About 50 percent of the CO2 produced by human activity remains in the atmosphere, warming the planet. But scientists don’t know where and how oceans and plants have absorbed the rest of the manmade CO2. To try to answer these questions, on July 2, 2014, NASA launched the $468 million Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2), its first Earth remote sensing satellite dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide from space.
In 2005, Brazil was losing more forest each year than any other country. Today, Brazil has reduced deforestation in the Amazon by 70 percent. Seventeen countries across four continents have also shown progress in reducing tropical deforestation. But there is still a long way to go.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial method for extracting natural gas, has become a hot button issue across the U.S. But let’s try to look objectively at its benefits and risks.
In the light of recent varied efforts to focus public attention on the risks of climate change, we asked Earth Institute scientists what they want the public to understand about the issue and how they see their roles.
Nanotechnology is one of the fastest growing areas of science, engineering and industry that is used in more and more consumer products each day. It has great potential to transform our world for the better. But what are its implications for human health and the environment?
New research about West Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier suggests the glacier’s recent and rapid thinning and melting may continue for decades or centuries to come. British Antarctic Survey’s Joanne Johnson’s research, done in collaboration with scientists at Lamont-Doherty, might not have been possible without Lamont’s effort to promote women scientists.
“It just looked like black rock, but every once in awhile a boulder at the end would fall off and you’d see it was completely red inside. And it made all these cool sounds and you’d feel these little earthquakes… It was totally cool. How could you not like that?”
While much attention is focused on genetically modified foods, fewer people are aware that many other genetically modified organisms and cells are in development. Columbia University’s Shaheed Naeem and Matthew Palmer offer their perspectives.
When Hurricane Sandy hit last October, the vulnerabilities of the New York/New Jersey region to extreme weather were made all too clear. The Rebuild by Design challenge was launched to find the most innovative ways to make the region more resilient and sustainable.