climate change

Oceanographer discovers how warming waters thousands of miles away increase melting across West Antarctic ice shelf

By Ananya Chandhok Medill Reports, Feb. 20, 2024 For University of Washington oceanographer Channing Prend how ocean currents circulate heat is a critical consideration for understanding ice melt in Antarctica.  Prend’s research on the West Antarctic ice sheet revealed that heat from water thousands of miles to the north can lead to ice melt onshore …

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University of Innsbruck scientists discover climate change clues in pollen from hundreds of thousands of years ago

By Louise Kim and Jessica Savage   Medill Reports, Dec. 15, 2023     Gina Moseley scales mountains and explores remote lands all in the name of understanding how the climate has been changing across hundreds of thousands of years and how that impacts current accelerating change. “It’s really important to understand what the climate’s doing, what …

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Scientists track the tipping points of climate change

Crystal Rao, a geoscience graduate student at Princeton University, bases her research on the environmental changes and climate impacts on the species in clues from nitrogen isotopes in fossils.

Rao uses the ratio of two common forms of nitrogen as a standard, and compares it with the nitrogen inside the tooth of the megalodon shark. She has reconstructed a picture of when and where megalodon sharks topped the food chain in Arctic waters. Rao said this fierce predator could “basically eat anything in the ocean”.

Climate change threatens El Niño crop and rainfall boosts with severe disruptions

Columbia University Ph.D. student Celeste Pallone devotes her research time observing Eastern Equatorial Pacific dwelling planktonic foraminifera – very tiny creatures that can give huge clues into the pace of ocean climate change.

“Marine sediment cores act as an archive of sea surface temperatures, past environments, including past temperatures, and general environmental factors, such as past global ice volume,” she said of the single-celled, shelled organisms she studies at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory high in the Palisades outside New York City. “I examine these proxies, which can be biological or chemical or physical, and then using them I reconstruct oceanographic conditions in the past helping craft record of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation [ENSO].”

Into the unknown: Exploring caves to uncover climate change clues

Nearly 20 years ago, then Ph.D. student Gina Moseley walked into a bar in Bristol to meet fellow members of the University of Bristol Spelæological Society caving club. An older caver talked with her over drinks about some small caves in northeastern Greenland he’d always dreamed of organizing an expedition to explore. But, “logistically, it’s a nightmare to get out there,” said Moseley, now a professor in the Institute of Geology at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. The caver gave her all the papers he’d collected on the caves, and for years she kept them filed away.

Safety requirements for Antarctic climate scientists can take your wisdom teeth

What do Antarctic climate scientists and Nordic Vikings have in common?
More than you’d think.
After being cast out of Iceland for murdering his neighbor, Erik the Red, the notorious Viking who walked the Earth around 985 A.D., braved the unforgiving seas in search of a new home. That’s according to Christopher Klein’s History article “The Viking Explorer Who Beat Columbus to America.” Wrapped in layers of pelts, tools in hand, the Viking dropped anchor on new land. Gradually, he took control, founding the first European settlement in what is today Greenland.


An alpine forest turns into a desert within a mere 16,000 years – the geologic equivalent of a blink of an eye. The transformation is just one climate mystery waiting to be solved.

Wondering what drives local rainfall? Curious about tipping points for the entire global weather system? To find answers, you’ll have to go through the “lake mafia,” a disparate collection of scientists who study closed lake basins.


Climate change is an urgent threat linked to floods, drought and increasing heat waves.  While carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise, President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord meant to cap emissions and the temperature rise due to them. Scientists gathered at the Comer Climate Change Conference in southwestern Wisconsin this fall to share their latest research and emphasize the critical need to fight climate change now.

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