Lakis Polycarpou, Author at State of the Planet - Page 4 of 8

Lakis Polycarpou is a professional author and freelance writer. His articles for State of the Planet have covered water scarcity, climate change, drought, flood, food security, supply chains, geopolitics and other topics. Between 2010 and 2016, Lakis worked with the Columbia Water Center to articulate and communicate innovative solutions to global water and climate challenges. He can be contacted at

Recent Posts

The Year of Drought and Flood

It seems that this year the world is experiencing a crisis of both too little water and too much. And while these crises often occur simultaneously in different regions, they also happen in the same places as short, fierce bursts of rain punctuate long dry spells.

by |July 20, 2011

Water Scarcity: A Shared Problem With a World of Solutions

Columbia scientists and affiliates from four continents came together for the first time last week to discuss global water scarcity, present solutions from their own countries, transfer knowledge and present next steps to scale up current projects.

by |July 5, 2011

Can Water Scarcity Bring Down a Government? Yemen Spirals Out of Control

According to The New York Times, Yemen, a nation of 24 million people that sits at the southern and southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, is “on the brink of an economic collapse so dire it could take years to recover.”

by |June 8, 2011

The Uncertainties of Groundwater and Climate in India: An Interview with Chandra Kiran Krishnamurthy

Since he arrived at the Columbia Water Center at its founding in 2008, Chandra Kiran Krishnamurthy has been unswervingly focused on two questions. First, how will groundwater depletion and climate change affect agriculture in India? And given the dire nature of the crisis, what can we do to help people adapt?

by |June 1, 2011

Hitting the Green in Cuba–Again

In a somewhat distressing development, the New York Times reports that the Cuban golf industry will soon be back in business after a 50-year hiatus that started when Fidel Castro first came to power.

by |May 26, 2011

Giving the Earth a Cool Shower–Is Massive Irrigation Hiding the Greenhouse Effect Around the World?

According to research published in Climate Dynamics by Benjamin I. Cook, Michael Puma and Nir Krakauer, it is possible that massive irrigation is masking expected warming trends from Greenhouse Gasses .

by |May 16, 2011

Ohio and Mississippi River Floods in Photos

Heavy rains over the American South and Midwest have deluged the region, causing unprecedented flood damage. View photos of the event from around the web.

by |May 12, 2011

Earth, Water and Sky –A Conversation with Pierre Gentine, a new Columbia Water Center Scientist

Columbia Water Center welcomes Pierre Gentine, Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics at Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, as an affiliate researcher. Pierre’s groundbreaking research on the way soil moisture interacts with the atmosphere has implications for many of CWCs initiatives—from developing more efficient irrigation systems, to water resource management, to understanding floods…. read more

by |May 11, 2011

Here Comes the Flood: The Army Corps Prepares to Blow the Levees to Save Cairo, Illinois

The US Army corps of Engineers is preparing to blow up levees on the Ohio River near Bird’s Point Missouri in order to save the town of Cairo, Illinois.

by |May 2, 2011

The Middle East Dries Up—Another Case Study in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus

As seductive as it is, depleting non-renewable aquifers to grow food is fundamentally unsustainable for the long term, as Saudi Arabia and other nations are finding out. According to a recent article by Lester Brown, in the 1970s the world’s largest oil producer realized it could use oil-drilling technology to tap deep underwater aquifers and—amazingly,… read more

by |April 26, 2011