Author: David Funkhouser

I'm a writer and content manager for the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Before coming to Columbia, I spent 35 years writing, editing and managing at various newspapers around New England, most recently serving as environmental reporter for The Hartford Courant.

Crossing 400ppm: Welcome to the Pliocene

by | 4.22.2014 at 12:11pm
http://paleo.amnh.org/artwork/knight/index.html

“Right now, we’re living in a world of a Pliocene atmosphere,” scientist Maureen Raymo of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory tells the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media. “But the whole rest of the climate system — the oceans are trying to catch-up, the ice sheets are waning, and everything is trying to catch up to this Pliocene atmosphere.”

Climate Change: a Matter of Public Health

by | 4.7.2014 at 6:19pm
Women, babies, Ekwendeni Mission Hospital, Mzimba District, Malawi

People have tried to cast climate change as an environmental issue, a social justice issue and a development issue. Madeleine Thomson of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society argues climate change can be understood much better if we consider it an issue of global public health.

The U.S. Water Challenge: Watch the Video

by | 4.1.2014 at 6:25pm
water center video grabJ

Most American’s live with the expectation that fresh water will continue to flow freely from their faucets. The reality is that environmental degradation, an aging water infrastructure, water scarcity, job instability, and the ability to provide food for a growing population are now pressing issues.

Warming Hiatus? Hangout and Find Out

by | 3.13.2014 at 10:28am
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Wondering about the slowdown in global warming? Need a little context? Try visiting a Google hangout session with physical and social scientists and science communicators on March 20 at 11 a.m. EDT.

Con Ed Agrees to Climate Change Plan

by | 2.24.2014 at 2:13pm
Manhattan, Hurricane Sandy

In a groundbreaking agreement, Consolidated Edison, one of New York’s major utility companies, will incorporate plans to protect the power system from the effects of climate change as part of a new multi-year rate plan.

Crossroads Project Taps into a Deeper Connection to Climate

by | 2.5.2014 at 2:11pm
Robert Davies, Crossroads Project

Climate science can come across as a little dry, so Robert Davies, a physicist at Utah State University, thought he’d spice it up with music and visual art, to penetrate deeper into his audiences’ consciousness. The result is The Crossroads Project, coming to Symphony Space Feb. 13.

This Dance Class Could Be Worth $1 Million

by | 1.31.2014 at 2:56pm
Capoeira in the street in Brazil. Photo: jonrawlinson / flickr

You could be dancing a Dollu Kunitha in Karnataka, or a Kpanlogo in Ghana, or a samba in Rio. Dance is integral to most cultures, and it’s also a social and fun way to improve physical fitness. It can help prevent cardiovascular disease and control weight, among other health benefits. And that is the point that a group of Earth Institute students are hoping will win them a million dollars to finance their project, named “Health for All.”

2013 Ranks in Top 10 Warmest Years

by | 1.22.2014 at 3:57pm
NOAA-NASA top 10 warm years

Last year was one of the warmest on record, according to analyses of global temperature data by NASA and NOAA. Both federal agencies placed 2013 among the top 10 warmest years since records began in 1880, continuing a longer-term trend of global warming.

Why Do We Run Hot and Cold on Climate Change?

by | 1.12.2014 at 1:00pm
A chart posted by Climate Central shows a declining trend for cold nights in New York City since 1970.

People’s views on climate seem easily swayed, or in some cases manipulated, by daily weather. In a new study, researchers drilled into what goes on in people’s minds when they respond to these smaller-scale stimuli.

Map Your Food

by | 12.10.2013 at 4:20pm
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Where does London get its fruit? Where are the “food swamps” in Los Angeles? Where do tomatoes from Spain wind up? Where are the composters in New York City? For lovers of geography, and of the sociology of food, “Food: an atlas” offers lots of informative and curious distraction.