News

Participants in Students on Ice listen to Lamont climate scientist Maureen Raymo discuss climate change at the foot of Greenland's Illissaat Icefjord. (Image: Martin Lipman/Students on Ice)
September 15th, 2016|

Facing Rapid Change in the Arctic

An expedition to the Canadian Arctic and west coast of Greenland is a moving and motivating experience for leading climate scientist Maureen Raymo.

A man wades through a flooded street in Cornwall, England after severe storms hit Britain in February 2014.
August 30th, 2016|

How Does the Ocean Drive Weather and Climate Extremes?

Lamont’s Ryan Abernathey and Richard Seager are investigating how processes in the ocean create extreme weather and climate conditions over land.

Snowfall is expected to increase over Antarctica as temperatures warm, helping to partially offset sea-level rise. Photo: Michael Stukel
August 24th, 2016|

By Mid-Century, More Antarctic Snowfall May Partially Offset Sea-Level Rise

In a new study, Lamont’s Michael Previdi and Lorenzo Polvani found that the effect of rising temperatures on snowfall in Antarctica has so far been overshadowed by the frozen continent’s large natural climate variability.

The 2003 Simi Valley Fire ravages a mountain side in Southern California's Simi Valley. Image: U.S. Air Force/Senior Master Sgt. Dennis W. Goff)
August 18th, 2016|

Drought and Fire Activity: What’s Climate Change Got to Do with It?

Scientist Park Williams, recipient of a Climate and Life Fellowship, is examining the influence of climate change on droughts and wildfires.

Flooding this week near Port Vincent, Louisiana. Photo: NASA
August 17th, 2016|

As Louisiana Floods, Assessing the Influence of Climate Change

The heavy rains and flooding in Louisiana have been devastating. Can we attribute the severity of it to climate change? How you measure that depends on the questions you ask.

Kelly Slater
Categories: Uncategorized
August 11th, 2016|

Surf with a Legend and Support Ocean Science Research

Join pro-surfing legend Kelly Slater at his Surf Ranch as part of a new fundraising campaign that benefits WSL PURE and the Center for Climate and Life.

August 9th, 2016|

A Migration Mystery

Ecologist Natalie Boelman is part of a multi-year field campaign to understand the impacts of climate change in Alaska and western Canada.

Intern Addison Bent at work in the Lamont Core Repository. Credit Rebecca Fowler
July 26th, 2016|

A Summer of Hands-on, Minds-On Science

A new internship program enables high school students to gain hands-on research experience while working alongside Climate and Life scientists.

NASA's Terra satellite captured this image of Super Typhoon Nepartak approaching Taiwan on July 7, 2016. Image: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response/Jeff Schmaltz
July 14th, 2016|

Tropical Cyclones on Track to Grow More Intense as Temperatures Rise

Powerful tropical cyclones like the super typhoon that lashed Taiwan in July are expected to become even stronger as the planet warms.

Adélie penguins
July 10th, 2016|

Penguins: Climate’s Canaries in the Coal Mine

Changes on the West Antarctic Peninsula are showing in the numbers and species of marine wildlife, particularly the native Adélie penguin.

Ocean overturning circulation illustrated. Courtesy of co-author Lynne Talley.
June 27th, 2016|

Wind-Blown Antarctic Sea Ice Helps Drive Ocean Circulation

A new study shows how Antarctic sea ice migration may be more important for the global ocean circulation than anyone realized.

The CarbFix test site in Iceland where gases from a geothermal power plant are pumped underground and converted into minerals by reacting with basalt stone. Credit: Martin Stute
June 16th, 2016|

Putting CO2 Away for Good by Turning it Into Stone

In a recently published study, scientists demonstrated that two years after injecting CO2 underground at a pilot test site in Iceland, almost all of it has been converted into minerals.

A projectile point, age and makers unknown, on the ground in northwest Kenya, where conditions are now more arid than in the past. Photo: Kevin Krajick
June 14th, 2016|

New Support for Human Evolution in Grasslands

A new study supplies the longest and most complete record of ancient plant life in much of what is now Ethiopia and Kenya, the assumed birthplace of humanity.

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June 9th, 2016|

In a First, Iceland Power Plant Turns CO2 Emissions to Stone

Scientists working at the power plant demonstrated how CO2 emissions pumped into the earth could be chemically changed to a solid within months.

Peter deMenocal
May 19th, 2016|

Is It The End Of The World As We Know It?

In this episode of the Huffington Post’s “Talk Nerdy To Me,” Center for Climate and Life Director Peter de Menocal discusses climate change and the Anthropocene.

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May 17th, 2016|

Iron Fertilization Won’t Work in Equatorial Pacific, Study Suggests

Earth’s own large-scale iron fertilization experiments over 500,000 years show adding iron to the equatorial Pacific surface has little effect.

Peter deMenocal
Categories: Uncategorized
May 14th, 2016|

Talks@Columbia: Why Climate Matters

Center for Climate and Life director Peter deMenocal discusses how climate is changing today, why it is changing and how this impacts people and the global economy.

Maureen Raymo
May 4th, 2016|

Ice & Sea-Level Scientist Maureen Raymo Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Maureen Raymo, a marine geologist and paleoceanographer whose name is connected with key theories about how ice ages wax and wane and how sea levels change, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

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April 5th, 2016|

Surfers Team Up with Columbia to Support Ocean Science

The World Surf League is providing $1.5 million in first-year funding for ocean science at Lamont as part of an innovative new philanthropy called WSL PURE.

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March 15th, 2016|

How Will a Shifting Climate Change U.S. Forests?

The Ozarks are some of the country’s most productive forests. They also sit in a warming “hole”, where temperature rise hasn’t yet taken hold.

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March 5th, 2016|

Bleach Patrol: Turning Surfers into Scientists for Coral Reefs

A new citizen science project turns surfers and other ocean enthusiasts into the eyes of scientists studying the world’s coral reefs.

Glacier loss. (USGS)
February 24th, 2016|

Climate Change Isn’t Just a 21st Century Problem

Humans have been burning fossil fuels for only about 150 years, yet that has started a cascade of changes that will still be felt 10,000 years from now.

Ryan Abernathey
February 23rd, 2016|

Exploring Ocean Turbulence: Sloan Research Fellow Ryan Abernathey

Mesoscale turbulence is where most of the kinetic energy in the oceans can be found, and it may play powerful roles in the global climate.

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February 1st, 2016|

Without the Montreal Protocol, More Intense Tropical Cyclones

Using computer models, scientists compared our expected future with a scenario in which ozone-depleting substances had never been regulated.

Park Williams coring a tree in the Gondar region of Ethiopia. Image: Marcin Koprowski
January 22nd, 2016|

Center for Climate & Life Announces 2016 Fellows

One scientist is focusing on food security and climate shocks. The other is exploring the influence of climate change on droughts and wildfires.

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December 7th, 2015|

Greenland Glaciers Retreating Faster than Any Time in 9,500 Years

A new study uses sediment cores to track the expansion and retreat of glaciers through time and finds they are more sensitive than realized.

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December 3rd, 2015|

What Is Ocean Acidification & Why Does It Matter?

As excess carbon dioxide is absorbed into the oceans, it is starting to have profound effects on marine life, from oysters to tiny snails at the base of the food chain.

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November 28th, 2015|

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory: Milestones in Climate Studies

Much of the modern understanding of climate has been shaped by pioneering studies done at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Satellite image of peat fires in Borneo during 2015 (NASA)
November 19th, 2015|

Peat Fires Choking Southeast Asia Pose New Threat to Global Climate

The Indonesian peat fires that have been choking cities across Southeast Asia are creating more than a local health menace—they’re releasing immense stores of CO2.

Snowpack in the Lesser Caucasus mountains of northeastern Turkey. The lowlands depend on snowmelt, which is projected to decline due to global warming. (Courtesy of Dario Martin-Benito).
November 12th, 2015|

Declining Snowpacks May Cut Many Nations’ Water

Scientists have identified 32 water basins where loss of snowpack as temperatures warm is putting the water supplies of large populations at risk.

The former site of Sant Roma de Sau as water levels drop in Spain. (Josep Enric/CC-BY-2.0)
November 6th, 2015|

New Drought Atlas Maps 2,000 Years of Climate in Europe

Using tree rings, a new drought atlas maps the reach and severity of dry and wet periods across Europe and the Mediterranean over the past 2,000 years.

Greenland Ice Sheet (NASA-GSFC)
October 13th, 2015|

Tracking Ice Sheets When They Were Smaller than Today

As global temperatures rise, knowing just how far Greenland’s ice sheet shrank in the past could help scientists predict sea level rise in the future.

A new study projects that much of Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti in the Horn of Africa will grow drier as global warming progresses. In northern Ethiopia, herders often already struggle to make a living. (Brian Kahn/IRI)
October 9th, 2015|

Horn of Africa Drying in Sync with Climate

A new study finds that the Horn of Africa is drying at a rate that is both unusual in the context of the past 2,000 years and in step with human-influenced warming.

Changing pollen levels in the sediment of Lake Elsinore indicate that a series of mega-droughts gripped the region thousands of years ago. Photo by Jim Sneddon/CC-BY-2.0
September 22nd, 2015|

Ancient Pollen Points to Mega-Droughts in California Thousands of Years Ago

Ancient pollen is providing new insights into historic droughts in Southern California, including how a series of mega-droughts that changed the ecological landscape.

A research vessel plows through the Southern Ocean, whose rough waters play an outsize role in absorbing carbon dioxide from the air. (Nicolas Metzl, LOCEAN/IPSL Laboratory)
September 10th, 2015|

The Southern Ocean Is Breathing in Carbon Dioxide at a Healthy Rate

Since the late 1980s, the Southern Ocean’s rate of CO2 uptake appeared to have stagnated, alarming scientists. New data shows a recovery.

Morning fog reflects solar radiation in the Amazon River Basin. Photo: Dallas Krentzler/CC-BY-2.0
September 1st, 2015|

Seeing the Amazon’s Future Through the Fog

To understand the impact on the Amazon as global warming produces more intense and frequent droughts, we need to understand its water and carbon cycles.

California drying. (Dominick McPeak)
August 20th, 2015|

Warming Climate is Deepening California Drought

A new study finds that global warming has measurably worsened the ongoing California drought and holds warnings for the future.

Researchers sample a dead tree in northern Mongolia. (Courtesy Nicole Davi)
June 11th, 2015|

Tree Rings Confirm Unprecedented Warming in Central Asia

A new study of tree rings from Mongolia dating back more than 1,000 years confirms that recent warming in central Asia has no parallel in any known record.

Sea surface height (color shading) and heat transport in the upper 700 m (arrows) during 2003-2012. (Lee etal, Nature Geoscience, 2015)
May 20th, 2015|

Global Warming’s ‘Missing’ Heat: It May Be in the Indian Ocean

A team of oceanographers says much of the heat trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases is being soaked up and stored by the oceans–at least for now.

At Iceland’s geothermal power plants, interdisciplinary teams work to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions. (Asgeir Eggertsson/CC-BY-SA-3.0)
April 14th, 2015|

In a Melting Iceland, Drilling Deep to Stem Climate Change

Iceland has seen fast-rising temperatures since the 1970s, and glaciers–a big source of runoff for hydropower–are visibly receding.