NOVEMBER 13, 2018
A monthly digest of department news

Dust Storms Spotted for First Time on Titan

Data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft revealed what appear to be giant dust storms in equatorial regions of Saturn's moon Titan, making it the third solar system body, besides Earth and Mars, where dust storms have been observed.


Arctic Ice Sets Major Ocean Current's Speed

The Marshall Group has identified an “ice-ocean governor" mechanism, whereby Arctic ice cover helps regulate the speed of the massive Beaufort Gyre and how much fresh water it stores—with implications for global climate as long-term melting increases its speed and intensity.


Events Roundup
It was a busy start to the semester, full of lectures and celebrations—read more in case you missed out!

•   AGAGE conference celebrates 40 years measuring ozone-depleting, climate-warming gases

•  MIT-WHOI Joint Program symposium marks 50 years

•  2018 PAOC retreat fosters tradition of scientific discussion in a social setting

•  8th Carlson Lecture with John Grotzinger: Searching for Ancient Life on Mars — with full video


Simple Yet Effective

Faster, cheaper modeling method could improve understanding of long-term atmospheric chemistry and provide a powerful risk assessment tool.


A Hotbed of Horizontal Gene Transfers

The Global Microbiome Conservancy’s preliminary results reveal new insights into human gut bacterial diversity and digestion.



Aerosol Impact on Water Resources

Airborne particulates produced by coal-burning power plants and other human activities may help offset global warming, but they may also reduce rainfall in regions such as Asia that are already water-stressed.


Researchers identified a previously unknown molecular fossil in rocks spanning the Cryogenian through early Cambrian periods, providing evidence for some of the earliest multicellular animals called demosponges.


Journey to the Bottom of the Sea

In a story written for Oceanus, MIT-WHOI Joint Program student Chawalit Charoenpong describes sampling hydrothermal vents on the Pacific seafloor, in search of ingredients that may have sparked life on Earth.


Who's Who?
Who's New?

A warm welcome to new members of the department, congratulations on recent promotions, and a fond farewell to those who’ve left.


2018 Hurricane Season Shakes up the News

Hurricane season made a big impression this year—both on the Earth and people's thinking about future seasons—leading many news outlets to turn to EAPS Prof. Kerry Emanuel for context and insight.


Want more EAPS News?

The Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) at MIT is where scientists of multiple disciplines collaborate to understand the Earth, Planets, Climate, and Origins of Life.

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