News aggregator

Study Links Syria Conflict to Drought Caused By Climate Change - New York Times

Featured News - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:00
Quotes Lamont scientist Richard Seager.

California’s terrifying climate forecast: It could face droughts nearly every year - Washington Post

Featured News - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:00
Cites research by Lamont scientists Jason Smerdon and Ben Cook.

Study: Human-caused global warming behind Calif. drought - USA Today

Featured News - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:00
Quotes Lamont scientist Richard Seager.

Pakistan's Water Shortage Creates Dangerous Agriculture Conditions - CCTV-America

Featured News - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 12:00
A Pakistan Minister has warned that scarcity of water is a major issue looming in the country and efforts need to be made to resolve it right away. Pakistan is already facing a massive power and...

The Most Astonishing Thing

Geopoetry - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 09:00
A super-massive black hole, roughly 12 billion times as massive as our sun, has been discovered at the center of a bright quasar. The light reaching us now from that distant location has been traveling for billions of years, and thus offers a glimpse into the earliest stages of the universe.

A super-massive black hole, roughly 12 billion times as massive as our sun, has been discovered at the center of a bright quasar. The light reaching us now from that distant location has been traveling for billions of years, and thus offers a glimpse into the earliest stages of the universe. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

The most astonishing thing about the universe, in my eyes,

Is not merely its gargantuan, unfathomable size,

But the way its vastness ferries gorgeous, primordial light,

So that as we look up into the night,

The farther afield our gaze penetrates, the higher we climb,

The farther we can see back in time.

Like ancient missives carefully tucked into a bottle,

Flashes of history race towards us full-throttle,

At the speed of light traversing a fabric expanding,

These waves touch our shores, and fuel our understanding

Of quasars and black holes, the light and the dark,

The Very Beginning, the bright cosmic spark

From which all this sprang – upon us, the story rains:

Of how we arose with star stuff in our veins.

 

_________________________________________________________

Further reading:

Gigantic Black Hole Discovered from the Dawn of Time, National Geographic

An ultraluminous quasar with a twelve-billion-solar-mass black hole at redshift 6.30, Wu et al. (2015) 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.

3 Reasons to Give a Damn About the Deep Sea - Environment Guru

Featured News - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 12:00
In a new study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Columbia University marine geophysicist Maya Tolstoy reports fluctuations in eruption activity that correlate with changes in sea...

Global Warming Likes its Chicken Fried - Red Orbit

Featured News - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 12:00
Quotes Jason E. Smerdon of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Unexpected role of climate in bringing plague to medieval Europe - CBS News

Featured News - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 12:00
Quotes Lamont scientist Brendan Buckley.

A Thirsty, Violent World - The New Yorker

Featured News - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 12:00
Growing hunger and the struggle to find clean water for billions of people are clearly connected. Quotes Lamont scientist Jason Smerdon.

Did Dark Matter Kill the Dinosaurs? - Science

Featured News - Sat, 02/21/2015 - 12:00
Quotes Dennis Kent, a geophysicist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

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.

 

_________________________________________________________

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...
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