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What Do Wildfires Have to Do with Climate Change?

“Climate change has been making the fire season in the United States longer and on average more intense,” said John Holdren, President Obama’s science advisor. And, wildfires are not only intensified by climate change, they also exacerbate it.

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Orogenous Zones: How Rock Flows

The architects of Columbia’s modern Northwest Tower, at the corner of Broadway and 120th Street, made good use of some beautiful stones. In their polished and swirling surfaces, they tell a story of the clash of continents and the processes by which mountains are made.

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Lamont-Doherty Director Awarded National Medal of Science

Sean Solomon, director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and a geophysicist who has spent much of his career studying Earth’s neighboring planets as well as the Earth itself, will receive the National Medal of Science.

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Sebastião Salgado, Iceberg between Paulet Island and the South Shetland Islands on the Antarctic Channel. At sea level, earlier flotation levels are clearly visible where the ice has been polished by the ocean’s constant movement. High above, a shape resembling a castle tower has been carved by wind erosion and detached pieces of ice. The Antarctic Peninsula, 2005. © Sebastião Salgado/Amazonas images—Contact Press Images.

The Art and Science of Climate Change

This fall, the photographs of Sebastião Salgado provide the springboard for an ambitious program of panel discussions, lectures and film screenings addressing the urgent issue of climate change, at the International Center of Photography in New York City.

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The use of smartphones by community health workers will be a key component of tracking Ebola cases. Photo: One Million Community Health Workers Campaign.

Millennium Promise Team to Join Battle Against Ebola

Locally based community health workers, who bring vital primary health care to underserved populations across sub-Saharan Africa, will join the battle against the deadly Ebola virus through a partnership between the government of Guinea and The Earth Institute.

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Volcanic Plumbing at Mid-Ocean Ridges Goes Far Deeper than Thought

by | 10.21.2014 at 12:01pm
The images were taken aboard the R/V Langseth on a 2008 expedition to the East Pacific Rise. (Marjanovic)

New pictures in the journal Nature Geoscience may help resolve a debate about how new crust forms at mid-ocean ridges where earth’s tectonic plates are slowly pulling apart.

Cohen: China’s Pollution Problems Mirroring U.S. Experience

by | 10.20.2014 at 5:50pm
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China’s problems with air pollution mirror what the United States went through during the rapid economic growth following World War II, and the solutions will likely be the same, Earth Institute Executive Director Steven Cohen said Saturday on an English-language news program on China Central Television.

Watch Your Step: the Alpha Predator of the Ordovician

by | 10.20.2014 at 12:00pm
Squid-like cephalopods ruled the oceans in the Ordovician. Image: University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Frozen into the stone floor of a stairway landing, several flights up in Columbia’s Lewisohn Hall, sits a stark reminder of how life has evolved in the sea. Part 6 of the Columbia Geology Tour.

M.S. Professor Looks to Past for Future Drought Mitigation

by | 10.17.2014 at 12:41pm
A dust storm engulfs Stratford, Texas in April of 1935. The drought of 1934 was likely made worse by dust storms triggered by the poor agricultural practices of the time.
Credit: NOAA/George E. Marsh Album

M.S. in Sustainability Management professor Ben Cook often tells his students that the past can provide critical lessons for how we manage sustainability challenges now and in the future. Thus, it is not surprising that Cook, whose research at the Earth Institute’s Lamont-Dougherty Earth Observatory focuses on drought, hydroclimate, and interactions between the land surface and climate system, recently found that the drought of 1934 was caused in part by an atmospheric phenomenon that may also be the reason for California’s current drought. Cook, along with fellow climate scientists Richard Seager and Jason Smerdon, focus on the 1934 drought in a study that was featured by the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

MPA Program Announces Full Fellowship Opportunity- Apply Now!

by | 10.17.2014 at 12:30pm
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The Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Environmental Science and Policy is pleased to announce the creation of the Dean’s Environmental Science and Policy Fellowship – the first full tuition grant made in the program’s 12-year history. All prospective students who apply to the program by January 15, 2015 will be eligible for the Fellowship, valued at approximately $72,000.

Sun-gazing

by | 10.17.2014 at 11:00am
Dopplergrams from the NASA's space telescope IRIS (Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph) revealing detailed evidence of "twist" between the sun's surface and outer atmosphere. These phenomena may play a role in driving the temperature difference between the sun's surface (~6000 K) and the sun's outer atmosphere (millions of degrees). The reason for this enormous temperature gradient is not fully understood (a puzzle known as the "coronal heating problem"). Image: De Pontieu et al., Science 2014

By Galileo’s careful hand, sunspot details are exquisite,
Through eye of forehead, eye of mind beholds what body can not visit.
If only he could see the sights now rendered from Earth’s outer space,
Ultraviolet sunscapes – Oh, to see his raptured face!

MPA Alum Named to City and State’s 40 Under 40

by | 10.15.2014 at 1:38pm
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Alison Miller, a 2011 alumna of the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program, was recently named one of 2014 City & State’s top 40 under 40 Rising Stars. The media company, devoted to covering New York politics and policies, nominates 40 exceptional individuals each year who are leaving their mark on New York City.