Features Archive - Page 4 of 7 - State of the Planet

Arctic Sea Ice Ecology

Location: Barrow, Alaska Team: Andy Juhl, Craig Aumack, Lamont-Doherty Earth ObservatoryPurpose: Climate and Sea LifeStart Date: May 2013 Polar ice is home to large communities of algae that thrive in the frigid Arctic environment. These tiny organisms have a big impact on the marine ecosystem and the entire planet — including us. Andy Juhl and… read more

Peering Through Polar Ice

Scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory have designed a set of ice imaging instruments small enough to hitch a ride on planes flying over both poles on routine missions. In 2013 the IcePod began collecting data over Greenland from the wing of a New York Air National Guard LC130 plane. That winter, flights begin over Antarctica…. read more

Hurricane Sandy

What was behind perhaps the worst natural disaster to hit the Northeast seaboard in recent history? How likely is it that we’ll see more superstorms in the future? How could we have been better prepared? The science and the lessons of Hurricane Sandy, through the eyes of researchers at the Earth Institute.

Vanishing Tropical Glaciers

Ecuador’s glaciers are receding fast as temperatures warm. Less ice means less water for farming and producing electricity. To track the changes in Ecuador’s high Andes, Jonathan Cain, a recent graduate of Columbia University’s Masters in Sustainability Management with his Ecuadorian colleague, Pablo Puruncajas, will install weather monitoring equipment on Chimborazo, Ecuador’s tallest peak.

The Fourth Extinction

The Rise of Dinosaurs—and the Age of Humans

Researchers at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are investigating why life on earth was nearly extinguished 200 million years ago—and whether that event holds relevance for today.

Beneath the Alaskan Tundra

Location: Imnavait Creek, near Toolik Lake Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Station, Alaska Team: Jonathan Nichols, John Karavias, Visiting Arctic Science Teacher (VAST) from Walt Whitman High Purpose: Climate and Carbon Research Start Date: July 1, 2012 Arctic peat bogs have been absorbing carbon for thousands of years, but will this continue as the poles… read more


Building the Future We Want

“We need to build a decent life on a crowded planet.” That quote from Jeffrey Sachs sums up the challenge faced by thousands of participants at Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, June 20-22, 2012, in Rio de Janeiro. Staff and students from the Earth Institute will be writing for State of the Planet… read more

Cascadia in Motion

Location: Off British Columbia, Washington and OregonTeam: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the universities of Wyoming, Nevada, Washington and Oklahoma, and Oregon State University.Purpose: Sub-seafloor imagingStart Date: June 14, 2012 Off the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast, the 680-mile-long Cascadia subduction zone has produced giant earthquakes and tsunamis like the one that ravaged Japan last year — the… read more

Natural Resources and Peacebuilding

Partners: The Earth Institute, Environmental Law Institute (ELI), and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with University of Tokyo and McGill University.Purpose: To share interdisciplinary and innovative perspectives on managing natural resources as part of efforts to stabilize countries after conflict. Natural resources, including oil, minerals, land, timber and water, are at the center of many… read more

World Water Day 2012

Date: March 22, 2012Theme: Water and Food SecurityOfficial Website: UN Water: World Water Day The 2012 World Water Day — on the theme of “Water and Food Security” — has come and gone. But below you can still find our collection of articles celebrating World Water Day as well as ideas for ways you can… read more