Columbia University received a gold star rating as part of the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS), a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. In May 2015, the Office of Environmental Stewardship convened a meeting of the first ever Sustainability Summit, to take action on sustainability planning at Columbia University and build a roadmap for the next three years as the University prepares for the next STARS submission.
Surprisingly little has been known about how phosphorous, an essential nutrient, cycles through the oceans. A new study has broken through some of this mystery, by showing the hidden role that the oceans’ tiniest creatures play.
Iceland is pioneering a new technology to deal with climate change. Its Hellisheidi geothermal power plant, the world’s largest, hosts arguably the world’s most advanced program to capture and lock away globe-warming carbon dioxide.
El Niño is back, and it looks like it will be getting stronger. While it’s difficult to predict the impact precisely, El Niño can alter patterns of drought and rainfall around the world.
Students throughout Columbia University were notified of a once-in-a-lifetime chance to attend a student simulation in anticipation of the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference in Paris. Two words jumped out at me immediately: climate and Paris.
H. James Simpson, a geochemist who pioneered important studies of water pollutants in the Hudson River and abroad, died May 10. He had been affiliated with Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for 50 years. The cause was Parkinson’s disease, said his family; he was 72.
Last week, it was announced that scientists had found the world’s oldest stone tools, in Kenya, dated at 3.3 million years. The precise dating of the tools was made possible by Chris Lepre and Dennis Kent of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who used periodic reversals in earth’s magnetic field to nail the timing. Now, in a related study, a separate team says they have discovered the world’s oldest stone tools that were never used–an apparent revelation about early human leisure time.
This summer, nine Columbia University students and nine students from Tel Aviv University will take part in a fieldwork course focused on environmental sustainability in the Middle East.
Since the late 1990s, global warming has stabilized, even as greenhouse gases have risen. That defies simple models that say the temperature should keep going up. Many scientists think much of the heat trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases is being soaked up and stored by the oceans–at least for now. A team of oceanographers now says they know where it went.