News and Events

  • May 27, 2010

    Some of the worst droughts to hit North Africa in the last 900 years have occurred recently—in the late 20th century—according to an analysis of tree rings that has provided the most lengthy and detailed climate record yet for this sub-tropical region on the Mediterranean.

  • May 06, 2010

    Every day since Jan. 1, 1896, an observer has hiked up a grey outcrop of rock to a spot at The Mohonk Preserve, a resort and nature area some 90 miles north of New York City, to record daily temperature and other conditions there.

  • May 04, 2010

    New results from a drilling expedition off Antarctica may help scientists learn more about a dramatic turn in climate 34 million years ago, when the planet cooled from a “greenhouse” to an “icehouse” state. In just 400,000 years – a blink of an eye in geologic time – carbon dioxide levels dropped, temperatures plunged and ice sheets formed over what was then the lush continent of Antarctica.

  • April 22, 2010

    The United Nations has awarded Taro Takahashi, a geochemist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, its highest honor for environmental leadership, the Champions of the Earth award, for his research on the oceans’ uptake of carbon dioxide and its implications for global warming. He was presented with a trophy and a $40,000 prize on Thursday, April 22, in a ceremony in South Korea.

  • April 21, 2010

    The seasonal monsoon rains in Asia feed nearly half the world’s population, and when the rains fail to come, people can go hungry, or worse. A new study of tree rings provides the most detailed record yet of at least four epic droughts that have shaken Asia over the last thousand years..

  • April 16, 2010

    In a research career spanning more than four decades, Paul Richards, a seismologist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has helped uncover Earth’s inner structure and advanced techniques for detecting nuclear explosions to ensure that bans on nuclear testing can be enforced. Richards will receive the Seismological Society of America’s Harry Fielding Reid medal at its annual luncheon on Wednesday, April 21.

  • April 14, 2010

    Since arriving at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in 1952, for a college summer internship, Wally Broecker has come up with some of the most important ideas in modern climate science. He was one of the first researchers to recognize the potential for human-influenced climate change, and to testify before Congress about its dangers..

  • April 13, 2010

    Wallace Broecker is a climate scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who has helped shape our understanding of how the ocean moves heat around the globe, and how this so-called “great ocean conveyor” can switch the climate to a radically different state. Many scientists used to think that only periodic changes in earth’s orbit—so-called Milankovitch cycles– could change climate, over thousands of years, but Broecker has shown that ocean currents can influence climate in mere decades–and could do so again. He spoke with journalist Kim Martineau about his latest book, “The Great Ocean Conveyor: Discovering the Trigger for Abrupt Climate Change.”

     

  • March 29, 2010

    Decades of drought, interspersed with intense monsoon rains, may have helped bring about the fall of Cambodia’s ancient Khmer civilization at Angkor nearly 600 years ago, according to an analysis of tree rings, archeological remains and other evidence.

  • March 29, 2010
    hays.jpg

    The European Geosciences Union (EGU) has awarded the 2010 Milutin Milankovitch Medal to Professor Emeritus Jim Hays "for his pioneering, fundamental and continuous work on the reconstruction of Cenozoic climates and for his Science 1976 seminal paper on the astronomical theory of palaeoclimates." In the latter, Hays, along with colleagues John Imbrie and Nick Shackelton, proved that the timing of major ice ages is controlled by variations in Earth's orbit around the sun.

  • March 03, 2010

    Scientists at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory have found evidence of hydrothermal vents on the seafloor near Antarctica, formerly a blank spot on the map for researchers wanting to learn more about seafloor formation and the bizarre life forms drawn to these extreme environments.

  • March 01, 2010

    Scientists broadly agree that global warming may threaten the survival of many plant and animal species; but global warming did not kill the Monteverde golden toad, an often cited example of climate-triggered extinction, says a new study.

  • February 22, 2010

    This week U.S. and Haitian scientists will start a 20-day research cruise off Haiti to address urgent questions about the workings of the great Jan. 12 earthquake, and the possibility of continuing threats. They hope to gather sonar images, sediments and other evidence from the seafloor that might reveal hidden structures...

  • February 19, 2010

    Natalie Boelman is an ecologist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who studies the effects of climate change on organisms throughout the food chain. She first visited the Alaskan Arctic in 2001, and will return to the North Slope this spring and summer to continue a wildfire-mapping project and to set up a field study that will look at how warming-induced changes are affecting migratory songbirds that breed on the tundra each summer.

  • February 12, 2010
    earthbox.jpg

    The Earth Institute is soliciting proposals from Columbia University faculty and research staff for two seed funding competitions this year as part of the Cross-Cutting Initiative (CCI) and the Earth Clinic. Proposals for both competitions are due by April 30, 2010, and should be e-mailed to Adrian Hill at ahill@ei.columbia.edu.

Pages