Earth Fundamentals Archives - State of the Planet

At a Melting Glacier, a Landslide, Then Tsunami, Signal Climate-Related Threat

A peculiar seismic signal was the first indication of a gigantic landslide and subsequent tsunami in the remote mountains of British Columbia. It detected what may be a growing climate-related threat.

by |April 6, 2022

Solar Energy Explains Fast Yearly Retreat of Southern Ocean Sea Ice

Sea ice in the Southern Ocean retreats each year much faster than it develops. This has puzzled scientists, but the explanation turns out to be simple.

by |March 28, 2022

How Does a Major Subduction Zone Get Started? It May Begin Small.

A study of an emerging zone off New Zealand suggests that the process, vital for life on Earth, may at first be localized and then develop into something much larger.

by |February 15, 2022

Megadrought in Southwest Is Now the Worst in at Least 1,200 Years, Study Confirms

The continuation of dry conditions across a wide region has broken records going back to the year 800. Researchers believe climate change is largely to blame.

by |February 14, 2022
sub-bottom profile showing folded strata

Return of the R/V Pelican to Ocho Rios, Jamaica

The expedition discovered stresses along an underwater plate boundary and a record of historic and pre-historic earthquakes, which will shed light on the geohazard risks for Jamaica and Haiti.

by Cecilia McHugh |February 2, 2022

Study of West Antarctica’s Deep Past Reinforces Vulnerability to Melting

The continent’s western ice sheet turns out to once have been much bigger than previously thought. This implies that the now smaller version could waste quickly.

by |December 15, 2021
Working on the ship.

Making Up for Lost Time: Earth and Climate Scientists Get Back Out Into the Field

Lamont’s field season typically sees as many as 50 to 60 expeditions, which take researchers to all corners of the globe. As pandemic restrictions begin to lift, teams are picking up where they left off.

by |August 5, 2021

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory: Milestones in Climate Science

Much of the modern understanding of climate change is underpinned by pioneering studies done at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Here’s a timeline of significant studies.

by |July 9, 2021
map of sensor locations along trench

New Study Helps to Explain ‘Silent Earthquakes’ Along New Zealand’s North Island

Underwater mountains may help to dampen movements along faults that otherwise have the potential to generate large earthquakes.

by |July 7, 2021
crew on boat

A Brief History of Ocean Research at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Past and Present

In honor of World Oceans Day on June 8.

by |June 8, 2021