Earth Institute field researchers are studying the planet on every continent and ocean. Projects are aimed at understanding the fundamental dynamics of climate, geology, ecology, human history and more. Many deal with practical applications ranging from agriculture and water supplies to petroleum extraction, adapting to climate variability, and natural hazards such as earthquakes and tsunamis. Here is a partial list of upcoming expeditions in rough chronological order, and resources to learn more.
Developing countries are more likely to see a drop in agricultural productivity and increased food prices due to climate change, particularly in tropical regions, according to a set of new studies out this week.
Where does London get its fruit? Where are the “food swamps” in Los Angeles? Where do tomatoes from Spain wind up? Where are the composters in New York City? For lovers of geography, and of the sociology of food, “Food: an atlas” offers lots of informative and curious distraction.
Scientists from Columbia University’s Earth Institute will present important research results and special events at the Dec. 9-13 San Francisco meeting of the American Geophysical Union, the world’s largest gathering of earth and space scientists. Here is a guide in rough chronological order.
The Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development is building a sustainable development program to provide policy support for the government of Myanmar, local NGOs and the donor community, accelerating growth that is both socially inclusive, sustainable and mindful of climate risks and opportunities. This video explains the project.
“Basically, the instinct of civilizations in the past has been to run off a cliff. This time it’s different. We have one global civilization, so we have to be very careful not to run off a cliff.”
Genetically modified foods contain organisms that have had DNA from a non-related species transferred into their genes via biotechnology to imbue them with specific traits. The debate over whether or not they are safe is intensifying as more GM foods show up in our supermarkets, and the movement to label GM food grows.
A new report by the Columbia Water Center, produced with Veolia Water and Growing Blue, could help expose the real nature of water risk–even in places that most people think of as having plenty of water.
Eight hundred years ago, relatively small armies of mounted warriors suddenly exploded outward from the cold, arid high-elevation grasslands of Mongolia and reshaped world geography, culture and history in ways that still resound today. How did they do it?
“This is a mess, and it is a mess that we have not attended to yet,” Earth Institute Director Jeffrey Sachs said at a conference on water security held today at Columbia University. “Humanity is the driver, but we don’t have our hands on the steering wheel very much.”