OMG Project featured in award-winning VICE News Tonight report

GREENLAND — This summer, a chunk of ice the size of lower Manhattan broke off of a glacier in Eastern Greenland. It contained 10 billion tons of ice, making the video of the event an insanely shareable capsule of climate change dread. But for NASA scientists, the spectacle created by these massive calving events is really just the final step in a far more worrisome — and less visible — process.

That's because glacial melt isn’t just the result of our planet’s warming air. The biggest threat to these glaciers’ continued existence resides deep below the water’s surface.

Unlike most other bodies of water, the ocean surrounding Greenland gets warmer with increasing depth. That’s because warm, salty currents from the Atlantic are heavier than fresh glacial water, so those currents end up on the bottom. And that’s what’s got scientists’ attention: our oceans absorb the heat trapped by greenhouse gases, so they’re getting warmer, and as they do, Greenland’s biggest, deepest glaciers are interacting with them — and melting at increasing speeds.

To understand this better, NASA has been sending planes and boats to Greenland in an effort to map the ocean floor. What they're seeing isn't good.

“We'll have to revise our sea level projections upward, and that's scary,” said NASA climate scientist Josh Willis, who cautioned that they're still in the early days of the ocean mapping mission, dubbed “Oceans Melting Greenland” — or "OMG". "If we're reshaping the coastline in a radical way, you know do you want to take out a 30-year mortgage on a house that might be flooded in 30 years? And so it's real and it's time to start dealing with it."

VICE News Tonight travelled to Greenland to visit Eric Rignot, a NASA researcher who sails the iceberg-infested waters in the hopes of figuring out how fast Greenland’s glaciers are melting — and how much trouble we’re really in.

November 13, 2019

Magnusdottir Research Group's paper spotlighted in EOS

Getting the polar stratosphere right is critical in the simulation of North Atlantic climate change, which is shaped by the interaction of Arctic Amplification and tropical upper tropospheric warming.

November 13, 2019

Paulo Brando taking questions live on NSF Twitter

TOMORROW! #NSFfunded researcher Paulo Brando will #takeoverNSF to talk about wildfires and droughts in the Amazon forests at 1 pm ET. Tune in!

September 12, 2019

Isabella Velicogna's research spotlighted in Air & Space Magazine

NASA and other research agencies bring are bringing new tools to the science of geodesy.

September 12, 2019

New Martiny Lab research featured in UCI News

Researchers also find plankton more resilient to nutrient stress than previously though

August 28, 2019

New research by Mike Goulden spotlighted in UCI News

Study warns of threats from future concurrent drought and heat events

July 01, 2019

New Davis Group research highlighted in UCI News

Existing, planned fossil fuel-burning infrastructure must be retired early, replaced

July 01, 2019

Ellen Druffel and Sheila Griffin's paper was spotlighted by EOS

The radiocarbon signal of DOC with depth across the Pacific Ocean basin effectively supports a number of important theories that have been suggested over the years.

June 04, 2019

Druffel Lab research highlighted by AGU

WASHINGTON—Radioactive carbon released into the atmosphere from 20th-century nuclear bomb tests has reached the deepest parts of the ocean, new research finds.

A new study in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters finds the first evidence of radioactive carbon from nuclear bomb tests in muscle tissues of crustaceans that inhabit Earth’s ocean trenches, including the Mariana Trench, home to the deepest spot in the ocean.

May 08, 2019

Charlie Zender's research featured in NASA spot

A silvery metal tube jutting out of thick ice stands alone amid a vast landscape of endless white in Antarctica.

This 30-foot tube, equipped with weather sensors poking out at perpendicular angles, is able to record Arctic temperature, pressure, windspeed and other conditions, but is not adept at formatting and sharing its data with scientists.

March 19, 2019


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