Where once scientists could only observe earth from above by using manned aircraft or satellites, today they are expanding, developing and refining their research in a variety of ways thanks to drones.
Sustainability Management graduate Melissa Meggiolaro (’17) interviews Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory oceanographer Arnold Gordon.
In recent years, scientists have discovered hundreds of lakes lying hidden deep beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. Now a team of researchers has found the remains of at least one sub-ice lake that existed when the ice was far more extensive, in sediments on the Antarctic continental shelf.
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.
Until recently, too little data existed about the distribution of trace elements and nutrients in the oceans to provide a global picture. In 2002, a group of scientists connected with Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory set out to fill those gaps.
Vicki Ferrini has spent a lot of time working on mapping the ocean floor, and now she’s sailing in the South Pacific to get a closer look.
Vast portions of the oceans contain low levels of the nutrients that normally sustain life. Yet these areas are not devoid of life. Once thought to be biological deserts, recent research has shown that such nutrient-poor marine systems could significantly contribute to the amount of carbon dioxide that is trapped into the deep ocean, influencing Earth’s climate.
My German colleague and I could conceptualize five kilometers horizontally—the same as her bike ride to work, the same as the first ever race I ran. Neither of us could quite grasp what flipping 5 kilometers 90 degrees might mean, as our pump continued on its 3-hour vertical journey to that depth.
Twenty thousand years ago, low concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere allowed the earth to fall into the grip of an ice age. But despite decades of research, the reasons why levels of the greenhouse gas were so low then have been difficult to piece together. New research, published today in the leading journal Nature, shows that a big part of the answer lies at the bottom of the world.