Every indication is that thermal expansion will not dominate rates of sea-level rise in the future. As Earth’s climate marches toward equilibration with present-day CO2 levels, the climate will continue to warm. And this warming threatens the stability of a potentially much, much larger source for sea-level rise — the world’s remaining ice sheets.
Why should society care that CO2 is now as high as 400 ppm? The reasons are multiple, but all trace back to the relationship between CO2 and temperature.
Understanding the Middle East conflict is not an easy task, and adding an environmental component to the puzzle doesn’t make it any easier. Students in the Regional Environmental Sustainability in the Middle East program, having gone through 16 days of an 18-day trip to the region, now see clearly how complex the issues actually are. Having visited Jordan, Israel and parts of the West Bank, and met with local people who deal with environmental issues and the conflict on a daily basis, students have come to realize that sometimes the more you know and experience, the less things makes sense.
Four students have teamed up to create re:HARVEST, a food-sharing website and companion mobile application allowing users to notify each other when they have food available for pickup that would otherwise be wasted.
The Earth Institute’s Haiti Research and Policy Program at the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development welcomed two distinguished speakers as part of the Spring 2013 Haiti Dialogue Series to discuss government capacity building and national monitoring systems for government funded programs.
Being able to model solutions visually is a critical component for managers’ intent for solving environmental problems. For that reason, perhaps, advancing the way we design the built environment has always been my keenest interest. Sustainable design requires more than just the ability to create spatially: it requires expansive considerations—materials, energy, water-use, financial feasibility, new technologies. It must successfully execute the maxim “form meets function”.
Of non-Arctic states, China has shown the most interest in the Arctic as climate change opens up the region to new economic development. The ways in which China attempts to balance its economic interests and environmental responsibilities within its energy policy may provide a predictor of its future behavior in the Arctic.
When the Environmental Defense Fund asked me to measure how biogas cook stoves were changing the lives of farmers in rural India, there wasn’t a word in that question with which I was comfortable. Having just graduated from the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development, I had never done fieldwork; and the concept of a biogas digester, which turns cow dung into natural gas through anaerobic digestion, was itself a mystery. I had no idea that this was the beginning of a steep learning curve into low-carbon development at a large scale. But even more, that it would provide a window into the lives of families whose existences have permanently improved thanks to the clean cooking stoves.
IRI just renewed an agreement with the World Health Organization to be a collaborative center. Research scientist and center director Madeleine Thomson talks about past successes and future research directions.