News and Events

  • August 18, 2017

    Last week, just days before Central Park’s big Ivory Crush, a Lamont-Doherty geochemist and his colleague sawed off samples of the confiscated ivory for DNA testing and radiocarbon dating. Their results could determine where and when each elephant was killed—which could help catch the poachers responsible.

  • July 19, 2017

    David Goldberg and Peter Kelemen, scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, are at the forefront of carbon capture and storage research. In this video, they discuss their work and how it will contribute to carbon management solutions and strengthen society’s resilience to climate change.

  • July 13, 2017

    Rising temperatures due to global warming will make it harder for many aircraft around the world to take off in coming decades, says a new study. During the hottest parts of the day, 10 to 30 percent of fully loaded planes may have to remove some fuel, cargo or passengers, or else wait for cooler hours to fly, the study concludes. The study, which is the first such global analysis, appears today in the journal Climatic Change.

  • July 12, 2017

    One of the largest icebergs ever, roughly the size of Delaware just broke off Antartica according to scientists who have been observing the area for years. While it’s not unusual for ice shelves to calve, many in the climate community fear that the breaking of Larsen C may be a signal of other events to come

  • July 05, 2017

    Climate change could turn one of Africa’s driest regions wet, according to a new study. Scientists have found evidence in computer simulations for a possible abrupt change in the Sahel, a region long characterized by aridity and political instability. In the study, just published in the journal Earth System Dynamics, the authors detected a self-amplifying mechanism that they say might kick in once the planet’s average temperature goes beyond 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times. This threshold, defined as the global danger limit by the Paris climate agreement, could be reached before the end of this century.

  • July 05, 2017

    Iron particles catching a ride on glacial meltwater washed out to sea are likely fueling a recently discovered summer algal bloom off the southern coast of Greenland, according to a new study.

    Microalgae, also known as phytoplankton, are plant-like marine microorganisms that form the base of the food web in many parts of the ocean. “Phytoplankton serve as food for all of the fish and animals that live there. Everything that eats is eating them ultimately,” said Kevin Arrigo, a biological oceanographer at Stanford University and lead author of the study.

  • June 27, 2017

    A warming climate is not just melting the Arctic’s sea ice; it is stirring the remaining ice faster, increasing the odds that ice-rafted pollution will foul a neighboring country’s waters, says a new study.

  • June 26, 2017

    Christine McCarthy, a geophysicist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, scrunches blocks of ice between hunks of rock to study how ice behaves under pressure. Her work provides an important piece of the puzzle of how glaciers move, what makes them speed up, and how they are contributing to sea level rise as the climate warms.

  • June 23, 2017

    An interdisciplinary team of scientists has discovered that, contrary to general scientific belief, iron in nondissolved particle form can stimulate phytoplankton growth, and that the chemical form that particulate iron takes is critical to ocean photosynthesis.

  • June 23, 2017

    The Center has awarded nearly $1 million to four scientists whose research will improve understanding of how climate change impacts the essentials of human sustainability.

  • June 16, 2017

    Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have been around since the early 1900s. Originally used for military operations, they became more widely used after about 2010 when electronic technology got smaller, cheaper and more efficient, prices on cameras and sensors dropped, and battery power improved. Where once scientists could only observe earth from above by using manned aircraft or satellites, today they are expanding, developing and refining their research thanks to drones.

  • June 12, 2017

    Superstorm Sandy was a wake-up call for a lot of people in New York City, including Adam Sobel, who’s spent more than two decades studying the physics of weather and climate. He spent a lot of time during and after the storm talking to the media about what was happening, and why. He says the intense public interest made clear to him the need to find ways to apply the esoteric physics of atmosphere and oceans so we can be better prepared for the next extreme event.

  • June 12, 2017

    In November 1983, physical oceanographer Arnold Gordon was the Chief Scientist on the R/V Knorr, sailing around the southern tip of Africa, when the characteristics of his water samples came in terribly off. The temperature and the salinity of the water his team collected did not match the profile of the Southeast Atlantic Ocean. He had seen there characteristics before though, and soon, with more data, he confirmed that this clearer-blue “blob” of water they floated on top of was actually water from the Indian Ocean, coming in through a leak. This water, flowing from the Indian Ocean into the Atlantic, became known as the “Agulhas leakage” and helped us understand how the ocean’s salt is circulated back into the North Atlantic Ocean.

  • June 08, 2017

    Access to adequate fresh water supplies is a critically important societal challenge posed by climate change. With rising heat and shifting rainfall patterns, and reduced water storage resilience, fresh water supplies are already diminishing in the western United States, Mexico, the Middle East, and Mediterranean. Water shortages have been implicated in recent international conflict, and a recent Department of Defense study underscores the geopolitical importance of this problem.

  • June 07, 2017

    The 2004 disaster movie “The Day After Tomorrow” depicted the cataclysmic effects—superstorms, tornadoes and deep freezes— resulting from the impacts of climate change. In the movie, global warming had accelerated the melting of polar ice, which disrupted circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean, triggering violent changes in the weather. Scientists pooh-poohed the dire scenarios in the movie, but affirmed that climate change could indeed affect ocean circulation—could it shut down the Gulf Stream?

Pages