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Undergraduates Will Develop Green Geodatabase for University

An undergraduate course in the Sustainable Development Program recently received a Course Support grant from the Earth Institute to conduct a special fieldwork project to develop the Columbia University Green Geodatabase.

by |July 24, 2015
Iceberg off Antarctica. Photo: NOAA

A Dire Warning on Rapid Climate Change

Updated Aug. 3, 2015. Sea level rise from melting ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland threatens catastrophe for coastal cities within decades unless strong measures are taken to reduce CO2 emissions from the use of fossil fuels, argues climate scientist James Hansen. Hansen’s warnings about the dangers of climate change are not new, but a… read more

by |July 24, 2015
A cluster of towering cumulus clouds off the coast of El Salvador. The photograph was taken on May 31, 2002, from the International Space Station. Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center, at http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov [Photo ID ISS004-E-12656]

Spontaneous Clumping of Tropical Clouds

If you take a look at nearly any satellite image of clouds in the tropics, you’ll notice that the clouds tend to be organized into clusters. One specific type of cloud organization called “self-aggregation.” Self-aggregation is the tendency of tropical clouds to spontaneously clump together, solely due to interactions between the clouds and the surrounding environment.

by |July 23, 2015
In Honduras, 46 percent of the population lives in rural areas, and people must often travel long distances to get to the nearest pharmacy. This pharmacist is part of a network of 301 trained volunteers in a community pharmacy program run by FUDEIMFA, a partner of Global Partnerships. This network of women operate home-based pharmacies in their rural communities, providing local access to affordable anti-diarrheal medications, painkillers and other kinds of essential medicines. Photo © Global Partnerships.

Impact Partnerships, with Return on Investment

Philanthropy has evolved dramatically in recent years, changing the way individuals, organizations and foundations support the causes that concern them most. One manifestation of this evolution includes an array of sophisticated methods of investing in social causes while expecting a return, known as impact investing.

by |July 23, 2015
Michael Gerrard

Michael Gerrard to Head Institute Faculty

Columbia Law School Professor Michael B. Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, has been named chair of the faculty of the Earth Institute.

by |July 22, 2015
Dr. Irwin Redlener

The Hidden Stresses of Drought

“Drought affects the economy, water supply, lifestyle, and agricultural productivity. The downstream consequences on humans that are facing these threats, including loss of jobs and daily lifestyle challenges, become overwhelming.”

by |July 22, 2015
From the outside, a conflict may look immensely complex; but from the inside, it may appear as simple as "they" are the problem.

Complicate to Simplify: Lessons from Complexity Science

What our team found at this school in the Bronx is what we see in many intractable social problems. They spring from a complex constellation of ills, and the longer they last the more complicated they get. And the more simple they seem from the inside.

by |July 21, 2015
Photovoltaic array at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada

Where is Solar Power Headed?

To have a shot at curbing the worst impacts of climate change, we need to extricate our society from fossil fuels and ramp up our use of renewable energy. Where does solar energy stand today, and where does it need to go in order for us to make the transition to renewable energy?

by |July 21, 2015
Exhuma, Bahamas, geology

Head for the Hills

While we spent much of our time examining corals and swamps, studying sea level and storms, we became fascinated by a simple question: How did the hills of Exuma form?

by |July 21, 2015
Handbook in Arabic

Conflict Resolution in the Arab World: a Knowledge-Sharing Agenda

In 2005, colleagues working in conflict resolution and peace-building in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Palestine and Syria approached Columbia University’s International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution with a request for science-based resources on constructive engagement made available in Arabic.

by |July 17, 2015