Climate and Agriculture Archives - State of the Planet

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
heat maps of United States

National Climate Report: Q&A With Authors

Every four years Congress is provided with a state-of-the-art report on the impacts of climate change on the United States. The next National Climate Assessment is scheduled for 2018, but its scientific findings are scheduled to be published today. Here, two of its authors explain what to expect.

by |November 3, 2017

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

Photo Essay: Climate Change, Sea Level and the Vikings

A thousand years ago, powerful Viking chieftans flourished in Norway’s Lofoten Islands, above the Arctic Circle. In an environment frequently hovering on the edge of survivability, small shifts in climate or sea level could mean life or death. People had to constantly adapt, making their living from the land and the sea as best they could.

by |September 26, 2017

What the Vikings Can Teach Us About Adapting to Climate Change

The rise of the Vikings was not a sudden event, but part of a long continuum of human development in the harsh conditions of northern Scandinavia. How did the Vikings make a living over the long term, and what might have influenced their brief florescence? Today, their experiences may provide a kind of object lesson on how changing climate can affect civilizations.

by |September 26, 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

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

Side Trip to Hiron Point, Sundarbans

After helping Chris an Dan with soil salinity and reflectance measurement, Humayun, Liz and I moved onto the smaller M.B. Mewl to sail through the Sundarban Mangrove Forest to service our GPS station at Hiron Point.

by |January 31, 2017

Back to Bangladesh to Date Earthquakes and More

I’m back in Bangladesh with a small team after a year and a half away. One different is a police escort as a result of the attacks last year. We start by successfully sampling river sediments to correct the date of an earthquake that caused a river to shift over 3,500 years ago. We also will be fixing broken equipment, visiting the ever changing rivers and hopefully meeting with the public and government officials about the earthquake hazard.

by |January 27, 2017

Climate Week: Why Does It Matter?

Climate Week NYC 2016, Sept. 19 to 35, features over 70 events bringing together business, societal and government leaders to share ideas, technologies, resources and success stories that are helping to curb climate change and transition to a low-carbon society.

by |September 15, 2016