The Paris Climate Summit: Resources for Journalists

Many experts at Columbia University’s Earth Institute are attending or closely watching the Paris climate summit. These include world authorities on climate science, politics, law, natural resources, national security, health and other fields, who can offer expert analysis to journalists. Here’s a guide to resources that journalists covering the summit can tap.

by |November 13, 2015
The difference in average surface temperatures from 1970-79 (bottom) to 2000-09 (top) due to global warming. Photo: NASA

The Paris Climate Change Conference – What You Need to Know

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, meeting in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, brings together world leaders to craft a new international agreement to keep the average global temperature rise below 2°C by 2100. Here’s what you need to know about it.

by |November 11, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 1.13.00 PM

International Conference on El Niño, Nov. 17-18

A live-streamed international conference on El Niño takes place on Nov. 17 and 18 at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society.

by |November 10, 2015
The drillers insert the larger diameter 4" PVC pipe into the well.  Handling the 10 meter pipe is challenging.

Last Sample and Home

We finished our work at the river transect. Now we had one more sample to collect. Alamgir had arranged for drillers at this new site, but they were delayed because of a knife fight between two villages over some property.

by |October 20, 2015
Thick smoke from El Nino-related fires shrouds the Indonesian islands of Sumatra (left) and Kalimantan (right), September 2015. (NASA)

El Niño: Resources for Journalists

El Niño is earth’s most powerful climate cycle, influencing weather and affecting crops, water supplies and public health globally. What may be the strongest El Niño ever measured is now getting underway, and is already affecting parts of the world.

by |October 19, 2015
A woman weights her child with malnutrition in a clinic in North Darfur. Photo: Albert González Farran, UNAMID

Global Nutrition Report Highlights Role of Climate

Climate change is complicating global efforts to end malnutrition. Even small and seasonal fluctuations in climate can have big impacts on food availability.

by |September 15, 2015
A research vessel plows through the Southern Ocean, who rough waters play an outsize role in absorbing carbon dioxide from the air. (Nicolas Metzl, LOCEAN/IPSL Laboratory)

The Southern Ocean Is Breathing in Carbon Dioxide at a Healthy Rate

“In the last 10 years, we were afraid that the Southern Ocean was going to quit giving us a break from climate change. This study shows that it’s recovered its ability to take up carbon dioxide, and that’s good news.”

by |September 10, 2015
A cluster of towering cumulus clouds off the coast of El Salvador. The photograph was taken on May 31, 2002, from the International Space Station. Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center, at [Photo ID ISS004-E-12656]

Spontaneous Clumping of Tropical Clouds

If you take a look at nearly any satellite image of clouds in the tropics, you’ll notice that the clouds tend to be organized into clusters. One specific type of cloud organization called “self-aggregation.” Self-aggregation is the tendency of tropical clouds to spontaneously clump together, solely due to interactions between the clouds and the surrounding environment.

by |July 23, 2015
Courtesy NASA

Goddard Institute to Aid Search for Life on Distant Worlds

Despite its name, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies has in recent years concentrated on planet Earth–mainly, its widely used computer models used by scientists around the world to measure and predict the impact of greenhouse gases on climate. This week NASA announced that the Earth Institute-affiliated center will also play a leading role in a new initiative to search for life on other planets.

by |April 22, 2015

Photo Essay: Iceland at the Cutting Edge of Climate Change

Iceland has a complicated relationship with climate change. As in much of the far north, global warming is already exerting many effects here–arguably both good and bad. Yet the country contributes relatively little to the warming, since most of its energy comes from geothermal and hydro plants, which produce little carbon dioxide. Now, it is on the scientific cutting edge of the issue.

by |April 13, 2015