Climate Science

Bahamas, hurricanes

Hurricane Histories and Carbon Mysteries

The Bahamas might be a vacation destination for most people. But for us, they represent an excellent site to study several different questions about past, present and future climates.

by |June 5, 2015
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Forecast Sees a Stronger El Niño

El Niño is back, and it looks like it will be getting stronger. While it’s difficult to predict the impact precisely, El Niño can alter patterns of drought and rainfall around the world.

by |May 28, 2015
Increases in westward-blowing winds over the Pacific Ocean are thought to be pushing great masses of water--and heat--through the Indonesian straits, into the Indian Ocean.

Global Warming’s ‘Missing’ Heat: It May Be in the Indian Ocean

Since the late 1990s, global warming has stabilized, even as greenhouse gases have risen. That defies simple models that say the temperature should keep going up. A team of oceanographers now says they know where the missing heat has gone.

by |May 20, 2015
Amazon River Delta Courtesy NASA, Johnson Space Center

A Climate Battle Cry for Earth Day

A group of 17 renowned scientists from around the world are appealing for dramatic action to forestall the worst effects of climate change, issuing an “Earth Statement” that calls for a world powered with zero carbon emissions by mid-century.

by |April 22, 2015
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Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate Kick-Off

This week marks the launch of the new Columbia Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate, a cross-disciplinary collaboration between a variety of centers, research groups and individuals from across Columbia University. The Initiative, led by Adam Sobel, kicked off on Monday evening with a World Leaders Forum panel event in Low Library. Panelists discussed a wide range of science and policy topics related to extreme weather, showing the interdisciplinary nature of the new Initiative.

by |February 25, 2015
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Webcast Tonight: Focus on Extreme Weather

The Columbia Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate brings together experts across the university to integrate research into the physical science of these events with research on their impacts on human society and engineering solutions. The initiative kicks off this evening with a panel discussion, “Preparing for Extreme Weather: Global Lessons from Sandy,” from 6-7:30 p.m. Watch the live webcast.

by |February 23, 2015
NPCC's updated flood risk map

Report Forecasts Worsening Climate Hazards for Region

A new report gives a worrisome picture of climate-related problems the New York region will likely face this century. Temperatures are projected to rise, extreme precipitation and heat waves will be more frequent, and sea level could rise as much as 6 feet.

by |February 17, 2015
West Antarctica NASA Michael Studinger

Ice Loss in West Antarctic is Speeding Up

Glaciers in one part of West Antarctica are melting at triple the rate of a decade ago and have become the most significant contributor to sea level rise in that region, a new study says. The study found that the glaciers in the Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica have shrunk by an average of 83 gigatons a year for two decades—the equivalent of the weight of Mount Everest every two years.

by |December 5, 2014
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AGU 2014: Key Events from The Earth Institute

Scientists at Columbia University’s Earth Institute will present important talks at the Dec. 15-19 meeting of the American Geophysical Union, the world’s largest gathering of earth and space scientists. Here is a journalists’ guide in rough chronological order.

by |December 3, 2014
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Why are Past Surface Temperatures and CO2 Concentrations Important?

By burning fossil fuels for heating, electricity, transportation and other purposes, humans add CO2 to the atmosphere. Yet, by comparing ways in which the Earth’s temperature, CO2 concentration, sea level and ice sheets have changed in the past, we are able to learn valuable lessons about the climate system of today and tomorrow.

by |November 26, 2014