Agriculture

While achieving sustainable agriculture is one of the greatest challenges of our age, at its core there is nothing political or controversial about it:  Agriculture that does not meet these criteria will not persist and will be unable to support human civilization.

Sustainable Agriculture Through Innovation and Collaboration

Individuals and institutions are becoming increasingly concerned about the social and environmental impacts and the broader societal ramifications associated with conventional agricultural systems. In response, many are acting to bring into view a brighter future that is capable of satisfying a long list of criteria that define sustainable agriculture.

by |November 16, 2016
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Executive Training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment’s annual Executive Training Program on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture will be held at Columbia University in New York City from July 12-21, 2017. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until March 31, 2017.

Harvest

Mapping Risks and Building Resilience, from Plot to Plate

Michael Puma, an associate research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and a Center for Climate and Life Fellow, works to improve understanding of the fragility of the global food system and how it might respond to major disruptions.

by |October 5, 2016
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Land, Resource Investments and Climate Change: 3 Key Takeaways

Any discussion on climate change and sustainable investment in natural resources must grapple with land—a complicated yet crucial component of the search for equitable climate change solutions.

indonesia peat

2015 Indonesia Fires Killed 100,000 People, Says Study

In fall 2015, smoke from agricultural fires in Indonesia blanketed much of equatorial Asia. Schools and businesses closed, planes were grounded and tens of thousands of people sought treatment for respiratory illnesses. In a new study, researchers estimate that the smoke caused upward of 100,000 deaths across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

by |September 19, 2016
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Linking Climate Forecasts, Soil Testing for Smarter Farming

A new project combines cutting edge climate science and mobile soil labs for African farmers and service providers.

by |July 12, 2016
Farmers break into small groups to collect information about traditional indicators. Photo: Catherine Pomposi

Forecasting Climate, with Help from the Baobab Tree

To improve climate forecasts, scientists study the complex interactions and mechanisms within the climate system. But they also need to hear from potential users of climate information, such as farmers, to get a better understanding of how people may use that information in their decision making.

by |June 21, 2016
In 2011, cyclone-driven floods hit eastern coastal Madagascar, damaging crops and infrastructure and displacing populations. At the same time the island nation’s southwest was suffering from two years of drought. Food shocks caused by climate-related events can have far-reaching repurcussions. Photo: Bruno Rakoson/World Food Programme

Preparing for Climate-Related Food Shocks

Researchers are investigating if the projected increase in climate change-generated droughts, floods, heat waves and other intense short-term occurrences will result in increased shocks that could jeopardize food security worldwide.

by |June 14, 2016
This chart shows the number of operational weather stations in Rwanda.

Filling a Climate Gap and Helping Rwandan Farmers

Agriculture makes up a major portion of Rwanda’s economy, and employs eight in 10 Rwandans. Of course, farmers are hugely dependent on the climate, and a new project hopes to ensure they get timely information so they can plan for both good times and bad.

by |March 24, 2016
ITCZ-NASA

Study Tracks an Abrupt Climate Shift as Ice Age Glaciers Began to Retreat

That change would have affected the monsoons, today relied on to feed over half the world’s population, and could have helped tip the climate system over the threshold for deglaciation.

by |January 22, 2016