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atmospheric science

Photograph showing cirrus clouds in a blue sky above an expanse of flat, snow-covered ice.
Abstractions blog

Cloud-Making Aerosol Could Devastate Polar Sea Ice

February 23, 2021

An overlooked but powerful driver of cloud formation could accelerate the loss of polar sea ice.

Earth from space.
Abstractions blog

Global Wave Discovery Ends 220-Year Search

August 13, 2020

An 18th-century physicist first predicted the existence of a chorus of atmospheric waves that swoop around Earth. Scientists have finally found them.

An ice sheet stretching into the distance.
Abstractions blog

How Earth’s Climate Changes Naturally (and Why Things Are Different Now)

July 21, 2020

Earth’s climate has fluctuated through deep time, pushed by these 10 different causes. Here’s how each compares with modern climate change.

The Polarstern icebreaker in sea ice.
climate science

The Voyage to the End of Ice

January 16, 2020

Summer sea ice could vanish later this decade, with disastrous consequences. It all depends on the physics of ice.

PHOTO: Sarah Hörst in her lab at JHU

The Scientist Who Cooks Up the Skies of Faraway Worlds

April 8, 2019

Astronomers will soon take their first glance at the atmosphere of a distant exoplanet. Sarah Hörst is writing the guidebook for these exoplanetary explorers, one that will reveal what a distinctive atmosphere says about the world underneath.

Art for "A World Without Clouds"
climate science

A World Without Clouds

February 25, 2019

A state-of-the-art supercomputer simulation indicates that a feedback loop between global warming and cloud loss can push Earth’s climate past a disastrous tipping point in as little as a century.

Art for "A Thermodynamic Answer to Why Birds Migrate"

A Thermodynamic Answer to Why Birds Migrate

May 7, 2018

New modeling studies suggest that birds migrate to strike a favorable balance between their input and output of energy.