Climate

The Eltanin 19 profile, showing the symmetry of magnetic reversals on either side of a mid-ocean ridge, launched the plate tectonics revolution at what was then Lamont Geological Observatory.

The Plate Tectonics Revolution: It Was All About the Data

The young scientists who led the plate tectonics revolution 50 years ago showed how asking the right questions and having access to a wide range of shared data could open doors to an entirely new understanding of our planet.

by |May 24, 2016
Core-Lab-tubes

John Imbrie, a Pioneer of Paleoceanography

Imbrie, a former head of the Department of Geological Sciences, helped confirmed connections between changes in Earth’s orbit and the timing of the ice ages and was a co-founder of CLIMAP, an international effort to use sediment cores to map Earth’s climate at the height of the last ice age.

by |May 19, 2016
With the right mix of nutrients, carbon-capturing phytoplankton grow quickly, creating blooms visible from space. (Robert Simmon and Jesse Allen/NASA)

Iron Fertilization Won’t Work in Equatorial Pacific, Study Suggests

Over the past half-million years, the equatorial Pacific Ocean has seen five spikes in the amount of iron-laden dust blown in from the continents. In theory, those bursts should have turbo-charged the growth of carbon-capturing algae, but a new study shows that the excess iron had little to no effect.

by |May 16, 2016
Groundwater pumping for agriculture and other uses has risen sharply. But a new study says it isn't contributing as much as previously thought to sea level rise.

Study Downgrades Groundwater Contribution to Sea Level Rise

Some research suggests that, along with melting ice sheets and glaciers, the water pumped from underground for irrigation and other uses, on the rise worldwide, could contribute substantially to rising sea levels over the next 50 years. A new study published in Nature Climate Change says the magnitude is substantially lower.

by |May 3, 2016
“As the Marshall Islands and several other small island states around the world struggle with saltwater intrusion into their fields and a dwindling fresh water supply, a future abroad is beginning to creep into the minds of local residents,” Eric Holthaus writes for Columbia Law School Magazine.

As Predicted: A Rising Tide of Migration

“With sea levels on the rise, several island nations are scrambling to stay above water and ensure citizens will have a place to go when the ocean engulfs their homeland. The humanitarian-crisis phase of climate change has officially begun.”

by |April 29, 2016
La Niña Climate Impacts

Learning from El Niño as La Niña Odds Rise

Although El Niño is weakening, its ramifications continue to be felt around the world. Drought and resulting food insecurity is one of the major implications for southeast Asia, eastern and southern Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. Sixty million are in need of emergency relief today, according to the United Nations.

by |April 28, 2016
Climate-tablegroup

ESP Alumna Joins Climate Leadership Corps

Olivia Owre-Bell, a recent alumna of Columbia’s MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program, attended the Climate Reality Leadership Corps 31st training in the Philippines this March.

by |April 28, 2016
Meltwater rivers on the greenland ice sheet. M. Tedesco/Columbia University

In Greenland, Exactly Where Meltwater Enters the Ocean Matters

In southern Greenland in summer, rivers have been streaming off the ice sheet, pouring cold fresh water into the fjords. A new study tracks where that meltwater goes—with surprising results.

by |April 25, 2016

Accounting for Volcanoes Using Tools of Economics

Climate scientists teamed up with an econometrics expert to develop an innovative new method for picking out past volcanic eruptions in temperature reconstructions going back millennia and gauging their impact on the climate.

Panelist

Climate Change and the Paris Agreement: What’s Next?

“Climate change is an extreme example of what happens when you do not have sustainable development. We will not address climate change unless we change the patterns of production and consumption that drove us to this situation in the first place.”

by |April 14, 2016