State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

South Pacific Ocean

  • Indonesian Corals Shed Light on Climate System

    Indonesian Corals Shed Light on Climate System

    A new coral salinity record shows that the location of the most significant hydroclimatic feature in the Southern Hemisphere, the South Pacific Convergence Zone, influences a major Pacific Ocean current.

  • 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.

  • OUTPACE Cruise: Setting Sail

    OUTPACE Cruise: Setting Sail

    The OUTPACE 2015 cruise has set sail on February 20! We left port in Nouméa at 8:30 a.m. last Friday morning. I lost sight of land around 10 a.m. or so, and I won’t see it again until we return to port in Papeete, Tahiti on April 3.

  • Earth’s Climate History, Written in Dust

    Earth’s Climate History, Written in Dust

    Dust blowing onto the oceans can help algae grow and pull CO2 out of the atmosphere. It influences the radiative balance of the planet by reflecting sunlight away. Scientists want to know what role this plays in the coming and going of the ice ages, and how it affects our climate.

  • Clean Water for Fiji

    Clean Water for Fiji

    Corporate giant Fiji Water makes millions of dollars every year selling bottled water, but only 47 percent of Fiji Islanders have access to clean drinking water. That may change.

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

  • Indonesian Corals Shed Light on Climate System

    Indonesian Corals Shed Light on Climate System

    A new coral salinity record shows that the location of the most significant hydroclimatic feature in the Southern Hemisphere, the South Pacific Convergence Zone, influences a major Pacific Ocean current.

  • 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.

  • OUTPACE Cruise: Setting Sail

    OUTPACE Cruise: Setting Sail

    The OUTPACE 2015 cruise has set sail on February 20! We left port in Nouméa at 8:30 a.m. last Friday morning. I lost sight of land around 10 a.m. or so, and I won’t see it again until we return to port in Papeete, Tahiti on April 3.

  • Earth’s Climate History, Written in Dust

    Earth’s Climate History, Written in Dust

    Dust blowing onto the oceans can help algae grow and pull CO2 out of the atmosphere. It influences the radiative balance of the planet by reflecting sunlight away. Scientists want to know what role this plays in the coming and going of the ice ages, and how it affects our climate.

  • Clean Water for Fiji

    Clean Water for Fiji

    Corporate giant Fiji Water makes millions of dollars every year selling bottled water, but only 47 percent of Fiji Islanders have access to clean drinking water. That may change.