climate matters

News from the Columbia Climate Center on the science and impacts of climate change on society as well as environmental public policy analysis.

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.

Mount Everest

Mt. Everest Not Safe from Climate Change

Climate change has many asking if the days of being able to summit the world’s highest peak are numbered.

by |June 12, 2015
Photo niOS

Scientists Speak Out on Climate: Is Anyone Listening?

In the light of recent varied efforts to focus public attention on the risks of climate change, we asked Earth Institute scientists what they want the public to understand about the issue and how they see their roles.

by |April 9, 2014
The future is up to you! Participate now at FutureCoast.org.

FutureCoast: A Voicemail Vision of Climate-to-Be

Melting glaciers, collapsing sea ice, water supplies under stress, increases in storm frequency, impacts on food supply — are we reading a synopsis of the IPCC report or messages from the future delivered through a software glitch? People around the world are posing this question.

by |March 31, 2014
Alpine Oil Field, Alaska

Diminishing Ice Intensifies Spotlight on Arctic

As the arctic region loses ice in a changing climate, the economic and social tradeoffs are unclear. How will we balance economic, social and environmental functions? The Center on Global Energy Policy and the Consulate General of Canada in New York will examine these questions in a discussion on March 26: “Understanding the Arctic Resource Challenge: Canada and U.S. Perspectives.”

by |March 10, 2014
pfirman icetracker

Explore the Arctic Ocean With ‘IceTracker’

This week, we are launching a test of “IceTracker”—a tool that allows users to see the trajectories of Arctic sea ice forward or backward from any day between 1981 and 2012, as well as sea-ice speed, air temperature, water depth and the age of the sea ice.

by |December 10, 2013
Photo: Environmental Protection Agency, United States Government

Obama’s Climate Legacy Depends on EPA’s Gina McCarthy

Due to Congressional gridlock over greenhouse gas regulations, Obama will need the help of new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to pass crucial carbon emission standards.

by |August 8, 2013
The Puclaro Reservoir is at around 10% of it's peak in 2009, indicated by lines on the mountain in the background. The dam is in the distance. Without the reservoir, farmers, mines and other water users have lost one of their key buffers against drought. Francesco Fiondella

Managing Water in a Dry Land

Since 2010, the Earth Institute’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society along with UNESCO and their colleagues in Chile have been working with Elqui’s water authority to help them use seasonal forecasts as way to better allocate water and prepare for droughts.

by |June 17, 2013
Participants in the December 2012 Scaling Up Climate Services for Farmers in Africa and South Asia workshop in Senegal visit farmers in Kaffrine that received climate forecasts for the first time in 2011. Photo by Alexa Jay, CCAFS

Farmers in Senegal Use Forecasts to Combat Climate Risks

Recent trainings in Senegal have improved trust between farmers and researchers, leading to increased use of climate forecasts and other information.

by |May 21, 2013
Arctic Sunset

Measuring the Effect of China’s Arctic Interests

Of non-Arctic states, China has shown the most interest in the Arctic as climate change opens up the region to new economic development. The ways in which China attempts to balance its economic interests and environmental responsibilities within its energy policy may provide a predictor of its future behavior in the Arctic.

by |May 15, 2013