Climate Science

Polar Bear takes a drink (Photo credit Tim Kenna)

Moving into the Realm of the Polar Bear

When we venture into the Arctic for research for most of us there is the lingering hope that a polar bear will appear on our watch; at least as long as we are safely outside of its reach.

by |August 24, 2015
Scientists documented the first annual tree rings in a native species on Hawai'i in māmane found on the slopes of Mauna Kea. Photo: Scot Nelson/CC-BY-SA-2.0

Tree Rings on Hawai’i Could Hold New Knowledge About El Niño

Annual tree rings are a rare find in the tropical islands of the eastern Pacific. The new discovery of trees with annual rings on a Hawaiian volcano could provide new climate data from a part of the world where much of the variability of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation originates.

by |August 21, 2015
Walrus

Tracing the Arctic

The land surrounding the Arctic Ocean is like a set of cradling arms, holding the ocean and the sea ice in a circular grasp. Within that cradle is a unique mix of waters, including freshwater from melting glacial ice and large rivers, and a salty mix of relatively warm Atlantic water and the cooler Pacific water.

by |August 19, 2015
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The Extreme Pacific Climate Now

The climate over the tropical Pacific is in an extreme state at the moment. That explains some of the extreme anomalies affecting the United States right now. It also gives us a window through which we can glimpse how even more dramatic and long-term climates of the distant past might have worked.

by |July 14, 2015
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