Department of Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Science

Seasons change: FSU researchers provide new definition for major Indian monsoon

Toward the end of every year, the Northeast Indian Monsoon (NEM) batters southern India with torrents of driving rain, but climatologists have never precisely defined when the monsoon begins and ends. Now, Florida State University Professor of Meteorology Vasu Misra has used detailed surface temperature analyses to identify the start and end dates of the […]

FSU oceanography professor receives prestigious early career award

Florida State University Associate Professor of Oceanography Robert Spencer has received the Yentsch-Schindler Early Career Award from the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography for his significant contributions to our understanding of global biogeochemical processes. The annual award, initiated by ASLO in 2012, honors early career aquatic scientists who have made outstanding contributions […]

Research reveals ‘fundamental finding’ about Earth’s outer core

The Earth’s core is an exceptionally difficult place to study. Its depths descend a staggering 2,900 kilometers — about the distance from New York City to Denver — and its extreme, otherworldly conditions are extraordinarily challenging to simulate in the lab. For scientists like Florida State University Assistant Professor Mainak Mookherjee and his postdoctoral scholar […]

For these critically endangered marine turtles, climate change could be a knockout blow

Hawksbill turtles aren’t the only marine turtles threatened by the destabilizing effects of climate change, but a new study from researchers at Florida State University shows that this critically endangered species could be at particular risk. In a study published in the journal PLOS One, researchers from FSU’s Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science […]

FSU researchers: Most fires in Florida go undetected

A new study from Florida State University researchers indicates that common satellite imaging technologies have vastly underestimated the number of fires in Florida. Their report, published in collaboration with researchers from the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy, challenges well-established beliefs about the nature and frequency of fire in the Sunshine State. While there […]

FSU researcher rooting out the errors in storm simulation models

On the eve of every hurricane season, climatologists around the world offer their studied prognostications: Will we see high activity? Low activity? How will ocean temperature affect storm development? What are the chances of a powerful storm making landfall? Scientists have leveraged improved climate models to simulate tropical cyclone behavior with an ever-increasing degree of […]

Recreational fisheries pose threat to skittish sea turtles

Every summer, thousands of amateur scallopers flock to the warm coastal waters of Florida’s Crystal River region, anchor their boats and reap the delicious bounty of the state’s largest recreational bay scallop fishery. For these seasonal anglers, the toothsome morsels are well worth the two- or three-meter dive. But new research from scientists at Florida […]

In the ocean’s twilight zone, tiny organisms may have giant effect on Earth’s carbon cycle

Deep in the ocean’s twilight zone, swarms of ravenous single-celled organisms may be altering Earth’s carbon cycle in ways scientists never expected, according to a new study from Florida State University researchers. In the area 100 to 1,000 meters below the ocean’s surface — dubbed the twilight zone because of its largely impenetrable darkness — […]

Life recovered rapidly at impact site of dino-killing asteroid

About 66 million years ago, an asteroid smashed into the Earth triggering a mass extinction that ended the reign of the dinosaurs and snuffed out 75 percent of life. While the asteroid killed off scores of species, a new study from Florida State University scientists, in collaboration with lead researchers from The University of Texas […]

FSU research: New model could help rebuild eroding lands in coastal Louisiana

As coastal lands in Louisiana erode, researchers, environmentalists and engineers are all searching for ways to preserve the marsh coastline. Now, a Florida State University researcher has developed a model to help stakeholders figure out what factors they need to consider to rebuild land in this fragile wetland. The model is outlined in the journal […]

Study shows sea turtle nesting beaches threatened by microplastic pollution

Plastic is famous for its unyielding durability, making it perfect for consumer products but a unique and persistent menace to the natural environment. For the loggerhead sea turtles that nest on the once-pristine beaches bounding the Gulf of Mexico, millimeters-thick pieces of broken down plastic — called microplastics — pose a particularly urgent threat. A […]

FSU researchers: Urban growth leads to shorter, more intense wet seasons in Florida peninsula

New research from Florida State University scientists has found that urban areas throughout the Florida peninsula are experiencing shorter, increasingly intense wet seasons relative to underdeveloped or rural areas. The study, published in the Nature Partner Journal Climate and Atmospheric Science, provides new insight into the question of land development’s effect on seasonal climate processes. […]