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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

Vapor Pressure Deficit Lurking in Our Woods - High Country News

Featured News - Wed, 01/28/2015 - 12:00
Article on work by Lamont scientist Park Williams

Oklahoma Worries Over Earthquakes’ Connection to Oil and Gas Industry - Washington Post

Featured News - Wed, 01/28/2015 - 12:00
Quotes Lamont scientist John Armbruster.

Farewell to fish? - The Times of India

Featured News - Wed, 01/28/2015 - 12:00
Discusses study by Lamont scientists Joaquim Goes and Helga do Rosario Gomes

La Niñas on the rise in climate change double whammy - New Scientist

Featured News - Wed, 01/28/2015 - 10:02
"It looks like most of their extreme La Niñas are the ocean sloshing back after extreme El Niños," says Mark Cane from LDEO.

Snowstorm's Forecast Was Mostly Right, Even if It Felt Wrong in New York - New York Times

Featured News - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:00
"In the big picture, this was not a bad forecast," said Adam Sobel, an atmospheric scientist at Columbia University, who agreed that the meteorologists were not too far off.

Pennsylvania Quake Could Have Been Caused By Quarry - Philadelphia Inquirer

Featured News - Mon, 01/26/2015 - 12:00
Features Lamont seismologist Leonardo Seeber.

A Blizzard Is Coming - WNYC Brian Lehrer

Featured News - Mon, 01/26/2015 - 12:00
Interview with Lamont scientist Adam Sobel.

When the Atmosphere 'Goes Bananas,' Wildfires Do Too - High Country News

Featured News - Mon, 01/26/2015 - 09:46
Lamont's Park Williams explains how an atmospheric parameter known as vapor pressure deficit is helping to kill off trees in the American Southwest.

Surprise Lake Sheds Light on Underbelly of Greenland Ice - Climate Central

Featured News - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 07:25
Meltwater funneling into a lake below Greenland's ice could be speeding the flow of ice to the sea, says a new study in Nature coauthored by Lamont's Robin Bell.

British Volcanologist Wins Earth Sciences 'Nobel' Prize - The Conversation

Featured News - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 15:10
Profile of 2015 Vetlesen Prize recipient Stephen Sparks.

Bristol Geologist Wins Vetlesen Prize for Volcano Work - Fulltime Whistle

Featured News - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 12:00
A British volcanologist has won one of the most prestigious awards in science – the Vetlesen Prize, which is considered to be the earth sciences equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

Bristol Geologist Wins Vetlesen Prize for Volcano Work - BBC News

Featured News - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 11:32
British geologist Stephen Sparks whose work has improved the ability to forecast deadly volcanic eruptions is to receive the 2015 Vetlesen Prize.

The Southwest’s Most Important Number - Ensia

Featured News - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 12:00
By mapping a key indicator of droughts, pests and wildfire in arid places, Lamont's Park Williams and his colleagues offer hope for spotting — and addressing — drought before it sets in.

CT Officials Urge Calm After Earthquake - CBS News NY

Featured News - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 12:00
Lamont-Doherty seismologist Won-Young Kim discusses a string of small earthquakes to hit Connecticut.

A Closer Look at the Record Warmth of 2014 - New York Times

Featured News - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 12:00
Cites research by Lamont-Doherty.

Lobsters of the Land

Geopoetry - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 08:00
 Science Magazine, O_LUKYANOV/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

The eyes of crustaceans like mantis shrimp (left) and insects like horseflies (right) may have a common origin in the ancestral group “Pancrustacea.” Photo: Science Magazine, O_LUKYANOV/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

 

Life arose from the sea, so they say,

And Earth’s family tree is still branching today.

Our view of the old structure way down below:

Mysterious, shrouded, a faded tableau.

A mandible here, a common gene there,

From shards of the past, a crusty forebear!

Butterflies, beetles, scorpions, fleas

Have much more in common with life in the seas

Than with other critters that you might expect,

Like spiders and millipedes, things kids collect.

The closer we look, the weirder it gets,

But it also makes sense – the twin silhouettes,

Those strange compound eyes, a similar brain …

Meet Pancrustacea, the base of the chain!

Crustaceans and insects, shrimp and lacewing,

Peas in a pod that sometimes will sting.

Cockroaches, grasshoppers, flies all a-flutter,

Think on them as you eat lobster with butter!

 

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Further reading:

All in the (Bigger) Family, Pennisi (2015) Science

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.

The Mesozoic: Age of Dinosaurs - Live Science

Featured News - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 12:00
"Nature is very efficient at getting rid of its corpses," said Lamont's Paul Olsen, of the extinctions during during the Mesozoic that left few remains.
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