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Retired Rear Admiral David Titley described the potential effects of climate on geopolitics.

An Admiral Assesses Climate Change

Columbia University’s Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate hosted its biggest seminar to date. David Titley presented a talk entitled Climate Risk and National Security: People not Polar Bears. Titley, a retired U.S. rear admiral and now a professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University, brought humor to a serious topic and how it affects people and geopolitics.

by |September 23, 2016
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A Right to Fossil Fuels? Pressure Mounts for Developing Countries to Leave Them in the Ground

Calls are intensifying to phase out fossil fuels, and that is now beginning to occur in many developed countries. This shift will have profound implications for the developing world, which has vast untapped fossil fuel resources, but may be unable to realize their value.

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Land, Resource Investments and Climate Change: 3 Key Takeaways

Any discussion on climate change and sustainable investment in natural resources must grapple with land—a complicated yet crucial component of the search for equitable climate change solutions.

Francesco Fiondella/IRI

From Climate Science to Climate Service

What makes for good climate services? A new commentary in the journal Science outlines three considerations.

by |September 22, 2016
In the Ndumo Nature Reserve in South Africa, a team dehorns a rhino, part of a desperate attempt to save the species from poaching. Photo: Wendy Hapgood

Rhino Number 100 and World Rhino Day

The sound of a chainsaw rises discordantly above all natural sounds, disrupting the quiet of a warm African winters’ day, a destructive sound at odds with the African wilderness. But it is not a tree that is being felled. It is the horn of a rhino.

by |September 22, 2016
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Exploring Obama’s Seafloor Canyons by Mini Submarine

Only a few people have ever explored deep inside the seafloor canyons that President Obama just designated a national marine monument. Bill Ryan is one of them. In this podcast he describes what his team saw and learned.

by |September 21, 2016
Earthquake-resistant homes made of soil-filled bags are going up in Nepal. (Courtesy Garden Collage)

Harnessing Soil to Rebuild Rural Nepal

Within weeks of a devastating earthquake in Nepal, governments and private groups pledged $4 billion in aid. And something else emerged from the rubble: a grassroots movement to rebuild rural Nepal safely and sustainably.

by |September 21, 2016
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Opening Up Land Contracts and Land Data … With Caution

By Kaitlin Cordes This blog was written as a contribution to the Land Portal’s ongoing debate on ‘Open Data and Land Governance: Increased accountability and transparency as a means to overcoming poverty?’.  Transparency isn’t an end goal, but greater transparency over certain types of land-related information can lead to better outcomes: for example, more informed decision-making and improved… read more

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2015 Indonesia Fires Killed 100,000 People, Says Study

In fall 2015, smoke from agricultural fires in Indonesia blanketed much of equatorial Asia. Schools and businesses closed, planes were grounded and tens of thousands of people sought treatment for respiratory illnesses. In a new study, researchers estimate that the smoke caused upward of 100,000 deaths across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

by |September 19, 2016
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Flaring Gas: How Not to Waste a Valuable Resource

Every year, oil fields around the globe burn, or “flare,” an estimated 3.5 percent of the world’s natural gas supply. The gas is produced alongside oil and must be disposed of during the production process. Eliminating flaring would reduce CO2 emissions by as much as removing 77 million cars from the road. Moreover, the flaring wastes a valuable non-renewable energy resource.