Climate

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A Right to Fossil Fuels? Pressure Mounts for Developing Countries to Leave Them in the Ground

Calls are intensifying to phase out fossil fuels, and that is now beginning to occur in many developed countries. This shift will have profound implications for the developing world, which has vast untapped fossil fuel resources, but may be unable to realize their value.

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Land, Resource Investments and Climate Change: 3 Key Takeaways

Any discussion on climate change and sustainable investment in natural resources must grapple with land—a complicated yet crucial component of the search for equitable climate change solutions.

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Flaring Gas: How Not to Waste a Valuable Resource

Every year, oil fields around the globe burn, or “flare,” an estimated 3.5 percent of the world’s natural gas supply. The gas is produced alongside oil and must be disposed of during the production process. Eliminating flaring would reduce CO2 emissions by as much as removing 77 million cars from the road. Moreover, the flaring wastes a valuable non-renewable energy resource.

Participants in Students on Ice listen to scientist Maureen Raymo (top left) discuss climate change at the foot of Greenland’s Illissaat Icefjord. (Image: Martin Lipman/Students on Ice)

Facing Rapid Change in the Arctic

An expedition to the Canadian Arctic and west coast of Greenland is a moving and motivating experience for Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory climate scientist Maureen Raymo.

by |September 15, 2016
Asian elephants, like these in Sri Lanka, are sensitive to temperature. A new study explores the impact of warming on populations in the tropics. Photo: Amila Tennakoon, CC-BY-2.0

An Ecological Traffic Jam in the Warming Tropics?

The tropics are already hot, and they’re getting hotter as global temperatures rise. A new study offers a glimpse into how seriously a couple more degrees could disrupt the region’s ecological map.

by |June 9, 2016
Maureen Raymo

Maureen Raymo Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Maureen Raymo, a marine geologist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory whose name is connected with key theories about how ice ages wax and wane and how sea levels change, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors awarded to scientists in the United States.

by |May 3, 2016
The crew and scientists of Expedition 361. Photo: Tim Fulton/IODP

Almost Home, with Another 7 Million Years of Climate History

Science at sea isn’t easy, but the benefits are huge, writes Sidney Hemming in her final post from a two-month expedition that collected millions of years of climate history in the deep-sea sediment from off southern Africa.

by |March 25, 2016
Expedition 361’s nannofossil experts with their specialties: Top, left to right: Margit Simon, Thiago Pereira dos Santos, Luna Brentegani and Deborah Tangunan. Bottom left to right: Dick Norris and Jason Coenen. All associated with a fossil of their speciality (not quite to scale…). Illustration by Deborah Tangunan

Finding Microfossils off Southern Africa

Expedition 361’s newest sediment cores brought up spectacular foraminifera—translucent, glassy and “very pretty” throughout the ocean sediment.

by |March 19, 2016
Natural coastal features like wetlands and sand dunes may be able to adjust somewhat to sea-level rise. (Kevin Krajick)

Where Will Sea-Level Rise Hurt the Most?

A study out yesterday says that the lives of up to 13 million people in the United States may be disrupted by sea-level rise in the next century. But another study says that while much hard infrastructure like houses, piers, seawalls and roads may have to be kissed goodbye, some 70 percent of natural landforms along the Northeast Coast may be able to adjust themselves, and not suffer inundation.

by |March 15, 2016
In a soaking rain, Pederson eyeballs a plot through an angle gauge, a forester’s tool for estimating forest density and species composition.

Photo Essay: High in the Hills, Climate May Challenge Forests

Forests in the south-central United States are some of the country’s most productive and diverse. They also sit in a warming “hole”—an area where the progressive rise in temperature affecting most of the continent hasn’t yet taken hold. A team from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is studying how these forests might shift—or even disappear—when climate change does catch up with them, as expected.

by |March 15, 2016