climate change

Scouring Arctic for Traces of Fukushima and Cosmic Rays

Sounds like the basis for a great scifi thriller…”scientists scour Arctic, hunting for traces of nuclear fallout and ejections from cosmic ray impacts”. In reality this thriller theme is the actual core of the GEOTRACES mission.

New Orleans on Sept. 7, 2005. Neighborhoods and highways throughout the area remained flooded as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Photo: Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA

Public Health and Climate Change in the Gulf Region

The U.S. Gulf Coast has already felt the lasting effects of extreme weather on public health and infrastructure, and a new study says things could get worse with climate change.

by |August 21, 2015
George_Caleb_Bingham_-_Boatmen_on_the_Missouri_-_Google_Art_Project

Learning from a River’s History to Prepare for the Future

Researchers from eight universities, including Columbia University, are using tree ring and glacier analysis to reconstruct the climate history of the Missouri River Basin in order to give policymakers and water managers better decision-making tools to manage the river.

by |August 17, 2015
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What the World Thinks of Climate Change

We all know that climate change can generate great debate in the United States. But what about the rest of the world?

by |July 27, 2015
Iceberg off Antarctica. Photo: NOAA

A Dire Warning on Rapid Climate Change

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.

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
Sorghum is a vital crop for some 500 million people in Africa and Asia, but may be vulnerable to climate change. (Courtesy Jesse Lasky)

How Genomics Can Help Famine-Prone Nations Weather Climate Change

A team of biologists and agronomists has identified genomic signatures in plants indicating they are resilient to stresses such as drought or toxic soils. The multi-year study, expected to help developing-world farmers, was done with sorghum, one of the world’s most common crops.

by |July 8, 2015
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An Algorithm to Investigate Unwelcome Plankton

Computer scientists at Columbia University will work with oceanographers to understand what has caused an unusual plankton-like species to rapidly invade the Arabian Sea food chain, threatening fisheries that sustain more than 100 million people.

by |July 7, 2015
Photo: Jason Farrar

The Pope’s Challenge on Climate Change

Pope Francis’s broad-ranging encyclical warns that we are destroying our common home and face an immense and urgent challenge to protect it. But it goes far beyond just the subject of climate change, calling for a holistic and sustainable future.

by |June 30, 2015
A Glacier on the Antarctic Peninsula. Photo: Margie Turrin.

Antarctica’s Retreating Ice

While the ice sheets on West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula are usually the ones to make the news in relation to climate change, recent studies have documented transformations that are taking place on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet as well. On the continent as a whole, large areas of ice have already melted and this trend shows no sign of slowing, meaning the implications for global sea level rise in this century could be more dramatic than earlier projections anticipated.

by |June 30, 2015