LDEO Research Blogs

  • 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.

  • Indonesia's Puncak Jaya, earth's highest island peak and the tallest mountain between the Andes and the Himalayas, holds the last glaciers in the tropical Pacific. Ancient ice from such high, frozen peaks lets scientists examine past climates and understand mechanism of possible future climate changes--but with alpine glaciers melting, retrieving samples is a race against time, as well as against the dangers of extreme altitude. This month, an expedition co-organized by glaciologist Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University and oceanographer Dwi Susanto of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory scales Puncak Jaya to drill out ice cores that may go back hundreds, or thousands, of years. Follow Susanto’s reports from the field here.

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