Scientists from Columbia University’s Earth Institute will present important research results and special events at the Dec. 9-13 San Francisco meeting of the American Geophysical Union, the world’s largest gathering of earth and space scientists. Here is a guide in rough chronological order.
A new youth development and disaster recovery program, which grew out of research on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, will debut in five Gulf Coast high schools. The project will bring together teens to create and share resources to help communities recover from disasters.
Earth Institute scientists across many disciplines are playing key roles in helping New York move forward following Hurricane Sandy. Many were already advising the city about the potential effects of sea-level rise, storm surge, climate change and related issues before the storm hit, For better or worse, their predictions were vindicated, and they now continue efforts to help make infrastructure and population more resilient and sustainable.
Shortly after Hurricane Sandy, Columbia University convened a forum featuring faculty researchers from The Earth Institute, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the Mailman School of Public Health, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of International and Public Affairs. This university-wide conversation, co-sponsored by The Earth Institute, Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, and World Leaders Forum, brought together just a few of the many Columbia researchers whose interdisciplinary work is adding to our understanding of the risks facing coastal communities, including New York City and its suburbs.
In the Arabian peninsula nation of Oman, geologists are studying the Hajar mountains–a range containing rocks that have been thrust up from the deep earth. Accessible to humans in only a few places on earth, these kinds of rocks offer clues to the planet’s deep history–and possible ways that natural processes may be harnessed to combat modern climate change.
The desert sultanate of Oman is home to some of the weirdest—and possibly most useful—rocks on earth. The stark Hajar mountains, near the border with Saudi Arabia, contain a chunk of earth’s mantle—a zone that makes up most of earth’s mass, but normally lies inaccessible to humans, far below the surface. Here, though, a sliver of mantle has made its way up to where we can see and touch it. The outcrop has drawn scientists looking for clues to the dynamics of the deep earth; the origins of life; and, most recently, ways to fight climate change.
A new study in the journal Nature provides fresh insight into deep-earth processes driving apart huge sections of the earth’s crust. This rifting mostly takes place on seabeds, but can be seen in a few places on land—nowhere more visibly than in the Afar region of northern Ethiopia.
Some 800 years ago, ancestors of modern Mongolians conquered the world on horseback. Researchers are investigating whether a spell of unusually mild weather helped propel them by making them rich in livestock.
Eight hundred years ago, relatively small armies of mounted warriors suddenly exploded outward from the cold, arid high-elevation grasslands of Mongolia and reshaped world geography, culture and history in ways that still resound today. How did they do it?
After John Diebold, an enormously popular and influential marine scientist, died suddenly in summer 2010, friends and family erected a memorial to him: a carved red oak bench they installed on a causeway along the Hudson River, inscribed with “GONE TO SEA.” Then along came Hurricane Sandy.