Near the end of “Chasing Ice,” a hunk of glacier the size of lower Manhattan explodes, rolls and crashes into the sea. If that sounds like a spoiler, well, go see the movie and you’ll know you would have known it was coming anyway. And the beauty of the movie is that it will still astound you.
Interested in Human geography, undersea volcanoes, microgrids, climate change and melting ice sheets, technology and sustainability? The coming week’s lineup of Earth Institute events has you covered.
“This is a mess, and it is a mess that we have not attended to yet,” Earth Institute Director Jeffrey Sachs said at a conference on water security held today at Columbia University. “Humanity is the driver, but we don’t have our hands on the steering wheel very much.”
Watch highlights of last October’s “State of the Planet” summit, which brought experts together to discuss the challenges of sustainable development, climate change and the environment, as well as some of the solutions.
From warmer temperatures to natural disasters such as flooding and drought, changing patterns of climate are having billion-dollar impacts on our food-growing systems. But scientists are struggling to find ways to measure and predict what may happen in the future—and to translate that into policies to help feed a bulging world population.
Extreme weather and climate-related events already have cost the United States billions of dollars. A recent symposium focused on what we know about the causes and how changing climate affects agriculture, water supplies, wildlife and our economy.
Rosario Costa-Cabral and her brothers harvest hundreds of fruits, oils and wood products from the stream-laced forest of the Amazon River delta. But the climate here is changing: Tides rise higher, and seasonal floods are growing worse.
Glenn Denning grew up in Brisbane, Australia, loved the outdoors and hated the idea of working in an office. And, he really didn’t have any urge to go to other countries. Then he happened to overhear a conversation in a hallway between two students. That bit of serendipity sent him on a road to a life overseas; to key roles in “green revolutions” in Asia and Africa; and eventually to an office at Columbia University, and the Earth Institute.
For years before Hurricane Sandy charged ashore on Monday, researchers from the Earth Institute knew what was coming. As the region struggles to recover from this “superstorm,” we asked some of them to consider the lessons we can learn as we move forward.