Global Warming’s ‘Missing’ Heat: It May Be in the Indian Ocean

by | 5.20.2015 at 12:00pm
Increases in westward-blowing winds over the Pacific Ocean are thought to be pushing great masses of water--and heat--through the Indonesian straits, into the Indian Ocean.

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. Many scientists think much of the heat trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases is being soaked up and stored by the oceans–at least for now. A team of oceanographers now says they know where it went.

Distilling Art from the Figures of Science

by | 5.18.2015 at 11:01am
monsoon graphic crop

Any researcher can attest to the fact that a scientific figure is worth more than a thousand words. Rarely do we take a step back to consider the inherent artistry in the figures created to convey the science.

Study Reveals Microbes’ Hidden Role in Fertilizing Oceans

by | 5.14.2015 at 2:12pm
In order to understand how phosphorus moves through the oceans, researchers did shipboard experiments with Trichodesmium, a type of bacteria that forms visible colonies. The test tube is about the diameter of a U.S. quarter. (Carly Buchwald, WHOI)

Surprisingly little has been known about how phosphorous, an essential nutrient, cycles through the oceans. A new study has broken through some of this mystery, by showing the hidden role that the oceans’ tiniest creatures play.

Bad Ozone Days in Western U.S. Linked to Pacific Weather

by | 5.12.2015 at 8:58am
La Nina illo jp2

A new study shows that ozone pollution in the western United States can be increased by La Niña, a natural weather cycle at the surface of the Pacific Ocean. The finding is the first to show that the La Nina-El Nino cycles directly affects pollution.

Smooth Sailing Back to Tasmania

by | 5.1.2015 at 10:12am
Antarctica, NBP1503 science team

After a surprisingly smooth crossing of the Southern Ocean, with favorable winds we arrived back in Hobart, Tasmania. The weather maps show that we just got ahead of another big storm system.

Taking a 4,000-Meter-Deep Profile of Antarctic Waters

by | 4.27.2015 at 10:47am
NB Palmer, West Antarctica, CTD system

In addition to understanding potential pathways for “warmer” circumpolar deep water to reach the ice shelf, we are also measuring what the structure and properties of the water column are and determining if there is already warmer water on or near the continental shelf that could already interact with the glaciers of East Antarctica today.

Lamont-Doherty to Manage U.S. Ocean Drilling Program

by | 4.27.2015 at 10:41am
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (left) listens as Carl Brenner, director of the new office,  explains it scope.

Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has signed a $35 million, five-year cooperative agreement with the U.S. National Science Foundation to manage scientific support services for U.S. scientists studying the world’s ocean floors.

Mapping the Seafloor

by | 4.20.2015 at 11:53am
In addition to depth, we can identify many features in the high-resolution multibeam data that we produce. Most of the seafloor near the shelf break (where the water is between 300 and 500 meters deep) is covered with these irregular furrows that are created when large icebergs are grounded here.

One of the goals of this expedition is to investigate if water from the Southern Ocean with temperatures above the melting point of glaciers could reach the glaciers in East Antarctica, and if there are any obstacles on the seafloor of the shelf that impact the ability of such water to reach the glaciers and ice streams.

Lamont-Doherty Strategic Plan

by | 4.17.2015 at 10:58am
Lamont Strategic Plan

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has been a leader in the study of our planet since its founding 65 years ago. Today, Observatory scientists continue the institution’s long tradition of addressing important questions in the Earth and planetary sciences. 

In a Melting Iceland, Drilling Deep to Stem Climate Change

by | 4.13.2015 at 4:22pm
Underground, carbon dioxide disperses through volcanic basalt, and solidifies into a substance similar to limestone. A geologist shows off a core taken from the injection zone.

Iceland is pioneering a new technology to deal with climate change. Its Hellisheidi geothermal power plant, the world’s largest, hosts arguably the world’s most advanced program to capture and lock away globe-warming carbon dioxide.