Climate scientists took a break from their research to be fashion models, and you can hang the results can on your wall come 2014.

Thanks to Climate Central for this fantastic story. We gave them an exclusive look inside the calendar, so click on the link if you want to see the pages for scientist Lisa Goddard (aka Dr. July).

The IRI Climate and Society Map Room is now available in the Google Chrome Store here. The climate and society map room is a collection of maps and other figures that monitor climate and societal conditions at present and in the recent past.  A number of the map tools are designed to serve climate-sensitive sectors.  There are, for example, interactive tools tailored to the needs of the public health and food security communities, facilitating the use of climate information in their decision-making and planning operations.

The maps and figures can be manipulated and are linked to the original data. Results can be easily shared, and the original data downloaded in a variety of formats.  Even if you are primarily interested in data rather than interactive figures, this is a good place to see which datasets are particularly useful for monitoring current conditions.


@wolfejoshua for @icp. A couple years back Kim Martineau at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and I found some of the 16mm film reels of broll from the 1963 film Oceanography: Science for Survival. The film makes the case that basic research in oceanography and climate was vital to our national security and is well worth watching. But more interesting was that the broll captured the process of taking ocean sediment cores by scientists from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory from start to finish on their ship the RV Vema. The cores taken in the 1960s are still used for research today to study the oceans and the Earth¹s past climate. See yesterday¹s post about Gisela Winckler using the cores to study paleo dust. For a more complete history of the Lamont Core Repository and the process of taking cores, go to Or visit the Core Repository this weekend at the Lamont Open House this Saturday. Over the course of the week,
I will be posting images of climate scientists in the NYC area. @corerepository @columbiascience #climatescience #climatechange #globalwarming


In April-May, 2001, just months before 9/11, a team of scientists led by Gerald Ganssen and I sailed aboard the Dutch-flagged R/V Pelagia from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to Port Said, Egypt on the penultimate leg of a scientific circumnavigation of the African continent. This cruise sailed along the pirate-infested waters of the Somali coasts and the Gulf of Aden. With the vigilance of our captain and crew we safely navigated these waters and collected some new, extremely valuable, sediment cores and surface plankton tow and water samples from this geopolitically challenging region. 


core locations


Pirate probability density function

One of these cores, P178-15P, was taken from a perched basin in the Tadjoura Trench from a site cored long ago (in 1947!) by the Swedish ship Albatross. Finding this site was a challenge as the position was only approximate (pre-GPS!), so we used the PDR depth finder to zero in on the known 869m depth location.

Jess Tierney came to Lamont in 2011 as a NOAA post-doc to work up the plant-wax biomolecular record for this core, specifically extracting the plant waxes from these sediments as fatty acid methyl esters; FAMEs) and analyzing their hydrogen isotopic composition by GC-IRMS in our new stable isotope mass spectrometry facility. The leaf wax D/H composition (δDwax) is a powerful proxy for regional aridity, as the plants record precipitation/evaporation balance and changes in regional convection.

The results were surprising in many ways. The amplitude of the D/H excursions over this 40 ka long record was remarkably large, reaching nearly 40-50 per mil. Also, because the sedimentation rate for this core was so high (32 cm/ka), it offers a high-fidelity and continuous record of the hydroclimate shifts in the region. To our surprise, the onset and termination of the African Humid Period (roughly 12-5 ka BP) were really abrupt, with each transition completed within a couple of centuries. It’s sobering to think that climate changes this large can occur so swiftly. As discussed in the Tierney and deMenocal (2013) Science paper, a similar history is found in sediment cores from East African Lakes, Turkana, Challa, and Tanganyika.


Tierney, J.E., deMenocal, P.B., Abrupt shifts in Horn of Africa hydroclimate since the Last Glacial Maximum. Science (2013). Tierney.deMenocal.2013.pdf


Hang with models in New York City on November 12th!

Looking for something to do in New York City tomorrow night? Make your way down to the Rauschenberg Project Space on West 19th at 7:00 p.m. and mingle with our climate models/scientists, journalist Flora Lichtman, photographer Jordan Matter and many more. 

Flora will moderate a panel discussion with five of our climate models, then we’ll break for informal chatting and wine. The conversation will focus on creative ways to make the study of our climate and adaptation to it more accessible and understandable. 

The event is free and open to the public. No RSVP required. Visit Marfa Dialogues/NY for more information.

P.S. Check out ArtLab’s super cool post on the calendar and our event. 

The WCRP CMIP3: IPCC 4th Assessment Model Output  dataset is once again available for analysis through the IRIDL data library.  Much thanks to ESG at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for providing the data services that we need.

Researchers Find Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria In The Hudson River

Riverkeeper, in partnership with scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University and Queens College at the City University of New York have been tracking Hudson River water quality and making their results public on Riverkeeper’s website. The results confirm that combined sewer overflows remain a serious problem despite the Hudson River being cleaner than in the past.

(text via

GIS Day and Geography Awareness Week


Join CIESIN and Consilience to celebrate GIS day and Geography Awareness Week!

When: Wed, Nov 20, 11am-2pm

Where: Lerner Ramp

Test your knowledge with fun geography games, compete for prizes, and check out some of our new GIS resources!

Hosted by: Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) and Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

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Researching Ancient Climate Change, Peter deMenocal Faced Threat of Pirates

Paleoclimatologist Peter B. deMenocal was on one of the last research vessels to ply the waters off the Horn of Africa before the region was declared off limits to scientists due to the threat posed by Somali pirates—a peril vividly illustrated in this fall’s hit movie, Captain Phillips.

Fortunately deMenocal was aboard a Dutch-flagged vessel. “If we had been flying the American flag I probably wouldn’t be here today,” says the professor and current chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and scientist at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

After receiving faxes about recent attacks in the area, the crew went on high alert, peering with binoculars across the dark waters off the coast of Somalia.

Study reveals that Hudson River polluted with antibiotic-resistant bacteria


Newtown Creek on the border of Brooklyn and Queens consistently shows high counts of sewage-indicator bacteria, and now, those resistant to antibiotics. Andrew Juhl collects samples after Hurricane Sandy. (Kim Martineau)

The risk of catching some nasty germ in the Hudson River just started looking nastier.  Disease-causing microbes have long been found swimming there, but now researchers have documented antibiotic-resistant strains in specific spots, from the Tappan Zee Bridge to lower Manhattan. The microbes identified are resistant to ampicillin and tetracycline, drugs commonly used to treat ear infections, pneumonia, salmonella and other ailments.

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Climate Study Finds Earth Is Warmer Than At Any Time In Past 1400 Years


by Lee Rannals

Another study is backing up climate change claims, saying Earth is at the warmest it has been in at least 1,400 years. The study shows that the planet has warmed more between 1971 and 2000 than during any other three-decade interval during the model period.

“This paper tells us what we already knew, except in a better, more comprehensive fashion,” study co-author Edward Cook, a tree-ring scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) at Columbia University, said in a statement.

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Faculty Q&A: Sean Solomon on Lamont-Doherty, Earth Science and Space

As a scientist, Sean Solomon has studied Mercury, Venus and Mars. Now he heads Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, whose researchers study planet Earth, from its deepest ocean to its highest peak.

Solomon arrives at Columbia from the Carnegie Institute, where he was its principal investigator for research with NASA’s Astrobiology Institute. Astrobiology is an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the origin of life on Earth and its potential for existing elsewhere.

Read the full Q&A with Prof. Solomon at

NASA’s Mercury-orbiting MESSENGER spacecraft captured images of Earth on July 19 and 20. The images were be taken at 7:49 a.m., 8:38 a.m. and 9:41 a.m. EDT on both days.

"That images of our planet can be acquired on a single day from two distant outposts in the solar system provides a wonderful reminder of the vigor and excitement of this nation’s ongoing program of planetary exploration," added MESSENGER Principal Investigator Sean Solomon, of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

"The Saturn system and the innermost planet are two very different outcomes of planetary formation and evolution, so these two sets of images also prompt a sustained appreciation of the special attributes of Earth. There’s no place like home."