News aggregator

What Nepal can teach about improving earthquake resilience in developing world - Christian Science Monitor

Featured News - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 12:00
The challenges fall into four broad groups, says Arthur Lerner-Lam, a seismologist who heads the Center for Hazards and Risk Research at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y.

NASA's Messenger Mission Is Set to Crash Into Mercury - New York Times

Featured News - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 12:00
Features Lamont director Sean Solomon.

Taking a 4,000-Meter-Deep Profile of Antarctic Waters

Melting Glaciers-Tracking Their Path - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 10:47
NB Palmer, West Antarctica, CTD system

The CTD system is lowered over the side from the NB Palmer. It measures temperature, salinity, and oxygen with depth.

In addition to understanding potential pathways for “warmer” circumpolar deep water to reach the ice shelf, we are also measuring what the structure and properties of the water column are and determining if there is already warmer water on or near the continental shelf that could already interact with the glaciers of East Antarctica today.

To measure water properties, we are using an instrument that can be lowered through the water column that measures conductivity, from which we calculate the salinity of the water, temperature, pressure (i.e. water depth), oxygen, and fluorescence, which is an indicator for phytoplankton or algae in the water. This system is called a CTD for short.

This system can also take water samples from different depths that can be used for further analysis or for calibration and verification of the sensors. When we lower this system in deep water, e.g. 4000 meters, (about 2.5 miles), the measurements take over three hours.

We have measured the water properties at 42 different locations during our expedition and will analyze the results carefully when we are back.

Follow @FrankatSea for additional updates and images from the Southern Ocean.

Who’s Cheerleading for Science? - PBS Sci-Tech Now

Featured News - Sun, 04/26/2015 - 12:00
Interview with Lamont scientist Christine McCarthy.

California Drought Drives an 'Explosive,' Longer Wildfire Season -

Featured News - Sat, 04/25/2015 - 12:00
Those high temperatures are baking the moisture out of the soil and air, leaving vegetation especially dry and vulnerable to catching fire, said Park Williams, an assistant research professor at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.

Nepal earthquake: A tragedy waiting to happen (Opinion) - CNN

Featured News - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 12:00
The disastrous earthquake in Nepal was large, but geophysicists knew it was coming, writes scientist Colin Stark.

$35 Million Federal Award to Rockland's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for Oceanic Research - The Patch

Featured News - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 12:00
Article on IODP being awarded to Lamont-Doherty by the NSF.

War, famine, and drought – the unholy trinity changing our world - Independent

Featured News - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 12:00
All the same, as the co-author of the Syrian study Richard Seager phrased it: "A drought made worse by climate change was one important factor that initiated the social unravelling."

Amid California's Historic Drought, a Scientist Digs for Answers - Inside Climate News

Featured News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 13:17
Profile of Lamont grad student Guleed Ali.

Lake Mead 2015: Photos Show Water Level Nearing Record Low As Drought Threatens Southwest - International Business Times

Featured News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 12:00
"Even at the middle-of-the-road scenario, we see enough warming and drying to push us past the worst droughts experienced in the region since the medieval era," Benjamin Cook, a scientist at NASA'sGoddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, told National Geographic in February.

Decoding the Depths of the Earth - Scienceline

Featured News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 12:00
Feature on seismologist William Menke’s work.

Scientists Turn to Drones For Closer Look at Sea Ice - Climate Central

Featured News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 12:00
Zappa, an oceanographer at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, wants to understand the details of exactly how sea ice breaks up and melts, and he is going to call on a quintessentially 21st century technology to help him do it.

Chile Calbuco Eruption 2015: How A Quiet Volcano Could Suddenly Explode After 5 Years - International Business Times

Featured News - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 12:00
"If you have a monitoring system in place, it's very unlikely that deeper activity will go unnoticed," Philipp Ruprecht, a volcanologist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York, told LiveScience.

Mapping the Seafloor

Melting Glaciers-Tracking Their Path - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 11:53
In addition to depth, we can identify many features in the high-resolution multibeam data that we produce. Most of the seafloor near the shelf break (where the water is between 300 and 500 meters deep) is covered with these irregular furrows that are created when large icebergs are grounded here.

In addition to depth, we can identify many features in the high-resolution multibeam data that we produce. Most of the seafloor near the shelf break (where the water is between 300 and 500 meters deep) is covered with these irregular furrows that are created when large icebergs are grounded here.

One of the goals of this expedition is to investigate if water from the Southern Ocean with temperatures above the melting point of glaciers could reach the glaciers in East Antarctica, and if there are any obstacles on the seafloor of the shelf that impact the ability of such water to reach the glaciers and ice streams.

The continental shelf in our study areas along the East Antarctic margin has been mapped in the past, but the existing data are very sparse and have many gaps. However, it is important to know the actual water depth of the continental shelf if we want to understand if water from the Southern Ocean with temperatures above the melting point could reach any glaciers and ice streams in this part of Antarctica.

We use a multibeam echosounder system installed on the Nathaniel Palmer to map the depth of a wide swath of the seafloor along our ship track. Access to the continental shelf is often limited by dense ice cover, but using the multibeam, we have managed to determine detailed depths in several areas. We will later analyze the depth data together with measurements of water column properties that will tell us exactly how deep the “warmer” Southern Ocean water is.

Follow @FrankatSea for additional updates and images from the Southern Ocean.

NASA's MESSENGER Spacecraft Is About To Crash Into Mercury - Huffington Post

Featured News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 12:01
Quotes Lamont Director Sean Solomon.

NASA’s Messenger spacecraft is about to crash into Mercury - Washington Post

Featured News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 12:00
"Although Mercury is one of Earth's nearest planetary neighbors, astonishingly little was known when we set out," Principal Investigator Sean Solomon, director of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said in a statement.

Pacific Ocean Tied To Global Warming Hiatus - Tech Times

Featured News - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 12:00
Quotes Braddock Linsley.

An Earth Epic

Geopoetry - Fri, 04/10/2015 - 10:30
 Ricardo Ramalho

Photo: Ricardo Ramalho

I hear that the Archean Earth

Spewed lava and was hot,

(While much later, “Snowball Earth,”

Apparently was not),

Some have said that life sprung out of

Spreading-ridge-type stew,

Photosynthesis seems likely

Based on carbon records, too.

Crust was forming, oceans warming,

Stromatolites came later,

(We have to wait a long, long time

for T-Rexes, Fish, and Gators)

The Prot’rozoic was really wild,

Stromatolites went crazy,

Our atmosphere gained oxygen,

The rest is a bit hazy.

Super-duper continents

and Banded-Iron formed;

Glacial stuff beneath cap carbs

Say Earth cooled and warmed.

Half a billion years ago

Is when it gets exciting …

Suddenly, life took a leap!

All living, breeding, fighting.

Brachs and Crinoids, Bryozoans,

Weirdo shells galore,

Nautiloids (like giant dunce caps)

Roamed the ocean floor.

Then disaster strikes them down,

(This happens four more times)

And we soon approach some names

That are difficult to rhyme.

Gondwana drifts to the South Pole,

and glaciers spread like malls,

The world was likely colder,

and sea level took a fall.

So ends the years of trilobites

(and the Ordovician)

But soon we get new forms of life,

And we can all go fishin’!

Finally the land joins in,

And starts to grow green stuff,

(are you still enjoying this,

or have you had enough?)

More death, more life, more death again,

While giant mountains grow,

(we think this lowered CO2,

but no one really knows).

The Carboniferous was lush,

(that’s where our coal is from!)

Amazing bugs and dinosaurs,

(though some say they were dumb).

Gymnosperms and vertebrates,

Then the grimmest death so far,

Then Triassic life recovered,

with reptiles big as cars.

We leave aragonitic seas behind

And move towards today,

Though continents were not in place,

(that great Tethys seaway).

About 100 million years ago

Deep sea carbonates abound,

So now the ocean’s buffered well,

(and planktics can be found!)

And THEN Earth has a real bad day,

An asteroid hits hard,

Fire-balls and darkened skies,

Life is burned and charred.

(Holy cow, this is quite long,

let’s finish it already!) …

Cenozoic history

was anything but steady.

It started hot, they also say

that CO2 was high;

Wimpy mammals take the lead,

(I hear that bats could fly).

Himalayas cause a ruckus,

Gateways open/close,

We start to get some glaciers,

And cold, deep water flows.

From the Greenhouse to the Icehouse

Now we’re really getting chilly,

Then humans come along (that’s us)

and everything gets silly!

So there you have it, Earth through time,

History deep and long,

I surely skipped a lot of stuff,

And may have got some wrong.

I hope if you’re still reading

that your brain is not too vexed,

Now it’s time to face the future,

…. I wonder what is next!



Further reading:

See the geologic record.

This poem was first published on the author’s website on May 22, 2009.

This is one in a series of posts by Katherine Allen, a researcher in geochemistry and paleoclimate at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University.

In the Ice

Melting Glaciers-Tracking Their Path - Fri, 04/10/2015 - 09:12
 The Nathaniel B. Palmer steaming through dense sea ice cover.

Some examples of the sea ice that we have encountered so far. Top left: bands of grease ice. Top right: small pancake ice merged together. Bottom left: larger pancake ice; bottom right: our ship, the Nathaniel B. Palmer, steaming through dense sea ice cover.

Several days ago we reached our main work areas along the margin of East Antarctica. Our expedition is relatively late in the season and the seas around Antarctica are starting to freeze. While the abundance of sea ice makes it more difficult to get to all of our research areas, the different shapes and forms of newly forming sea ice are a great visual experience. We also have a group of Australian scientists aboard the Palmer who are studying sea ice and sea ice formation using an unmanned aerial system or drone, so they are especially pleased by our icy experience.

Follow @FrankatSea for additional updates and images from the Southern Ocean.



Subscribe to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory aggregator