A crack in the Antarctic ice shelf known as Larsen C has grown by 17 miles since the beginning of December, according to news reports. Scientists warn that a giant iceberg may soon break away from the shelf. We asked Northeastern’s Daniel Douglass, an expert in glacial geography, to explain why ice shelves form, what causes them to crack, and how they affect the environment.
Last week, an international agreement established the world’s largest marine protected area in Antarctica’s Ross Sea. Northeastern’s William Detrich, an expert in marine molecular biology, calls the sea one of the world’s “very few pristine marine ecosystems” and says the protected area “will serve as a natural laboratory for assessing and forecasting climate change on Earth.”
Earlier this year Northeastern students contributed to a massive initiative focused on improving Wikipedia’s science content. As their professor puts it, “It’s very motivating but also terrifying to know that you’re contributing to something that so many people will see.”
Detrich Island, named for H. William Detrich, is in Antarctica.
Northeastern is part of an international research team that has sequenced the first genome of an Antarctic notothenioid fish. The breakthrough will shed light on the animal’s unique evolutionary adaptation to freezing waters.
Eileen Sheehan, a biochemistry student on co-op at Palmer Station, Antarctica, guest blogs about how the lack of daylight affects her scientific research.