Environment

From left, Leon Billings, Edmund Muskie and Tom Jorling.

Leon Billings, Tom Jorling and the Origins of U.S. Environmental Law

If you had the experience of hearing Leon Billings teach and tell stories, it is hard to believe his voice is no longer with us. He was a great American and an important figure in American environmental history.

by |November 21, 2016
Near the arctic circle in northern Alaska, forests begin giving way to tundra. as cold air, frozen soils and lack of sunlight squeeze out trees. Researchers are investigating how warming climate may affect the ecology of this boundary. (All photos: Kevin Krajick) CLICK TO VIEW A SLIDESHOW

Where Trees Meet Tundra, Decoding Signals of Climate Change

In northern Alaska’s Brooks Range, the earth as most of us know it comes to an end. The northern tree line-a boundary that circles all of earth’s northern landmasses for more than 8,300 miles, and forms the planet’s biggest ecological transition zone–runs through here. Scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are studying how climate may change it, and the tundra beyond.

by |November 16, 2016
New York City Photo: Daniel Schwen

Cities: the Vanguard Against Climate Change

Cities are leading the fight against climate change. Here’s what some of the most forward-looking ones are doing.

by |November 10, 2016
Due to global warming the polar bear's habitat has changed drastically. Photo: Gerard Van der Leun

Climate Week: Why Does It Matter?

Climate Week NYC 2016, Sept. 19 to 35, features over 70 events bringing together business, societal and government leaders to share ideas, technologies, resources and success stories that are helping to curb climate change and transition to a low-carbon society.

by |September 15, 2016
SDGs logos together

4th International Sustainable Development Conference Coming up

The world is working on sustainable development. And many of the new ideas and innovations being applied to fields from agriculture and food security to climate adaptation to socially inclusive economic growth will be on display at the fourth annual International Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held at Columbia University Sept. 21-22.

by |September 8, 2016
Change in footprint 1993-2009. Hotter colors indicate more change. Greens indicate decrease. (Venter et al., 2016)

The (Somewhat Less Fast) Growing Human Footprint

The human footprint continues to expand, with three quarters of earth’s land surface now experiencing measurable pressures from buildings, roads, crops, pastures and other human structures and activities, according to a new report. But the report also finds an encouraging trend: In recent years, growth in the footprint has lagged far behind population and economic growth.

by |August 23, 2016
ShiraYashphe

Veterinarian Joins MPA-ESP to Work for Wildlife Conservation

“Reading of species after species declared extinct, like the west African black rhinoceros, made me realize that if I ever want to take part in wildlife conservation efforts, the time to take action and to take part in conservation efforts is now.”

by |August 1, 2016
Trump_&_Clinton

Trump vs. Clinton: What the Election Could Mean for Climate Policy

The outcome of this year’s presidential election could have far-reaching implications for the fate of our planet because the two presumptive candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, have very different ideas about climate change. What will they do about the Paris accord and climate change?

by |May 18, 2016
The Leafsnap app helps users identify trees from photographs of leaves—an example of a growing number of science and environment-related apps.

Citizen Science, Smartphone Apps and a $10,000 Prize

If you think you can combine an interest in the environment with a little savvy about smartphone apps, listen up. You could win $10,000.

by |April 20, 2016
Jhohora Akhter, 30, of Iruain village, draws water from the family well, which is contaminated with arsenic. Jhohora’s mother Jahanara Begum died of arsenic-related health conditions. Her father suffers from diabetes, an illness associated with chronic arsenic exposure. Her brother Ruhul Amin also suffers arsenic-related health conditions. Photo: © 2016 Atish Saha for Human Rights Watch

Report Charges ‘Nepotism and Neglect’ on Bangladesh Arsenic Poisoning

Two decades after arsenic was found to be contaminating drinking water across Bangladesh, tens of millions of people are still exposed to the deadly chemical. Now a new report from the group Human Rights Watch charges that the Bangladesh government “is failing to adequately respond” to the issue, and that political favoritism and neglect have corrupted the government’s efforts.

by |April 7, 2016