Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

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Disaster Experts: A Journalist’s Guide

An all-purpose guide for journalists covering disasters, natural and manmade.

by |February 14, 2017
Putnam studies glaciers around the world, part of an effort to understand past climate change and the potential impacts of warming today.

In High Sierras, Remnants of Ice Age Tell a Tale of Future Climate

Aaron Putnam’s research in the California Sierras is part of an effort to study glaciers around the world—in Europe’s Alps, the Himalayas, Mongolia, Patagonia, New Zealand. He’s working on an important piece of the worldwide climate puzzle that can help us understand what’s ahead in a warming world.

by |February 14, 2017
A scientist surveys a large Porites coral colony in American Samoa, which is located in the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) and impacted by the SPCZ zonal events Linsley et al. reconstructed using similar corals from Indonesia's Makassar Strait. Photo: Brad Linsley

Indonesian Corals Shed Light on Climate System

A new coral salinity record shows that the location of the most significant hydroclimatic feature in the Southern Hemisphere, the South Pacific Convergence Zone, influences a major Pacific Ocean current.

by |February 9, 2017
Horses near Lake Dali, in Inner Monglia. Photo: Yonaton Goldsmith

Shifting Monsoon Altered Early Cultures in China, Study Says

The annual summer monsoon that drops rain onto East Asia has shifted dramatically, at times moving northward by as much as 400 km and doubling rainfall in that northern reach. The monsoon’s changes over the past 10,000 years likely altered the course of early human cultures in China, say the authors of a new study.

by |February 6, 2017
Chris and Dan discussing notes on locations to visit based on recent satellite images and entering them into the GPS.

Sampling on the Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers

The final phase of our revolves around visiting chars, sandy river islands, on the Ganges and Brahmaputra River. Chris and Dan are making measurements of soil salinity and moisture and spectra of the soil reflectance, while Liz and I collected samples for OSL dating and understanding the OSL properties of the river sediments here. This entails a mixture of driving around the country and spending time on small country boats and walking around the chars.

by |February 4, 2017
jelly snip

Project Aims to Map World’s Oceans by 2030

More than 85 percent of the ocean floor remains unmapped, leaving us in the dark about much of the earth’s topography. A global, non-profit effort will try to remedy that, and influence everything from climate research and weather prediction to mineral resource exploration and fisheries.

by |February 2, 2017
Coauthor Pierre Dutrieux with an instrument that detects fluctuations in ocean water, Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica, Jan. 31, 2017. A similar instrument was used to show why fresh water from melting ice shelves settles far below the surface instead of rising. (Courtesy Pierre Dutrieux/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Scientists Say They Now Know Why Antarctic Meltwater Stays Below Ocean Surface

Up to now, it has been a mystery why much of the fresh water resulting from the melting of Antarctic ice shelves ends up in the depths instead of floating above saltier, denser ocean waters. Scientists working along one major ice shelf believe they have found the answer.

by |February 2, 2017
The M.B. Mowali, our home for the next two days for the run to Hiron Point and back.

Side Trip to Hiron Point, Sundarbans

After helping Chris an Dan with soil salinity and reflectance measurement, Humayun, Liz and I moved onto the smaller M.B. Mewl to sail through the Sundarban Mangrove Forest to service our GPS station at Hiron Point.

by |January 31, 2017
Liz measures and describing the sediments that have accumulated over  the base of the wells since they were installed in 2011.

Equipment Repairs in SW Bangladesh

Humayun, Liz and I headed to Khulna in SW Bangladesh a day after Chris and Dan. Along the way, we stopped at our sediment compaction meter for surveying and removing the GPS, and getting feasted by the family that hosts the system.

by |January 31, 2017
MeSampling

Back to Bangladesh to Date Earthquakes and More

I’m back in Bangladesh with a small team after a year and a half away. One different is a police escort as a result of the attacks last year. We start by successfully sampling river sediments to correct the date of an earthquake that caused a river to shift over 3,500 years ago. We also will be fixing broken equipment, visiting the ever changing rivers and hopefully meeting with the public and government officials about the earthquake hazard.

by |January 27, 2017