Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate

Researchers at the 925-ton boulder called "the bull." (Elisa Casella)

Giant Boulders on Bahamas Coast Are Evidence of Ancient Storms and Sea Level, Says Study

A new study says that storms of intensities seen today, combined with a few meters increase in sea level, were enough to transport coastal boulders weighing hundreds of tons more than 100,000 year ago.

by |November 1, 2017
The city of Mumbai is built right up to the water's edge. Photo by United Nations University in Bonn

Mumbai May Be Vulnerable to Future Hurricanes

If a serious cyclone were to strike Mumbai, the results could be catastrophic, says a study underway at Columbia.

by |October 3, 2017
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What’s in the Forecast and How Do We Know?

The Earth Institute’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society makes probabilistic forecasts for rainfall and temperature for the next six months. How does it do this?

by |July 12, 2017
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Adam Sobel: Preparing for the Next Big Storm

Superstorm Sandy was a wake-up call for a lot of people in New York City, including Adam Sobel, who’s spent more than two decades studying the physics of weather and climate.

by |June 12, 2017
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Richard Seager Sees Hand of Climate Change in Drought

California’s wet and snowy winter brings welcome relief from a years-long drought that has challenged the state’s water supply and agricultural system. But climate scientist Richard Seager of Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory offers words of caution: Remember what happened, because it will happen again.

by |May 29, 2017
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Michelle Ho: In a Land of Plenty, Big Water Problems

Michelle Ho grew up in Australia, the driest inhabited continent, with an appreciation for the value of having a clean glass of water to drink. Now, she conducts research for the Columbia Water Center on America’s water systems.

by |May 1, 2017
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Park Williams Discovers History and Science in a Tree Ring

Park Williams studies trees and climate, in particular the causes of drought and the effects of climate change on forests. In this latest in a series of Earth Institute videos, we spoke to him about what he does, what’s important about it, and how his interest in history and environmental science blended into a career.

by |March 24, 2017
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Forecasting for the In-Between

We can do a good job forecasting the weather for a week or two, and we can settle on what the climate is likely to do season to season, a month to a year into the future. But what about in-between?

by |December 13, 2016
Below the Mesocyclone: The stovepipe tornado stretches down below the structure of the supercell mesocyclone and tornado cyclone. This would go on to become the EF-5, 2.6-mile-wide monster.

Increasing Tornado Outbreaks: Is Climate Change Responsible?

In a paper published in the journal Science, researchers looked at increasing trends in the severity of tornado outbreaks, measured by the number of tornadoes per outbreak. They found that these trends are increasing fastest for the most extreme outbreaks.

by |December 1, 2016
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Lessons of Climate Resilience in New York City

The Earth Institute hosted a panel focused on how New York City, and other cities like it, can take steps to become stronger and more resilient in the face of climate change.

by |October 24, 2016