climate change

When frozen land thaws, the loss of ice in the soil creates landscapes that can be easily eroded. “This study suggests that similar processes occurred during past warming events with important implications for the land-to-ocean permafrost carbon fluxes,” says lead author Tommaso Tesi. Illustration: Tesi, et al. 2016

When Permafrost Melts, What Happens to All That Stored Carbon?

A new study documents evidence of a massive release of carbon from Siberian permafrost as temperatures rose at the end of the last ice age.

by |December 2, 2016
hurricane

Earth Observation Science, Public Policymaking, and the Trump Administration

We do not know enough about our planet and the impact of human technology on its basic systems. It is beyond idiotic to think we can grow our population and consumption this much, this quickly, and have no impact. But it is also foolish to overstate what we know and ask policymakers to invest trillions of dollars on impacts we have not yet seen. Scientists need to be encouraged and funded to present facts, projections and options.

by |November 28, 2016
2

Photo Essay: Where the Trees Meet the Tundra

Due to warming climate and increasing human exploitation, far northern forests and the tundra beyond are undergoing rapid changes. In northern Alaska, scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and other institutions are studying the responses of trees at the very edge of their range.

by |November 16, 2016
Near the arctic circle in northern Alaska, forests begin giving way to tundra. as cold air, frozen soils and lack of sunlight squeeze out trees. Researchers are investigating how warming climate may affect the ecology of this boundary. (All photos: Kevin Krajick) CLICK TO VIEW A SLIDESHOW

Where Trees Meet Tundra, Decoding Signals of Climate Change

In northern Alaska’s Brooks Range, the earth as most of us know it comes to an end. The northern tree line-a boundary that circles all of earth’s northern landmasses for more than 8,300 miles, and forms the planet’s biggest ecological transition zone–runs through here. Scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are studying how climate may change it, and the tundra beyond.

by |November 16, 2016
Donald Trump

Climate Change Under Trump: A Q&A with Michael Gerrard

For those who favor strong action on climate change, the election of Donald Trump is creating plenty of anxiety and concern. Will Trump set our efforts to curb climate change back? How can those who are concerned about climate change best fight back?

by |November 15, 2016
The Antarctic Peninsula has elevation rising 8000 ft. with ice covering the tops of the mountains in thick layers. (Photo M. Turrin)

The Domino Effect

Ice shelves can behave like dominos. When they are lined up and the first one collapses it can cause a rippling effect like dominos. We have seen this with the Larsen Ice Shelves. Named in series, the Larsen A, B and C shelves extended along the northeastern edge of the West Antarctic Peninsula, and covered a large swath of coastline as recently as twenty years ago.

by |November 14, 2016
New York City Photo: Daniel Schwen

Cities: the Vanguard Against Climate Change

Cities are leading the fight against climate change. Here’s what some of the most forward-looking ones are doing.

by |November 10, 2016
ARC cover 2016 crop for feat

How to Prep a City for Climate Change

Cities around the world already have begun responding to climate change, and a new report from the Earth Institute provides a deep analysis about the risks they face and a detailed look at what some cities are doing about it.

by |November 3, 2016
panel 2

Lessons of Climate Resilience in New York City

The Earth Institute hosted a panel focused on how New York City, and other cities like it, can take steps to become stronger and more resilient in the face of climate change.

by |October 24, 2016
megadrought-risk1

Rising Temperatures Load the Dice for Megadrought Risk

As the American Southwest grows hotter, the risk of severe, long-lasting megadroughts rises, passing 90 percent this century if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current pace, a new study from scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory says. Aggressively reducing emissions can cut that risk.

by |October 5, 2016