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.

What Everyone Should Know About Climate Change

by | 9.17.2014 at 11:34am
Kroeker_Kristy UC Davis

Climate scientist William D’Andrea of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory asked young scientists attending a symposium last October, “What do you wish everyone knew about climate change?” He turned the responses into this video, which covers the topic pretty well.

Is the Highest Climb Sustainable, and Who Pays the Price?

by | 9.16.2014 at 1:52pm
Khumbu Icefall, Everest, Photo: Mahatma4711

The Khumbu Icefall on Mount Everest is perhaps the most well-known and notoriously dangerous glacial feature on the planet. In a fresh post on the Glacier Hub blog, the Earth Institute’s Ben Orlove, writing with anthropologist Pasang Yangjee Sherpa of Penn State, recounts a recent workshop held in Kathmandu to address the issues raised by the tragic deaths last spring of 16 Nepalese guides who were preparing the trail for this year’s climbing expeditions.

Join the Earth Institute for Climate Week NYC

by | 9.15.2014 at 1:24pm
STATUE IN WATER SIMPLIFIED

From heads of state to ordinary citizens, thousands of people will gather for more than 100 events during Climate Week NYC. The Earth Institute and its centers will be engaged in several events; read on to find out how you can participate.

Beneath an Icelandic Glacier, Another Eruption Brewing

by | 8.19.2014 at 3:14pm
An eruption pierces the glaciers at the Bárðarbunga volcano. Photo: Oddur Sigurdsson, Iceland Geological Survey

The 2,000-meter tall Bárðarbunga volcano in Iceland is at risk of eruption, an event that could send a cloud of ash and steam high into the atmosphere and cause extensive disruptions in air travel, among other effects, according to media reports. Earth Institute scientist Ben Orlove looks into it on the Glacier Hub blog.

Climate Change or Public Health: Which Matters More?

by | 8.1.2014 at 11:23am
climate change, public health

A new study by Earth Institute researchers suggests that talking about the human health impacts of air pollution related to burning fossil fuels might make a more convincing argument for action among conservatives, who are generally more skeptical of the scientific evidence for climate change.

El Niño: The Basics

by | 7.2.2014 at 2:32pm
ElNinoLaNinaIRI

Forecasts suggest we’re looking ahead to an El Niño event this year—a warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean around the equator that can affect weather patterns around the globe. But what exactly is an El Niño event, how strong do forecasters think it’s likely to be, and just how will it affect our weather?

Clock Is Ticking in West Antarctic

by | 5.23.2014 at 12:54pm
supp4rignot thwaites

“The high-resolution records that we’re getting and the high-resolution models we’re able to make now are sort of moving the questions a little bit closer into human, understandable time frames.”

Climate Report Author to Take Questions on Friday

by | 5.8.2014 at 2:17pm
Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey shore

Climate scientist Radley Horton, one of the lead authors of the National Climate Assessment report released this week, will answer your questions in an “ask me anything” session on Redditt on Friday starting at 11 a.m.

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.