State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Richard Seager Sees Hand of Climate Change in Drought

California’s wet and snowy winter brought welcome relief from a years-long drought that has challenged the state’s water supply and agricultural system. But climate scientist Richard Seager of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory offers words of caution: Remember what happened, because it will happen again. Beyond the variable climate that historically has brought wet and dry years to the American Southwest, Seager’s and others’ research shows a larger trend emerging. Human induced climate change is altering the system, pushing the region into a warmer and drier climate that will see longer and more severe droughts down the road. Seager, Palisades Geophysical Institute/Lamont Research Professor, is dedicated to understanding why that is happening.

This video is one in a series exploring people at the Earth Institute, what they do, and why they do it. For more in the series, look here.

Video production by the Columbia News video team.

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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