LDEO Research Blogs

  • Arctic ice is declining rapidly—a trend with enormous implications for global weather and climate. Freshwater pours into the Arctic Ocean from the ice sheets and glaciers, and sea ice over the ocean itself is declining. Ocean Channels and currents there act as a kind of switchyard, sending fresh water into the North Atlantic, and small changes here may have larger impacts on climate downstream. To understand these processes, scientists are landing in small aircraft on the floating sea ice, and drilling down to study the water and currents below. Lamont-Doherty researchers Bill Smethie, Ronny Friedrich, Dale Chayes and Richard Perry report on their work here.

  • Scientists from Lamont-Doherty and Indiana University-Purdue are camping by the Transantarctic Mountains, studying exposed rocks near the edge of the Antarctic ice sheet for clues to how the ice shifted in the past. They hope the geological record will help us understand the effects of a warming planet today. Mike Kaplan, Kathy Licht and others report from the field, and answer readers‚ questions, with help from Gisela Winckler at Lamont.

  • The Dec. 13-17 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 it here.p>

  • South Africa is the world’s top producer of platinum, used in everything from jewelry to catalytic converters. Most of it comes from a geological formation the size of West Virginia, called the Bushveld igneous complex, created two billion years ago as molten lava from Earth’s mantle bubbled to the surface and cooled. Lamont-Doherty graduate student Jill VanTongeren is traveling through the Bushveld collecting rocks to learn more about how this unique and mineral-rich region formed. Read about her work here.

     

  • The Arctic is changing with a rapidity that has amazed scientists. The Greenland ice sheet is shrinking, sending over 48 cubic miles a year of ice streaming into the oceans, while Arctic sea ice cover continues to track below average. These changes will have significant effects regionally and globally.  Scientists from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are flying over the region on a NASA-led mission called Operation IceBridge to understand what is happening on and below the ice.

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