State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

ocean biology

  • Yes, These Flesh-Eating Algae Are Real. And They Like Their Prey Alive.

    Yes, These Flesh-Eating Algae Are Real. And They Like Their Prey Alive.

    New research suggests that photosynthetic green algae also eat bacteria on a previously unsuspected scale.

  • The Surprising Way a Volcanic Eruption Fueled a Bloom of Ocean Algae

    The Surprising Way a Volcanic Eruption Fueled a Bloom of Ocean Algae

    A new study reveals a surprising way in which lava influences marine ecology.

  • On the Surface, Feeling Further Away from the Ocean than Ever

    On the Surface, Feeling Further Away from the Ocean than Ever

    My German colleague and I could conceptualize five kilometers horizontally—the same as her bike ride to work, the same as the first ever race I ran. Neither of us could quite grasp what flipping 5 kilometers 90 degrees might mean, as our pump continued on its 3-hour vertical journey to that depth.

  • In Isolation, Community

    In Isolation, Community

    Being aboard a ship is isolating—but for a scientist, it’s not lonely.

  • All I Wanted for Christmas Was for These Pumps to Work

    All I Wanted for Christmas Was for These Pumps to Work

    We’ve just completed our first full station and are remarkably pleased with the results. We collected 8 seawater samples to measure helium isotopes; 20 to measure thorium and protactinium isotopes; 7 in-situ pump filters; 1 box core of the ocean floor; and more.

  • Doing Science When There’s No Science to Be Done

    Doing Science When There’s No Science to Be Done

    With an abundance of time and a dearth of work, we have begun to devise ways of doing science before we can actually do science at sea. Among other things, we set up an imaging system to take pictures of particle filters we bring back from the deep sea.

  • Day 2: What Am I Doing Here, Anyway?

    Day 2: What Am I Doing Here, Anyway?

    The South Pacific Gyre is the most nutrient-poor region in the ocean, and the waters are the clearest in the ocean. The sediments accumulate below the water at rates as low as 0.1 millimeter per thousand years. So, 10 centimeters of seafloor are equivalent to one million years of material deposition in the South Pacific.

  • Setting Sail? Plan for the Unexpected

    Setting Sail? Plan for the Unexpected

    In the weeks before departing for my first scientific cruise, everyone I knew who had ever been to sea gave me some form of the same advice: Nothing ever works the way you expect it to work at sea.

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

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

  • Yes, These Flesh-Eating Algae Are Real. And They Like Their Prey Alive.

    Yes, These Flesh-Eating Algae Are Real. And They Like Their Prey Alive.

    New research suggests that photosynthetic green algae also eat bacteria on a previously unsuspected scale.

  • The Surprising Way a Volcanic Eruption Fueled a Bloom of Ocean Algae

    The Surprising Way a Volcanic Eruption Fueled a Bloom of Ocean Algae

    A new study reveals a surprising way in which lava influences marine ecology.

  • On the Surface, Feeling Further Away from the Ocean than Ever

    On the Surface, Feeling Further Away from the Ocean than Ever

    My German colleague and I could conceptualize five kilometers horizontally—the same as her bike ride to work, the same as the first ever race I ran. Neither of us could quite grasp what flipping 5 kilometers 90 degrees might mean, as our pump continued on its 3-hour vertical journey to that depth.

  • In Isolation, Community

    In Isolation, Community

    Being aboard a ship is isolating—but for a scientist, it’s not lonely.

  • All I Wanted for Christmas Was for These Pumps to Work

    All I Wanted for Christmas Was for These Pumps to Work

    We’ve just completed our first full station and are remarkably pleased with the results. We collected 8 seawater samples to measure helium isotopes; 20 to measure thorium and protactinium isotopes; 7 in-situ pump filters; 1 box core of the ocean floor; and more.

  • Doing Science When There’s No Science to Be Done

    Doing Science When There’s No Science to Be Done

    With an abundance of time and a dearth of work, we have begun to devise ways of doing science before we can actually do science at sea. Among other things, we set up an imaging system to take pictures of particle filters we bring back from the deep sea.

  • Day 2: What Am I Doing Here, Anyway?

    Day 2: What Am I Doing Here, Anyway?

    The South Pacific Gyre is the most nutrient-poor region in the ocean, and the waters are the clearest in the ocean. The sediments accumulate below the water at rates as low as 0.1 millimeter per thousand years. So, 10 centimeters of seafloor are equivalent to one million years of material deposition in the South Pacific.

  • Setting Sail? Plan for the Unexpected

    Setting Sail? Plan for the Unexpected

    In the weeks before departing for my first scientific cruise, everyone I knew who had ever been to sea gave me some form of the same advice: Nothing ever works the way you expect it to work at sea.