Increased wildfires are predicted to accompany ongoing climate change. Yet, little evidence exists supporting this hypothesis.
New GPS data show birds adjust to shifting snow conditions as climate warms.
Increased wildfires are predicted to accompany ongoing climate change. Yet, little evidence exists supporting this hypothesis.
GloDecH is a research program funded by the NOAA Climate Variability and Predictability Program and conducted at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. The research program involves a la
This project will develop an integrated ice imaging system capable of measuring in detail both the ice surface and the ice bed. TheicePod system will be installed and operated on New York Air National Guard LC-130 aircraft during routine and targeted missions across Antarctica and Greenland as a shared community research facility providing data to scientists and educators globally. The fundamental data sets produced by the icePod system are necessary to support the development of accurate ice sheet models to predict sea level rise. The icePod system will consist of a suite of imaging sensors mounted in an external pod carried on New York Air National Guard LC-130’s to map the surface and subsurface ice topography of ice sheets, ice streams and outlet glaciers.
The proposed research will document the circulation, variability, and driving mechanisms of the upper ocean in the “freshwater switchyard of the Arctic Ocean.” This unexplored reg
The Gulf Stream-European climate myth
Research and analysis of the Polar Regions and their impact on global climate.
Environmental hypotheses of African faunal evolution propose that major faunal speciation, extinction, and innovation events during the Pliocene-Pleistocene were mediated by changes in Africa
We all know that climate is either going to change, or is already doing so, as a result of human activities changing the atmosphere's composition and its land surface.
|Name||Title||Fields of interest|
|Tyler Janoski||Graduate Student|
|Adam H. Sobel||Professor||Atmospheric and climate dynamics, tropical meteorology.|
|Olivia Clifton||Graduate Student||interactions among atmospheric chemistry, climate, and the biosphere|
|Shannan Sweet||Graduate Research Fellow||I am specifically interested in the impacts climate change and changing seasonality have on the vegetation in the Arctic tundra. I am also interested in the effect increasing deciduous shrub cover has on plant and canopy phenology and overall plant commun|
|Indrani Das||Lamont Assistant Research Professor||Mass balance of Antarctica and Greenland ice sheets, and mountain glaciers deep ice processes, Climate change and sea level rise. Airborne laser altimetry and ice penetrating radar, satellite remote sensing, surface energy and mass balance models, ice surface hydrology,dust and aerosols.|
|Colin Kelley||Graduate Research Assistant||Climate variability and change, with particular interest in the drying of the Mediterranean region|
|Richard Seager||Palisades Geophysical Institute/Lamont Research Professor||My interests are in climate variability and change on timescales of seasons to millennia and in particular the causes of multiyear droughts around the world and how climate change will impact global hydroclimate. I analyze observations, proxy climate rec|
|Nicole K. Davi||Adjunct Senior Research Scientist||Paleoclimatology, Drought and Hydrometeorological Reconstructions, Climate Change, Dendrochronology, Science Education & Outreach, Paleoarchaeology, Sustainability, Climate Risk Management|
|Margie Turrin||Senior Staff Associate|
|Yochanan Kushnir||Lamont Research Professor||Diagnostic analysis of climate variability; Climate impacts; Climate predictability; Ocean-Atmosphere interaction; extreme precipitation and flooding.|
|Mingfang Ting||Lamont Research Professor||Impact of global climate change on regional scales in terms of atmospheric stationary waves and precipitation extremes; Dynamics of the naturally occuring and anthropogenically-forced climate changes, droughts and floods circulation; Regional climate mode|
New GPS data show birds adjust to shifting snow conditions as climate warms.
Researchers long ago predicted that the 1987 Montreal Protocol, banning ozone-depleting gases, would reverse a worrisome trend in Southern Hemisphere winds. A new study shows they were right.
Columbia experts weigh in.
The movement of sea ice between Arctic countries is expected to increase significantly this century, raising the risk of more widely transporting pollutants like microplastics and oil, according to new research.
Always weather-obsessed, Fralick enrolled in the Sustainability Science program because he wants to take on the threats of climate change and incorporate sustainable practices into everyday life.
While much of the world is planning for flooding and inundation from changes in sea level, Greenland is facing a much different future.
A scientist who has played a key role in documenting modern sea-level rise and its causes is to receive the 2020 Vetlesen Prize for achievement in the Earth sciences.
Long-lived compounds implicated in a third of overall global warming from 1955 to 2005.
For about the last 10 years, environmental law professor Karl Coplan has been trying to winnow down his direct footprint of carbon-dioxide emissions.
Evidence suggests that this major ocean current, which influences the weather in parts of Europe and the U.S., is already changing.
And how to protect yourself from them.
Using old tree rings and archival documents, historians and climate scientists have detailed an extreme cold period in Scotland in the 1690s that caused immense suffering. It may have lessons for Brexit-era politics.
Scientists have identified systematic meanders in the northern jet stream that cause simultaneous crop-damaging heat waves in widely separated regions–a previously unknown threat to global food production that could worsen with global warming.
New study challenges many climate scientists’ expectations that plants will make much of the world wetter in the future.
Short answer: Moderation is key.
Pierre Dutrieux, a Lamont oceanographer and 2019 Climate and Life Fellow, discusses his Antarctic research and what the new IPCC report says about sea-level rise.
Dozens of Earth Institute and Lamont staff and students took part in New York City’s Climate Strike march.
A paleoclimatologist walks us through some of the natural causes of climate change — and why it’s important to take action on human-caused warming.
Two Months in the Southern Ocean, for Science Under the leadership of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory scientists, two different expeditions sailed to the stormy Southern Ocean to learn more about Earth’s climate history.
Climatologist Radley Horton’s impactful research is matched by his commitment to communicating the under-appreciated threats associated with global warming.
Join Lamont's Center for Climate and Life and our Earth Institute colleagues at a groundbreaking New York City climate event designed to inform and inspire.
Park Williams and Richard Seager, climate experts at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, discuss why California wildfires are expected to expand and intensify with climate change.
Sea level rise 3 million years ago may help predict the pace of what we can expect as our climate warms.
Climate scientists often invoke the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age as natural worldwide climate swings predating human influences. They may not have worked the way we think.
Warming temperatures, rising seas, and more extreme weather are going to cost us. But they’ll create new business opportunities, too.
A new study is the latest and perhaps most convincing indication that climate change is eating the Himalayas’ glaciers, potentially threatening water supplies for hundreds of millions of people downstream across much of Asia.
The impacts of climate change don’t always come one at a time. A recent workshop focused on what’s needed to predict and adapt when multiple climate-related disasters happen simultaneously.
Research by Lamont’s Johnny Kingslake and Elizabeth Case advances understanding of ice sheet dynamics and how our world may change in the coming centuries.
A new study reveals the inner workings of tidally triggered earthquakes and finds that even the slightest stress can set off a tremor.
The three new Fellows, all scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, will pursue high-risk, high-reward research that furthers understanding of how climate change impacts human sustainability.
Lynn Sykes, a pivotal figure in the development of plate tectonics, discusses a new memoir of his career.
The annual survey of biodiversity in New York City’s waterways had a great turnout on Saturday.
Lamont paleoclimatologist William D’Andrea studies past climates to see how societies such as the Vikings and the Rapanui of Easter Island dealt with environmental change. His work may help us adapt to a hotter future.
ROSETTA-Ice project reveals that local ocean currents may play a critical role in the ice shelf’s future retreat.
Join us on Saturday, June 1st to explore one of New York’s most underrated treasures: our productive waterways!
A new study finds that as air circulation patterns change with the climate, coastal states could get hit with stronger hurricanes.
Climatologist Radley Horton from Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory testified before the Senate’s Subcommittee on Science, Oceans, Fisheries, and Weather. Senator and chairman of the subcommittee Cory Gardner, R-Colo., convened the hearing — titled “Atmospheric Science Research and Forecasting Innovation” — to examine the current state of atmospheric and forecast research.
The Antarctic Circumpolar Current is the planet’s most powerful and arguably most important. It is the only one to flow clear around the globe without getting diverted by any landmass, sending up to 150 times the flow of all the world’s rivers clockwise around the frozen continent.
In an unusual new study, scientists say they have detected a growing fingerprint of human-driven global warming on global drought conditions starting as far back as 1900.
A new book, the second in a series of primers with the Earth Institute imprint, provides an interdisciplinary overview drought, bringing together many fields including climate science, hydrology and ecology.
Columbia Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory seismologist Göran Ekström has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
A new study suggests that bacteria may respire more carbon dioxide from the shallow oceans to the air as oceans warm, reducing the deep oceans’ ability to store carbon.
A Lamont climate researcher breaks down why our atmosphere is the way it is, how it’s changed over time, and what the future may hold.
A Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory oceanographer answers this deep question from a reader as part of our Earth Month Q&A on Instagram.
The new findings offer clues about how the solar system formed and how rocky planets change over time.
Despite some unpredictable Antarctic weather, the final G-055 team member makes it off the ice.
In celebration of Earth Month and Earth Day, our scientists are tackling reader questions on science and sustainability.
The paleoclimatologist and marine geologist talks about why the miles and miles of marine sediment samples in Lamont’s Core Repository are so important.
New research shows that the Larsen C ice shelf—the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica, located just south of the former Larsen B shelf—experienced an unusual spike in late summer and early autumn surface melting in the years 2015 to 2017.
The Antarctic field team returns to humanity, showers, and hot breakfasts.
This year’s theme encourages students to explore the relationship between human beings and water through various art forms.
A new study is the first to untangle the effects of volcanic eruptions and El Niño events on hurricane patterns.
A team of scientists working in Antarctica faces a host of new challenges.
A new study is the first to untangle the effects of volcanic eruptions and El Niño events on hurricane patterns.
Equipped with a field testing kit originally developed within Columbia’s Earth Institute, the “Lead-Free Kids Peru” project has tested hundreds of soil samples for the toxic metal — and dug up some startling results in the process.
Scientists are sailing to remote areas of the Southern Ocean to drill cores from the bottom that they hope will contain clues to past rapid changes in the Antarctic ice, and how it may react to warming climate today.
In the early spring, volcanologists monitoring the ground around Kilauea, the most active volcano on the island of Hawai’i, noticed a significant increase in seismicity, a sign of an impending eruption. Meanwhile, in Palisades, New York, Lamont volcanologist Einat Lev was also watching developments at Kilauea closely, scanning United States Geological Survey (USGS) reports and keeping in regular touch with friends and colleagues directly tasked with monitoring volcanic activity.
From polar bears to budget cuts, a climate reporter’s job is never easy. But for some, it’s worth the struggle.
A discussion on the challenges women scientists often face, and what we can all do to help.
The world’s leading earth scientist is not allowing collective inaction to absolve her of personal responsibility.
Rainy weather is becoming increasingly common over parts of the Greenland ice sheet, triggering sudden melting events that are eating at the ice and priming the surface for more widespread future melting, says a new study.
A new project is looking for the fingerprints of climate change in the hurricanes of today, so we’ll know what to expect in the near future.
Satellite imagery of earth’s vegetation, measurements of carbon dioxide in the air and computer models all help scientists understand how climate is affecting carbon dynamics and the world’s forests.
Measurements of stable isotopes in tree rings may expand the climate information that scientists can get from old trees.
Newly analyzed drill cores taken from the bottom of Greece’s Gulf of Corinth show that sediment flow into the basin has varied dramatically over the past 500,000-plus years, as the earth passed in and out of ice ages, and humans later dominated the surrounding landscape.
New developments in climate research led by atmospheric scientist Yutian Wu are adding to our understanding of the “polar vortex” and other extreme events.
In a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Environment, Radley Horton delivered sobering remarks about how climate change will impact our coastlines, economy, and society at large.
The students are using deep learning and neural networks to create an automated system that classifies plankton for large-scale oceanographic studies.
On February 21, scientists learned the essentials of science communication during a half-day workshop at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
Moving a team from a science base into a deep field camp comes with a mix of high energy and optimism. Yes there is always a bit of concern that the necessary plans are in place for the operation to be successful, but time is always a factor pushing to move things along.
Tributes continue pouring in as Lamont mourns the loss of Wally Broecker "grandfather of climate science."
Wallace Broecker, a geochemist who initiated key research into the history of earth’s climate and humans’ influence upon it, died Feb. 18 in New York. He was 87.
A new study shows that phosphorus and nitrogen should be reduced to mitigate harmful algae blooms in coastal NY waters.
Depressing news and turbulent politics can leave many of us discouraged, but it’s not all doom and gloom; Earth Institute experts weigh in on what gives them hope.
Attaching the sensors that will help us study erosion rates required vacuum grease, patience, and a lot of masking tape.
On the volcanic Indian Ocean island of Anjouan, scientists are investigating a rock that apparently formed on a far-off continent.
On the volcanic Indian Ocean island of Anjouan, scientists are investigating a rock that apparently formed on a far-off continent.
From cooking to going to the bathroom, here’s what daily life is like in a remote Antarctic camp.
After bad weather and a busy week of packing and preparation, the team is finally ready to strike out on its own in the coldest, driest, and windiest place on the planet.
The microbial oceanographer was elected a Fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Microbiology in recognition of her scientific achievement.
The team is using two techniques to study weathering and erosion in Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys.
A team of scientists is measuring rock breakdown in the coldest, driest, and windiest place on the planet.
The Real-Time Earth initiative is upgrading the technological capabilities of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and transforming the way its scientists study our planet.
Brendan Buckley discusses his course Predicting the Effects of Climate Change on Global Forests, which is offered this spring
Fieldwork in Antarctica adds a whole new layer to the meaning of planning. When heavily field based projects are planned, it is common for preliminary fieldwork to precede the larger project.
David Goldberg recently returned to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory after a visiting appointment at the University of Montpellier on a “Make Our Planet Great Again” award.
A team of autonomous ocean robots deployed in January 2018 has carried out the first year-long observations under an Antarctic ice shelf.
Tools of the Trade is a new series that brings you inside the labs of Earth Institute scientists. Learn about the equipment scientists are using in Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Core Repository.
On every continent and every ocean, Earth Institute researchers are studying climate, geology, natural hazards and other dynamics of the planet. Here is a list of projects in rough chronological order for the coming year and beyond.
Joerg Schaefer and Gisela Winckler, scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, received funding from the Center for Climate and Life to examine the vulnerability of Greenland’s massive ice sheet.
The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is considered a key driver of winter weather patterns over the northern hemisphere. In recent years, research has claimed a correlation between the NAO and the 11-year solar cycle. A new paper debunks that claim.
A new study shows that some of Yellowstone National Park’s forests may be at a climate tipping point, and could be replaced by grassland by the middle of this century.
What’s a bog corer? And how do seeds help scientists learn about the earth’s past? A paleoecologist explains the most important items in her toolkit.
Atmospheric scientists discover surprising levels and unexpected types of pollution that seem to be originating in Africa.
The current megadrought in the American West may be one of the most severe in the past 1200 years—and climate change is partially to blame.
But there’s a pretty simple solution that could protect a lot of people.
Yutian Wu received funding from the Center for Climate and Life to investigate whether the loss of Arctic sea ice promotes severe weather over North America.
The American Geophysical Union fall meeting is being held Dec. 10-14 in Washington, D.C. Here is a chronological guide to key talks and other events from Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that limiting global warming to 1.5˚C will require removing CO2 from the atmosphere. How feasible is this?
A concerted, multidisciplinary, and international effort is needed to tackle this complexity, scientists argue in a paper released today.
A Q&A with Jason Smerdon, coauthor of the newly revised Climate Change: The Science of Global Warming and Our Energy Future.
A guide to wildfire experts at the Earth Institute.
The Trump administration is attempting to rescind almost all the policies to fight climate change proposed or enacted by the Obama administration. Could this send us over the climate tipping points?
A small team of scientists ventures out onto the Greenland ice sheet to study the forces large and small that are accelerating the melting of the world’s second-largest ice mass.
An interview with Ed Cook, one of the founding directors of the Tree-Ring Laboratory at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
Scientists and staff from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Earth Institute share some of the ways they’re shrinking their carbon footprints.
Two Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory scientists affiliated with the Center for Climate and Life are leading research that examines some of the ways climate change affects the health of the ocean.
Scientists have known for some time that ice shelves off West Antarctica are melting as deep, warm ocean waters eat at their undersides, but a new study shows that temperatures, and resultant melting, can vary far more than previously thought, within a time scale of a few years.
The world is warming and our air conditioners are making it worse. Here are some less energy-intensive ways to survive the rising heat.
The sounds from icebergs are constant—a bit of groaning as the waves shift the ice, and then a sharp popping like gunfire as the ice fractures, beginning its weakening.
Geoscientist Wally Broecker explains the money that’s backing climate denialism, and what it will take to fight it.
Two new papers find that the line that divides the moist East and arid West is edging eastward due to climate change—and the implications for farming and other pursuits could be huge.
Scientists are collecting lake sediment, rock, water and plant samples to explore linkages among Arctic sea ice, atmospheric uptake, and changes in snowfall on the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Climate scientists say that killer heat waves will become increasingly prevalent in many regions as climate warms. However, most projections leave out a major factor that could worsen things: humidity, which can greatly magnify the effects of heat alone. Now, a new global study projects that in coming decades the effects of high humidity in many areas will dramatically increase.
The coasts of Antarctica are ringed with ice shelves – large expanses of ice that float on the surrounding ocean and form the outermost extensions of the glaciers that cover the land behind them. A new study shows that even minor deterioration of ice shelves can instantaneously hasten the motion and loss of ice hundreds of miles landward.
Two solar array farms in Orange County, New York, will be completed at the end of November, poised to provide power to and reduce the carbon footprint of the Lamont Campus.
Every four years Congress is provided with a state-of-the-art report on the impacts of climate change on the United States. The next National Climate Assessment is scheduled for 2018, but its scientific findings are scheduled to be published today. Here, two of its authors explain what to expect.
Ancient humans migrated out of Africa to escape a drying climate, says a new study–a finding that contradicts previous suggestions that ancient people were able to leave because a then-wet climate allowed them to cross the generally arid Horn of Africa and Middle East.
One of the largest icebergs ever, roughly the size of Delaware just broke off Antarctica according to scientists who have been observing the area for years. While it’s not unusual for ice shelves to calve, many in the climate community fear that the breaking of Larsen C may be a signal of other events to come
The 2004 disaster movie “The Day After Tomorrow” depicted the cataclysmic effects—superstorms, tornadoes and deep freezes— resulting from the impacts of climate change. In the movie, global warming had accelerated the melting of polar ice, which disrupted circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean, triggering violent changes in the weather. Scientists pooh-poohed the dire scenarios in the movie, but affirmed that climate change could indeed affect ocean circulation—could it shut down the Gulf Stream?
Many giant shelves of ice hanging off Antarctica into the Southern Ocean are now melting rapidly. But up to now, it has been a mystery why much of the resulting fresh water ends up in the depths instead of floating above saltier, denser ocean waters. Scientists working along one major ice shelf believe they have found the answer: earth’s rotation is pushing meltwater sideways as it bleed off the ice, preventing it from reaching the surface. The finding has implications for how ocean circulation may affect the planet’s future climate. The research was published this week in the journal Nature.
Rainfall patterns in the Sahara during the six-thousand-year “Green Sahara” period have been revealed by analyzing marine sediments, according to new research.
What is now the Sahara Desert was the home to hunter-gathers who made their living off the animals and plants that lived in the region’s savannahs and wooded grasslands 5,000 to 11,000 years ago.
In the far north, climate is warming two to three times faster than the global average. As a result, both tundra and boreal forests are undergoing massive physical and biological shifts. Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and other institutions are engaged in a long-term project to sort out what allows trees to survive or not in this borderline environment.
Twenty-three million years ago, the Antarctic Ice Sheet began to shrink, going from an expanse larger than today’s to one about half its modern size. Computer models suggested a spike in carbon dioxide levels as the cause, but the evidence was elusive – until now. Ancient fossilized leaves retrieved from a lake bed in New Zealand now show for the first time that carbon dioxide levels increased dramatically over a relatively short period of time as the ice sheet began to deteriorate. The findings raise new questions about the stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet today as atmospheric CO2 concentrations rise to levels never before experienced by humans.
A new study says that human-induced climate change has doubled the area affected by forest fires in the U.S. West over the last 30 years. According to the study, since 1984 heightened temperatures and resulting aridity have caused fires to spread across an additional 16,000 square miles than they otherwise would have—an area larger than the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined. The authors warn that further warming will increase fire exponentially in coming decades.
A storm that dumped as much as 20 inches of rain over three days flooded thousands of homes in Louisiana in mid-August. Lamont's Adam Sobel writes about the discussion around the role of climate change and attribution studies.
Powerful tropical cyclones like the super typhoon that lashed Taiwan with 150-mile-per-hour winds last week and then flooded parts of China are expected to become even stronger as the planet warms. That trend hasn’t become evident yet, but it will, scientists say.
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?
In much of France and Switzerland, the best wine years are traditionally those with abundant spring rains followed by an exceptionally hot summer and late-season drought. This drives vines to put forth robust, fast-maturing fruit, and brings an early harvest. Now, a new study shows that warming climate has largely removed the drought factor from the centuries-old early-harvest equation. It is only the latest symptom that global warming is affecting biological systems and agriculture.
If you asked scientists a few years ago if a specific hurricane has been caused by climate change, most would have told you that, while it raises the risks, no single weather event could yet be attributed to climate change. That’s starting to change. In a new report, a committee of the National Academy of Sciences, including Lamont Professor Adam Sobel, assesses the young field of attribution studies for several types of extreme events. It recommends future research and guidance to help the field advance and contribute to understanding of the risks ahead.
Humans have been burning fossil fuels for only about 150 years, yet that has started a cascade of profound changes that at their current pace will still be felt 10,000 years from now, a new study shows. Coastal areas, in particular, will experience the long-term effects as rising seas slowly redraw the world map as we know it and continue to rise long after emissions are brought down. Even in a scenario in which global temperatures warm to only about 2° Celsius above pre-industrial times, the analysis shows that several of the world’s coastal megacities will eventually be submerged.
The Columbia Center for Climate & Life at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has announced its 2016 Fellows. Michael Puma is focusing on food security and climate shocks, and Park Williams is exploring the influence of climate change on droughts and wildfires.
The Indonesian peat fires that have been choking cities across Southeast Asia with a yellow haze are creating more than a local menace—the burning peat releases immense stores of CO2, contributing to global warming, writes Jonathan Nichols.
Much of the modern understanding of climate change is underpinned by pioneering studies done at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Starting in the 1950s and continuing today, researchers at sea, on land and in the lab have worked in disciplines including oceanography, atmospheric physics, magnetism, geochemistry, glacial geology, paleontology, tree-ring studies and more.
A new study in Science questions the provocative idea that climate change may shape the texture of the sea floor. Lamont's Jean-Arthur Olive and his co-authors argue that the fabric of the sea floor is better explained by faults that form, offsetting the crust as the plates pull apart. Their paper is the first to explain the characteristic spacing of abyssal hills quantitatively as a function of seafloor spreading rate within a single theoretical framework.
A new study finds that the Horn of Africa has become progressively drier over the past century and that it is drying at a rate that is both unusual in the context of the past 2,000 years and in step with human-influenced warming. The study also projects that the drying will continue as the region gets warmer. If the researchers are right, the trend could exacerbate tensions in one of the most unstable regions in the world.
Since the late 1990s, global warming has stabilized, even as greenhouse gases have risen. That defies simple models that say the temperature should keep going up. Many scientists think the so-called “hiatus” is taking place in part because much of the heat trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases is being soaked up and stored by the oceans–at least for now. The Pacific is believed to play an especially powerful role, with winds in its eastern regions sweeping heat into its depths, like dirt getting swept under the rug. The problem is, scientists checking under the rug by measuring subsurface temperatures have not necessarily found the predicted increases in heat. This has come to be known as the riddle of the “missing heat.” A team of oceanographers now says they know where it went: It has been exported from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean. Their study, out this week in the journal Nature Geoscience, finds that this movement may account for more than 70 percent of all heat absorbed by the entire upper world ocean in the past decade.
Tiny Iceland is a prime exemplar of the complexities wrought by warming climate. It is 11 percent covered by ice, but it is basically also one very large, very active volcanic system. The island has seen fast-increasing temperatures since the 1970s, and glaciers–a big source of tourism and runoff for hydropower–are visibly receding. This cuts various ways. Iceland gets almost all its electricity and heat from hydropower and geothermal wells. Increased glacial runoff means increased generation potential; on the other hand, in 50 or 100 years, Iceland may be mostly land and very little ice, and the runoff could dry up.
Scientists have long suspected that ocean acidification caused the crisis—similar to today, as manmade CO2 combines with seawater to change its chemistry. Now, for the first time, scientists have quantified the extent of surface acidification from those ancient days, and the news is not good: the oceans are on track to acidify at least as much as they did then, only at a much faster rate.
Increasing heat is expected to extend dry conditions to far more farmland and cities by the end of the century than changes in rainfall alone, says a new study. Much of the concern about future drought under global warming has focused on rainfall projections, but higher evaporation rates may also play an important role as warmer temperatures wring more moisture from the soil, even in some places where rainfall is forecasted to increase, say the researchers.
A recent slowdown in global warming has led some skeptics to renew their claims that industrial carbon emissions are not causing a century-long rise in Earth’s surface temperatures. But rather than letting humans off the hook, a new study in the leading journal Science adds support to the idea that the oceans are taking up some of the excess heat, at least for the moment. In a reconstruction of Pacific Ocean temperatures in the last 10,000 years, researchers have found that its middle depths have warmed 15 times faster in the last 60 years than they did during apparent natural warming cycles in the previous 10,000.
The global treaty that headed off destruction of earth’s protective ozone layer has also prevented major disruption of global rainfall patterns, even though that was not a motivation for the treaty, according to a new study in the Journal of Climate.
Some 40 million people depend on the Colorado River Basin for water but warmer weather from rising greenhouse gas levels and a growing population may signal water shortages ahead. In a new study in Nature Climate Change, climate modelers at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory predict a 10 percent drop in the Colorado River’s flow in the next few decades, enough to disrupt longtime water-sharing agreements between farms and cities across the American Southwest.
Summers on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard are now warmer than at any other time in the last 1,800 years, including during medieval times when parts of the northern hemisphere were as hot as, or hotter, than today, according to a new study in the journal Geology.
For the first time, scientists have identified tropical and subtropical species of marine protozoa living in the Arctic Ocean. Apparently, they traveled thousands of miles on Atlantic currents and ended up above Norway with an unusual—but naturally cyclic—pulse of warm water, not as a direct result of overall warming climate, say the researchers. On the other hand: arctic waters are warming rapidly, and such pulses are predicted to grow as global climate change causes shifts in long-distance currents. Thus, colleagues wonder if the exotic creatures offers a preview of climate-induced changes already overtaking the oceans and land, causing redistributions of species and shifts in ecology. The study, by a team from the United States, Norway and Russia, was just published in the British Journal of Micropalaeontology.
During the last ice age, glaciers dominated New Zealand’s Southern Alps until warming temperatures some 20,000 years ago sent them into retreat. Scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, with their colleagues, are investigating the rocky remnants these glaciers left behind to learn precisely when the ice withdrew, and what glacier retreats globally can tell us about the climate system. A new video produced by the American Museum of Natural History describes the process of surface exposure dating used to extract this information from glacial moraines.
In an effort to understand how plants around the world will act in a warming climate, researchers have relied increasingly on experiments that measure how they respond to artificial warming. But a new study says that such experiments are underestimating potential advances in the timing of flowering and leafing four to eightfold, when compared with natural observations. As a result, species could change far more quickly than the experiments suggest, with major implications for water supplies, pollination of crops and ecosystems. The comparison, done by an interdisciplinary team from some 20 institutions in North America and Europe, appears this week in the leading journal Nature.
City streets can be mean, but somewhere near Brooklyn, a tree grows far better than its country cousins, due to chronically elevated city heat levels, says a new study. The study, just published in the journal Tree Physiology, shows that common native red oak seedlings grow as much as eight times faster in New York’s Central Park than in more rural, cooler settings in the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains. Red oaks and their close relatives dominate areas ranging from northern Virginia to southern New England, so the study may have wide implications for changing climate and forest composition over a wide region.
As human ancestors rose on two feet in Africa and began their migrations across the world, the climate around them got warmer, and colder, wetter and drier. The plants and animals they competed with and relied upon for food changed. Did the shifting climate play a direct role in human evolution?
The world’s oceans may be turning acidic faster today from human carbon emissions than they did during four major extinctions in the last 300 million years, when natural pulses of carbon sent global temperatures soaring, says a new study in Science. The study is the first of its kind to survey the geologic record for evidence of ocean acidification over this vast time period.
Climate scientists at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science this week were elated to hear that the United States and five other countries had agreed to work toward cutting pollutants other than carbon dioxide thought to cause about a third of current human-influenced global warming. After all, many of them had done the work that led directly to the pact, by showing the effects of such substances, and how emissions might be reduced.
In many ways, the tiny, landlocked eastern Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan sits apart from the modern world; its rugged landscapes cradle swift-flowing rivers, expansive old-growth forests and hundreds of glaciers. Combining selective modernization with ancient traditions, it is the only country that uses Gross National Happiness as a metric for success. But the world is intruding. Rapid climate change is melting glaciers across the Himalayas, creating deadly flash-flood hazards and threatening a water system that feeds agriculture and hydropower here and for more than a billion people in the plains below.
A major new international prize for public communication on climate-change issues has been awarded to Gavin Schmidt of the Earth Institute-affiliated NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
The frigid seabottom off Antarctica holds a surprising riot of life: colorful carpets of sponges, starfish, sea cucumbers and many other soft, bottom-dwelling animals,shown on images from robotic submarines. Now, it appears that many such communities could fast disappear, due to warming climate.
A team led by Kevin Anchukaitis of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Tree Ring Lab is currently in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, studying the effects of changing climate on trees. Ferried in by a bush pilot who landed on the tundra to drop them off, they are practically at treeline–the place where it is too far north for trees to grow. But there are still some spindly white spruces here, and they are taking cores from these, which can be used to measure weather of the past.
During the last ice age, the Rhone Glacier was the dominant glacier in the Alps, covering a significant part of Switzerland. Over the next 11,500 years or so, the glacier, which forms the headwaters of the Rhone River, has been shrinking and growing again in response to shifts in climate.
El Niño and La Niña, the periodic shifts in Pacific Ocean temperatures, affect weather around the globe, and many scientists have speculated that a warming planet will make those fluctuations more volatile, bringing more intense drought or extreme rainfall to various regions.
Vintners in the Burgundy region of France have been tracking their harvests since the 14th century, and they know as well as anyone the importance of picking their grapes at just the right moment to produce the best possible glass of Pinot noir.
Columbia scientists have played a pioneering role in understanding climate change, from its potential effect on critical resources such as water and energy to finding ways vulnerable communities can better adapt.
Columbia University's the Record devotes its January 31, 2011 issue to climate matters, and Lamont-Doherty researchers feature prominently.
As the last ice age was ending, about 13,000 years ago, a final blast of cold hit Europe, and for a thousand years or more, it felt like the ice age had returned. But oddly, despite bitter cold winters in the north, Antarctica was heating up. For the two decades since ice core records revealed that Europe was cooling at the same time Antarctica was warming over this thousand-year period, scientists have looked for an explanation.
Every day since Jan. 1, 1896, an observer has hiked up a grey outcrop of rock to a spot at The Mohonk Preserve, a resort and nature area some 90 miles north of New York City, to record daily temperature and other conditions there.
New results from a drilling expedition off Antarctica may help scientists learn more about a dramatic turn in climate 34 million years ago, when the planet cooled from a “greenhouse” to an “icehouse” state. In just 400,000 years – a blink of an eye in geologic time – carbon dioxide levels dropped, temperatures plunged and ice sheets formed over what was then the lush continent of Antarctica.
The United Nations has awarded Taro Takahashi, a geochemist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, its highest honor for environmental leadership, the Champions of the Earth award, for his research on the oceans’ uptake of carbon dioxide and its implications for global warming. He was presented with a trophy and a $40,000 prize on Thursday, April 22, in a ceremony in South Korea.
The seasonal monsoon rains in Asia feed nearly half the world’s population, and when the rains fail to come, people can go hungry, or worse. A new study of tree rings provides the most detailed record yet of at least four epic droughts that have shaken Asia over the last thousand years..
Since arriving at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in 1952, for a college summer internship, Wally Broecker has come up with some of the most important ideas in modern climate science. He was one of the first researchers to recognize the potential for human-influenced climate change, and to testify before Congress about its dangers..
Scientists broadly agree that global warming may threaten the survival of many plant and animal species; but global warming did not kill the Monteverde golden toad, an often cited example of climate-triggered extinction, says a new study.
Natalie Boelman is an ecologist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who studies the effects of climate change on organisms throughout the food chain. She first visited the Alaskan Arctic in 2001, and will return to the North Slope this spring and summer to continue a wildfire-mapping project and to set up a field study that will look at how warming-induced changes are affecting migratory songbirds that breed on the tundra each summer.
Scientists aboard the research ship the JOIDES Resolution recently drilled two kilometers into Earth’s crust, setting a new record for the deepest hole drilled through the seafloor on a single expedition.
Selected posts from a continuing series of essays and interviews from LDEO scientists on the prospects for a global climate-change treaty.
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.
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.
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...
Warming Climate Drives Plankton and Penguins Poleward
Adélie penguins are flocking closer to the South Pole. A new study in the leading journal Science explains why: they’re following the food supply, which is moving southward with changing climate.
But Global Warming May Have Helped Override Some Recent Eruptions
Climate researchers have shown that big volcanic eruptions over the past 450 years have temporarily cooled weather in the tropics—but suggest that such effects may have been masked in the 20th century by rising global temperatures
North American Ice Sheet Dwindled Fast in Conditions Like Today's
In the face of warming climate, researchers have yet to agree on how much and how quickly melting of the Greenland ice sheet may contribute to sea level rise.
Task Force, Advised by Columbia Scientists, Will Draw Plans to Battle Rising Seas, Strains on Water and Electricity
Much of New York City’s waterfront is projected to be vulnerable to flooding in coming decades.
July 15, 2007 - The 11th Hour is a 2007 feature film documentary created, produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio on the state of the natural environment.
Lamont’s own Associate Professor Peter deMenocal is one the climate change experts interviewed in the film.
A study released on May 11, 2007 provides some of the first solid evidence that warming-induced changes in ocean circulation at the end of the last Ice Age caused vast quantities of ancient carbon dioxide to belch from the deep sea into the atmosphere. Scientists believe the carbon dioxide (CO2) releases helped propel the world into further warming.
The retreat of a massive ice sheet that once covered much of northern Europe has been described for the first time, and researchers believe it may provide a sneak preview of how present-day ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica will act in the face of global warming.
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.
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.
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?
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.
|Tectonics, Paleoclimates, and Paleobiology of Africa’s Western Rift Valley|
|At the Speed of Volcanic Eruptions|
|The Interconnected Global Climate System—A Review of Tropical–Polar Teleconnections|
|Antarctic Climate Change: A Model to Communicate about Global Warming|
|Revisiting the reactivity of terrestrial organic matter along the land-sea continuum: implications for the global budget of organic carbon burial|
|My Climate Change: Lessons Learned in 30 Years on the Global Warming Beat|
|Triple oxygen and hydrogen isotopes of gypsum hydration water: A resurrected proxy of hydrologic change|
|How Will Climate Change Impact Water?||How Will Climate Change Impact Water?|
|The Impact of Human-caused Warming on Drought and Fire in the Western United States|
|Penguins: Climate's Canaries in the Coal Mine|
|How We Can Achieve a Global Climate Change Accord|
|Arctic warming: What it means for the birds and the bees|
|Western Antarctic Peninsula: Rapid Climate Change and an Ecosystem Near a Tipping Point|
|A Symphony in the Climate System: Dr. Maureen Raymo|
|Ocean Acidification and Climate Change|
|Is Global Heating Hiding Out in the Oceans?|
|17th Annual W.S. Jardetzky Lecture||Past and Contemporary Climate Change: Evidence from Earth’s Ice Cover|
|Shrinking Glaciers: A Chronology of Climate Change|
|Peak Earth||Public Lecture, April 22, 2012|
|Did Climate Change Shape Human Evolution?||Day II, Session I|
|Did Climate Change Shape Human Evolution?||Day II, Session III|
|Did Climate Change Shape Human Evolution?||Day II, Session II|
|Did Climate Change Shape Human Evolution?||Day I, Session 4|
|Did Climate Change Shape Human Evolution?||Day I, Session 2|
|Did Climate Change Shape Human Evolution?||Day I, Session 3|
|Did Climate Change Shape Human Evolution?||Day I, Session I|
|Do Global Hydrologic Changes During The Past 25,000 Years Serve As A Useful Guide For What Is To Come?||Earth Science Colloquium|
|Global Dimensions to U.S. Air Quality||Intercontinental Transport, Stratospheric Exchange, and Climate Warming|
|The Páramos||Climate change threatens a fragile ecosystem in the Andes|
|Climate Change in Arctic Tundra: From Wildfire to Songbirds||Part of the 2011 Public Lecture Series|
|A Delicate Balance: Antarctica and its Surrounding Oceans||Part of the 2011 Public Lecture Series|
|How Would We Act If We Took Climate Change Seriously?||Lamont Doherty's Earth Science Colloquium|
|Taro Takahashi Wins Top U.N. Award for Environmental Leadership|
|Currents, Conveyors, and Climate Change||Part of the 2010 Public Lecture Series|
|Links between CO2 and Climate throughout Earth History||Lamont Doherty's Earth Science Colloquium|
|Science Serving Humankind||An Overview of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory|
|Polar Regions||Polar Research at Lamont|
|Assessing Resilience of Past Societies to Climatic Change||The Case of Angkor's 15th Century Collapse and Reorganization|
|New York's Piermont Marsh||A 7,000-year Archive of Climate Change, Human Impact and Uncovered Mysteries|
|Extreme Science||An Antarctic Expedition in Search of Lost Mountains|
|Climate is Changing Our Forests and Plants||New Evidence from Alaska and Our Own Backyard|
|What Good Are Climate Models?||Earth Science Colloquium|
|The Dilemma of Global Dimming||Lecture, Open House 2006|
|African Climate Changes and Human Evolution||Public Lecture, 2004|