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Eco-Drones Aid Researchers in Fight to Save the Environment - NBC News

Featured News - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 12:00
At Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Chris Zappa is planning his next mission to monitor ice melt in the Arctic..

Mysterious Demise of an Australian Thunder Bird

Geopoetry - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 08:00
 Ann Musser @ Australian Museum.

Genyornis newtoni, one of the great “thunder birds” of Australia, went extinct about 50 thousand years ago, for reasons that are still not clear. Image: Ann Musser @ Australian Museum.

 

Here, mankind and death coincide,

But everyone’s still mystified …

Geologists find

This thunder bird’s kind

Were lost as Australia dried.

 

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Further reading:

Hydrological transformation coincided with megafaunal extinction in central Australia, Cohen et al. (2015) Geology

Drying lakes linked to extinctions, Nature

 

This is one in a series of poems written 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.

Bonjour de Nouméa!

Wide Ocean, Tiny Creatures - Wed, 02/18/2015 - 10:46

Scientists from research institutions around the world are participating in a research expedition aboard the R/V L ‘Atalante to study how microorganisms in the South Pacific Ocean influence the carbon cycle. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory graduate student Kyle Frischkorn is among them; his goal is to assess how the microorganism Trichodesmium, and other microbes, interact and the resulting physiological and biogeochemical impacts these processes have on marine ecosystems. This is the first in a series of posts in which Kyle shares what it’s like to do research at sea.

The research vessel L'Atalante in port in New Caledonia.

The research vessel L’Atalante in port in New Caledonia.

I am reporting from the shores of New Caledonia. I am just about as far away from my home in New York City as one can get—literally and metaphorically: New Caledonia is an island in the southern hemisphere, in the subtropical South Pacific, east of Australia. I am in the capital city, Nouméa, where palm trees lines streets that move at a leisurely, island pace. It’s also about 80 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than New York City right now, which is perhaps the most jarring difference of all.

Few have heard of New Caledonia, a French “special collectivity”. I hadn’t either, until I had to get a plane ticket here. During World War II this island served as the South Pacific headquarters of the US military. This was strategically important for the Allied forces during WWII, it had good infrastructure and developed roads. Additionally, the hospitality of the New Caledonians and the tropical amenities offered much needed respite for the soldiers. This is a snippet of what I learned at the Musée de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, just one stop on my two-day exploration of the city before embarking on 45 days of non-stop science.

As luck would have it, on my way to the museum I rode the bus one stop too far—an easy mistake to make, the street signs are miniscule and in French, also the buses blast catchy, island-y remixes of American Top 40 songs so I was reluctant to disembark. After I stepped off the bus, I got my bearings and by chance found myself face to face with the research vessel L’Atalante, my home for the next 2 months.

Scientists from research institutions around the world are partaking in this expedition, the broad, overarching goal of which is to study how microorganisms in the South Pacific Ocean influence the carbon cycle. My specific project focuses on one particular microorganisms, a cyanobacterium called Trichodesmium. This microbe is important in the low nutrient, oligotrophic ocean because of their ability to take in and fix carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, and because they have the relatively rare ability to transform atmospheric nitrogen into a form that is a utilizable nutrient for other organisms in the ocean. These abilities make Trichodesmium colonies oases of biological activity in a desert-like ocean. My colleague Andreas Krupke, a post-doctoral researcher in the Van Mooy Lab at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and I will be conducting a series of experiments on this transect from Nouméa, New Caledonia to Papeete, Tahiti to assess how other microbes and Trichodesmium interact and the resulting physiological and biogeochemical impacts these processes have.

Before we can get started on the science, however, the first mission is to unpack all of the gear I shipped from Lamont and re-assemble the Dyhrman Lab on L’Atalante. It’ll function just like our lab back on dry land, but all the equipment is literally tied, drilled or bungee corded to the benchtop… stay tuned!

Global WARming - BusinessWorld Online Edition

Featured News - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 10:17
Quotes Mark Cane.

U.S. Droughts Will Be the Worst in 1,000 Years - Scientific American

Featured News - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 12:00
The Southwest and central Great Plains will dry out even more than previously thought.

A ‘megadrought’ will grip U.S. in the coming decades, NASA researchers say - Washington Post

Featured News - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 12:00
The Southwest and central Plains will experience a dry weather shift 35 years from now, a NASA, Cornell and Columbia study said.

Is climate change fuelling war? - The Japan Times

Featured News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 10:49
Quotes Mark Cane.

Turning Carbon Dioxide Into Rock, and Burying It - New York Times

Featured News - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 11:52
Article on Lamont-Doherty collaboration features adjunct scientist Juerg Matter.

Carbon Reduction and History and President Johnson - The Energy Collective

Featured News - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 11:51
The only surviving member of the sub-panel, Wallace Broecker, geology professor at Columbia University's Earth Institute, said by telephone he does...

Seafloor Eruptions Triggered by Tides, Ice Ages - National Geographic News

Featured News - Sat, 02/07/2015 - 12:00
Even small changes in sea levels-which affect the weight sitting on top of volcanoes-are enough to influence underwater eruptions, says a new study.

Secrets in the Ice - Nautilus

Featured News - Thu, 02/05/2015 - 14:13
Quotes glaciologist Tim Creyts of LDEO on the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains.

Investigate Fortitude: Plague Under the Ice - Pivot

Featured News - Thu, 02/05/2015 - 12:00
Video with Lamont scientist Bob Newton comments on science behind the TV drama.

De Blasio Plans Affordable Housing in Areas Swamped by Hurricane Sandy - InsideClimate News

Featured News - Wed, 02/04/2015 - 12:00
Klaus Jacob, a geophysicist at Columbia University who studies climate change's impact on infrastructure, said the move is risky and short-sighted.

Recurring Meteor Shower On Mercury? NASA’s MESSENGER Suggests So - Planetsave

Featured News - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 12:00
Quotes Lamont director Sean Solomon.

Arsenic Present in Private Wells Threatens People in Many U.S. States - Medical News

Featured News - Mon, 02/02/2015 - 12:00
Article on study led by Lamont adjunct Yan Zheng.

Earthquakes Rattling Glaciers, Boosting Sea Level Rise - GlacierHub

Featured News - Sat, 01/31/2015 - 12:00
Quotes research conducted by Dr. Meredith Nettles.

Snow-show: Weather forecasting still an inexact science - The Journal News

Featured News - Sat, 01/31/2015 - 12:00
"It really wasn't a bad forecast, in the big picture," said Adam Sobel, an atmospheric scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades.

Hurricane Sandy & Climate Change: redOrbit interviews author Adam Sobel - Red Orbit

Featured News - Sat, 01/31/2015 - 12:00
RedOrbit sits down with Columbia professor and author Adam Sobel to discuss Hurricane Sandy and the future impact of climate change on storms.

Birth of a Desert

Geopoetry - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 10:47

 

 apdesign)

About 10 thousand years ago, North Africa’s Sahara Desert was a wide, green landscape. (photo credit: apdesign)

 

North Africa once was quite green,

From ancient lakes, clues we can glean:

Earth’s orbit has changed,

And rains rearranged …

Creating a vast, desert scene.

 

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Further reading:

End of the African Humid Period, News & Views by Peter deMenocal (2015) Nature Geoscience

The time-transgressive termination of the African Humid Period, Shanahan et al. (2015) Nature Geoscience

This is one in a series of poems written 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.

La Nina Extreme Weather Pattern May Double by Century's End - Scientific America

Featured News - Wed, 01/28/2015 - 12:00
Quotes Lamont scientist Park Williams
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