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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”