Stephen Sparks, one of the world’s foremost experts on volcanoes, received the Vetlesen Prize for his groundbreaking scientific work at a ceremony held June 24 at Columbia University. Two-hundred-fifty people attended the formal gathering in the Low Library Rotunda.
Glacial earthquakes are produced as massive ice chunks fall off the fronts of advancing glaciers into the ocean. A new study of the quakes’ mechanics may give scientists a way to measure ice loss remotely and refine predictions of sea-level rise.
On Monday, June 22, the newest Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science & Policy (MPA-ESP) candidates spent a beautiful, sunny day touring Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, just a short bus ride away in Palisades, NY. Led by Environmental Chemistry professor Benjamin Bostick and Climatology professor Jason Smerdon, the students were exposed to many different areas of groundbreaking research that the world-class facility has to offer.
As more and more people take to biking in the city, a new study will look at how much pollution bikers are exposed to, and what effects it might be having on their health.
Two women investigating climate change from different perspectives—Christine McCarthy, a geophysicist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and Denise Iris, a multimedia artist from Brooklyn—had a chance to spend several days together recently. In the Rock Mechanics Lab at Lamont, where McCarthy works, and a nearby “cold room” chilled to the climate of an industrial freezer, they exchanged notes on two ways of looking at ice.
In a study published last week, Lamont post-doctoral scholar Heather Ford and coauthors used 4 million-year-old fossils from the Pliocene to reconstruct the physical features of the Pacific Ocean that would have shaped the environment during a critical juncture in Earth history.
H. James Simpson, a geochemist who pioneered important studies of water pollutants in the Hudson River and abroad, died May 10. He had been affiliated with Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for 50 years. The cause was Parkinson’s disease, said his family; he was 72.
Last week, it was announced that scientists had found the world’s oldest stone tools, in Kenya, dated at 3.3 million years. The precise dating of the tools was made possible by Chris Lepre and Dennis Kent of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who used periodic reversals in earth’s magnetic field to nail the timing. Now, in a related study, a separate team says they have discovered the world’s oldest stone tools that were never used–an apparent revelation about early human leisure time.
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. A team of oceanographers now says they know where the missing heat has gone.