North America Archives - Page 2 of 14 - State of the Planet

2013 Ranks in Top 10 Warmest 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.

by |January 22, 2014

Why Do We Run Hot and Cold on Climate Change?

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.

by |January 12, 2014
Mono Lake, Guleed Ali, geology

Climate Change and the Future of Mono Lake

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.

by |December 6, 2013

The End of Cheap Water?

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.

by |October 15, 2013
Lake Powell, NASA Earth Observatory

Q&A: Climate Change, Drought and the Future

“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.”

by |August 23, 2013

Charting the Course to a Renewable Energy Future

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.

by |July 30, 2013

Chasing Tornadoes: A Close Call with a Deadly Storm

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.

by |June 19, 2013

The Boom of Hydraulic Fracturing

Experts discuss the rise and boom of unconventional hydrocarbon extraction in the final Sustainable Development Seminar Series of the 2012-2013 academic year.

by |May 22, 2013

Water Risk in Unexpected Places

A new report by the Columbia Water Center, produced with Veolia Water and Growing Blue, could help expose the real nature of water risk–even in places that most people think of as having plenty of water.

by |May 20, 2013
Los Angeles River

Trouble in America’s Water Paradise

America’s strong water infrastructure has been key to its success as a nation. Yet the nation’s continual waste of water and lack of commitment to long-term water investments has halted its progress.

by |April 23, 2013