News and Events

  • April 19, 2016

    Christopher Scholz is being awarded the Harry Fielding Reid Medal for his pioneering work in rock mechanics and his skill at communicating earthquake science. The Seismological Society of America cites Scholz’s wide range of contributions over a nearly 50-year career.

  • April 05, 2016

    Surfers have a saying: Never turn your back on the ocean. The World Surf League (WSL) is giving that phrase new meaning – it is teaming up with marine scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to launch WSL PURE, an innovative new philanthropy dedicated to supporting ocean research at a critical time.

  • March 21, 2016

    Researchers have predicted that as the planet is warmed by human-produced CO2, plants may add to the emissions and amplify the warming. Now, the most comprehensive global study of its kind yet suggests that this effect has limits, and that increases in plant respiration may not be as big as previously estimated. It shows that rates of increase slow in an easily predictable way as temperatures mount, in every region of earth, from tropics to tundra.

  • March 21, 2016

    In much of France and Switzerland, the best wine years are traditionally those with abundant spring rains followed by an exceptionally hot summer and late-season drought. This drives vines to put forth robust, fast-maturing fruit, and brings an early harvest. Now, a new study shows that warming climate has largely removed the drought factor from the centuries-old early-harvest equation. It is only the latest symptom that global warming is affecting biological systems and agriculture.

  • March 18, 2016

    Jay Ardai was the guy you wanted in your sea ice camp after the ship left, or in the Alaska wild when your plane had mechanical trouble. He earned his reputation in remote locations like these as a super-technician who could fix anything using whatever he could find.

  • March 15, 2016

    When Arnold Finck joined Lamont Geological Observatory as its first business administrator, he had a big job ahead and no template to follow. The Observatory had just opened its doors, and its scientists needed laboratories, equipment and ships, as well as administrative procedures. Finck spent more than 25 years helping build the Lamont campus and designing the procedures that made it run. Former colleagues described Finck, who passed away March 13 at the age of 96, as a problem solver who calmly steered the observatory’s financial course.

  • March 15, 2016
    One foggy spring morning just after a hard rain, Park Williams was tromping through the woods deep in Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains. Toiling down a steep slope, he supposedly was keeping a simultaneous eye out for rattlesnakes, copperheads, poison ivy and big old trees. Williams seemed mostly focused on the trees, though; attention to the other stuff was just slowing him down. Williams studies how forests react to changes in climate, and the Ozarks’ deeply dissected hills and hollers are a kind of ground zero for this.
  • March 11, 2016

    If you asked scientists a few years ago if a specific hurricane has been caused by climate change, most would have told you that, while it raises the risks, no single weather event could yet be attributed to climate change. That’s starting to change. In a new report, a committee of the National Academy of Sciences, including Lamont Professor Adam Sobel, assesses the young field of attribution studies for several types of extreme events. It recommends future research and guidance to help the field advance and contribute to understanding of the risks ahead.

  • March 07, 2016

    Mercury’s dark surface is revealing intriguing new clues about the formation of the solar system, including evidence described in a new study that the planet closest to the Sun may have formed in part from carbon, a key component of life.

  • March 04, 2016

    A group of surfer-scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has teamed up with the World Surf League and GoFlow to launch Bleach Patrol, a citizen science project and app designed to track coral bleaching and help scientists learn more about its causes and how corals recover.Bleach Patrol turns surfers, divers and other ocean enthusiasts into the eyes of the scientists on the reef.

  • March 03, 2016

    In their quest to unravel the physical and chemical processes controlling volcanic eruptions, Einat Lev and colleagues headed to South America and the volcanoes of Chile. She writes about the trip and what they hope to learn from their work, and shares video from their drone flights over the lava flows.

  • March 03, 2016

    Greenland's snowy surface has been getting darker over the past two decades, absorbing more heat from the sun and increasing snow melt, a new study of satellite data shows. That trend is likely to continue, with the surface's reflectivity, or albedo, decreasing by as much as 10 percent by the end of the century, the study says.

  • March 01, 2016

    In the years before the Syrian conflict erupted, the region’s worst drought on record set in across the Levant, destroying crops and restricting water supplies in the already water-stressed region. A new study shows that that drought, from 1998-2012, wasn’t just the most severe in a century of record-keeping—it was the Levant’s most severe drought in at least 500 years and likely more than 900 years.

  • February 23, 2016

    When you examine the behavior of the global oceans closely – really closely, at scales smaller than 100 kilometers – eddies and jets and fronts start to appear. For Ryan Abernathey, who was just awarded a 2016 Sloan Research Fellowship, this is where ocean physics gets interesting.

  • February 22, 2016

    Scientists have developed a new model to help coastal planners assess the risks of sea level rise. Put to use on a global scale, it estimates that the oceans will rise at least 28 centimeters on average by the end of this century – and as much as 131 cm if greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow unchecked.

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