News and Events

  • May 04, 2008

    Farming pushed natural drought into disaster--and could do so again.

    NEW YORK – Climate scientists using computer models to simulate the 1930s Dust Bowl on the U.S Great Plains have found that dust raised by farmers probably amplified and spread a natural drop in rainfall, turning an ordinary drying cycle into an agricultural collapse. The researchers say the study raises concern that current pressures on farmland from population growth and climate change could worsen current food crises by leading to similar events in other regions.

  • May 01, 2008

    May 1, 2008 -- Rocks under the northern ocean are found to resemble ones far south

    Scientists probing volcanic rocks from deep under the frozen surface of the Arctic Ocean have discovered a special geochemical signature until now found only in the southern hemisphere.

  • March 31, 2008

    The Earth Institute is holding two seed funding competitions for the '08 - '09 fiscal year (July 1-June 30).  One competition is for Cross-Cutting Initiative (CCI) projects and one for Earth Clinic projects. Proposals for both competitions are due by the close of business on Monday, June 2, 2008 and should be e-mailed to Robin DeJong at robin@ei.columbia.edu.

    Both competitions are designed to provide seed funding for new internal research or projects/interventions that further the Earth Institute mission which states that:

  • March 30, 2008

    In a cross-cutting initiative of the Earth Institute and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, two member organizations of the Earth Institute, the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory and the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC) and three GSAS departments (DEES, E3B and Chemistry) have been awarded a National Science Foundation GK-12 grant of $3.2 million.

  • March 17, 2008

    WASHINGTON, Mar. 17, 2008 ---Every mode of transportation in the United States will be affected by climate change, and planning to keep things running must begin now, says a new report to the government. The greatest potential impact will be flooding of roads, railways, transit systems, and airport runways in coastal areas, due to rising sea levels and surges brought on by more intense storms. Transport on rivers and roads in the nation’s center also are at risk, says the report, issued this week by the National Research Council. A committee of authors warns that climate shifts will require significant changes in design, construction, operation and maintenance of transportation systems.

  • February 28, 2008

    Feb. 28, 2008 ---Each year, long-distance winds drop up to 900 million tons of dust from deserts and other parts of the land into the oceans. Scientists suspect this phenomenon connects to global climate—but exactly how, remains a question.  Now a big piece of the puzzle has fallen into place...

  • February 25, 2008

    Punta Arenas, Chile, Feb. 28, 2008 ---Scientists from over a dozen institutions will embark today from this port on the tip of South America to spend 42 days amid the high winds and big waves of the Southern Ocean, where they will make groundbreaking measurements to explain how large amounts of climate-affecting gases move between atmosphere and sea, and vice-versa. Researchers from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are taking a leading role in the expedition.

  • January 15, 2008

    January 14, 2008 - Lamont Scientists Douglas Martinson and Robin Bell were featured in an NBC Nightly News story entitled "Meltdown in Antartica."

    The story is part of Nightly News' ongoing "Our Planet" series that examines issues effecting the earth's environment.

  • January 10, 2008

    January 10, 2008 ---Zigzagging some 60,000 kilometers across ocean floors, earth’s system of mid-ocean ridges plays a pivotal role in many workings of the planet—from its plate-tectonic movements to heat flow from the interior, and the chemistry of rock, water and air....

  • December 19, 2007

    December 19, 2007 - Science at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is featured in three new books—not all in the usual nonfiction format. In addition to two journalistic works on climate change, there is Time and Materials, by Robert Hass, former poet laureate of the United States, which contains “State of the Planet: on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. In it, Hass explores humanity’s efforts to understand the complexities of oceans, earth and skies, with climate as a central theme.

  • December 11, 2007
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    Dec 10, 2007--Scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory will report this week on vital topics including new evidence of the effects of climate change; technologies to confront it; studies of eastern U.S. earthquake risk; and previously unseen inner workings of the deep polar ice caps.  The reports will be presented at the fall 2007 American Geophysical Union (AGU), the largest earth-sciences gathering in the world, Dec. 10-14 in San Francisco.

  • December 05, 2007

    November 30, 2007 - Amid cheers from hundreds of scientists and guests, Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory cut the ribbon at its $45 million Gary C. Comer Geochemistry Building. The ultra-modern facility is “the step forward that we need to accelerate our efforts to understand and predict the important changes that will impact the way we live with our planet,” Lamont director G Michael Purdy told the crowd. It comes “at a time when, after decades of apathy, humankind is at last awakening to the critical role that the planet’s environment plays in everyone’s well-being.”

  • November 12, 2007

    November 12, 2007 -The academic community’s flagship seismic-research vessel, to be operated by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, was dedicated in Galveston, Tex., Nov 12. The R/V Marcus G. Langseth, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation for use by universities, research institutes and government agencies across the nation, will generate CAT-scan-like 3D images of magma chambers, faults and other structures miles below the world’s seabeds.

  • October 19, 2007

    October 19, 2007--The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded jointly to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), honors many Lamont-based scientists who have contributed work to the IPCC. These include at least nine current staffers who collaborated with the IPCC’s most recent assessment, issued in 2007. Many others have contributed to the panel’s three previous reports over the past 17 years.

  • September 04, 2007

    September 4, 2007--Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has established a $3 million endowment to further its cutting-edge work in designing new scientific instruments to study waves, winds, earthquakes and other natural phenomena.

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