Since the late 1990s, global warming has stabilized, even as greenhouse gases have risen. That defies simple models that say the temperature should keep going up. Many scientists think the so-called “hiatus” is taking place in part because much of the heat trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases is being soaked up and stored by the oceans–at least for now. The Pacific is believed to play an especially powerful role, with winds in its eastern regions sweeping heat into its depths, like dirt getting swept under the rug. The problem is, scientists checking under the rug by measuring subsurface temperatures have not necessarily found the predicted increases in heat. This has come to be known as the riddle of the “missing heat.” A team of oceanographers now says they know where it went: It has been exported from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean. Their study, out this week in the journal Nature Geoscience, finds that this movement may account for more than 70 percent of all heat absorbed by the entire upper world ocean in the past decade.
GloDecH is a research program funded by the NOAA Climate Variability and Predictability Program and conducted at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. The research program involves a la
icePod: Development of an Ice Imaging System for Monitoring Changing Ice Sheets Mounted on the NYANG LC-130
This project will develop an integrated ice imaging system capable of measuring in detail both the ice surface and the ice bed. TheicePod system will be installed and operated on New York Air National Guard LC-130 aircraft during routine and targeted missions across Antarctica and Greenland as a shared community research facility providing data to scientists and educators globally. The fundamental data sets produced by the icePod system are necessary to support the development of accurate ice sheet models to predict sea level rise. The icePod system will consist of a suite of imaging sensors mounted in an external pod carried on New York Air National Guard LC-130’s to map the surface and subsurface ice topography of ice sheets, ice streams and outlet glaciers.
|Name||Title||Fields of interest|
|Olivia Clifton||Graduate Student||interactions among atmospheric chemistry, climate, and the biosphere|
|Shannan Sweet||Graduate Research Fellow||I am specifically interested in the impacts climate change and changing seasonality have on the vegetation in the Arctic tundra. I am also interested in the effect increasing deciduous shrub cover has on plant and canopy phenology and overall plant communities in the Arctic tundra.|
|Colin Kelley||Graduate Research Assistant||Climate variability and change, with particular interest in the drying of the Mediterranean region|
|Alexander Van Geen||Lamont Research Professor||Geochemistry|
|Douglas G. Martinson||Lamont Research Professor||Oceans and their role in climate; onset and termination of ice ages.|
|Yochanan Kushnir||Lamont Research Professor||Diagnostic analysis of climate variability; Climate impacts; Climate predictability; Ocean-Atmosphere interaction.|
|Nicole K. Davi||Adjunct Associate Research Scientist||Paleoclimatology, Drought and Hydrometeorological Reconstructions, Climate Change, Dendrochronology, Science Education & Outreach, Paleoarchaeology, Sustainability, Climate Risk Management|
|Peter B. deMenocal||Professor||Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology|
|Richard Seager||Palisades Geophysical Institute/Lamont Research Professor||My interests are in climate variability and change on timescales of seasons to millennia and in particular the causes of multiyear droughts around the world and how climate change will impact global hydroclimate. I analyze observations, proxy climate records and model simulations and also use idealized modeling to understand the basic climate dynamic processes in the atmosphere and ocean that generate global climate variability and change.|
|Adam H. Sobel||Professor||Atmospheric and climate dynamics, tropical meteorology.|
|Mingfang Ting||Lamont Research Professor||Impact of global climate change on regional scales in terms of atmospheric stationary waves and precipitation extremes; Dynamics of the naturally occuring and anthropogenically-forced climate changes, droughts and floods circulation; Regional climate modeling, Asian and North American monsoons.|
May 20, 2015
April 14, 2015
Tiny Iceland is a prime exemplar of the complexities wrought by warming climate. It is 11 percent covered by ice, but it is basically also one very large, very active volcanic system. The island has seen fast-increasing temperatures since the 1970s, and glaciers–a big source of tourism and runoff for hydropower–are visibly receding. This cuts various ways. Iceland gets almost all its electricity and heat from hydropower and geothermal wells. Increased glacial runoff means increased generation potential; on the other hand, in 50 or 100 years, Iceland may be mostly land and very little ice, and the runoff could dry up.
March 02, 2015
A new study says a record drought that ravaged Syria in 2006-2010 was likely stoked by ongoing manmade climate change, and that the drought may have helped propel the 2011 Syrian uprising. Researchers say the drought, the worst ever recorded in the region, destroyed agriculture in the breadbasket region of northern Syria, driving dispossessed farmers to cities, where poverty, government mismanagement and other factors created unrest that exploded in spring 2011. The conflict has since evolved into a complex multinational war that has killed at least 200,000 people and displaced millions. The study appears today in the leading journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
June 02, 2014Some 56 million years ago, a massive pulse of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere sent global temperatures soaring. In the oceans, carbonate sediments dissolved, some organisms went extinct and others evolved.
Scientists have long suspected that ocean acidification caused the crisis—similar to today, as manmade CO2 combines with seawater to change its chemistry. Now, for the first time, scientists have quantified the extent of surface acidification from those ancient days, and the news is not good: the oceans are on track to acidify at least as much as they did then, only at a much faster rate.
April 30, 2014
March 31, 2014
Increasing heat is expected to extend dry conditions to far more farmland and cities by the end of the century than changes in rainfall alone, says a new study. Much of the concern about future drought under global warming has focused on rainfall projections, but higher evaporation rates may also play an important role as warmer temperatures wring more moisture from the soil, even in some places where rainfall is forecasted to increase, say the researchers.
October 28, 2013
A recent slowdown in global warming has led some skeptics to renew their claims that industrial carbon emissions are not causing a century-long rise in Earth’s surface temperatures. But rather than letting humans off the hook, a new study in the leading journal Science adds support to the idea that the oceans are taking up some of the excess heat, at least for the moment. In a reconstruction of Pacific Ocean temperatures in the last 10,000 years, researchers have found that its middle depths have warmed 15 times faster in the last 60 years than they did during apparent natural warming cycles in the previous 10,000.
August 06, 2013
The global treaty that headed off destruction of earth’s protective ozone layer has also prevented major disruption of global rainfall patterns, even though that was not a motivation for the treaty, according to a new study in the Journal of Climate.
April 22, 2013Fueled by industrial greenhouse gas emissions, Earth’s climate warmed more between 1971 and 2000 than during any other three-decade interval in the last 1,400 years, according new regional temperature reconstructions covering all seven continents. This period of manmade global warming, which continues today, reversed a natural cooling trend that lasted several hundred years, according to results published in the journal Nature Geoscience by more than 80 scientists from 24 nations analyzing climate data from tree rings, pollen, cave formations, ice cores, lake and ocean sediments, and historical records from around the world.
December 21, 2012
Some 40 million people depend on the Colorado River Basin for water but warmer weather from rising greenhouse gas levels and a growing population may signal water shortages ahead. In a new study in Nature Climate Change, climate modelers at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory predict a 10 percent drop in the Colorado River’s flow in the next few decades, enough to disrupt longtime water-sharing agreements between farms and cities across the American Southwest.
September 27, 2012
Summers on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard are now warmer than at any other time in the last 1,800 years, including during medieval times when parts of the northern hemisphere were as hot as, or hotter, than today, according to a new study in the journal Geology.
July 24, 2012
For the first time, scientists have identified tropical and subtropical species of marine protozoa living in the Arctic Ocean. Apparently, they traveled thousands of miles on Atlantic currents and ended up above Norway with an unusual—but naturally cyclic—pulse of warm water, not as a direct result of overall warming climate, say the researchers. On the other hand: arctic waters are warming rapidly, and such pulses are predicted to grow as global climate change causes shifts in long-distance currents. Thus, colleagues wonder if the exotic creatures offers a preview of climate-induced changes already overtaking the oceans and land, causing redistributions of species and shifts in ecology. The study, by a team from the United States, Norway and Russia, was just published in the British Journal of Micropalaeontology.
July 20, 2012
During the last ice age, glaciers dominated New Zealand’s Southern Alps until warming temperatures some 20,000 years ago sent them into retreat. Scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, with their colleagues, are investigating the rocky remnants these glaciers left behind to learn precisely when the ice withdrew, and what glacier retreats globally can tell us about the climate system. A new video produced by the American Museum of Natural History describes the process of surface exposure dating used to extract this information from glacial moraines.
June 15, 2012
Much of the modern understanding of climate change is underpinned by pioneering studies done at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Starting in the 1950s and continuing today, researchers at sea, on land and in the lab have worked in disciplines including oceanography, atmospheric physics, magnetism, geochemistry, glacial geology, paleontology, tree-ring studies and more.
May 01, 2012
In an effort to understand how plants around the world will act in a warming climate, researchers have relied increasingly on experiments that measure how they respond to artificial warming. But a new study says that such experiments are underestimating potential advances in the timing of flowering and leafing four to eightfold, when compared with natural observations. As a result, species could change far more quickly than the experiments suggest, with major implications for water supplies, pollination of crops and ecosystems. The comparison, done by an interdisciplinary team from some 20 institutions in North America and Europe, appears this week in the leading journal Nature.
April 24, 2012
City streets can be mean, but somewhere near Brooklyn, a tree grows far better than its country cousins, due to chronically elevated city heat levels, says a new study. The study, just published in the journal Tree Physiology, shows that common native red oak seedlings grow as much as eight times faster in New York’s Central Park than in more rural, cooler settings in the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains. Red oaks and their close relatives dominate areas ranging from northern Virginia to southern New England, so the study may have wide implications for changing climate and forest composition over a wide region.
April 22, 2012
As human ancestors rose on two feet in Africa and began their migrations across the world, the climate around them got warmer, and colder, wetter and drier. The plants and animals they competed with and relied upon for food changed. Did the shifting climate play a direct role in human evolution?
March 01, 2012
The world’s oceans may be turning acidic faster today from human carbon emissions than they did during four major extinctions in the last 300 million years, when natural pulses of carbon sent global temperatures soaring, says a new study in Science. The study is the first of its kind to survey the geologic record for evidence of ocean acidification over this vast time period.
February 21, 2012
Climate scientists at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science this week were elated to hear that the United States and five other countries had agreed to work toward cutting pollutants other than carbon dioxide thought to cause about a third of current human-influenced global warming. After all, many of them had done the work that led directly to the pact, by showing the effects of such substances, and how emissions might be reduced.
December 21, 2011
In many ways, the tiny, landlocked eastern Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan sits apart from the modern world; its rugged landscapes cradle swift-flowing rivers, expansive old-growth forests and hundreds of glaciers. Combining selective modernization with ancient traditions, it is the only country that uses Gross National Happiness as a metric for success. But the world is intruding. Rapid climate change is melting glaciers across the Himalayas, creating deadly flash-flood hazards and threatening a water system that feeds agriculture and hydropower here and for more than a billion people in the plains below.
October 18, 2011
A major new international prize for public communication on climate-change issues has been awarded to Gavin Schmidt of the Earth Institute-affiliated NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
September 13, 2011
The frigid seabottom off Antarctica holds a surprising riot of life: colorful carpets of sponges, starfish, sea cucumbers and many other soft, bottom-dwelling animals,shown on images from robotic submarines. Now, it appears that many such communities could fast disappear, due to warming climate.
July 12, 2011
A team led by Kevin Anchukaitis of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Tree Ring Lab is currently in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, studying the effects of changing climate on trees. Ferried in by a bush pilot who landed on the tundra to drop them off, they are practically at treeline–the place where it is too far north for trees to grow. But there are still some spindly white spruces here, and they are taking cores from these, which can be used to measure weather of the past.
June 03, 2011
During the last ice age, the Rhone Glacier was the dominant glacier in the Alps, covering a significant part of Switzerland. Over the next 11,500 years or so, the glacier, which forms the headwaters of the Rhone River, has been shrinking and growing again in response to shifts in climate.
May 26, 2011
El Niño and La Niña, the periodic shifts in Pacific Ocean temperatures, affect weather around the globe, and many scientists have speculated that a warming planet will make those fluctuations more volatile, bringing more intense drought or extreme rainfall to various regions.
May 06, 2011
Vintners in the Burgundy region of France have been tracking their harvests since the 14th century, and they know as well as anyone the importance of picking their grapes at just the right moment to produce the best possible glass of Pinot noir.
April 28, 2011
January 31, 2011
Columbia scientists have played a pioneering role in understanding climate change, from its potential effect on critical resources such as water and energy to finding ways vulnerable communities can better adapt.
Columbia University's the Record devotes its January 31, 2011 issue to climate matters, and Lamont-Doherty researchers feature prominently.
September 08, 2010
As the last ice age was ending, about 13,000 years ago, a final blast of cold hit Europe, and for a thousand years or more, it felt like the ice age had returned. But oddly, despite bitter cold winters in the north, Antarctica was heating up. For the two decades since ice core records revealed that Europe was cooling at the same time Antarctica was warming over this thousand-year period, scientists have looked for an explanation.
May 06, 2010
Every day since Jan. 1, 1896, an observer has hiked up a grey outcrop of rock to a spot at The Mohonk Preserve, a resort and nature area some 90 miles north of New York City, to record daily temperature and other conditions there.
Ocean Drilling Expedition off Antarctica May Predict Ice Sheet's Response to Warmer Global TemperaturesMay 04, 2010
New results from a drilling expedition off Antarctica may help scientists learn more about a dramatic turn in climate 34 million years ago, when the planet cooled from a “greenhouse” to an “icehouse” state. In just 400,000 years – a blink of an eye in geologic time – carbon dioxide levels dropped, temperatures plunged and ice sheets formed over what was then the lush continent of Antarctica.
April 22, 2010
The United Nations has awarded Taro Takahashi, a geochemist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, its highest honor for environmental leadership, the Champions of the Earth award, for his research on the oceans’ uptake of carbon dioxide and its implications for global warming. He was presented with a trophy and a $40,000 prize on Thursday, April 22, in a ceremony in South Korea.
April 21, 2010
The seasonal monsoon rains in Asia feed nearly half the world’s population, and when the rains fail to come, people can go hungry, or worse. A new study of tree rings provides the most detailed record yet of at least four epic droughts that have shaken Asia over the last thousand years..
April 14, 2010
Since arriving at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in 1952, for a college summer internship, Wally Broecker has come up with some of the most important ideas in modern climate science. He was one of the first researchers to recognize the potential for human-influenced climate change, and to testify before Congress about its dangers..
March 01, 2010
Scientists broadly agree that global warming may threaten the survival of many plant and animal species; but global warming did not kill the Monteverde golden toad, an often cited example of climate-triggered extinction, says a new study.
February 19, 2010
Natalie Boelman is an ecologist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who studies the effects of climate change on organisms throughout the food chain. She first visited the Alaskan Arctic in 2001, and will return to the North Slope this spring and summer to continue a wildfire-mapping project and to set up a field study that will look at how warming-induced changes are affecting migratory songbirds that breed on the tundra each summer.
February 04, 2010
Scientists aboard the research ship the JOIDES Resolution recently drilled two kilometers into Earth’s crust, setting a new record for the deepest hole drilled through the seafloor on a single expedition.
December 14, 2009
Selected posts from a continuing series of essays and interviews from LDEO scientists on the prospects for a global climate-change treaty.
November 17, 2009
Each person on the planet produced 1.3 tons of carbon last year—an all-time high--despite a global recession that slowed the growth of fossil fuel emissions for the first time this decade, according to a report published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience. Emissions grew 2 percent last year, to total 8.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide.
October 16, 2009
Training teachers to do science in the field or laboratory measurably increases the academic performance of their students and may have far-reaching economic benefits, according to a study published this week in the journal Science. The number of high school students passing New York State’s standardized tests, the Regents exams, is raised by as much as 10 percentage points if the teachers participated in Columbia University’s Summer Research Program for Science Teachers, the study found.
September 23, 2009
A new study adds evidence that climate swings in Europe and North America during the last ice age were closely linked to changes in the tropics. The study, published this week in the journal Science, suggests that a prolonged cold spell...
July 27, 2009
A new study of sea level fluctuations over the last 22,000 years is the latest to predict that rising seas could reach close to one meter by the end of this century, consistent with the most recent sea level projections made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
March 13, 2009
Warming Climate Drives Plankton and Penguins Poleward
Adélie penguins are flocking closer to the South Pole. A new study in the leading journal Science explains why: they’re following the food supply, which is moving southward with changing climate.
January 06, 2009
But Global Warming May Have Helped Override Some Recent Eruptions
Climate researchers have shown that big volcanic eruptions over the past 450 years have temporarily cooled weather in the tropics—but suggest that such effects may have been masked in the 20th century by rising global temperatures
September 04, 2008
North American Ice Sheet Dwindled Fast in Conditions Like Today's
In the face of warming climate, researchers have yet to agree on how much and how quickly melting of the Greenland ice sheet may contribute to sea level rise.
August 18, 2008
Task Force, Advised by Columbia Scientists, Will Draw Plans to Battle Rising Seas, Strains on Water and Electricity
Much of New York City’s waterfront is projected to be vulnerable to flooding in coming decades.
July 15, 2007
July 15, 2007 - The 11th Hour is a 2007 feature film documentary created, produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio on the state of the natural environment.
Lamont’s own Associate Professor Peter deMenocal is one the climate change experts interviewed in the film.
May 14, 2007
A study released on May 11, 2007 provides some of the first solid evidence that warming-induced changes in ocean circulation at the end of the last Ice Age caused vast quantities of ancient carbon dioxide to belch from the deep sea into the atmosphere. Scientists believe the carbon dioxide (CO2) releases helped propel the world into further warming.
March 14, 2006
The retreat of a massive ice sheet that once covered much of northern Europe has been described for the first time, and researchers believe it may provide a sneak preview of how present-day ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica will act in the face of global warming.
April 07, 2005
Scientists from the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) have provided new evidence that ocean circulation changes lagged behind, and were not the cause of, major climate changes at the beginning and end of the last ice age (short intervals known as glacial boundaries), according to a study published in the March 2005 issue of Science magazine.
January 05, 2005
The Maurice Ewing, owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (L-DEO), is the only research vessel devoted to obtaining images of the deep earth for fundamental earth science research.
June 11, 2004
For years, researchers have examined climate records indicating that millennial-scale climate cycles have linked the high latitudes of the Northern hemisphere and the subtropics of the North Pacific Ocean. What forces this linkage, however, has been a topic of considerable debate. Did the connection originate in the North Pacific with the sinking of oxygen-rich waters into the interior of the ocean during cool climate intervals, or did it originate in the subtropical Pacific with the transfer of heat between the ocean and the atmosphere?
May 26, 2004
Two centuries since the start of the Industrial Revolution, the human population has increased six-fold, and economic activity an estimated fifty-fold. The sheer number of people on the planet and the intensity of economic activity are having profound effects on the long-term global climate, threatening to disrupt vast biological, geochemical, and social systems in future decades. This is fact.