Climate Science Archives - State of the Planet

heat map of world

In Continuation of Trend, 2017 Was Second Warmest Year on Record

Earth’s global surface temperatures in 2017 ranked as the second warmest since 1880, according to an analysis by NASA released today.

by |January 18, 2018

Rivers Predicted to Jump Banks More Often as World Warms

Rainfall changes caused by global warming will increase river flooding risks across the globe by the 2040s, says a new study.

by |January 10, 2018

Humidity May Prove Breaking Point for Some Areas as Temperatures Rise, Says Study

A new study projects that in coming decades the effects of high humidity in many areas may surpass humans’ ability to work or, in some cases, even survive.

by |December 22, 2017
antarctic ice shelves

Tiny Losses of Ice at Antarctica’s Fringes May Hasten Declines in Interior

A new study shows that even minor deterioration of ice shelves can instantaneously hasten the decline of ice hundreds of miles landward.

by |December 11, 2017
A researcher investigates a channel in the Greenland ice

The Greenland Ice Sheet Is Sponging Up Meltwater

As climate warms, the surface of the Greenland ice sheet is melting, and all that meltwater ends up in seasonal rivers that flow to the sea. At least that is what scientists have assumed until now. A new study has shown that some of the meltwater is actually being soaked into porous subsurface ice and held there, at least temporarily.

by |December 8, 2017

American Geophysical Union 2017: Key Events From the Earth Institute

A chronological guide to key talks and other events presented by Columbia University’s Earth Institute at the American Geophysical Union 2017 meeting. 

by |December 4, 2017

Where Is All That Carbon Dioxide Going?

Concurrent with the announcement that human carbon emissions reached a new peak this year, Galen McKinley, a researcher at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, discusses the difficulties of tracking the sources and destinations of carbon dioxide.

by |November 13, 2017
heat maps of United States from national climate assessment

National Climate Report: Q&A With Authors

Every four years Congress is provided with a state-of-the-art report on the impacts of climate change on the United States. The next National Climate Assessment is scheduled for 2018, but its scientific findings are scheduled to be published today. Here, two of its authors explain what to expect.

by |November 3, 2017

Giant Boulders on Bahamas Coast Are Evidence of Ancient Storms and Sea Level, Says Study

A new study says that storms of intensities seen today, combined with a few meters increase in sea level, were enough to transport coastal boulders weighing hundreds of tons more than 100,000 year ago.

by |November 1, 2017

In Biblical Land, Searching for Droughts Past and Future

Human-influenced climate warming has already reduced rainfall and increased evaporation in the Mideast, worsening water shortages. Up to now, climate scientists had projected that rainfall could decline another 20 percent by 2100. But the Dead Sea cores suggest that things could become much worse, much faster.

by |October 31, 2017