research Archives - State of the Planet

fishing village in sierra leone

Building Resiliency in Sierra Leone’s Fishing Communities

Coastal communities in Sierra Leone face threats from climate change, overfishing, and erosion. A new vulnerability assessment helps to pinpoint solutions.

by |October 15, 2018

Researchers Say an 1800s Global Famine Could Happen Again

The Global Famine was one of the worst humanitarian disasters in history, killing as many people as World War II. A new analysis suggests it could happen again, only worse because of climate change.

by |October 12, 2018

The Melting of the Greenland Ice, Seen Up Very Close

A small team of scientists ventures out onto the Greenland ice sheet to study the forces large and small that are accelerating the melting of the world’s second-largest ice mass.

by |October 1, 2018
sea wall

When Is a Sea Wall a Good Idea?

Scientists at Columbia’s Earth Institute are using simulations to test how well different methods protect coastal areas from hurricanes and sea level rise.

by |September 13, 2018

Rooting Out the Errors in Climate Models To Better Predict Hurricanes

By enhancing climate models, a project will help to improve forecasts of intense hurricanes like Hurricane Florence.

by |September 13, 2018
Map of Colombia’s mining operations

End of Colombia Conflict May Bring New Threats to Ecosystems

The end of a 52-year internal conflict could spell trouble for the second most biodiverse country in the world. A new study outlines a sustainable path forward.

by |September 12, 2018
Pangolin

Pangolins and the Consumers of Wildlife Trafficking

Earth Institute postdoc Nandini Velho writes about consumers of illegal wildlife products, including the obscure but heavily trafficked pangolin.

by |September 6, 2018

Using Artificial Intelligence To Locate Risky Dams

In the U.S., some 2,000 high hazard dams are in need of repairs. A project from the Columbia Water Center is helping to identify the most hazardous ones.

by |August 23, 2018

A Milestone for Forecasting Earthquake Hazards

In a new study, researchers report that their physics-based model of California earthquake hazards replicated estimates from the state’s leading statistical model.

by |August 22, 2018

Lead Is Poisoning Children on U.S. Military Bases, Says Report

An extensive investigation by the Reuters news agency has found that many children living on U.S. military bases may be exposed to hazardous levels of lead in decaying family housing.

by |August 21, 2018