EAPS News

EAPS department members are world-renowned experts in their fields. Not only do our professors and researchers comment on the news, they make the news. Read about their latest findings and make plans to attend one of our informative EAPS events.

  

Featured Stories

Back to School

MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences welcomes 30 new graduate students.

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Grey Swan Cyclones

Renowned tropical cyclone expert Prof. Kerry Emanuel reports some coastal regions may face a risk of unprecedented storm surge in the next century.

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Can Rain Clean the Atmosphere?

Study from the Cziczo Lab explains how rain droplets attract aerosols out of the atmosphere.

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Dust in the Waters

Intensity of desert storms may affect ocean phytoplankton: MIT study finds phytoplankton are extremely sensitive to changing levels of desert dust.

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Lessons of Katrina

What have we learned about hurricanes and climate change since Katrina? Kerry Emanuel talks to Spectrum Magazine. 

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Paul O'Gorman: Extreme storm modeler

MIT News profiles Prof. Paul O'Gorman, an atmospheric scientist who tracks climate change's effect on extreme storms

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The Chemistry of Life

Sara Seager talks to New Scientist magazine about the giant library of "weird chemicals" she is creating to use in the search for exoplanetary life.

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Estimating Mercury

New findings from researchers in the Selin Group show Asia produces twice as much mercury emissions as previously thought.

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Coral Crusader

MIT-WHOI Joint Program student Hannah Barkley seeks clues to conserve beleaguered reefs as climate change makes ocean waters warmer and more acidic: A "double whammy" for coral populations.

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Dating Drying

Research by Elena Steponaitis, Alex Mitchell, David McGee and others suggests western U.S. deserts were relatively wet up until 8,200 years ago.

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Heald Wins 2015 AGU Macelwane Award

Colette Heald has been awarded the 2015 James B. Macelwane Medal in recognition of "significant contributions to the geophysical sciences by an outstanding young scientist".

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Dynamic Deltas

MIT-WHOI Joint Program graduate student Jaap Nienhuis has been working on a new metric which may help engineers determine how the shape of a river delta, such as the Mississippi’s, may shift in response to engineered structures such as dams and levees, and environmental changes, due to changing climate such as hurricane activity and sea-level rise.

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Ocean acidification may cause dramatic changes to phytoplankton

Study led by principal research scientist Stephanie Dutkiewicz finds many species may die out and others may migrate significantly as ocean acidification intensifies.

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Susan Solomon on Lessons from the Ozone Hole

Atmospheric chemist Susan Solomon recounts how scientists, world governments, and the public worked together to stop the ozone hole from growing, and what we can learn from those actions that could be applied to the climate change problem.

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New Horizons Arrives - Reaching an 'Unreachable" Frontier

3 Questions: Richard Binzel on New Horizons’ closest view of Pluto

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Stripes in the Earth's Magnetosphere

EAPS Professor Ben Weiss, visiting scientist Yuri Shprits and others report zebra-like stripes of plasma in a patch of space. Structure may help scientists identify radiation-remediation strategies in space.

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McNutt Nominated as NAS President

EAPS congratulations to former faculty member Marcia McNutt on her nomination as President of the National Academy of Sciences. 

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Catching Pluto's Shadow

EAPS lecturer & astronomer Amanda Bosh and research scientist Michael Person speak to MIT News about the NASA mission chasing Pluto’s shadow to catch details of its atmosphere.

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Painted Hills, Oregon - Image: Wikimedia

Testing How Earth Works

WSJ reports on experiments testing Taylor Perron's proposed explanation of evenly spaced ridges and valleys: "This is how the Earth’s hills and valleys were made — and what will shape them in the future."

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Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/SWRI

Racing Towards Pluto

How'd we get New Horizons? You can thank the Pluto Underground: A young Professor Binzel was one of the "twelve idealistic young scientists who met in a Baltimore Italian restaurant and cooked up the plan that convinced NASA to put Pluto on the front burner."

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Credit: NASA/GSFC Scientific Vizualization Studio

A Matter of Time for Antarctic Sea Ice

New research from MIT and University of Washington scientists, suggests ozone, or rather a lack of it, may help explain why sea ice is shrinking in the northern hemisphere and growing in the southern hemisphere.

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Plutologue - Blogging the 2015 Pluto Occultation

On UT 29 June 2015, Pluto will occult a star (m=11.9) in Sagittarius. EAPS' Amanda Bosh, Molly Kosiarek XII ‘15, Michael Person, Stephanie Sallum XII ‘12, join other astronomers from MIT, Lowell Observatory, and Williams College traveling to New Zealand and Australia to observe this occultation, with the goal of studying Pluto's atmosphere. Follow the adventures in their blog!

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MISTI Excellence Award

Congratulations to EAPS alumna Kelly Kochanski '15 who receives MISTI's Berger Award For Future Global Leaders.

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Small thunderstorms may add up to massive cyclones on Saturn

Morgan O'Neill, Kerry Emanuel, and Glen Flierl report on their new model which may predict cyclone activity on other planets

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Faculty Award

Emeritus Professor of Physical Oceanography Carl Wunsch has been selected to receive the 2015 Walter Munk Award

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2015 Senior Thesis Presentations

Studying the troposphere's response to stratospheric perturbations, diagnosing apparent seasonal variation in GPS readings, packaging variable-star photometry for  a secondary school setting, exploring controls on Mesozoic to Cenozoic crustal metamorphism and deformation in the southwestern US, surveying asteroids using one of the biggest telescopes in the world, and helping build and then take measurements with WAO's first autonomous telescope: Discover what EAPS class of 2015 has been working on.

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Celebrating the Peter H. Stone and Paola Malanotte Stone Professorship

Faculty, administrators, and guests gather to mark the endowment of a new professorship in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.

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A Check on Runaway Lake Drainage

MIT-WHOI Joint Program student Laura Stevens, and EAPS Professor Tom Herring team up with others from WHOI and eleswhere in a study of Greenland supraglacial lake drainage.

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The search for planets beyond our solar system

Every star we see in the sky has at least one planet orbiting it, says astronomer Sara Seager. So what do we know about these exoplanets, and how can we find out more? Seager introduces her favorite set of exoplanets and shows new technology that can help collect information about them — and even help us look for exoplanets with life: Seager's TED 2015 Talk.

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Shhhh! Remote Observing in Progress

After two years of work, the Wallace Observatory crew has "perfected" the ability to fully control its fleet of smaller telescopes remotely and, as needed, automatically

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Uncovering a Diverse Invisible Ocean World

Mick Follows, Christopher Hill, and Oliver Jahn have been using model simulations to interpret the results from the TARA Oceans Expedition to sample plankton around the globe from a sailing ship.

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n terms of plate tectonics, India is running into Asia at one and a half to two

Indian Subcontinent’s Quake-Causing Collision Course

Oliver Jagoutz talks to the NY Times about his recent Nature Geoscience paper co-authored with Leigh Royden and others.

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2015 EAPS Student Awards

A roll-call of this year's Excellence in Teaching, Crosby, and Goetze Award recipients presented at the May 15 Student Recognition Dinner.

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Mario Molina: Don’t gamble with our climate future

Former member of the EAPS faculty and co-winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Mario Molina, presented the 2015 Kari Taylor Compton Lecture on "Climate Change: Science, Policy, and Communication.”

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Keen Observers

EAPS lecturer Amanda Bosh talks to MIT News about her Observe@MIT observational astronomy program: Watch this short video about sky-watching right on campus. 

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The MIT Student, a Big Telescope, and a Life Changing MISTI Experience 

When EAPS Major Ashley Peter left for the Canary Islands, she had no idea that she would be using the largest optical telescope in the world–or how that experience would remap her future.

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India Drift

Royden and Jagoutz in Nature Geosciences this week explaining mystery of India’s rapid move toward Eurasia 80 million years ago. 

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Shuhei Ono Promoted to Associate Professor

EAPS Congratulations - Shuhei Ono to be promoted to Associate Professor.

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Tracing the Evolution of Landscape

Geologist Taylor Perron explores river networks on Earth and beyond - MIT News profiles one of EAPS recently tenured faculty.

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Why CubeSats are Cool

Kerri Cahoy explains why CubeSats, miniature satellites, some smaller than a shoebox, are a game-changing satellite technology.

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Bacteria Get 'Pumped Up'

MIT/WHOI Joint Program graduate student Bethanie Edwards is lead-author on a paper in PNAS reporting the discovery of a surprising new short-circuit to the ocean's biological pump

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Podcast: What's the science behind climate change?

Kerry Emanuel and Dan Cziczo among those discussing the history and science behind Earth’s warming climate, and whether anything can be done to mitigate a rising global temperature in a new All Ears MIT podcast.

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Sam Bowring and Sara Seager elected to the National Academy of Sciences

EAPS congratulates Samuel Bowring, Robert R. Shrock Professor of Geology, and Sara Seager, Class of 1941 Professor of Physics and Planetary Sciences, on their election to the American National Academy of Sciences. 

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In the beginning: How Earth got its continents

Oliver Jagoutz doesn't have much room for rocks in his narrow tenth-floor office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But the geologist keeps a couple of samples on hand to show visitors how Earth produces something unique in the solar system: continents - Jagoutz in the New Scientist: reading rocks to understand how planets work.

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A Model Year for Climate Change

Climate expert Jochem Marotzke tackles the discrepancy between climate models and real-world observations in the 15th annual Henry W. Kendall Memorial Lecture.

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Indian Environment Minister Visits MIT

During a visit hosted by Sai Ravela, Prakash Javadekar, the Indian Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, visited MIT on April 16 to meet with faculty and students from departments and centers across MIT.

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How Structure Arose in the Primordial Soup

Life’s first epoch saw incredible advances — cells, metabolism and DNA, to name a few. Recent Simons Foundation awardee Greg Fournier talks about his work resurrecting ancient proteins to illuminate the biological dark ages.

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An Ocean of Opportunity

Using tiny marine microbes to model climate change: MIT News profiles Associate Professor Mick Follows.

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Jochem Marotzke to speak on what the warming “hiatus” means for climate change

Director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology will deliver the 15th annual Henry W. Kendall Lecture.

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Five from EAPS are Environmental Solutions Initiative Seed Grant Winners

Projects involving Glenn Flierl, Noelle Selin, Colette Heald, Shuhei Ono and Roger Summons are among nine selected to receive seed funding.

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EAPS Goes to Congress

EAPSters Alec Bogdanoff, Dana Mastropole, Laura Stevens, and Daniel Amrhein, were among 23 MIT graduate students who travelled to Washington DC in March to participate in the annual Science-Engineering-Technology Congressional Visits Day (CVD). 

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Spiraling Around Earthquakes

The 2015 William F. Brace Lecture "The Inference Spiral of Earthquake System Science" presented by Thomas Jordan: Looking back at a special EAPS event.

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Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam and Climate Change

Kerry Emanuel assesses the possible contribution of climate change in exceptionally intense recent tropical cycolone Pam in the blog RealClimate.

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Second Ringed Chiron?

Researchers in the Planetary Astronomy Lab in EAPS detect features around Chiron that may signal rings, jets, or a shell of dust.

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First-light Images from NASA’s Soil Moisture Satellite Revealed

CEE/EAPS Professor Dara Entekhabi, science team leader of NASA's SMAP satellite, marvels at the project's first snapshot of Earth.

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Falling Snow Records

The winter of 2015 became the snowiest Boston has ever seen. MIT Meteorologist Lodovica Illari shares her thoughts on the science behind these extreme weather events and what caused them.

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New Detector Sniffs out Origins of Methane

Instrument in the Shuhei Ono's Stable Isotope Lab identifies methane’s origins in mines, deep-sea vents, and cows.

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A Clearer View of Clouds

Kerri Cahoy, Matthew Webber, and Nikole Lewis describe use of method to determine properties of clouds surrounding the exoplanet Kepler-7b.

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Solving Carbon Mysteries of the Deep Ocean

New research from Chris Follett and Dan Rothman in collaboration with others at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution reveals a hidden deep-ocean carbon cycle.

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Snow in a Warming World

Paul O'Gorman talks to the Boston Globe about his counterintuitive findings, reported in the journal Nature in August 2014, suggesting that global warming likely won’t prevent massive snowstorms.

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The Great Dying

Feeling comfortable? We've got one planet and... sometimes... catastrophic things happen. What lessons for today can past mass extinctions teach us? Watch a great new short about work in the Bowring Lab from MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing.

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New Professorship Announced

It is with great pleasure that the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences announces receipt of the generous pledge of $5M from Emeritus Professor Peter H. Stone and Professor Paola Malanotte Stone (Rizzoli) to endow a full professorship.

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Distinguished Visiting Scientists

This month EAPS welcomes two distinguished visiting professors Maarten V. de Hoop of Purdue University and Michel Campillo, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France.

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3 Questions: Dara Entekhabi on NASA's Soil Moitsure Mission

MIT professor is lead scientist on three-year mission to study how soil, water, and carbon interact - rescheduled for launch January 31.

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Seager awarded a Bose Grant

Sara Seager will use her Amer G. Bose Research Grant to map biochemical space in search of life beyond Earth.

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Award for Green Building's Hidden Hands

EAPS congratulations to Operations and Facilities Manager Scott Wade who has been selected to receive MIT's 2015 Serving the Client Excellence Award. Scott will be honored in an Institute wide ceremony in March.

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