How are the global leaders of tomorrow going to secure renewable sources of energy, solve the problems of water scarcity, and maintain our standard of living – all while improving health, ending poverty, and accommodating a growing population and changing environment? The World Economic Forum, with its commitment to “improving the state of the world,” realizes that future global leaders cannot address these complex challenges without a sound understanding of environmental science and policy, and came to Columbia University to gain these important tools. From July 15-20, 2012, The Earth Institute, the School of the Arts, the School of Continuing Education, and the Mailman School of Public Health welcomed the Global Leadership Fellows from the World Economic Forum.
Watch a slide show featuring ongoing research by scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, whose work around the globe is key to understanding past changes in the oceans and what is going on today.
Though most attention last week focused on the Supreme Court ruling upholding federal reform of the health-care system, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued the most important judicial decision on climate change in five years. That decision upholds the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gases, and it [...]
The 2012 Equator Prizes were awarded to 25 local initiatives from Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Nicaragua, Swaziland and Brazil and elsewhere, for work by local groups toward the advancement of sustainable development solutions.
Population growth is a key contributor to the pressures pushing at our planetary boundaries. In Rio+20 discussions, implications of population growth have become shrouded in platitudes. It is important that discussions on planetary limits clearly lay out possible strategies that can alleviate these pressures.
In an article published in The Lancet, Earth Institute Director Jeffrey Sachs outlines his own ideas for sustainable development goals, and how how these goals can build on the Millennium Development Goals, the UN’s set of targets that aim to reduce extreme poverty and boost social well-being in many other ways by 2015.
An estimated 9 million species of living things inhabit the Earth. But those species are disappearing at an alarming rate, and this loss of biodiversity appears to be a major driver of environmental changes that can affect the biological and chemical processes that humans rely on.
Earth Institute scientists explore how the physical world works on every continent — over and under the arctic ice, in the grasslands of Mongolia, on volcanoes in Patagonia, over subduction zones in Papua New Guinea, and on the streets of New York City.
Our stations have continued to be rich in phytoplankton, while our colleagues are excited by the larval fish they are finding in the southern Bering Sea. Wildlife sightings have included whales, dolphin, and the jawless lamprey fish, and we are settling in for potentially bumpy seas ahead.
Recent analysis by Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisory (DBCCA) in conjunction with the Columbia Climate Center, shows that the existing world climate policies have the potential to substantially reduce CO2 emissions, but are not aggressive enough to meet the suggested 450 ppm stabilization pathways.