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.
Sea levels are inching up year by year, and by various projections could be two to six feet higher by 2100—enough to make some small, low-lying island nations uninhabitable, or simply to wipe them off the map. What rights will citizens have to live elsewhere; in fact, will these entities actually still be nations, with [...]
The threat of sea-level rise–actually, its ongoing reality–has been on many more minds since New York and surrounding areas were walloped during Hurricane Sandy by a record-high storm surge, abetted by a water level that has risen steadily over the last century. That level will keep rising if climate keeps warming, and so, probably, will the frequency of extreme weather. That is why the new book Rising Seas: Past, Present Future by geologist Vivien Gornitz is a timely and important contribution to helping people understand the issue.
Earth Institute research expeditions investigating the dynamics of the planet on all levels take place on every continent and every ocean. Most projects originate with our main research center, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and are often run in collaboration with other institutions.
A new study in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization shows how hot spots of lead contamination in soil can be pinpointed in order to safeguard children against drastic health effects. Researchers led by geochemist Alexander van Geen of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, studied soil around two Peruvian mining towns, and found high lead concentrations [...]
(Updated Wednesday, March 6, 2013) Before Hurricane Sandy, scientists at The Earth Institute were at the forefront of studying the dangers posed by such storms, especially in the New York City area, where they are based. Among their specialties: the physics of storms and storm prediction; impacts of climate on weather and sea level; [...]
Dr. Daniel Hillel was recently honored with the World Food Prize for his pioneering work in sustainable agriculture.
Biologist Marina Cords has been studying monkey social behavior in western Kenya’s protected Kakamega Forest since 1979. Her work has led to insights about how primates manage conflicts, mate and carry out other social functions closely related to human behavior.