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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 wamc.org)

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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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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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.

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.”

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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M.S. Graduate Aims to Create Sustainable Solutions through Biomimicry

Recent M.S. in Sustainability Management graduate Adiel Gavish (‘13) thinks that we’ve all got something to learn from nature. As the vibrant Founder of BiomimicryNYC, the thirty-two year old is leading the charge to change the way that people design solutions through biomimicry – the science and ethos that studies designs and patterns in the natural world and applies them to solve human problems.

via State of the Planet.

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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 news.columbia.edu.

Apocalypse Now: A Conversation with Wallace Broecker

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When: Tuesday, November 13th, 2012, 6:30-8pm

Where: Rennert Hall, Kraft Center, 606 West 115th Street, New York, NY 10025

A conversation with Wallace S. Broecker, the “Grandfather of Climate Science,” on the subject of climate change, natural disasters, and apocalyptic visions and predictions. Wally Broecker is the Newberry Professor of Geology in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. He is also a scientist at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and an Academic Committee member of the Earth Institute. Broecker is arguably one of the world’s greatest living geoscientists.

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Ancient Global Warming Raised Sea Levels Nearly 70 Feet

by Ker Than for National Geographic
Published July 23, 2013

“The good thing about drilling offshore into sediments is you can look at climate several million years back in time,” said study co-author Trevor Williams, a geophysicist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

The mud that the scientists extracted carried a unique chemical fingerprint that allowed the scientists to trace where it came from on the continent.

“We know the geochemical fingerprint of the sediments in the present day, and we can trace the source of those sediments to areas of the coastline where the ice currently is,” Williams explained.

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