Tag: North America

How Much Arsenic is Too Little?

by | 8.29.2014 at 10:12am
drinking water

Five hundred utilities in the U.S. provide drinking water with unsafe levels of arsenic, the Environmental Protection Agency says. But how many people are getting too much arsenic in their water is much less clear, according to a study conducted in part by the Columbia Water Center.

US Groundwater Declines More Widespread Than Commonly Thought

by | 3.17.2014 at 9:00pm | 3 Comments
groundwatermap

Groundwater levels are dropping across a much wider swath of the United States than is generally discussed, according to a new report, suggesting that the nation’s long-term pattern of groundwater use is broadly unsustainable.

Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork: 2014 and Beyond

by | 2.25.2014 at 12:50pm
fieldguide feature pic crop3

Earth Institute field researchers study the planet on every continent and ocean. Projects are aimed at understanding the fundamental dynamics of climate, geology, ecology, human history and more. Here is a partial list of upcoming expeditions.

2013 Ranks in Top 10 Warmest Years

by | 1.22.2014 at 3:57pm
NOAA-NASA top 10 warm years

Last year was one of the warmest on record, according to analyses of global temperature data by NASA and NOAA. Both federal agencies placed 2013 among the top 10 warmest years since records began in 1880, continuing a longer-term trend of global warming.

Why Do We Run Hot and Cold on Climate Change?

by | 1.12.2014 at 1:00pm
A chart posted by Climate Central shows a declining trend for cold nights in New York City since 1970.

People’s views on climate seem easily swayed, or in some cases manipulated, by daily weather. In a new study, researchers drilled into what goes on in people’s minds when they respond to these smaller-scale stimuli.

Climate Change and the Future of Mono Lake

by | 12.6.2013 at 5:04pm | 2 Comments
Mono Lake, Guleed Ali, geology

Understanding the climate history of Mono Lake will help scientists understand the future impact of climate change. This is no esoteric question for Los Angeles, which depends in part on Mono Lake’s watershed for drinking water, green lawns, agriculture and industry.

The End of Cheap Water?

by | 10.15.2013 at 11:34am | 4 Comments
tampabaydesal

Americans are paying more for water than they did a decade ago, even as water utilities fall into debt and water infrastructure deteriorates, according to a Columbia Water Center report.

Q&A: Climate Change, Drought and the Future

by | 8.23.2013 at 2:19pm
Lake Powell, NASA Earth Observatory

“One of the ways that climate change is going to manifest is through warmer temperatures. … What we are seeing, in line with our projections, is that even if you assume constant precipitation, the temperature effects are so large that it is going to dry things out. This is going to have really big impacts on soil moisture, reservoirs and stream flow for irrigation and drinking water. The availability of water is going to decline into the future, and the challenge is adjusting for that, and what that means for agriculture and development.”

Charting the Course to a Renewable Energy Future

by | 7.30.2013 at 10:18am
The largest photovoltaic power plant in the United States at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The plant occupies 170 acres and has a 15 megawatt capacity.

As environmentalists have pushed for greater investment in wind and solar energy, critics have insisted that renewable sources of power could never provide more than a fraction of world energy demand. Evidence is mounting, however, that the critics are wrong.

Chasing Tornadoes: A Close Call with a Deadly Storm

by | 6.19.2013 at 11:54am | 2 Comments
Beneath the Beast: A large EF-5 wedge tornado near El Reno, OK. The tornado had the distinction of being the widest recorded, with EF1 winds to a diameter of 2.6 miles. Sadly, the storm took four storm chasers’ lives.

Tornadoes are rare at any one location, but out of anywhere in the United States, the central Oklahoma area has the greatest risk—and this day would prove no exception.