A recent study finds that West Antarctica’s ecosystem is highly correlated to its climate. As a result, climate change will have a negative impact on its ecological relationships, from plankton to penguins. Antarctica isn’t alone – climate change will also affect tropical ocean ecosystems by causing mass coral bleaching.
I learned about the coral reef ecology course in Bermuda offered through the Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability (EICES) at Columbia University after developing an interest in marine science over the past year. My background is in newspaper journalism, but I’m now a communications professional at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), devoted to promoting the great work of our scientists around the globe, including those in marine conservation. My supervisors and peers encouraged me to seize the opportunity to take the class since continuing education is something that’s valued at WCS.
On June 2, President Obama announced the most significant climate plan in history. The plan, if enacted as stands, seeks to cut carbon emissions on a state-by-state basis, while giving the states almost limitless freedom on how to do so, as long as they adhere to EPA guidelines. Historic it may be, but is it enough to have a real impact on our rapidly changing climate?
Google has introduced a brand new type of driverless car that runs on electricity: one without a steering wheel, brake, or accelerator pedal.
In the summer of 1969, legendary folk musician and activist Pete Seeger headed a grassroots campaign to clean up the polluted Hudson River. At the heart of that campaign was a replica of a 200-year-old sailing ship– the sloop Clearwater. Nearly 50 years later, Clearwater remains an emblem of environmental reform. But with Seeger’s death at age 94 this past January, what will become of his cause?
Should Ozgur Sahin, associate professor of biological sciences and physics of Columbia University, continue expanding upon his work in researching how the tiny movements of microbes can be harnessed to create electrical and mechanical energy, it may pave the way for a world fueled by bacterial spores.
Coral reefs, some of the planet’s most beautiful and biodiverse ecosystems, face many natural and anthropogenic threats. Tremendous effort has gone into protecting and rehabilitating these reefs worldwide, but the mounting problem of ocean acidification has the potential to obliterate all progress made by marine scientists, conservationists, and policy-makers thus far.
Author Andrew Winston will explore “the mega challenges of climate change, scarcity, and radical transparency that threaten our ability to run an expanding global economy and that are profoundly changing business as usual.” He will provide cause for optimism as he profiles leaders in the business community who are bringing value to society and positioning themselves to capture the unprecedented opportunities that will emerge in responding to these challenges. These individuals and companies, and others to come, will be “the winners of this new game who will profit mightily.”
Forests are a vitally important habitat for much of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. During this class you will learn key issues in forest ecology and management through an all-day field trip to Black Rock Forest, and study how pathogens and other invasive species affect forest structure and function.
Are we willing to compromise deep sea ecosystems and biodiversity for prodigious amounts of mineral materials? Will deep sea mining have the largest footprint of any single human activity on the planet? The race is on to create more progressive, environmental regulations concerning deep sea mining, but much more scientific research is still necessary to understand how to best regulate these ecosystems.