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.
LDEO Research Blogs
Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes shake southern Italy frequently, as they have for 12 million years. In that time, tectonic movement has split Calabria--the "toe" of the Italian boot--from what are today the islands of Sardinia and Corsica to the west, and formed mountain ranges. As part of the international Calabrian Arc Project, Lamont-Doherty scientists Nano Seeber and Meg Reitz are traversing Calabria to examine rocks and study the terrain to better understand this complex and violent history. Read about their work here.
Climate change has weakened the ice sheets of western Antarctica. Scientists from Lamont-Doherty are flying over the region on a NASA-led mission called Ice Bridge to understand what's happening on and below the ice. What they find may help predict future sea level rise.