Research News All

  • January 12, 2010

    New York subway commuters may worry more about rats and rising fares than dust floating through the system, but for the workers who spend their whole shift below ground, air quality has long been a concern. Results from a new pilot study using miniaturized air samplers to look at steel dust exposure may help them breathe easier.

  • January 04, 2010

    Scientists say buried volcanic rocks along the heavily populated coasts of New York, New Jersey and New England, as well as further south, might be ideal reservoirs to lock away carbon dioxide emitted by power plants and other industrial sources.

  • December 14, 2009

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    “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

    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

    ", 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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
  • April 27, 2009

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

  • December 19, 2008

    Rising Seas, Severe Drought, Could Come in Decades, Says U.S. Report   The United States could suffer the effects of abrupt climate changes within decades—sooner than some previously thought--says a new government report.

  • December 12, 2008

    Lamont-Doherty scientists are presenting scores of talks at the world’s largest gathering of earth scientists, the fall 2008 meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Subjects include unseen natural hazards, changing climate, the fall of ancient civilizations, and how future mankind might turn atmospheric carbon to stone.

  • November 20, 2008

    Maya Tolstoy Recognized for Deep-Sea Exploration

    Maya Tolstoy, a marine geophysicist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has received the 2009 Women of Discovery Sea Award for her pioneering work in studying the ocean floors.

  • November 11, 2008

    Geophysicist Robin Bell and climate modeler Richard Seager have been appointed Palisades Geophysical Institute senior scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. PGI positions are awarded to Lamont scientists in recognition of outstanding research contributions to their fields, and leadership within national and international arenas as well as within the institution.

  • November 05, 2008

    Proposed Method Would Speed Natural Reactions a Million Times

    Scientists say that a type of rock found at or near the surface in the Mideast nation of Oman and other areas around the world could be harnessed to soak up huge quantities of globe-warming carbon dioxide.

  • October 22, 2008

    Under Miles of Ice, Range May Hold Secrets of Geology and Climate

    Scientists from six nations will combine efforts over the next three months to try and penetrate one of earth’s last unexplored places: Antarctica’s vast Gamburtsev Mountains, never seen by humans...

  • October 16, 2008

    Walter Alvarez, the maverick geologist who convinced a skeptical world that dinosaurs and many other living things on Earth were wiped out by a huge fireball from space, has won the highly esteemed Vetlesen Prize. Considered by many the earth sciences’ equivalent of a Nobel...

  • October 07, 2008

    Seismologist Honored for Work Local and Global

         Won-Young Kim, a senior scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has won the Jesuit Seismological Association Award from the Seismological Society of America for his work on wide-ranging questions both local and global.

  • October 06, 2008

    In recognition of Won-Young Kim for the Jesuit Seismological Association Award of 2008

    Won-Young Kim combines the traditional skills of the classical observational seismologist with the modern skills necessary to obtain good scientific results from the many different types of broadband digital data in use today.

  • September 09, 2008

    Balzan Prize Honors Key Insights Into Changes in Oceans, Atmosphere

    Geochemist Wallace Broecker has been working on climate questions at Lamont-Doherty for over 50 years.

  • September 04, 2008

    North American Ice Sheet Dwindled Fast in Conditions Like Today's

    In the face of warming climate, researchers have yet to agree on how much and how quickly melting of the Greenland ice sheet may contribute to sea level rise.

  • August 25, 2008

    Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Seen As Particular Risk

    A study by a group of prominent seismologists suggests that a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area much greater than formerly believed.

  • August 18, 2008

     Task Force, Advised by Columbia Scientists, Will Draw Plans to Battle Rising Seas, Strains on Water and Electricity

    Much of New York City’s waterfront is projected to be vulnerable to flooding in coming decades.

  • July 25, 2008

    Ongoing Work By Scientists Will Supply Data to the Public

    A frequently asked question around New York is: “Is it safe to swim? This has spurred Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory...

  • July 23, 2008

    Nutrients washed out of the Amazon River are powering huge amounts of previously unexpected plant life far out to sea, thus trapping atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study.

  • July 18, 2008

    NPR Science Friday, July 18, 2008

    Lamont-Doherty geophysicist Angela Slagle explains the idea of trapping CO2 under the seabed

  • July 14, 2008

    Drilling, experiments, target huge formations off West Coast

    Palisades, N.Y., July 14, 2008—A group of scientists has used deep ocean-floor drilling and experiments to show that volcanic rocks off the  West Coast and elsewhere might be used to securely imprison huge amounts of globe-warming carbon dioxide captured from power plants or other sources. In particular, they say that natural chemical reactions under 78,000 square kilometers (30,000 square miles) of ocean floor off California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia could lock in as much as 150 years of U.S. CO2 production

  • June 25, 2008

    From asteroid impacts and climate change to oceanography and microbiology, undergraduates will spend ten weeks conducting exciting and often ground-breaking scientific research in the Earth Intern program. The program matches students with a research scientist at The Earth Institute at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) in Palisades, New York. LDEO’s more than 200 research scientists are global leaders in the search for knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the natural world. The intern program is co-sponsored by LDEO, The Earth Institute, Barnard College, and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia.

  • May 13, 2008

    Art Lerner-Lam on MSNBC speaking about the earthquake damage in China and why aftershocks will continue to rock China for months.

     

     

     

  • May 08, 2008

    Three scientists at Columbia’s Earth Institute have been elected to leading U.S. scientific academies.

    Paul E. Olsen, a paleontologist and climate researcher at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Lamont seismologist Paul G. Richards was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, along with agronomist Pedro Sanchez, who heads the Earth Institute’s Tropical Agriculture Program.

  • May 04, 2008

    Farming pushed natural drought into disaster--and could do so again.

    NEW YORK – Climate scientists using computer models to simulate the 1930s Dust Bowl on the U.S Great Plains have found that dust raised by farmers probably amplified and spread a natural drop in rainfall, turning an ordinary drying cycle into an agricultural collapse. The researchers say the study raises concern that current pressures on farmland from population growth and climate change could worsen current food crises by leading to similar events in other regions.

  • May 01, 2008

    May 1, 2008 -- Rocks under the northern ocean are found to resemble ones far south

    Scientists probing volcanic rocks from deep under the frozen surface of the Arctic Ocean have discovered a special geochemical signature until now found only in the southern hemisphere.

  • March 31, 2008

    The Earth Institute is holding two seed funding competitions for the '08 - '09 fiscal year (July 1-June 30).  One competition is for Cross-Cutting Initiative (CCI) projects and one for Earth Clinic projects. Proposals for both competitions are due by the close of business on Monday, June 2, 2008 and should be e-mailed to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu.

    Both competitions are designed to provide seed funding for new internal research or projects/interventions that further the Earth Institute mission which states that:

  • March 30, 2008

    In a cross-cutting initiative of the Earth Institute and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, two member organizations of the Earth Institute, the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory and the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC) and three GSAS departments (DEES, E3B and Chemistry) have been awarded a National Science Foundation GK-12 grant of $3.2 million.

  • March 17, 2008

    WASHINGTON, Mar. 17, 2008 ---Every mode of transportation in the United States will be affected by climate change, and planning to keep things running must begin now, says a new report to the government. The greatest potential impact will be flooding of roads, railways, transit systems, and airport runways in coastal areas, due to rising sea levels and surges brought on by more intense storms. Transport on rivers and roads in the nation’s center also are at risk, says the report, issued this week by the National Research Council. A committee of authors warns that climate shifts will require significant changes in design, construction, operation and maintenance of transportation systems.

  • February 28, 2008

    Feb. 28, 2008 ---Each year, long-distance winds drop up to 900 million tons of dust from deserts and other parts of the land into the oceans. Scientists suspect this phenomenon connects to global climate—but exactly how, remains a question.  Now a big piece of the puzzle has fallen into place...

  • February 25, 2008

    Punta Arenas, Chile, Feb. 28, 2008 ---Scientists from over a dozen institutions will embark today from this port on the tip of South America to spend 42 days amid the high winds and big waves of the Southern Ocean, where they will make groundbreaking measurements to explain how large amounts of climate-affecting gases move between atmosphere and sea, and vice-versa. Researchers from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are taking a leading role in the expedition.

  • January 15, 2008

    January 14, 2008 - Lamont Scientists Douglas Martinson and Robin Bell were featured in an NBC Nightly News story entitled "Meltdown in Antartica."

    The story is part of Nightly News' ongoing "Our Planet" series that examines issues effecting the earth's environment.

  • January 10, 2008

    January 10, 2008 ---Zigzagging some 60,000 kilometers across ocean floors, earth’s system of mid-ocean ridges plays a pivotal role in many workings of the planet—from its plate-tectonic movements to heat flow from the interior, and the chemistry of rock, water and air....

  • December 19, 2007

    December 19, 2007 - Science at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is featured in three new books—not all in the usual nonfiction format. In addition to two journalistic works on climate change, there is Time and Materials, by Robert Hass, former poet laureate of the United States, which contains “State of the Planet: on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. In it, Hass explores humanity’s efforts to understand the complexities of oceans, earth and skies, with climate as a central theme.

  • December 11, 2007
    2009-11-18_1117.png

    Dec 10, 2007--Scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory will report this week on vital topics including new evidence of the effects of climate change; technologies to confront it; studies of eastern U.S. earthquake risk; and previously unseen inner workings of the deep polar ice caps.  The reports will be presented at the fall 2007 American Geophysical Union (AGU), the largest earth-sciences gathering in the world, Dec. 10-14 in San Francisco.

  • December 05, 2007

    November 30, 2007 - Amid cheers from hundreds of scientists and guests, Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory cut the ribbon at its $45 million Gary C. Comer Geochemistry Building. The ultra-modern facility is “the step forward that we need to accelerate our efforts to understand and predict the important changes that will impact the way we live with our planet,” Lamont director G Michael Purdy told the crowd. It comes “at a time when, after decades of apathy, humankind is at last awakening to the critical role that the planet’s environment plays in everyone’s well-being.”

  • November 12, 2007

    November 12, 2007 -The academic community’s flagship seismic-research vessel, to be operated by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, was dedicated in Galveston, Tex., Nov 12. The R/V Marcus G. Langseth, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation for use by universities, research institutes and government agencies across the nation, will generate CAT-scan-like 3D images of magma chambers, faults and other structures miles below the world’s seabeds.

  • October 19, 2007

    October 19, 2007--The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded jointly to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), honors many Lamont-based scientists who have contributed work to the IPCC. These include at least nine current staffers who collaborated with the IPCC’s most recent assessment, issued in 2007. Many others have contributed to the panel’s three previous reports over the past 17 years.

  • September 04, 2007

    September 4, 2007--Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has established a $3 million endowment to further its cutting-edge work in designing new scientific instruments to study waves, winds, earthquakes and other natural phenomena.

  • July 15, 2007

    July 15, 2007 - The 11th Hour is a 2007 feature film documentary created, produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio on the state of the natural environment.

    Lamont’s own Associate Professor Peter deMenocal is one the climate change experts interviewed in the film.

  • May 14, 2007

     A study released on May 11, 2007 provides some of the first solid evidence that warming-induced changes in ocean circulation at the end of the last Ice Age caused vast quantities of ancient carbon dioxide to belch from the deep sea into the atmosphere. Scientists believe the carbon dioxide (CO2) releases helped propel the world into further warming.

  • April 06, 2007

    April 6, 2007 - How anthropogenic climate change will impact the arid regions of Southwestern North America has implications for the allocation of water resources and the course of regional development. The findings of a new study, appearing in Science, show that there is a broad consensus amongst climate models that this region will dry significantly in the 21st Century and that the transition to a more arid climate may already be underway. If these models are correct, the levels of aridity of the recent multiyear drought, or the Dust Bowl and 1950s droughts, will, within the coming years to decades, become the new climatology of the American Southwest.

  • January 18, 2007

    January 18, 2007 - The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Crafoord Prize in Geosciences for 2006 to Wallace S. Broecker, Newberry Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, “for his innovative and pioneering research on the operation of the global carbon cycle within the ocean-atmosphere-biosphere system, and its interaction with climate"

  • November 20, 2006

    Ordinarily, losing almost all of one's instruments would be considered a severe setback to any scientist. But when Maya Tolstoy, a marine geophysicist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Earth Institute at Columbia University, recently learned that two-thirds of the seismometers she placed on the floor of the Pacific Ocean were trapped more than 8,000 feet (2500 meters) underwater, it turned out to be an extremely good sign.

  • November 15, 2006

    What’s in an isotope? Quite a lot, as it turns out. A new technique developed by researchers at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory now allows scientists to use an isotope of manganese not abundant on Earth to understand the record of millions of years of changes to the Earth’s surface. According to the study's lead scientists, the new technique relies on measuring extremely small amounts of the nuclide that accumulates as cosmic rays strike exposed rock surfaces over long periods of time. This will allow scientists to track processes such as erosion and glaciation that shaped the landscape over millions of years.

  • October 28, 2006
    pennyfault_80.jpg

    For several decades, geologists have thought the western North American tectonic plate was riddled with a type of fault that permitted the continent to expand over the past several million years. However, a new study published in the November issues of The Journal of Geology challenges that assumption and suggests that these faults are actually the remains of massive, gravity-driven rock slides and not tectonically active features of the Earth's crust.

  • August 23, 2006

    Marie Tharp, a pathbreaking oceanographic cartographer at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, co-creator of the first global map of the ocean floor and co-discoverer of the central rift valley that runs through the Mid-Atlantic Ridge died Wednesday August 23 in Nyack Hospital. She was 86.

  • August 07, 2006

    Each year nearly 40,000 tons of cosmic dust fall to Earth from outer space. Now, the first successful chronological study of extraterrestrial dust in Antarctic ice has shown that this amount has remained largely constant over the past 30,000 years, a finding that could help refine efforts to understand the timing and effects of changes in the Earth's past climate.

  • July 26, 2006

    Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Center for International Earth Science Information Network announced that they have been awarded a five-year, $16.9 million grant renewal from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Basic Research Program (SBRP).

  • June 28, 2006

    The destruction caused by natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and human activities such as mountaintop removal mining are powerful examples of how the environment and society are tightly interwoven. But to what extent do, or should, state science curricula in the U.S. seek to investigate or influence the nature of this interaction?

  • June 22, 2006

    Mikah McCabe wanted "some serious research experience" on global warming or climate change. Hagar ElBishlawi wanted to work in a program affiliated with The Earth Institute. Michael Silberman wanted to work at Lamont because the people there work on the "interesting and important problems."

    Each of the undergraduate interns welcomed by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory this summer may have had their own reason for applying, but they all have one thing in common: they are some of the best and brightest.

  • June 08, 2006

    The end of the recurring, 100,000-year glacial cycles is one of the most prominent and readily identifiable features in records of the Earth's recent climate history. Yet one of the most puzzling questions in climate science has been why different parts of the world, most notably Greenland, appear to have warmed at different times and at different rates after the end of the last Ice Age.

  • May 12, 2006

    With the summer approaching, new research has shown that recent water emergencies in the Northeast have resulted from more than just dry weather

  • April 14, 2006

    Despite concerns over global warming, scientists have discovered something that may have actually limited the impact of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in recent years by reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the surface of the Earth. Global dimming was the subject of a recent special on the PBS science series NOVA featuring Beate Liepert.

  • March 23, 2006

    Seismologists at Columbia University and Harvard University have found a new indicator that the Earth is warming: "glacial earthquakes" caused when the rivers of ice lurch unexpectedly and produce temblors as strong as magnitude 5.1 on the moment-magnitude scale, which is similar to the Richter scale. Glacial earthquakes in Greenland, the researchers found, are most common in July and August, and have more than doubled in number since 2002.

  • March 14, 2006

    The retreat of a massive ice sheet that once covered much of northern Europe has been described for the first time, and researchers believe it may provide a sneak preview of how present-day ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica will act in the face of global warming.

  • January 25, 2006

    Lying beneath more than two miles of Antarctic ice, Lake Vostok may be the best-known and largest subglacial lake in the world, but it is not alone down there. Scientists have identified more than 145 other lakes trapped under the ice. Until now, however, none have approached Vostok’s size or depth.

  • November 28, 2005

    Lying far above the Arctic Circle, the Russian archipelago of Novaya Zemlya is one of the most remote places on Earth, which is precisely why these mountainous, wind-swept islands were used as the Soviet Union’s main nuclear weapons test site from 1955 to 1990.

  • August 30, 2005

    Some of the highest quality images ever taken of the Earth's lower crust reveal that the upper and lower crust form in two distinctly different ways. A team led by researchers from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory will publish the results of their work in the August 25 issue of the journal Nature.

  • August 30, 2005

    Scientists at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have ended a nine-year debate over whether the Earth's inner core is undergoing changes that can be detected on a human timescale.

  • August 25, 2005

    Researchers at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory recently resolved a long-standing contradiction about the workings of the deep Earth. For years, many geochemists have argued that parts of the deep mantle remain unchanged since the formation of the Earth, whereas many geophysicists and geodynamicists have held that the entire mantle has been convecting (moving and mixing) over geological time.

  • July 20, 2005

    When the sea floor off the coast of Sumatra split on the morning of December 26, 2004, it took days to measure the full extent of the rupture. Recently, researchers at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory analyzed recordings of the underwater sound produced by the magnitude 9.3 earthquake.

  • May 19, 2005

    Buried far beneath the cattails and blackbirds of marshes in the lower Hudson Valley are pollen, seeds and other materials preserved in marsh sediment in the Hudson River Estuary. By examining this material, researchers can see evidence of a 500-year drought, the passing of the Little Ice Age, and impacts of European settlers.

Pages

 

Subscribe to Research News All