News and Events

  • January 22, 2010

    The earthquake that struck Haiti took place along what is called a strike-slip fault—a place where tectonic plates on each side of a fault line are moving horizontally in opposite directions, like hands rubbing together. When these plates lock together, stress builds; eventually they slip; and this produces shaking.

     
  • January 12, 2010

    New York subway commuters may worry more about rats and rising fares than dust floating through the system, but for the workers who spend their whole shift below ground, air quality has long been a concern. Results from a new pilot study using miniaturized air samplers to look at steel dust exposure may help them breathe easier.

  • January 04, 2010

    Scientists say buried volcanic rocks along the heavily populated coasts of New York, New Jersey and New England, as well as further south, might be ideal reservoirs to lock away carbon dioxide emitted by power plants and other industrial sources.

  • 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.

  • November 16, 2009

    The oceans play a key role in regulating climate, absorbing more than a quarter of the carbon dioxide that humans put into the air. Now, the first year-by-year accounting of this mechanism during the industrial era suggests the oceans are struggling to keep up with rising emissions...

  • 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.

  • October 09, 2009

    Before airplanes and satellite phones, polar exploration was a more dangerous undertaking than it is now. A new article in American Scientist retraces Nansen and Shackleton's expeditions from the perspective of modern ocean conditions and sea ice drift conditions.

  • October 09, 2009

    Starting this month, a giant NASA DC-8 aircraft loaded with geophysical instruments and scientists will buzz at low level over the coasts of West Antarctica, where ice sheets are collapsing at a pace far beyond what scientists expected a few years ago.

  • September 30, 2009

    A 2005-2007 dry spell in the southeastern United States destroyed billions of dollars of crops, drained municipal reservoirs and sparked legal wars among a half-dozen states—but the havoc came not from exceptional dryness but booming population and bad planning, says a new study.

  • 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...

  • September 23, 2009

    That rumbling you feel is not necessarily a passing subway. New York City and the surrounding region gets a surprising number of small earthquakes, and a 2008 study from the region’s network of seismographs, run by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, suggests that the risk of a damaging one is not negligible. This week, the federal government announced a major upgrade to that network.

  • September 15, 2009

    The world’s oceans are growing more acidic as carbon emissions from the modern world are absorbed by the sea. A new film, “A Sea Change,” explores what this changing chemistry means for fish and the one billion people who rely on them for food. This first-ever documentary about ocean acidification is told through the eyes of a retired history teacher who reads about the problem in a piece in The New Yorker and is inspired to find out more. His quest takes him to Alaska, California, Washington and Norway to talk with oceanographers, climatologists and others.

  • August 13, 2009

    “Drain the Ocean” will be aired Sunday, August 16, 2 p.m. on the National Geographic channel. The special put computer-generated imagery and digital mapping technology to imaginative use through showing what the oceans would look like if all their water was emptied through an imaginary drain. The result would be a landscape far more dramatic than anything on dry land, including a 40,000 mile-long mountain range, the world’s deepest canyon and widest plains, and bizarre, bioluminescent life forms

  • August 11, 2009

    Instead of an ice-covered South Pole, picture sub-tropical temperatures and flowering plants. That’s what parts of Antarctica looked like 85 million years ago. How long ago was that? If you’re drawing a blank you’re not alone.

    Thinking on geologic time scales does not come easily for many people, and that’s a challenge in teaching earth science, says Lamont-Doherty oceanographer Kim Kastens, in a recent cover story in EOS, a weekly newspaper published by the American Geophysical Union.

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