The Last Time Greenland Melted to Bedrock

A team of scientists led by Lamont's Joerg Schaefer has found evidence that the Greenland Ice Sheet nearly disappeared in recent geologic history. The findings, derived from a rare sample of bedrock extracted two miles beneath the ice, suggest that the ice sheet is more vulnerable than previously believed.

Antarctica Has a New Explorer Profiling Its Icy Water

Kirsty Tinto and her colleagues in Lamont's Polar Geophysics Group just launched their first ALAMO float into the water off Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf. It's the first explorer of its kind to begin seeking out vulnerabilities where warmer (but still near freezing) water from the deep ocean may be seeping in under the critical ice shelf and melting it from below.

When Permafrost Melts, What Happens to Its Carbon?

The Arctic’s frozen ground contains large stores of organic carbon that have been locked in permafrost for thousands of years. A new study by Francesco Muschitiello and colleagues sheds light on what warming temperatures could mean for the future by providing the first direct physical evidence of a massive release of carbon from permafrost at the end of the last glacial period.

Study Links Groundwater Changes to Fracking

A study led by Lamont's Beizhan Yan has found heightened concentrations of some substances in drinking water near sites where hydraulic fracturing has taken place. The substances are not at dangerous levels and their sources are unclear, but the researchers say the findings suggest underground disturbances that could be harbingers of eventual water quality problems.

Illegal Ivory Almost All From Recent Killings, Study Finds

Using chemistry, Kevin Uno and his colleagues have confirmed that African elephant tusks seized by global law enforcement have come almost exclusively from recently killed animals. Their findings bolster evidence of widespread poaching and undercut the idea that many tusks were recycled from older stockpiles.

Three Approaches to Turning CO2 to Stone

Lamont scientists Peter Kelemen, Dave Goldberg, and Martin Stute are developing ways to keep planet-warming carbon dioxide produced by power plants and industries out of the atmosphere by turning it to stone for permanent storage. They're exploring three different approaches. 

How Far Did Sea Level Rise in the Past?

Figuring out how far sea level rose during past warm periods in Earth’s history starts with a walk on the beach, a keen eye for evidence of ancient shorelines, and a highly accurate GPS system. The math isn’t as simple as subtracting the distance from the old shoreline to the water’s edge, though, as Maureen Raymo and Michael Sandstrom explain.
Support Science at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

More Research

Increasing Tornado Outbreaks: Is Climate Change Responsible? - Chiara Lepore

Rip in Crust Drives Undersea Volcanism, Study Says - Yen Joe Tan, Maya Tolstoy

Where Trees Meet Tundra, Decoding Signals of Climate Change - Natalie Boelman, Kevin Griffin

Catch up with Our Scientists 

Tracking Antarctica's Ice Shelves - Margie Turrin

Cruising to an OASIS: Exploring the Sea Floor - Bridgit Boulahanis

Great Quakes in India and Bangladesh? (video) - Mike Steckler, Leonardo Seeber

Like a Rolling Stone: A Conversation with a Geologist - Peter Kelemen

In the News 

PBS NewsHour: Big Droughts, Forest Fires Could Be the New Normal in Appalachia - Park Williams

The New Yorker: Greenland Is Melting - Marco Tedesco

Washington Post: This Antarctic Glacier May Be One of the Biggest Threats to Sea Level - Robin Bell

CBS: Thousands Displaced After Italy Earthquake - Mike Steckler

The John Batchelor Show: Climate & Homo Sapiens Migration during the Last Ice Age - Peter de Menocal
Make A Gift
Your support can revolutionize Earth science research and education
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory seeks fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the natural world. Our scientists study the planet from its deepest interior to the outer reaches of its atmosphere, on every continent and in every ocean, providing a rational basis for the difficult choices facing humanity.