Covered in netting to deflect stray balls, instruments gather methane data on the seventh hole of Midnight Sun Golf Course in Alaska. Permafrost is rapidly thawing across the far north, releasing the highly potent greenhouse gas, which leads to more warming. Photo by Frankie

The Arctic's permafrost-obsessed methane detectives (Wired)

April 7, 2023

The Far North is thawing, unleashing clouds of planet-heating gas. Tyler Jones, Bruce Vaughn, and Kevin Rozmiarek use detectors on drones or carried by hand to measure methane release from permafrost in Alaska.

An ice core from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide is giving scientists a hint at the continent’s seasonal temperatures across millennia. Photo by Heidi Roop/NSF, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Ice cores record long-ago seasons in Antarctica (AGU Eos)

March 17, 2023

Researchers led by INSTAAR Tyler Jones used ice core data to reconstruct seasonal temperatures throughout the Holocene. The results link especially hot summers with patterns in Earth’s orbit. The results are the first seasonal temperature record stretching back 11,000 years.

Tyler Jones on the deck of a research vessel.

Study offers most detailed glimpse yet of planet’s last 11,000 summers and winters (CU Boulder Today)

Jan. 11, 2023

By analyzing Antarctic ice cores, CU Boulder scientists and an international team of collaborators have revealed the most detailed look yet at the planet’s recent climactic history, including summer and winter temperatures dating back 11,000 years to the beginning of what is known as the Holocene. Published today in Nature, the study is the very first seasonal temperature record of its kind, from anywhere in the world. INSTAAR Tyler Jones is lead author of the study.

Rows and rows of silver tubes holding ice cores in an NSF freezer facility

Cores 3.0: Future-proofing Earth sciences’ historical records (Eos)

June 24, 2021

Core libraries store a treasure trove of data about the planet’s past. What will it take to sustain their future?

A satellite view of the Yukon River watershed in Alaska

Arctic communities planning for abrupt permafrost thaw

Oct. 21, 2020

A new INSTAAR-led project will engage Indigenous and Western knowledge systems to better understand abrupt permafrost change in Alaska. The National Science Foundation selected the project as part of its Navigating the New Arctic funding area, one of ten “Big Ideas” that NSF is investing in as an area of profound national challenge and opportunity. The research project brings Alaskan communities together with social and natural scientists to examine changes in permafrost thaw lake environments, including associated effects on villages in the Yukon River watershed.

Close up image of a section of ice core from the WAIS Divide, Antarctica.  Eli Duke, Flickr and WikiMedia.

White paper sets priorities for Antarctic ice coring

Aug. 14, 2020

Data from ice cores can show not only what Earth was like in prehistoric times, but how the mechanisms of climate work and how our climate may transform in the near future. INSTAAR research scientist Tyler Jones led an effort to synthesize ideas about the most meaningful, impactful questions that researchers might answer using ice cores from Antarctica. The result is a white paper that lays out priorities for ice core work in Antarctica for the next five to ten years.