Organic geochemist Pratigya Polissar is developing new tools to look at the history of plants and ecosystems on Earth over the past 20 million years.
December 08, 2017
October 31, 2017
The warmer, more acidic waters caused by climate change will affect the health of tiny marine organisms essential to the marine food web and important to the marine carbon cycle.
September 21, 2017
Three scientists explain what they’re learning about the ocean’s changing conditions. These discoveries will contribute to the sustainable management and conservation of marine resources, helping to secure food for current and future generations.
August 16, 2017
Plastic microbeads, common in soap, toothpaste and other consumer products, are flooding waters. A team from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is doing the first large-scale assessment of their impact on New York’s waterways.
August 11, 2017
Last week, just days before Central Park’s big Ivory Crush, a Lamont-Doherty geochemist and his colleague sawed off samples of the confiscated ivory for DNA testing and radiocarbon dating. Their results could determine where and when each elephant was killed—which could help catch the poachers responsible.
October 13, 2016
A special section in the October issue of BioScience examines the effects of a single season of intense melting on two Antarctic ecosystems, tracking impacts all the way from microbial food webs to shifting penguin populations.
June 09, 2016
The tropics are already hot, and they’re getting hotter as global temperatures rise. A new study offers a glimpse into just how severely a couple more degrees could disrupt the region’s ecological map. The authors, from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the University of California, Berkeley, looked at potential effects of a 2°C rise in the average global temperature this century and asked: what would happen if all species tried to migrate to keep their average environmental temperature unchanged?
March 21, 2016
Researchers have predicted that as the planet is warmed by human-produced CO2, plants may add to the emissions and amplify the warming. Now, the most comprehensive global study of its kind yet suggests that this effect has limits, and that increases in plant respiration may not be as big as previously estimated. It shows that rates of increase slow in an easily predictable way as temperatures mount, in every region of earth, from tropics to tundra.
March 15, 2016One foggy spring morning just after a hard rain, Park Williams was tromping through the woods deep in Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains. Toiling down a steep slope, he supposedly was keeping a simultaneous eye out for rattlesnakes, copperheads, poison ivy and big old trees. Williams seemed mostly focused on the trees, though; attention to the other stuff was just slowing him down. Williams studies how forests react to changes in climate, and the Ozarks’ deeply dissected hills and hollers are a kind of ground zero for this.