Pushker Kharecha and James E. Hansen write about their recent paper on the long-term health effects of nuclear power versus fossil fuels, and argue that nuclear power needs to be part of the solution to climate change.
Last year, President Obama launched Educate to Innovate, a campaign designed to improve the participation and performance of the nation’s students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
A video profile of the Lamont-Doherty Core Repository—the world’s largest collection of deep sea sediments, some as old as 100 million years. The 19,000 cores, largely collected by Lamont’s own research vessels, are a central resource for the global scientific community, which uses them for studies of earth’s past and current environment, especially in regard to climate change.
The fourth seminar in the Earth Institute’s Sustainable Development Seminar Series, “Ch Ch Ch Changes – recent trends in temperature extremes and hydroclimate,” brought together experts in the fields of climate change and hydrology to discuss emerging trends in global weather events.
Phosphorus is essential to human health and vital for food production. But are we using up phosphorus faster than we can economically extract it?
A new method for detecting big landslides is allowing scientists to understand the dynamics of these elusive events almost instantly, without traipsing to remote mountains or scrambling up rugged peaks months, or even years, later. In a recent study in the journal Science, Göran Ekström and Colin Stark, geophysicists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, have catalogued the 29 largest landslides since 1980 using satellite images and recordings from a global network of seismic instruments. A third of the avalanches are documented now for the first time.
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.
The last part of our river work was on the Jamuna River, as the Brahmaputra is called south of where if diverges from its former course. It shifted up to 100 km to this course about 200 years ago. We visited Sirajganj where an embankment protects the city from the migrating river and Aricha near the confluence of the Jamuna and Ganges. We ended our journey by standing with one foot in each of these two great rivers.
We traveled to the Brahmaputra River, one of the most active on the planet, to continue our fieldwork. We visited two places while working our way downstream and saw the rapid changes in the river bank and chars (islands). At one ghat (dock) the river had eroded a mile of the coast while in the other it added a similar amount. The chars had moved, appeared, disappeared and reemerged. In this changing environment, the resilient Bangladeshi char people shifted and adapted with the land.