Harvard Underwater

by Jenna Lang figures by Hannah Zucker At some point during my lifetime, Harvard’s campus will flood.  The waters of Boston Harbor will rush around the Charles River dam and surge onto the Harvard Business School campus on one side of the swelling river and onto the Harvard College campus on the other side.  Winthrop House, where my sister will live starting next year, faces … Continue reading Harvard Underwater

How one volcano concealed the sea-level acceleration record

Using satellite records and global climate models, scientists have shown that sea level rise is accelerating. Although sea level data from the past 23 years diverged from this long term trend, researchers demonstrate that the abnormal cooling caused by the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo concealed the long-term trend. A high-resolution record of global sea level has been available since the 1992 launch of the … Continue reading How one volcano concealed the sea-level acceleration record

Water Beneath Our Feet

Scientists recently estimated the volume and ages of groundwater using a combination of chemical measurements and mathematical models. The authors of the study compiled measurements of levels of tritium, the radioactive form of the element hydrogen, to estimate groundwater age. High tritium levels correspond to water that was exposed to nuclear testing in the past 50 years, or “young” water. The team found that about … Continue reading Water Beneath Our Feet