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Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

The Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences has a great diversity of programs and intersecting disciplines, with faculty and students studying in fields such as Tectonics, Geophysics, Atmospheric Dynamics and Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Biogeochemistry, Climate Change, Severe Weather, Planetary Sciences, Astrobiology, Data Science, and many other areas. We are committed to strategic initiatives in Diversity and Inclusion, Education, Interconnections between the Earth’s interior and surface, climate and sustainability, planetary exploration and spacecraft missions, and the development of emerging fields of study.

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These Tornado Chasers and Scientists Hunt Real Twisters

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN — Chasers will always be a vital part of tornado detection efforts, but now drones, artificial intelligence and supercomputers are all helping meteorologists figure out just how these terrible storms come together. Prof. Robin Tanamachi, of Purdue EAPS, is highlighted in this video by Scientific American.

'The pressure change was causing me to have contractions': What it's really like to be a tornado chaser

BBC — How tornadoes form remains one of nature's biggest mysteries. Meet the scientists who are chasing twisters to unlock the secrets of destructive storms. "I realized it was very likely the tornado was killing people while I was collecting data," says Robin Tanamachi. "It gave a lot of gravity to the situation, and really drove home just how serious the work was that I was doing."

How hurricanes will change as the Earth warms

THE ECONOMIC TIMES — Hurricane Beryl struck the Grenadine Islands on July 1 as an early category 5 storm with unprecedented speed and intensity, attributed to warm ocean waters. Scientists forecast a record-breaking 2024 hurricane season. "If the National Hurricane Centre's early forecast, released May 23, is right, the North Atlantic could see 17 to 25 named storms, eight to 13 hurricanes, and four to seven major hurricanes by the end of November," says Jhordanne Jones, a postdoctoral research fellow who studies how climate change affects the scientific effort to predict hurricanes at Purdue University.

Isotope tracking suggests that plants cycle carbon faster than previously thought

ROYAL SOCIETY OF CHEMISTRY — Tracking the carbon-14 released by twentieth century nuclear weapons tests suggests that the biosphere cycles carbon more quickly than previously thought. This could be because plants store more carbon in short-lived shoots and leaves rather than in woody biomass. The results could mean plants are less able to offset climate change than had previously been estimated. Prof. Lisa Welp, of Purdue EAPS, is cited in this article by RSOC.

Hurricane Beryl a Stark Warning of Things to Come as Our Planet Heats Up

SCIENCE ALERT — An active hurricane season in 2024 was forecast well in advance. "If the National Hurricane Center's early forecast, released May 23, is right, the North Atlantic could see 17 to 25 named storms, eight to 13 hurricanes, and four to seven major hurricanes by the end of November," says Jhordanne Jones, a postdoctoral research fellow who studies how climate change affects the scientific effort to predict hurricanes at Purdue University EAPS.

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