featured story Archives - State of the Planet

plastic

What Do We Do About Plastics?

We need local policies to encourage better waste management, more recycling and less use of plastics in the first place.

by |April 23, 2018

North American Coasts Are Absorbing Large Amounts of Carbon

Coastal waters play an important role in the carbon cycle by absorbing carbon into sediments or transferring it to the open ocean, a new study confirms.

by |April 13, 2018

The 100th Meridian, Where the Great Plains Begin, May Be Shifting

Two new papers find that the line that divides the moist East and arid West is edging eastward due to climate change—and the implications for farming and other pursuits could be huge.

by |April 11, 2018
Vernagtferner glacier

The Culture and History of Glaciers in the Alps

Why did Europe’s “cursed” glaciers begin retreating in the 1850’s even though the climate record suggests they should have advanced for another 50 years?

by |April 2, 2018

Photo Essay: The Re-Greening of Puerto Rico

Researchers survey the damage to Puerto Rico’s forests in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

by |March 22, 2018
people live on a raft in Bangladesh's Jamuna River

Climate Migrants Will Soon Shift Populations of Many Countries, Says World Bank

If emissions of greenhouse gases remain high, as many as 143 million “internal migrants” might move within their own countries by 2050.

by |March 19, 2018

Researchers Map High Levels of Drugs in the Hudson River

In a new study, researchers have mapped out a large variety of discarded pharmaceuticals dissolved throughout the Hudson River. They say that in some places, levels may be high enough to potentially affect aquatic life.

by |February 19, 2018
writing notes with pen

Free Workshop on Writing Blogs and Op-Eds

Taught by New York Times contributor and Columbia professor Claudia Dreifus, the March 3 workshop is open to Earth Institute students, faculty, and alumni.

by |January 29, 2018
flat earth map

What Would Happen if the Earth Were Actually Flat?

You could say goodbye to the atmosphere and GPS navigation, to start.

by |January 24, 2018
sunset in antarctica

Reflections from Antarctica: A Landscape in Flux

Working as an Antarctic field scientist, I witnessed the destruction provoked by a rapidly warming planet. But I also found inspiration.

by |January 16, 2018