News | Research

INSTAAR research is featured in thousands of news stories and more than 10,000 social media posts per year. Outlets include the New York Times, Washington Post, PBS NewsHour, National Public Radio, and as well as more regional news outlets like High Country News, 9News, and the Denver Post. Selected highlights are listed below. Additional stories are noted @INSTAAR on Twitter.

Flames burn in the foreground as smoke eddies through treetops in the background during a wildfire in the Irkutsk region of Russia.

Rapid Arctic meltdown in Siberia alarms scientists (Washington Post)

July 3, 2020

Merritt Turetsky is quoted in a Washington Post story on the record-setting heat wave across Siberia that is leading to massive wildfires and permafrost melt.

Penguin on ice floe

The South Pole feels Pacific heat

June 29, 2020

In a "news and views" piece in Nature Climate Change, INSTAAR Sharon Stammerjohn and CIRES researcher Ted Scambos spell out the evidence and consequences of rapid warming at the South Pole and call for action to “flatten the curve” of global carbon emissions.

The American buildings of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station are stark black boxes on a white snowy ground. Photo by Vicki Beaver/Alamy.

Even the South Pole is warming, and quickly, scientists say (New York Times)

June 29, 2020

Surface air temperatures at the bottom of the world have risen three times faster than the global average since the 1990s. Sharon Stammerjohn (INSTAAR) and Ted Scambos (NSIDC) are quoted about their commentary in Nature Climate Change.

Close view of permafrost soil, covered in mosses and puddles.

Why a ‘feverish’ Arctic will affect everyone on the globe (PBS News Hour)

June 26, 2020

A historic heat wave is occurring in the Arctic, already the fastest-warming place on Earth due to the increasing accumulation of greenhouse gases. Dr. Merritt Turetsky has studied the Arctic for decades. She joins William Brangham on PBS NewsHour to discuss causes and consequences of the Arctic's rising temperatures.

The corner of a Russian apartment building is collapsed from uneven permafrost thaw in Chersky. Photo by Vladimir Romanovsky, University of Alaska Fairbanks

The ticking time bomb of Arctic permafrost (Eos)

June 24, 2020

Arctic infrastructure is under threat from thawing permafrost, explains this story in Eos featuring Merritt Turetsky.

INSTAAR Chad Wolak prepares air samples for carbon-14 measurement. Photo by Scott Lehman.

Radioactive bookkeeping of carbon emissions (Eos)

June 24, 2020

A new sampling method uses carbon-14 to single out which carbon dioxide molecules in the atmosphere derive from fossil fuels. The method could help track emissions goals for climate mitigation.

Chad Wolak prepares NOAA air samples for carbon-14 measurement.

Tracking fossil fuel emissions with carbon-14

June 1, 2020

Researchers from NOAA and the University of Colorado have devised a breakthrough method for estimating national emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels using ambient air samples and a well-known isotope of carbon scientists have relied on for decades to date archaeological sites. In a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they report the first-ever national scale estimate of fossil-fuel derived carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions obtained by observing CO2 and its naturally occurring radioisotope, carbon-14, from air samples collected by NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network.

Colorful satellite image of the Lena River delta flowing into the Arctic ocean

Accounting for the missing silica in the marine sediment cycle (AGU Eos)

Jan. 17, 2018

Shaily Rahman led a study using cosmogenic silicon to estimate the amount of biogenic silica stored in clays along continental margins. The team's findings may explain a longstanding, large discrepancy in the global marine silica budget. Understanding silicon is especially important because of its influence on primary production and the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.