LDEO Research Blogs

  • The Indian Ocean’s warm, salty water has been leaking into the Atlantic, spinning off giant eddies with the help of the twisting Agulhas Current. Studies suggest that in the past, this warm-water leakage may have changed the strength of the ocean conveyor circulation, influencing historic climate changes. Follow Sidney Hemming and Allison Franzese’s experiences aboard the R/V Joides Resolution as they collect evidence to analyze the Agulhas Current’s behavior over the past 5 million years.

  • The barrenness of life and other particulate material in the clear waters of the central South Pacific allows light to penetrate more deeply than anywhere else. Columbia graduate students Frankie Pavia and Sebastian Vivancos are part of an international team of scientists studying the chemistry and biology of the South Pacific on the FS Sonne. They will try to determine input and removal rates of metals and trace elements from the ocean, which are crucial to our understanding of ocean life and past climates.

  • The Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, in San Francisco, is the world’s largest gathering of earth and space scientists. Scores of researchers from the Earth Institute will give presentations. Read about the 2015 and past years’ meetings here.

  • The nations of the world meet in Paris starting Nov. 30 to discuss how to confront climate change. The goal: Keep global temperature from rising 2 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial average. Many scientists feel that is already impossible. But the United States, China and many other nations have committed to trying. The Earth Institute has long been at the forefront of climate science, policy and possible solutions. Here we offer stories to help readers sort through the issues, the science and the consequences.

  • The U.S. GEOTRACES program launches into the Arctic Ocean as part of a multi-nation, multiple ice-breaker effort to study marine trace elements. Trace elements play two opposing roles in the ocean, as both essential nutrients (iron, zinc, cobalt) and as toxins (arsenic, copper) affecting biologic productivity and carbon cycling. Studying these elements in the Arctic marine system can help us understand the biogeochemical responses to rapid climate change. Lamont-Doherty geochemist Tim Kenna is on the U.S. team, aboard the USCG Cutter Healy research icebreaker.

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