wildfires Archives - State of the Planet

Improving Tools for Predicting Wildfires

During a conference at Columbia University, scientists pinpointed areas where advances in fire prediction can be made within the next decade.

by |October 27, 2017

Rising Temperatures Lead to Increased Fire Risk in Indonesia

A new paper shows that rising temperatures have increased the risk of fires even during non-drought years in Indonesia, possibly making mild fire seasons in the country a thing of the past.

by |May 1, 2017

Disaster Experts: A Journalist’s Guide

An all-purpose guide for journalists covering disasters, natural and manmade.

by |February 14, 2017

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

2015 Indonesia Fires Killed 100,000 People, Says Study

In fall 2015, smoke from agricultural fires in Indonesia blanketed much of equatorial Asia. Schools and businesses closed, planes were grounded and tens of thousands of people sought treatment for respiratory illnesses. In a new study, researchers estimate that the smoke caused upward of 100,000 deaths across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

by |September 19, 2016

Drought and Fire Activity: What’s Climate Change Got to Do with It?

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory scientist Park Williams, recipient of a Center for Climate and Life Fellowship, is investigating the influence of climate change on droughts and wildfires.

by |August 18, 2016

Attributing Extreme Weather to Causes—Including Climate Change

New research and more powerful computer models are advancing scientists’ ability to tease apart the forces that can worsen extreme weather. In a new report, a committee of the National Academy of Sciences that includes Columbia’s Adam Sobel assesses the young field of attribution studies.

Fires on the island of Borneo are visible from space. (Photo: NASA)

Peat Fires Choking Southeast Asia Pose a New Threat to Global Climate

The Indonesian peat fires that have been choking cities across Southeast Asia with a yellow haze are creating more than a local menace—burning peat releases immense stores of CO2, contributing to global warming.

by |November 19, 2015
Map of hazards data points

Mapping Tool Lets Users Pinpoint Hazards Data

The SEDAC Hazards Mapper is designed for disaster risk managers, humanitarian response organizations, public health professionals, journalists and others needing a quick assessment of the potential dangers posed by a major hazardous event or developing emergency.

As Los Angeles Heats Up, Fog Fades

A new study has found that urbanization around coastal Southern California is driving fog away and causing the low clouds, crucial for providing shade and moderating temperatures in summer, to rise. This trend has important implications for ecosystems and cities.

by |March 11, 2015