Water Archives - State of the Planet

Photo Essay: The Re-Greening of Puerto Rico

Researchers survey the damage to Puerto Rico’s forests in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

by |March 22, 2018

Climate Change and the Re-Greening of Puerto Rico

Ecologist Maria Uriarte investigates the effects of Hurricane Maria on the forests of Puerto Rico, and how long-term climate change may affect them.

by |March 22, 2018

Researchers Map High Levels of Drugs in the Hudson River

In a new study, researchers have mapped out a large variety of discarded pharmaceuticals dissolved throughout the Hudson River. They say that in some places, levels may be high enough to potentially affect aquatic life.

by |February 19, 2018
cape town reservoir Theewaterskloof Dam

Cape Town Water Crisis Highlights a Worldwide Problem

Upmanu Lall, director of the Columbia Water Center, explains South Africa’s water shortage and why places in the U.S. could be at risk, too.

by |February 9, 2018
tree guard

So Much Depends on a Tree Guard

Adding protective barriers around street trees could reduce load on city sewers, study finds.

by |January 23, 2018
water center icon

Columbia Water Center Year in Review

The Columbia Water Center (CWC) is a leader in applying the science of water and climate to solve real world problems. With current events in mind, we worked with our partners to make progress on several key projects.

by |December 29, 2017

In Biblical Land, Searching for Droughts Past and Future

Human-influenced climate warming has already reduced rainfall and increased evaporation in the Mideast, worsening water shortages. Up to now, climate scientists had projected that rainfall could decline another 20 percent by 2100. But the Dead Sea cores suggest that things could become much worse, much faster.

by |October 31, 2017

Photo Essay: The Dead Sea, Living Waters and Megadrought

Thousands of years before Biblical times, during a period when temperatures were unusually high, the lands around the Dead Sea now occupied by Israel, Jordan and surrounding nations suffered megadroughts far worse than any recorded by humans. Warming climate now threatens to return such conditions to this already hard-pressed region.

by |October 31, 2017

New York’s Waterways Are Swimming in Plastic Microbeads

Plastic microbeads, common in soap, toothpaste and other consumer products, are flooding waters. A team from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is doing the first large-scale assessment of their impact on New York’s waterways.

by |August 16, 2017
Gwenn Hennon demonstrates experiment aboard the RV Kilo Moana

Eavesdropping on the Ocean’s Mighty Microorganisms

Now, nearing the end of our three-week cruise of the North Pacific off Hawaii, we are working to understand how these tiny bacteria connect and communicate with one another.

by |July 13, 2017