who works on a glacier. Sometimes hundreds of feet deep and hidden beneath a thin layer of snow, these cracks have claimed the lives of many polar explorers and scientists. They also appear quite frequently in our sensors as we fly our survey flights for…

  • Flying is Easy, Just Think Happy Thoughts…

    Flying is Easy, Just Think Happy Thoughts…

    For scientists mapping Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf, data collection flights require a demanding schedule: The day starts at 4am and sometimes continues throughout the night.

  • Settling in at McMurdo Station in Antarctica

    Settling in at McMurdo Station in Antarctica

    Even though our tent is within a short drive of McMurdo (a small town with most of the safety and logistical equipment on the entire continent), we still need to prepare ourselves for sudden, extreme weather. Every time we leave the relative safety of McMurdo, we carry our Extreme Cold Weather equipment and our tent…

  • What’s a Few Days’ Delay When Preparing to Visit a 33 Million-Year-Old Ice Sheet?

    What’s a Few Days’ Delay When Preparing to Visit a 33 Million-Year-Old Ice Sheet?

    With the Rosetta-Ice team delayed in New Zealand, let’s take a minute to discuss why Antarctica’s weather is so forbidding.

  • Final Stop: Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf

    Final Stop: Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf

    We have embarked! Our third Antarctic field season is underway, putting us only 18 flights away from completing our mission to map the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf in Antarctica.

  • Using LiDAR to Shine a Light on Ross Ice Shelf

    Using LiDAR to Shine a Light on Ross Ice Shelf

    LiDar (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing technique that uses light to develop an elevation image of the surface of the Earth. It is sensitive enough to image small items such as seals lying on the ice surface.