“One of the ways that climate change is going to manifest is through warmer temperatures. … What we are seeing, in line with our projections, is that even if you assume constant precipitation, the temperature effects are so large that it is going to dry things out. This is going to have really big impacts on soil moisture, reservoirs and stream flow for irrigation and drinking water. The availability of water is going to decline into the future, and the challenge is adjusting for that, and what that means for agriculture and development.”
Each fall the Earth Institute offers a broad survey of the applications of frontier research to the practice of sustainable development through contributions from Earth Institute researchers and directors in the Earth Institute Practicum. The practicum provides an opportunity to learn about salient issues in sustainable development, sustainability management and environmental science from world-class faculty and researchers in these areas.
Fieldwork is an important component of environmental education and research. Every year, the Earth Institute’s Office of Academic and Research Programs provides funding to help underwrite faculty-organized field trieps that augment undergraduate and graduate classroom learning experiences.
With assistance from the Earth Institute Course Support Program, 10 students with Dr. Josh Drew and Dr. Elisa Bone traveled to Glover’s Reef Research Station in Belize as part of their Coastal and Estuarine Ecology course.
The Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability (EICES) at Columbia University provides executive training in environmental sustainability through courses in science, economics and policy. We invite you to join our leading experts and practitioners, strengthen your understanding of human-ecosystem interactions, and become an effective environmental leader and decision-maker.
Twice humans have witnessed the wasting of snow and ice from Peru’s tallest volcano, Nevado Coropuna—In the waning of the last ice age, some 12,000 years ago, and today, as industrial carbon dioxide in the air raises temperatures again. As in the past, Coropuna’s retreating glaciers figure prominently in the lives of people below. In an ongoing project, scientists at Columba University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and partner institutions are reconstructing the ebb and flow of ice on Coropuna since the last ice age to understand how the tropics influence the global climate system, how ice-loss and a warmer climate will impact farming in the region, and what adaptation measures might help people survive in this hotter, drier world.
Understanding the Middle East conflict is not an easy task, and adding an environmental component to the puzzle doesn’t make it any easier. Students in the Regional Environmental Sustainability in the Middle East program, having gone through 16 days of an 18-day trip to the region, now see clearly how complex the issues actually are. Having visited Jordan, Israel and parts of the West Bank, and met with local people who deal with environmental issues and the conflict on a daily basis, students have come to realize that sometimes the more you know and experience, the less things makes sense.
Lamont-Doherty scientist Hugh Ducklow is featured in a documentary due out next summer on climate change and the West Antarctic Peninsula. Catch a preview in this newly-released trailer.
The Dead Sea is shrinking as a result of mining for raw materials and the loss of fresh water inflow from the diversion of the Jordan River for drinking water by Syria, Israel and Jordan. This shrinkage is problematic for economic, environmental and cultural reasons for both Jordan and Israel, the two countries which share borders with the sea.
Nine Columbia students traveled to the Middle East last weekend to learn about how two countries in the region, Jordan and Israel, are cooperating on environmental issues and managing shared natural resources such as water. The students, led by Beth Fisher Yoshida, academic director of the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program, and Shahar Sadeh, academic coordinator, will spend one week in each country as part of a new summer field study program.