Climate Science

Farmers break into small groups to collect information about traditional indicators. Photo: Catherine Pomposi

Forecasting Climate, with Help from the Baobab Tree

To improve climate forecasts, scientists study the complex interactions and mechanisms within the climate system. But they also need to hear from potential users of climate information, such as farmers, to get a better understanding of how people may use that information in their decision making.

by |June 21, 2016
Dog ticks (left) and black legged or deer ticks (right). The latter spread Lyme disease in the eastern United States. Climate variability can influence the spread of Lyme and other vector-borne diseases. Photo: Jim Occi

The Connection Between Climate and Public Health

International Research Institute for Climate and Society and the Mailman School of Public Health will hold a two-day meeting to talk about how climate influences issues of public health, from heat waves to infectious diseases. The event will be livestreamed, and you also can follow it on Twitter at #healthclimate2016.

by |June 1, 2016
Groundwater pumping for agriculture and other uses has risen sharply. But a new study says it isn't contributing as much as previously thought to sea level rise.

Study Downgrades Groundwater Contribution to Sea Level Rise

Some research suggests that, along with melting ice sheets and glaciers, the water pumped from underground for irrigation and other uses, on the rise worldwide, could contribute substantially to rising sea levels over the next 50 years. A new study published in Nature Climate Change says the magnitude is substantially lower.

by |May 3, 2016
Natural coastal features like wetlands and sand dunes may be able to adjust somewhat to sea-level rise. (Kevin Krajick)

Where Will Sea-Level Rise Hurt the Most?

A study out yesterday says that the lives of up to 13 million people in the United States may be disrupted by sea-level rise in the next century. But another study says that while much hard infrastructure like houses, piers, seawalls and roads may have to be kissed goodbye, some 70 percent of natural landforms along the Northeast Coast may be able to adjust themselves, and not suffer inundation.

by |March 15, 2016
In a soaking rain, Pederson eyeballs a plot through an angle gauge, a forester’s tool for estimating forest density and species composition.

Photo Essay: High in the Hills, Climate May Challenge Forests

Forests in the south-central United States are some of the country’s most productive and diverse. They also sit in a warming “hole”—an area where the progressive rise in temperature affecting most of the continent hasn’t yet taken hold. A team from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is studying how these forests might shift—or even disappear—when climate change does catch up with them, as expected.

by |March 15, 2016
Antarctica viewed from space. Image: NASA

Pump Meltwater Back on Antarctica? Do You Have 850,000 Wind Turbines?

A new study that looked at the feasibility of lowering sea levels by pumping water onto icy Antarctica offers a warning about the costs today’s greenhouse gas emissions may be creating for future generations.

by |March 10, 2016
A rendering of the Climate City entrance Hall. ©Agence d’Architecture A. Béchu

Scientists Prepare ‘Climate City’ for Take-Off

Sometime soon, a flock of “Climate Birds” could be ascending from a former NATO base in northeast France to take the measure of climate change around the world.

by |March 9, 2016
Duhamel snip from video

In a Vast Ocean, Studying Impact of the Tiniest Creatures

Vast portions of the oceans contain low levels of the nutrients that normally sustain life. Yet these areas are not devoid of life. Once thought to be biological deserts, recent research has shown that such nutrient-poor marine systems could significantly contribute to the amount of carbon dioxide that is trapped into the deep ocean, influencing Earth’s climate.

by |March 3, 2016
Untitled

Climate May Make Some Regions ‘Uninhabitable’ by End of Century

The global trend toward hotter summers could make parts of the Middle East and tropics “practically uninhabitable” by the end of the century, new research published this week contends.

by |March 2, 2016
A new model will help coastal planners prepare for sea level rise this century, with the knowledge that this century is only the beginning of thousands of years of changes. Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Service

A New Tool for Coastal Planners Preparing for Sea Level Rise

Globally, the tool estimates at least 11 inches of sea level rise this century with ambitious efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions and as much as 52 inches if greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow unchecked.

by |February 22, 2016