News Archive

2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001


Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Works with New York State to Establish a Real-Time Monitoring System for the Hudson River

This November, Governor Pataki announced plans to establish a real-time observation and monitoring system for the Hudson River, which will help to protect this historic waterway. The nearly $1 million monitoring project, Hudson Riverscope, is the first incubator research project of the Rivers and Estuaries Center on the Hudson.

Malaria Rise in Africa Parallels Warming Trends; New Analysis Challenges Results of Previous Research

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, and other institutions conclude that the increase in the incidence of malaria in East Africa parallels warming trends over the last several decades. The new findings challenge the results of a study, "Climate Change and Resurgence of Malaria in the East African Highlands," which was previously published in the journal Nature.

Columbia University Researchers Find Key to the Formation of New Seafloor Spreading Centers

Jacqueline Floyd and her colleagues, all from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, are introducing groundbreaking research results in the field of plate tectonics. Their study is featured as the November 29, 2002 cover story in the scientific journal Science.

Grasslands Exchange Proves Fertile for Discussion

Columbia University/UNESCO Joint Program on Biosphere and Society (CUBES) Field Coordinator Ben Lane recently returned from Kenya, where he traveled for seven days with Maasai herdsmen as they held discussions with ranchers from New Mexico and grasslands experts about rangeland management. Here, Lane speaks about the trip, and just what the Maasai and American ranchers have to learn from each other.

Lamont-Doherty Tree Ring Scientist Wins High Honor

For his enormous contribution to the development of sciences and education in Mongolia, The National University of Mongolia appointed Dr. Gordon Jacoby, a senior research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Institute, as an Honorary Professor of Life Sciences.

Micrographer's Blend of Artistry and Science Earns Major Award

Lamont-Doherty's Dee Breger recently received the 2002 Whiting Memorial Award from the International Society for Philosophical Enquiry (ISPE). The award consists of a significant grant and a crystal plaque noting her contributions to both worlds of science and art.

Columbia Launches New Center for Global Health and Economic Development

Centerinitiatives provide new vision-addressing critical health issues in resource-poor countries to stimulate social and economic development
New York, NY-Economic progress in developing countries depends on healthy citizens and environments. The Mailman School of Public Health and The Earth Institute at Columbia University are launching the Center for Global Health and Economic Development (CGHED), as a joint venture based at the Mailman School, to mobilize global health programs that help resource-poor countries address the burden of disease.

Great Progress Made by Seismologists in Identifying Violations of Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

WASHINGTON - Advances in detection devices and methods of analysis have allowed seismologists to identify virtually all events that might be nuclear explosions of possible military significance under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), according to Prof. Lynn R. Sykes of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Writing in the 29 October issue of Eos, published by the American Geophysical Union, Sykes analyzes 72 questionable events since 1960.

Computer Model Suggests Future Crop Loss Due to Potential Increase in Extreme Rain Events Over Next Century

An increased frequency of extreme precipitation events has been observed over the last 100 years in the United States. Global climate models project that similar trends may continue and even strengthen over the coming decades, due to climate change. Now, a study using computer climate and crop model simulations predicts that U.S. agricultural production losses due to excess rainfall may double in the next 30 years, resulting in an estimated $3 billion per year in damages.

Jeffrey Sachs Takes Bush Administration to Task in Economist Article

In the midst of President Bush's rally cry for war, Earth Institute Director Jeffrey Sachs argues that, in the war against want, no less than in the war against terror, actions speak louder than words.

New Map Shows "Human Footprint" Covers Most of the Earth

Scientists say human effects can be a positive factor for life on Earth.
A team of scientists from Columbia's Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) and the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has produced a new, comprehensive map of the world, showing how human beings directly influence more than three quarters of the earth's landmass. Published in the latest issue of the scientific journal BioScience, the map should serve as a wake-up call that humans are stewards of the natural world, whether we like it or not -- something that should be viewed as an opportunity, the authors say.

2002 World Food Prize Laureate Joins Earth Institute

Pedro Sanchez, recipient of the 2002 World Food Prize, is joining the Earth Institute at Columbia University as Director of Tropical Agriculture. The Earth Institute is the world's pioneer academic center for mobilizing the sciences and public policy to build a sustainable future, especially for the world's poor.

Researchers Use Goddard Institute to Examine Effects of Soot in China

NASA researchers Surabi Menon and James Hansen used resources at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University to discover that large amounts of black carbon particles, or soot, as well as other pollutants have been observed to cause changes in precipitation and temperature over China.

Earth Institute's Jeffrey Sachs Calls for Renewed Global Effort to Reduce the Scourge of Malaria

Global Initiatives Rely on Recent Advances in Genomic Mapping of Malaria Parasite and Mosquito, as well as Major Investment in Prevention, Control and New Technologies
With the stunning completion of the mapping of the genomes of the main malaria parasite and the mosquito that spreads it, Earth Institute Director Jeffrey D. Sachs renews his call for a worldwide effort to control malaria in the October 4, 2002 issue of Science.

Columbia Research Dispels 150 Years of Thinking

Mild winter conditions in Europeare not due to the gulf stream, suggesting that ocean circulation plays less of a role in climate change than thought.
New research shows that the Gulf Stream has little effect on the contrast in winter temperatures between Europe and eastern North America, dispelling a long-held assumption. Instead, atmospheric circulation, augmented by the Rocky Mountains, plays a larger role, say Dr. Richard Seager of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Dr. David Battisti of the University of Washington, and their colleagues.

International Scientists Converge at Rainforest in the Arizona Desert to Test El Niño's Impact on Ecosystem

Columbiauniversity biosphere 2 rainforest site for drought experiment -- collaborative global climate change experiment underway
TUCSON -- In a major collaborative research initiative, an international group of 14 scientists from a range of disciplines have gathered at Columbia University Biosphere 2 Center for an El Niño experiment in the Laboratory's Rainforest -- an acre tropical habitat, supporting a complex patchwork of vegetation that is a functional model of the Amazon Rainforest.

Columbia University Scientists Propose Well-Switching as Key to Mitigating Bangladesh Arsenic Poisoning Tragedy

Surprisingfinding of arsenic study provides opportunity to save lives
Researchers at the Earth Institute at Columbia University will announce in the August issue of the World Health Organization Bulletin the surprising results of a field survey of arsenic-poisoned drinking water in Bangladesh: 88 percent of people living in the researchers' survey area are less than 100 meters away from safe wells, even though these good wells account for only fifty percent of all the wells in their study area.

Columbia Scientist Proposes a Solution to New York City's Garbage Crisis

Steven Cohen, director of the graduate program in earth science and policy management at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs and the Earth Institute, recently published an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times proposing waste-to-energy plants as a long-term solution to New York City's garbage problem.

Scientists Say New El Niño "Almost Certain" in Coming Months

Niño is back, and some abnormal weather can be expected in the coming six to nine months. A team of Columbia climate experts at the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction has identified the warm Pacific ocean surface temperatures indicating that the climate phenomenon has indeed returned (see Image A below). IRI researchers are now engaged in the delicate task of forecasting which locations are most vulnerable to the extremes that can accompany an El Niño, and what people in those locations can do to prepare.

In "Historic" Selection, Cuban Native Named 2002 World Food Prize Laureate

(Toronto) Dr. Pedro Sanchez, a native Cuban and graduate of Cornell University in the United States, has been selected to receive the $250,000 World Food Prize in 2002.

Columbia's Dr. Koji Nakanishi and Fellow Chemists Gather at Columbia's Biosphere 2 Center

TUCSON -- Dr. Koji Nakanishi, Columbia's Centennial Professor of Chemistry and Director of Research, Biosphere 2 Center Chemistry Unit, joined, this week, fellow chemists from Columbia, Cornell and Stevens Institute of Technology to plan an upcoming Chemistry of the Biosphere Symposium at Biosphere 2 Center.

Previously the Saltiest Sea in the Southern Ocean

NewResearch Shows That Ross Sea Waters Are Freshening
Columbia University scientists are reporting in the journal Science that salinity levels in the Ross Sea have experienced a large decline in recent decades. Once the saltiest body of water in the Antarctic, this distinction now goes to its distant neighbor, the Weddell Sea.

Columbia University Researchers Reveal Surprising El Niño-Like Conditions During Last Ice Age

ResearchIndicates Unexpected Role of Tropical Pacific Ocean in Global Climate Change
El Niño has always been associated with warming of tropical Pacific surface waters and global temperatures. However, new research publishing in the journal Science shows that conditions resembling El Niño were the norm during the last ice age, 18,000 plus years ago, when global temperatures were dramatically cooler than they are today.

Climate Prediction Used to Improve Global Food Security

Columbia University trains professionals to apply climate information to agriculture When scientists at the Columbia Earth Institute's State of the Planet conference last month claimed that they had the technical means to end world hunger, climate prediction science was part of the solution.

Columbia University and Unesco Launch Joint Partnership

Sixbiologically and culturally significant locations to receive assistance
On June 21 at The the United Nations, the The Earth Institute at Columbia University and the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) will formally announce The Columbia University/UNESCO Joint Program on Biosphere and Society (CUBES). CUBES is the first joint partnership between Columbia University and the United Nations. Its mission is to assist local communities around the globe in adapting to rapid environmental and societal change and to share information between societies facing similar challenges.

Five Columbia Professors Win Mayor's Science and Technology Awards

Recognizing the achievements of scientists and engineers in the success of New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg will present the 2002 Mayor's Awards for Excellence in Science and Technology on Thursday, June 13, to five Columbia professors for their breakthrough research in neurobiology, applied mathematics, biochemistry and physics. The Columbia winners were honored in four of five categories and captured more awards than any other institution in the city for a second straight year. By Suzanne Trimel.

Columbia University Study Ties the Frequency of Earthquakes to Ocean Tides

A Columbia University scientist studying an active seafloor volcano in the Pacific Ocean has determined that there is a correlation between the hundreds of micro earthquakes she recorded and the ocean tides.

World Hunger Can Be Ended, Scientists at Columbia University Conference Assert

Scientists speaking at Columbia University expressed optimism that the technical means now exist to end worldwide starvation in the next generation. A hopeful view prevailed among the 26 speakers addressing an audience of more than 400 gathered at Columbia University's second State of the Planet Conference on May 13 and 14 to discuss the role of science in achieving sustainability.

Age of Dinosaurs Bracketed by Asteroid or Comet Impacts

Columbia Scientists Link the Rise of the GiantJurassic Dinosaurs With an Explosive Extraterrestrial Collision
An asteroid or comet impact on Earth may have paved the way for the sudden rise of the great Jurassic dinosaurs, according to a paper to be published this week in the journal Science. Dr. Paul Olsen from the Columbia Earth Institute's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and an international team of scientists reached their conclusion from an examination of a number of clues - iridium, skeletal remains, footprints, and fern spores - that create a picture of life at the dawn of the Jurassic period.

Lamont Doherty Scientists Size Up Plattsburgh Earthquake

Three teams of Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory seismologists are in Plattsburgh, New York, this week assessing damage due to the largest earthquake to hit the New York State and New England in the last 19 years.

Explore the route to pre-Neanderthal days buried in Antartica's Lake Vostok

This week Science News features Lamont's ideas for safely exploring the past buried in Lake Vostok. A new web animation illustrates the point.

Columbia's Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC) Hosts Conference on Farmers as Agents of Conservation

Dr. Miguel Piñedo-Vasquez to assume scientificleadership of program
Small farmers can be a key to conservation of biodiversity and preservation of the environment. Biodiversity conservation can improve the incomes of the rural poor. These are the simple but radical ideas of a United Nations University initiative called People, Land Management, and Environmental Change (PLEC).

Harvard’s Jeffrey Sachs, One Of The World's Leading Economists, Will Head Columbia Earth Institute

Harvard University Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs has been named director of the Columbia University Earth Institute, effective July 1, 2002. Sachs, who serves as an economic advisor to governments in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia and Africa as well as to the United Nations, is widely considered one of the most important economists in the world.

Pioneers in Global Climate Change Share 2002 Tyler Environmental Prize

USC Prize Carries $200,000 Award
Two scientists who study geological clues from the past for insight into the environmental problems of the present have been selected to share the 2002 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.

Columbia Study Shows Wetlands Disappearing Near Kennedy Airport

A study led by Columbia researchers published in the March issue of Wetlands, the journal of the Society of Wetland Scientists, supports observations that the salt marshes of New York City's Jamaica Bay near John F. Kennedy International Airport are eroding rapidly, and in the coming decades may disappear altogether with rising sea levels as a result of global warming. by Suzanne Trimel

Kenyan Farmers Show Willingness to Use Probabilistic Climate Forecasts

Two-year research project bears fruit
When IRI climate scientist Jennifer Phillips arrived in the mountains of Machakos, Kenya in late February, the first question she heard from the farmers was whether there might be an El Niño event this year, and what might that mean for them. Phillips also encountered local journalists starting up an organization aimed at helping the public understand and learn how to respond to climate information.

Columbia University Scientists Present Long Sought Opportunities to Safely Explore Life Within Earth’s Most Ancient and Inaccessible Ecosystem

Since the 1996 discovery of a liquid lake, sealed for millions of years beneath two miles of solid ice, scientists have speculated about the novel life forms existing within. Located in the Antarctic, Lake Vostok is a pristine, ancient global environment that has sparked an international effort to develop exploratory methods without introducing modern contaminants. The potential is monumental for gained knowledge on microbial evolution, the discovery of new organisms and enzymes with potential value to society, and the ability to correlate data with that of other planets under similar conditions.

Economists Join Effort in Understanding Earth to Enhance Sustainability

Building on a 70-year tradition in environmental economics, Columbia University has established The Center for Economy, Environment & Society. The Center formally integrates economic research with environmental and social sciences, furthering Columbia’s goal of understanding Earth to enhance sustainability.

Climate Extremes and Change: Decision-making in the New York Metropolitan Region

Lunch explores ways of getting the planning messagetaken on board
There was standing room only at SIPA last Friday as over a hundred people gathered at a working lunch to discuss the effects of climate change on the New York Metropolitan area.

Columbia Study Finds a Solution to NYC Deficit in the Garbage

With New York City facing a $4 billion budget deficit, it’s time to start looking in the garbage for cost savings, according to the Columbia University Earth Institute in its report, "Life After Fresh Kills: Moving Beyond New York City’s Current Waste Management Plan."

Grand Opening of New "World of Discovery Tour" Inside Columbia University Biosphere 2 Laboratory

New "Under the Glass Adventure" is the most comprehensivetour inside the 3.1-acre living Laboratory, to date
TUCSON -- Columbia University's Biosphere 2 Center expands accessibility inside its $150 million world-renowned living Laboratory with the "World of Discovery Tour," the Center’s most comprehensive tour to date, it was announced today by Biosphere 2 Center President and Executive Director Dr. Barry Osmond.

Region Should Plan for Climate Change, Report Says

Researchers and decision-makers discuss the roleof climate extremes and trends in planning processes.
"As the New York metropolitan region moves forward after the September 11 tragedy, we should pay attention to opportunities to minimize our vulnerability to climate change," states Cynthia Rosenzweig, a climate scientist with the Columbia Earth Institute and a principal author of the newly released Metro East Coast (MEC) report, Climate Change and a Global City: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change.

IRI Climate Scientists Work to Help East African Farmers Cope

Columbia University scientists are predicting a return to normal rain levels this spring for the drought-stricken Horn of Africa. Representatives of Columbia’s International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) will be presenting their forecasts at the annual Climate Outlook Forum in Eldoret, Kenya, which will take place from February 18-22, 2002.

State of the Planet Conference

In the last part of the 20th century, significant advances have been achieved in fields such as climate forecasting, biotechnology, water management, global carbon cycling, and ecosystem dynamics that have had profound relevance in the lives of many of the world's peoples.

Finland Leads World in Environmental Strength in Columbia, Yale, World Economic Forum Study

Finland leads the world in environmental sustainability, according to a study by Columbia, Yale and the World Economic Forum. The study, which ranked the United States 51st, was released at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.