Africa Archives - State of the Planet

Humidity May Prove Breaking Point for Some Areas as Temperatures Rise, Says Study

A new study projects that in coming decades the effects of high humidity in many areas may surpass humans’ ability to work or, in some cases, even survive.

by |December 22, 2017

Columbia Climate Scientist Joins Quest to ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’

The International Research Institute for Climate and Society’s Alessandra Giannini was selected as one of French President’s Macron’s climate laureates.

by |December 12, 2017

American Geophysical Union 2017: Key Events From the Earth Institute

A chronological guide to key talks and other events presented by Columbia University’s Earth Institute at the American Geophysical Union 2017 meeting. 

by |December 4, 2017
lake turkana

The Way We Were: Climate and Human Evolution

In a remote desert region around Kenya’s Lake Turkana, paleoecologist and geochemist Kevin Uno collects fossils and sediments, searching for evidence about past climate, vegetation, animals, and water. His goal: to understand how climate affected our ancestors millions of years ago.

by |December 1, 2017
core repository at lamont-doherty

Ancient Humans Left Africa to Escape Drying Climate, Says Study

Ancient humans migrated out of Africa to escape a drying climate, says a new study—a finding that contradicts previous suggestions that ancient people were able to leave because a then-wet climate allowed them to cross the generally arid Horn of Africa and Middle East.

by |October 5, 2017

Fighting Ivory Trafficking with Forensic Science

Last week, just days before Central Park’s big Ivory Crush, a Lamont-Doherty geochemist and his colleague sawed off samples of the confiscated ivory for DNA testing and radiocarbon dating. Their results could determine where and when each elephant was killed—which could help catch the poachers responsible.

by |August 11, 2017

Warming Climate Could Abruptly Increase Rain in Africa’s Sahel

Climate change could turn one of Africa’s driest regions wet, according to a new study. Scientists have found evidence in computer simulations for a possible abrupt change in the Sahel, a region long characterized by aridity and political instability. In the study, just published in the journal Earth System Dynamics, the authors detected a self-amplifying… read more

by |July 5, 2017
Photo Credit: Leo Douglas

Students Design Communications Plan for Conservation Organization

Students in the MPA Environmental Science and Policy program consulted with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to create a strategic communications plan, raising awareness of elephant and rhino conservation efforts.

by |May 23, 2017

Student Writing Project Exposes NYC’s Illegal Ivory Trade

For a term project, Wendy Hapgood, MSSM ’16, investigated the possible illegal sale of ivory at shops in Manhattan. She found evidence for the largest ivory bust in New York state history.

by |March 29, 2017

Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork: 2017 and Beyond

On every continent and ocean, Earth Institute field researchers are studying the dynamics of climate, geology, natural hazards, ecology and other subjects with direct applications to the challenges facing humanity.

by |March 6, 2017