Volcanic Plumbing at Mid-Ocean Ridges Goes Far Deeper than Thought

by | 10.21.2014 at 12:01pm
The images were taken aboard the R/V Langseth on a 2008 expedition to the East Pacific Rise. (Marjanovic)

New pictures in the journal Nature Geoscience may help resolve a debate about how new crust forms at mid-ocean ridges where earth’s tectonic plates are slowly pulling apart.

Eye on the Storm

by | 10.14.2014 at 10:47am
adam sobel ocean breeze

Atmospheric scientist Adam Sobel is author of the new book “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future.” Sobel was one of the first researchers to explain to media and the public what might be brewing, before the storm hit. In the aftermath, he looked closely at the factors driving the storm’s unusual ferocity, and how these played against human weaknesses. The book offers a primer on what drives storm systems, and what we know (and don’t) about their relation to warming climate. Sobel also looks into future weather, urban infrastructure and the politics of global climate change. He recently discussed some of his insights.

Lamont-Doherty Director Awarded National Medal of Science

by | 10.3.2014 at 1:47pm
Sean head cropped

Sean Solomon, director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and a geophysicist who has spent much of his career studying Earth’s neighboring planets as well as the Earth itself, will receive the National Medal of Science.

The Art and Science of Climate Change

by | 9.30.2014 at 3:34pm
Sebastião Salgado, Iceberg between Paulet Island and the South Shetland Islands on the Antarctic Channel. At sea level, earlier flotation levels are clearly visible where the ice has been polished by the ocean’s constant movement. High above, a shape resembling a castle tower has been carved by wind erosion and detached pieces of ice. The Antarctic Peninsula, 2005. © Sebastião Salgado/Amazonas images—Contact Press Images.

This fall, the photographs of Sebastião Salgado provide the springboard for an ambitious program of panel discussions, lectures and film screenings addressing the urgent issue of climate change, at the International Center of Photography in New York City.

Photo Essay: Sculpting Tropical Peaks

by | 9.30.2014 at 8:21am
With a hammer, chisel and bandanna to protect his face from shattering rock, Cunningham chipped away at a boulder left by a receding glacier. Beryllium isotopes in the rock can reveal when the ice withdrew, exposing the rock’s surface to cosmogenic rays from space. (Michael Kaplan)

Max Cunningham, a graduate student at Lamont-Doherty, traveled to Costa Rica’s Mount Chirripó this past summer to test the idea that mountain glaciers carved the summit we see today. He and his colleagues hope to eventually pin down when Chirripó’s high-elevation valleys eroded into their current form. Check out a recap of their 2014 field season.

Why This Climate Scientist Is Taking to the Streets

by | 9.19.2014 at 12:47pm
Central Park

In my early years I didn’t talk about the politics of global warming much. I didn’t bring it up with friends or family, let alone engage in any public way. It seemed to me unseemly for a scientist to be vocal on a political issue related, even indirectly, to his own research. Wouldn’t that be an indication of bias, of a lack of scientific impartiality? But I have changed my mind.

Photo Essay: Open House at Lamont-Doherty

by | 9.17.2014 at 12:55pm | 1 Comment
globes 960

Bend a rock. Channel your historic ‘birthquake.’ Check out rocks, fossils, sediment cores and more at Lamont’s Open House on Saturday, October 11.

What Everyone Should Know About Climate Change

by | 9.17.2014 at 11:34am
Kroeker_Kristy UC Davis

Climate scientist William D’Andrea of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory asked young scientists attending a symposium last October, “What do you wish everyone knew about climate change?” He turned the responses into this video, which covers the topic pretty well.

Photo Essay: Studying Fracking’s Effects, Up Close and Personal

by | 9.2.2014 at 1:38pm
Geochemist Beizhan Yan of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is studying the environmental effects. His vest carries sensors to record air quality and noise levels as  he walks.

Ten years ago, hydraulic fracturing barely existed. Today 45,000 fracked wells produce natural gas, providing energy for millions of homes and businesses, and nearly a quarter of the nation’s electricity. But scientists are far behind in understanding how this boom affects people near wells. Geochemists Beizhan Yan and James Ross of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are trying to fill in this gap.

Reflections of a Changing North

by | 8.22.2014 at 8:48am
The Kullorsuaq waterfront. (Photo M. Turrin)

No one ever leaves the field the same way they entered it. Yes there is a new layer of mud on equipment, the expected wear and tear on your gear and your physical being. But also, an intangible shift in perspective.