Research News from 2009

39 news release for this year.

  • December 14, 2009
    cop15_logo_img.gif

    Selected posts from a continuing series of essays and interviews from LDEO scientists on the prospects for a global climate-change treaty.

  • November 17, 2009
    per capita carbon TT.jpg

    Each person on the planet produced 1.3 tons of carbon last year—an all-time high--despite a global recession that slowed the growth of fossil fuel emissions for the first time this decade, according to a report published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience. Emissions grew 2 percent last year, to total 8.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide.

  • November 16, 2009
    carbon_sink_350px SK.jpg

    The oceans play a key role in regulating climate, absorbing more than a quarter of the carbon dioxide that humans put into the air. Now, the first year-by-year accounting of this mechanism during the industrial era suggests the oceans are struggling to keep up with rising emissions...

  • October 16, 2009
    Susan Vincent.jpg

    Training teachers to do science in the field or laboratory measurably increases the academic performance of their students and may have far-reaching economic benefits, according to a study published this week in the journal Science. The number of high school students passing New York State’s standardized tests, the Regents exams, is raised by as much as 10 percentage points if the teachers participated in Columbia University’s Summer Research Program for Science Teachers, the study found.

  • October 09, 2009
    Nansen80.jpg

    Before airplanes and satellite phones, polar exploration was a more dangerous undertaking than it is now. A new article in American Scientist retraces Nansen and Shackleton's expeditions from the perspective of modern ocean conditions and sea ice drift conditions.

  • October 09, 2009
    larsen_ice_shelf_350.jpg

    Starting this month, a giant NASA DC-8 aircraft loaded with geophysical instruments and scientists will buzz at low level over the coasts of West Antarctica, where ice sheets are collapsing at a pace far beyond what scientists expected a few years ago.

  • September 30, 2009
    lakeallatoona.jpg

    A 2005-2007 dry spell in the southeastern United States destroyed billions of dollars of crops, drained municipal reservoirs and sparked legal wars among a half-dozen states—but the havoc came not from exceptional dryness but booming population and bad planning, says a new study.

  • September 23, 2009
    JeanTaggart80.jpg

    A new study adds evidence that climate swings in Europe and North America during the last ice age were closely linked to changes in the tropics. The study, published this week in the journal Science, suggests that a prolonged cold spell...

  • September 23, 2009
    earthquakesLCSN.gif

    That rumbling you feel is not necessarily a passing subway. New York City and the surrounding region gets a surprising number of small earthquakes, and a 2008 study from the region’s network of seismographs, run by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, suggests that the risk of a damaging one is not negligible. This week, the federal government announced a major upgrade to that network.

  • September 15, 2009

    The world’s oceans are growing more acidic as carbon emissions from the modern world are absorbed by the sea. A new film, “A Sea Change,” explores what this changing chemistry means for fish and the one billion people who rely on them for food. This first-ever documentary about ocean acidification is told through the eyes of a retired history teacher who reads about the problem in a piece in The New Yorker and is inspired to find out more. His quest takes him to Alaska, California, Washington and Norway to talk with oceanographers, climatologists and others.

  • August 13, 2009
    discovery.jpg

    “Drain the Ocean” will be aired Sunday, August 16, 2 p.m. on the National Geographic channel. The special put computer-generated imagery and digital mapping technology to imaginative use through showing what the oceans would look like if all their water was emptied through an imaginary drain. The result would be a landscape far more dramatic than anything on dry land, including a 40,000 mile-long mountain range, the world’s deepest canyon and widest plains, and bizarre, bioluminescent life forms

  • August 11, 2009
    Kastensgraphic80.jpg

    Instead of an ice-covered South Pole, picture sub-tropical temperatures and flowering plants. That’s what parts of Antarctica looked like 85 million years ago. How long ago was that? If you’re drawing a blank you’re not alone.

    Thinking on geologic time scales does not come easily for many people, and that’s a challenge in teaching earth science, says Lamont-Doherty oceanographer Kim Kastens, in a recent cover story in EOS, a weekly newspaper published by the American Geophysical Union.

  • July 30, 2009
    BroeckerWallace_crop_80.jpg

    Wallace Broecker Speaks to BBC's "The World", broadcast on July 7th & July 9th 2009 as part of a three part series on energy and climate.

    As politicians and environmentalists prepare for the UN Climate Change talks in December to discuss urgent reduction of CO2 emissions, the BBC asked what is the future for global energy production?

  • July 02, 2009
    gashydrates80.jpg

    U.S. scientists working on a research vessel in the Gulf of Mexico have made the most promising discovery so far of marine gas hydrate, a possible new energy source.

    Potential Alternative Fuel, Usually Too Thinly Spread to Exploit

  • June 23, 2009
    TaroTakahashi80.jpg

    The oceans play a central role in cycling carbon dioxide into and out of the atmosphere, and thus an  essential role in regulating climate. Taro Takahashi, a geochemist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has spent the last five decades measuring this process, and the April issue of the journal Deep Sea Research II is dedicated to him for this pioneering work.

  • June 18, 2009

    Researchers have reconstructed atmospheric carbon dioxide levels over the past 2.1 million years in the sharpest detail yet, shedding new light on its role in the earth’s cycles of cooling and warming.

  • June 16, 2009
    icelandpp80.jpg

    A power plant in Iceland is set to become the first in the world to try turning carbon dioxide emissions into solid minerals underground, starting this September.

    In an $11 million pilot project, Reykjavik Energy will capture CO2 from its plant, dissolve the gas in water and inject it deep into volcanic basalt nearby. Over the nine-month study, some 2,000 tons of greenhouse gas will be treated.

  • June 01, 2009
    wallyaward.jpg

    Lamont Scientist Wallace Broecker was featured in a two part series on WNJN, New Jersey Public Television.

  • May 27, 2009

    Seismologists, Pinpointing Location, See Little Doubt It Was Bomb  

     

    Seismologists who have intensively studied North Korea’s nuclear testing efforts say Monday’s blast was certainly a nuclear bomb, roughly five times larger than the country’s first test in 2006.

  • May 13, 2009
    HR80.jpg

    Another world lies beneath the Hudson River, as scientists have shown using pulses of sound to map the bottom. In recent years, the bathymetry maps developed at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Stony Brook University have turned up hundreds of shipwrecks and a new channel off Battery Park City, drawing interest from treasure hunters and mariners alike. Now a new group is finding inspiration: artists.

  • May 12, 2009
    comer802.jpg

    The new Gary C. Comer Geochemistry Building at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., has won three top architecture awards. Recognized for its environment-friendly features, the building houses more than 80 staff, many of whom have long been at the forefront of global climate research. Scientists in Lamont's geochemistry division study the movements and interactions of substances in air, oceans, groundwater, biological remains, sediments and rocks.

  • May 07, 2009
    laconchita80.jpg

    Landslides kill thousands of people each year but because they're often triggered by earthquakes or heavy rains, the danger remains poorly understood. A PhD candidate at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has put together a global catalog of recent mudslides to help scientists better predict where and when the next one will occur.

  • May 01, 2009
    NYSubwayFlooded-80.jpg

    Even on a sunny day, nearly 13 million gallons of water are pumped from New York City subways. As global warming brings rising sea levels and more frequent storms, more of New York’s transit system is expected to flood.

  • April 30, 2009

    New Dating Technique Points to Differences Over 7,000 Years

    The vast majority of the world’s glaciers are retreating as the planet gets warmer. But a few, including ones south of the equator, in South America and New Zealand, are inching forward. A new study in the journal Science puts this enigma in perspective.

     

  • April 27, 2009
    trevorJOIDES-thumb.jpg
  • April 27, 2009
    climatechangebook.jpg

    A new book, Climate Change: the Science of Global Warming and Our Energy Future, serves as an excellent, long-needed primer on the workings of earth's climate.

  • April 21, 2009
    lake-bosumtwi-tree180.jpg

    Global Warming Could Worsen Newly Seen Pattern  

    Researchers have developed the first year-by-year record of rainfall in sub-Saharan West Africa for the past 3,000 years, and identified a daunting pattern: a 30-to-60-year cycle of serious droughts that last a decade or more, punctuated by killer megadroughts that last for centuries.

  • April 16, 2009
    KimKastens80.jpg

    Oceanographer Wins Prestigious Prize for Work Advancing Education

    Kim Kastens, an oceanographer at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has been recognized for her research in making spatial concepts in earth science easier for students in a wide age range to understand. She will receive the American Geophysical Union’s Excellence in Geophysical Education Award at a ceremony in Toronto in May.

  • April 09, 2009
    Demenocal_80.jpg

    Four current and former researchers at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory will receive honorary degrees from their alma mater, St. Lawrence University, this spring. The degrees will be awarded at May graduation to paleoclimatologist Peter deMenocal; engineer Dale Chayes; paleoceanographer Miriam Katz; and oceanographer Richard Fairbanks.

  • March 31, 2009
    bigbang80.jpg

    Iran seems to be moving toward an atomic bomb; North Korea reportedly could build a half dozen; and terrorist attacks have revived the specter of a faceoff between nuclear-armed Pakistan and India. Yet the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, forbidding  nuclear testing, has failed to win ratification from the U.S. Senate and lawmakers of some other nations. Opponents say scientists cannot reliably detect clandestine tests: Why should we go along, if others can cheat?

  • March 31, 2009
    olsen80.jpg

    In 1968, 14-year-old Paul Olsen of suburban Livingston, N.J., and his friend Tony Lessa heard that dinosaur tracks had been found in a nearby quarry. They raced over on their bikes.  "I went ballistic," Olsen recalls. Over the next few years, the boys uncovered and studied thousands of tracks and other fossils there, often working into the night.  It opened the world of science to Olsen; he went on to become one of the nation’s leading paleontologists.

  • March 13, 2009

    Warming Climate Drives Plankton and Penguins Poleward   

    Adélie penguins are flocking closer to the South Pole. A new study in the leading journal Science explains why: they’re following the food supply, which is moving southward with changing climate.

  • March 13, 2009
    Antarcticcores80.gif

    Releases May Have Speeded End of Last Ice Age—And Could Act Again 

    Natural releases of carbon dioxide from the Southern Ocean due to shifting wind patterns could have amplified global warming...

  • March 05, 2009
    carb_map-80w.gif

    6,000 Square Miles in U.S. Might Turn Emissions to Harmless Solids 

    To slow global warming, scientists are exploring ways to pull carbon dioxide from the air and safely lock it away.

  • February 12, 2009
    JOIDESthumb.jpg

    JOIDES Resolution to Range from Bering Sea to Antarctic

    After a major overhaul, one of the world’s two major scientific deep-sea drilling ships is back at sea.  Much of the coming year’s research aboard the JOIDES Resolution will focus on sudden climate shifts...

  • January 22, 2009
    Obma-Group-Photo80.jpg

    Aboard R/V  Gould, off Antarctica--Scientists aboard the U.S. research vessel Laurence M Gould, 10,000 miles from Washington off Antarctica, held their own presidential inaugural celebration on Jan. 20.

  • January 16, 2009

    Climate Scientist Who Sounded Early Warnings Is Still At Work

    Wallace S. Broecker, a geochemist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has received the newly founded Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Climate Change Research, one of the world’s largest science prizes. An international jury awarded Broecker the $527,000 prize, from Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Foundation, for sounding early alarms about climate change, and for his pioneering work on how the oceans and atmosphere interact.

  • January 08, 2009
    Worzel_Pressure_vessel80.jpg

    J. Lamar Worzel, a pioneering geophysicist and engineer who helped shape human understanding of how sound travels through the oceans and who cofounded Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, died Dec. 26. He was 89.

  • January 06, 2009

    But Global Warming May Have Helped Override Some Recent Eruptions

    Climate researchers have shown that big volcanic eruptions over the past 450 years have temporarily cooled weather in the tropics—but suggest that such effects may have been masked in the 20th century by rising global temperatures

Syndicate content