Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Antarctic Ice showing crevassing along the edges of flow. photo J. Spergle

Let’s Talk About Crevasses—Deep Fractures in Antarctica’s Ice

The word “crevasse” sends shivers down the spine of anyone who works on a glacier. Sometimes hundreds of feet deep and hidden beneath a thin layer of snow, these cracks have claimed the lives of many polar explorers and scientists. They also appear quite frequently in our sensors as we fly our survey flights for Rosetta-Ice.

by |November 16, 2017
solar panels and the sky

Lamont to Harvest Sunshine from Solar Farm

Two solar arrays in Upstate New York will be up and ready at the end of November, poised to provide power and to help to reduce the Lamont campus’ carbon footprint.

by |November 16, 2017
In the Peruvian Amazon, a researcher studies a fire set by farmers in order to clear land. (Kevin Krajick/Earth Institute)

Where Is All That Carbon Dioxide Going?

Concurrent with the announcement that human carbon emissions reached a new peak this year, Galen McKinley, a researcher at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, discusses the difficulties of tracking the sources and destinations of carbon dioxide.

by |November 13, 2017
Flying past the Trans-Antarctic Mountains that line the East side of the Ross Shelf. Photo credit: Susan Howard

Flying is Easy, Just Think Happy Thoughts…

For scientists mapping Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf, data collection flights require a demanding schedule: The day starts at 4am and sometimes continues throughout the night.

by |November 7, 2017
The top row of images show each study region in 2005, which had abundant NOx in urban areas where human emissions are high, leading to systems where ozone formation was controlled by VOC amounts. As pollution controls were put into place on NOx emissions, by 2015, the systems in Europe, the United States, and East Asian urban areas became limited by NOx, meaning that further controls on NOx would help reduce ozone formation. 
(NASA’s Earth Observatory /Josh Stevens)

NASA Finds New Way to Track Ozone By Satellite

Ozone pollution near Earth’s surface is one of the main ingredients of summertime smog. But it not directly measurable from space, due to the abundance of ozone higher in the atmosphere, which masks the surface. Now, researchers have devised a way to use satellite measurements of the precursor gases that contribute to ozone formation to predict when and where ozone will form.

by |November 6, 2017
heat maps of United States

National Climate Report: Q&A With Authors

Every four years Congress is provided with a state-of-the-art report on the impacts of climate change on the United States. The next National Climate Assessment is scheduled for 2018, but its scientific findings are scheduled to be published today. Here, two of its authors explain what to expect.

by |November 3, 2017
An official 'proof'! My photo by the McMurdo sign is proof that we have really made it here after a lot of anticipation!!

Settling in at McMurdo Station in Antarctica

Even though our tent is within a short drive of McMurdo (a small town with most of the safety and logistical equipment on the entire continent), we still need to prepare ourselves for sudden, extreme weather. Every time we leave the relative safety of McMurdo, we carry our Extreme Cold Weather equipment and our tent has emergency food and sleeping equipment.

by |November 2, 2017
Researchers at the 925-ton boulder called "the bull." (Elisa Casella)

Giant Boulders on Bahamas Coast Are Evidence of Ancient Storms and Sea Level, Says Study

A new study says that storms of intensities seen today, combined with a few meters increase in sea level, were enough to transport coastal boulders weighing hundreds of tons more than 100,000 year ago.

by |November 1, 2017
Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 3.46.30 PM

By 2100, Climate Change Could Alter Key Microbial Interactions in the Ocean

The warmer, more acidic waters caused by climate change influence the behavior of tiny marine organisms essential to ocean health.

by |October 31, 2017
Kiro samples the walls of the cave.

In Biblical Land, Searching for Droughts Past and Future

Human-influenced climate warming has already reduced rainfall and increased evaporation in the Mideast, worsening water shortages. Up to now, climate scientists had projected that rainfall could decline another 20 percent by 2100. But the Dead Sea cores suggest that things could become much worse, much faster.

by |October 31, 2017