Super Storm Sandy was an unusually powerful and destructive storm because of a rare constellation of factors, but scientists predict that we can expect more extreme weather events due to the effects of climate change. Has the super storm made us take warnings about extreme weather more seriously?
Forty percent of our food is wasted, but through composting, food waste can be turned into black gold—so called because compost, the mixture of decayed organic matter, is valuable as a nutrient-rich soil additive. In the United States, however, less than 3 percent of food waste is composted.
Local food proponents often claim that food grown close to home helps prevent global warming because it requires less fossil fuels to transport, generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventionally produced food. But just how green is local food?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that droughts will likely increase in central North America this century. How can we prepare for a future of perpetual drought?
With the incidence of extreme weather on the increase, concern about global warming is also growing. This concern needs to be turned into action—whether local, regional or national. Here are a dozen ways to take action.
Professor Ben Orlove, anthropologist and co-director of the Earth Institute’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions discusses the connection between extreme weather and global warming, and public perception of climate change.
Shooting sulfur particles into the stratosphere to reflect the sun? Dumping iron into the ocean to boost the absorption of carbon dioxide? Could these far-fetched and dangerous-sounding schemes—geoengineering—help avert potentially catastrophic effects of climate change, or would they exacerbate conditions on our ever warming planet?
Soil is the source of all life. Yet “we know more about soils of Mars than about soils of Africa,” says Pedro Sanchez, director of the Earth Institute’s Tropical Agriculture and the Rural Environment Program. To remedy this situation, the Earth Institute is taking part in an ambitious undertaking to map the world’s soils.
The global population, now 7 billion, is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 and will require 70 percent more food than we are producing today, and much more water for agriculture, drinking and industry. Will we have enough water to meet the demand?