Water

Kiro samples the walls of the cave.

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
Near the foot of Israel's Mount Sodom, Lamont geoscientist Steven Goldstein (left) and Mordechai Stein of the Geological Survey of Israel inspect a salt cave thought to be 6 million to 7 million years old.

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
Aboard a vessel run by the environmental group Riverkeeper, oceanographer Joaquim Goes of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (left) and PhD. student Ye Li filter water from New York harbor. They were on a mission to study the prevalence of plastic microbeads.  (Photos: Kevin Krajick, unless otherwise credited.)

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
Grasberg mine in Indonesia  (Photo credit: Paul Q. Warren)

Challenges for Governments Seeking to Get Most Out of Natural Resources

On March 2, 2017, Tanzania banned all exports of unprocessed gold and copper concentrates. The measure was taken in order to force companies to set up in-country processing of raw materials, with hopes of fostering the development of a smelter in the country.

by |June 29, 2017
Obrien

Rural America’s Drinking Water Crisis: No Help From Trump Budget

O’Brien is just one of thousands of small communities in the United States that struggle to find the resources to ensure that the water coming out of the tap is safe to drink. The budget proposal by the Trump administration will only make matters worse.

by |June 13, 2017
kartik

Cleaning Up New York City’s Waters and Beyond: Q&A with Kartik Chandran

Kartik Chandran, an environmental engineer at Columbia, will discuss some of his urban wastewater treatment projects at a panel discussion Friday following the screening of a new film about Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay.

by |June 7, 2017
CCL Water

How Will Climate Change Impact Water Resources?

Richard Seager and Park Williams, climate scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, discuss how water will be affected by warmer temperatures, and how their research increases understanding of these issues.

by |June 6, 2017
Oroville_Dam_spillway_damage_February_27_2017

America’s Dam Crisis: Was Oroville Just a Drop in the Bucket?

Columbia Water Center experts argue that dam infrastructure issues must be connected to a broader conversation about America’s water resources.

by |May 31, 2017
As rain belts shift due to uneven heating across the globe, wet areas will become wetter and dryer areas dryer, a new study affirms. Here, visitors cross a Panama farm field in a winter downpour. (Kevin Krajick/Earth Institute)

In a Warmer World, Expect the Wet to Get Wetter, and the Dry, Drier

As the world warms due to human-induced climate change, many scientists have been projecting that global rainfall patterns will shift. In the latest such study, two leading researchers map out how seasonal shifts may affect water resources across the planet.

by |May 31, 2017