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Digging in the Arctic mud for answers to climate change

Known as the world's “climate change barometer," the Arctic, which includes Baffin Island, is classroom and laboratory for Sarah Crump, a PhD student in geological studies and a researcher with INSTAAR. With a focus on paleoclimate in the Arctic, she studies past climate change and how it affected glaciers and ecosystems on Baffin Island. Chemical traces in the sediment cores provide a continuous record of activity that occurred around the lakes over thousands of years. By sequencing plant DNA directly from the sediment, Crump can determine what types of vegetation grew there through time. The information helps researchers understand how plant communities responded to previous climate change. The fact that the DNA is in the mud itself is what is so novel about the new technique.

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Scientists mapping Greenland have produced some surprising–and worrying–results

Washington Post story on two new studies of Greenland that have used sophisticated technologies to map the full measure of Greenland's rapidly changing ice, sediment, topography, and potential contribution to sea level rise.

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Boulder scientist Jim White leans on his faith to communicate the urgency of global warming

5280 Magazine profile of CU Boulder climatologist Jim White, who communicates about climate change using values and a moral compass in addition to scientific fact.

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Science and Culture: Arctic photographers bring climate change into focus

Photographers in the Arctic Arts Project, working with INSTAAR paleoclimatologist Jim White, are part of a growing number of photographers drawn to the Arctic, a region on the front lines of climate change. The area has warmed more than twice as fast as the global average. Many photographers share the same end goal: to convince audiences unmoved by scientific data that climate change is happening now.

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Research to study the future of coastal communities

Researchers from UNCW, Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, the University of Georgia, The Ohio State University, East Carolina University and the University of Colorado, including Eric Hutton from INSTAAR, have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate ways public policies will affect both economic decisions and the coastal environment. The researchers will create and investigate computer modeled coastal communities similar to those found along U.S. East and Gulf Coast barrier islands.

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A summer job in sub-zero temperatures

Undergraduate student Casey Vanderheyden is reaching the end of her six-week summer work stint at the National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL), one of the country’s most prominent storage facilities for ice samples collected from around the world. Inside the deep freeze room cylindrical tubes of ice cores line the shelves in a vast archive that, cumulatively, represents a sizable amount of U.S. polar research dating back decades.

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