News and Events

  • May 19, 2005

    Buried far beneath the cattails and blackbirds of marshes in the lower Hudson Valley are pollen, seeds and other materials preserved in marsh sediment in the Hudson River Estuary. By examining this material, researchers can see evidence of a 500-year drought, the passing of the Little Ice Age, and impacts of European settlers.

  • April 26, 2005

    Many scientists fight a never-ending battle against dust in their laboratory. Gisela Winckler, however, can’t get enough. Before you send her what’s under your bed, though, she’s only interested in a very special kind of dust — the kind that rains down on the Earth from outer space.

  • April 11, 2005

    Scientists have long held the belief that the fracturing of the Earth's brittle outer shell into faults along the deep ocean's mountainous landscape occurs only during long periods when no magma has intruded. Challenging this predominant theory, findings from a completed study show how differences in mid-ocean ridge magma-induced activity produce distinctly different types of ocean floor faulting.

  • 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.

  • February 24, 2005

    Working in the subway several hours each day, subway workers and transit police breathe more subway air than the typical commuter. Subway air has been shown to contain more steel dust than outdoor or other indoor air in New York City. But do transit workers’ bodies harbor elevated levels of these metals? And does this translate into a health concern for the workers?

  • January 24, 2005

    Marine seismic research will play an invaluable role in providing the same level of warning currently in the Pacific Ocean to the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. In January 2005 the Bush Administration committed $37.5 million to expand the current global tsunami detection and warning systems.

  • January 05, 2005

    Well diggers in Araihazar, Bangladesh will soon be able to take advantage of a cell phone-based data system, developed at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory with support from the Earth Institute at Columbia University, to target safe groundwater aquifers for installing new wells that are not tainted with arsenic. Using a new needle-sampler (also developed at the Earth Institute), they will also be able to test whether the water is safe during drilling and before a well is actually installed.

  • January 05, 2005
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    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.

  • October 07, 2004

    Researchers from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of The Earth Institute at Columbia University have used 835 annual tree-ring chronologies based on measurements from 20- to 30-thousand tree samples across the United States, Mexico, and parts of Canada to reconstruct a history of drought over the last 2005 years. The resulting drought reconstructions have been organized into a North American Drought Atlas CD-ROM, the first of its kind, which maps year-by-year occurrences of droughts.

  • October 07, 2004

    Severe drought in western states in recent years may be linked to climate warming trends, according to new research, led by scientists from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, to be published in the journal Science. This research was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

  • July 07, 2004

    Deep in the Antarctic interior, buried under thousands of meters (more than two miles) of ice, lies Lake Vostok, the world's largest subglacial lake. Scientists believe that the waters of Lake Vostok have not been disturbed for hundreds of thousands of years, and there are tantalizing clues that microbes, isolated for at least as long, may exist.

  • June 18, 2004

    What causes the peaks and valleys of the world’s great mountains? For continental ranges like the Appalachians or the Northwest’s Cascades, the geological picture is clearer. Continents crash or volcanoes erupt, then glaciers erode away. Yet scientists are still puzzling out what makes the highs high and the lows low for the planet’s largest mountain chain, the 55,000-mile-long Mid-Ocean Ridge.

  • 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.

     

     

  • May 14, 2004

    From 1960 to 1990, scientists have observed a 1.3% per decade decline in the amount of sun reaching the Earth’s surface. This phenomenon, coined “solar dimming,” is due to changes in clouds and air pollution that are impeding the sun's ability to penetrate. Scientists believe that the combination of growing quantities of man-made aerosol particles in the atmosphere and more moisture have caused the cloud cover to thicken.

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