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.
In a groundbreaking agreement, Consolidated Edison, one of New York’s major utility companies, will incorporate plans to protect the power system from the effects of climate change as part of a new multi-year rate plan.
Dust blowing onto the oceans can help algae grow and pull CO2 out of the atmosphere. It influences the radiative balance of the planet by reflecting sunlight away. Scientists want to know what role this plays in the coming and going of the ice ages, and how it affects our climate.
Last year was one of the warmest on record, according to analyses of global temperature data by NASA and NOAA. Both federal agencies placed 2013 among the top 10 warmest years since records began in 1880, continuing a longer-term trend of global warming.
Superstorm Sandy expert Adam Sobel is getting ready to launch a new initiative on extreme weather, thanks to a €250,000 two-year AXA Award in Climate and Extreme Weather he has just received from the AXA Research Fund.
People’s views on climate seem easily swayed, or in some cases manipulated, by daily weather. In a new study, researchers drilled into what goes on in people’s minds when they respond to these smaller-scale stimuli.
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.
Understanding the climate history of Mono Lake will help scientists understand the future impact of climate change. This is no esoteric question for Los Angeles, which depends in part on Mono Lake’s watershed for drinking water, green lawns, agriculture and industry.
The Sahara wasn’t always a desert. Trees and grasslands dominated the landscape from roughly 10,000 to 5,000 years ago. Then, abruptly, the climate changed. A study by Lamont-Doherty’s Peter deMenocal says it took just a few hundred years to happen.
“One of the ways that climate change is going to manifest is through warmer temperatures. … What we are seeing, in line with our projections, is that even if you assume constant precipitation, the temperature effects are so large that it is going to dry things out. This is going to have really big impacts on soil moisture, reservoirs and stream flow for irrigation and drinking water. The availability of water is going to decline into the future, and the challenge is adjusting for that, and what that means for agriculture and development.”