This month, Eos takes a swift look at science and speed.
We start with “Redefining ‘Glacial Pace,’” Damond Benningfield’s report on how melting ice and retreating grounding lines contribute to (relatively) fast moving rivers of ice—in West Antarctica, glaciers are advancing up to 100% faster today than they were in the 1980s. It’s all hands (and technologies) on deck to document and analyze the phenomenon, from remote sensing satellites to meters-deep ice cores, from airborne surveys to old-fashioned fieldwork. This month also brings us more breaking news on grounding lines, glaciers, and how they change the environment.
Our pace quickens considerably at the bow shock, where the supersonic solar wind meets Earth’s magnetosphere, in “Space Raindrops Splashing on Earth’s Magnetic Umbrella.” Here, scientists Laura Vuorinen, Adrian LaMoury, Emmanuel Masongsong, and Heli Hietala outline the physics of fast plasma jets, and how these Earth-sized raindrops contribute to space weather (and safety).
Finally, we consider how the urgency of the climate crisis has prioritized new approaches to health and well-being. In “The Mental Toll of Climate Change,” Katherine Kornei shares how experts have identified a temporal spectrum of climate anxiety, ranging from the trauma of sudden-onset events to chronic fatigue associated with shifts in environmental constants. Individuals and communities have developed arrays of mental health resources and found that shared experiences have an unexpected outcome: “Health is the best communication pathway about climate change.”
Scientific discovery, climate change, and our responses to both are proceeding at breakneck speed. Buckle up!
—Caryl-Sue Micalizio, Editor in Chief