Lamont Weekly Report, February 26, 2016

     This week the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced that Ryan Abernathey has been selected as a Sloan Research Fellow for 2016 ( The two-year fellowship is intended “to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise.” A Stacy Morford story on the award and on Ryan’s work on mesoscale ocean dynamics, ocean-atmosphere interaction in the Southern Ocean, numerical modeling on high-performance computers, and visualization of dynamic systems was posted on our web site on the day of the announcement (

     Adjunct Senior Research Scientist Anders Levermann arrived this week for the first in a series of semiannual two-week visits to Lamont’s cryosphere group and Ocean and Climate Physics Division. Anders holds his primary affiliation at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, where he is Professor of Dynamics of the Climate System. As if to announce his arrival, Anders coauthored a paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on a new methodology for predicting sea-level rise. The methodology partitions sea-level rise into its principal physical contributions and then combines observations from the past century with specific greenhouse gas concentration scenarios to project each of those contributions into the future. A summary of the paper by Stacy Morford appeared Monday on Lamont’s web site (

     Also on Monday, Nature Geoscience posted online an advance copy of a review paper by Peter Kelemen and Mark Behn, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, on the formation of continental crust. Although the source of continental crust has long been thought to be island arcs along subduction zones, Peter and Mark argued that the lower crust at arcs, where exposed, differs compositionally from the lower crust of continents, so continents cannot simply grow by the lateral accretion of arc crust. The duo proposed what they call a crustal relamination process at arcs to resolve the dilemma. The process involves the subduction of buoyant magmatic rocks from arcs and the heating of that material at depth, followed by ascent of the material to the base of the arc crust. A Stacy Morford story on the paper is on our web site (

     On Tuesday, the February issue of Lamont’s electronic newsletter ( was sent out to a broad distribution. The issue included links to stories on the global distribution of fieldwork areas planned by Lamont scientists in the coming year, a paper by Anders Levermann and colleagues on the long-term affects of recent greenhouse gas emissions, and a paper by Kassandra Costa and coauthors on a natural test of the iron fertilization hypothesis during the last ice age when an enhanced flux of iron-bearing dust did not lead to enhanced phytoplankton production in the central equatorial Pacific. Other links in the newsletter point to additional stories on Lamont research; blogs and articles by our staff; and video, radio, and print interviews of Lamont scientists.

     In yesterday’s issue of Nature magazine is a Careers column by Robin Bell on the increasing diversity of scientists conducting geological and geophysical fieldwork in Antarctica. She contrasts the current situation with the male-dominated field parties when she was a Lamont graduate student and there were almost no female role models in Earth science.

     The R/V Langseth arrived in the Cape Verde Islands yesterday for a port stop to exchange scientific parties and ocean-bottom seismometers to prepare for the next cruise, a study of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary beneath the central Mid-Atlantic ( led by Nicholas Harmon and Catherine Rychert of the University of Southampton.

     In the news this week, Bärbel Hönisch was quoted in a Christian Science Monitor story Wednesday on the effects of ocean warming and acidification on the health of coral reef communities ( Also Wednesday, The Antarctic Sun interviewed Kirsty Tinto ( on the ROSETTA program of Lamont’s polar geophysics group to survey the structure and underlying bathymetry of the Ross Ice Shelf.

     This afternoon’s Earth Science Colloquium speaker will be marine geophysicist Anne Tréhu, a Professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University ( who is scheduled to lead a cruise of the Langseth off Chile later this year. Anne’s seminar will be on “Forearc crustal structure and slip in megathrust earthquakes: Looking for links in Chile and Cascadia.” I hope to see you there.