News aggregator

The Tsunami that Engulfed an Island - BBC

Featured News - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 10:47
About 73,000 years ago a volcano collapsed. Its force generated a wave that engulfed an island over 30 miles away. Cites research by Lamont-Doherty's Ricardo Ramalho and Gisela Winckler.

Ancient Mega Tsunami Hurled Boulders Nearly as High as the Eiffel Tower - Washington Post

Featured News - Mon, 10/05/2015 - 12:00
The evidence hinges on the nature of the boulders, which are composed of rock types that "exclusively crop out on the cliff faces and lower slopes of the plateau, implying a source at considerably lower elevations," the authors write. Richard Ramalho worked on the study at Lamont-Doherty.

Ancient Skyscraper-High Tsunami Prompts Worries about Current Risk - Scientific American

Featured News - Mon, 10/05/2015 - 12:00
"Most of these fairly young oceanic volcanoes—such as in the Azores and the Canary Islands and Hawaii—are incredibly high and steep, so the potential energy for a collapse to happen again is there,"said Richard Ramalho, who worked on the study at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

800-Foot Tsunami Once Heaved Truck-Sized Boulders Onto a High Plateau - PBS NOVA

Featured News - Mon, 10/05/2015 - 12:00
Geologists have concluded that 73,000 years ago, a tsunami six times taller than the wave that hit Japan in 2011 struck off the coast of West Africa, in the Cape Verde islands. Cites work by Gisela Winckler and Ricardo Ramalho.

Uptick in Huge Wildfires Tied to Warming - Discovery

Featured News - Mon, 10/05/2015 - 12:00
Catastrophic wildfires in the West are burning land more violently and more frequently in recent years than at any point on record. Lamont-Doherty's Park Williams explains how this year’s big fires have corresponded with higher temperatures.

California Once Had a 2,000-Year-Long Dry Spell - Discovery

Featured News - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 12:45
Lamont-Doherty scientists Linda Heusser and Jonathan Nichols used ancient pollen to look at Southern California's changing ecology through time and discovered a series of mega-droughts thousands of years ago.

NYC Subway System Prepares for Hurricane Joaquin - Wall Street Journal

Featured News - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 12:44
With Hurricane Joaquin headed northward in the Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal looked at how prepared the New York City subway system is to handle another major storm. The Journal spoke with Lamont-Doherty's Adam Sobel.

Volcano's Collapse Caused Mega-Tsunami 240 Metres High - Guardian

Featured News - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 12:00
Scientists warn that a similar event to the collapse of a volcano on the Cape Verde island of Fogo 73,000 years ago could pose major threats to nearby islands. Cites research by Ricardo Ramalho.

Stone's Throw: Evidence of a Giant Tsunami - The New Yorker

Featured News - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 12:00
Geologists tend to notice when big rocks are out of place, like the elephant-sized chunks of basalt and limestone that had formed at sea level and somehow ended up more than six hundred feet above, on a volcanic plateau on Santiago Island. Cites research by Ricardo Ramalho.

How Scary Is Hurricane Joaquin, Really? - The Daily Beast

Featured News - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 12:00
While Hurricane Joaquin swirls off the coast, two additional sources of weather woes are affecting the East Coast, bringing heavy rainfall and a rare, prolonged wind event. Quotes Lamont's Suzana Camargo.

The Storm King - Science

Featured News - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 18:28
Lamont's Adam Sobel talks to Science about the Madden-Julian Oscillation, a powerful driver of weather in the tropics.

Bringing Back the City: Superstorm Sandy and the Subways - New York Transit Museum

Featured News - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 12:00
The New York Transit Museum looks back at how New York City's mass transit responded to a flooding crisis and recovered from Superstorm Sandy. Videos feature Lamont-Doherty's Adam Sobel, head of the Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate.

This Hurricane Won't Be Like the Last One - WNYC

Featured News - Thu, 10/01/2015 - 12:00
Hurricane Joaquin is headed north, possibly towards New York City. Lamont's Adam Sobel talks about the wide range of forecasts, the likelihood of heavy rain, and how this hurricane is different from Superstorm Sandy.

Seawater the Source of Fluid-Rich Diamonds - EARTH Magazine

Featured News - Wed, 09/30/2015 - 12:00
Subducting oceanic plates that dive hundreds of kilometers beneath Earth’s surface carry with them cargoes of sediment and seawater. As the plate heats up the deeper it sinks, this seawater not only initiates melting in the rock above it, but can also trigger diamond formation, suggests a new study in Nature by Lamont's Yaakov Weiss.

Joaquin? There’s No Perfect Forecast, So Stay Tuned, Be Prepared - WX Shift

Featured News - Wed, 09/30/2015 - 12:00
Models present a range of possible outcomes, and right now forecasters are still weighing the odds for Hurricane Joaquin, writes Lamont-Doherty's Adam Sobel.

California Drought Will End, but It's Not the Last - CNBC

Featured News - Tue, 09/29/2015 - 12:00
Droughts will likely become more frequent in the state than they have been in the past. CNBC talks to Lamont-Doherty's Park Williams about the changes.

Scientists Declare an Urgent Mission – Study West Antarctica, and Fast - Washington Post

Featured News - Tue, 09/29/2015 - 12:00
Scientists who have been raising alarms about the endangered ice sheet of West Antarctica say they’ve identified a key glacier that could pose the single most immediate threat to the world’s coastlines — and are pushing for an urgent new effort to study it. Lamont-Doherty's Robin Bell is quoted.

New York City Flood Risk Rising Due to Climate Change - USA Today

Featured News - Mon, 09/28/2015 - 12:00
Lamont's Adam Sobel, author of the book "Storm Surge" about Superstorm Sandy, comments on new research about flood risks from extreme weather in New York City.

Is Biking in the City Bad for Your Health? Researchers Want to Find Out - PRI

Featured News - Sun, 09/27/2015 - 12:00
Exercise is one of the top benefits for cyclists, but the health effects of air pollution on riders is less well-known. Scientists including Lamont-Doherty's Steven Chillrud are trying to figure out what those health effects might be to help create a safer commute.

Microbial ecology of the cryosphere

Chasing Microbes in Antarctica - Wed, 09/23/2015 - 13:38

A quick post on an excellent review published last week by Antje Boetius and co-authors (including Jody Deming, my PhD advisor) in Nature Reviews Microbiology, titled Microbial ecology of the cryosphere: sea ice and glacial habitats.  The review, focused on viral, bacterial, and archael microbes, provides an excellent overview of the major habitats within the cryosphere (broadly glacial ice, sea ice, and snow), the challenges and opportunities for microbial life, and the observed distribution of taxa and genes (to the extent that we know it).  Like most Nature Reviews it is written for a broad audience and assumes no deep knowledge of microbial ecology or the cryosphere.

Taken from Boetius et al., 2015.

Taken from Boetius et al., 2015.  Top: a schematic of different elements of the cryosphere, b: warm, summertime sea ice, c: the supraglacial environment, featuring a meltriver, d: cold winter sea ice, e: the subglacial environment, featuring the Blood Falls outflow from Taylor Glacier.

Plenty of reviews have been written on microbial life at low temperature, what makes this one stand out to me is the ecological focus.  Although discussions of biogeography (i.e. what taxa are where) and metabolism are woven throughout the review, the emphasis is on habitats, including newly recognized habitats like frost flowers and saline snow.  Check it out!



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