State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

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Why Nature Is Good for Us: An Illustrated and Animated Guide

Written by Sarah Fecht; Illustrated by Sunghee Kim; Animated by Jeremy Hinsdale. View a text transcript or printable pdf of this infographic.

The Science of Why Nature and Parks Are Good for Us

Earth Day is a time to celebrate the natural world. Not only does nature have intrinsic value, but it also does a lot of work that can make our lives easier. Plus, as beings that evolved in wild environments, we are just hard-wired to enjoy it — the sights, sounds, and smells of nature can improve our mood and benefit our mental and physical health. Scroll through the illustration below to learn more. And as you celebrate Earth Day, consider taking a few moments to enjoy nature in one way or another — by visiting your local park, spending some time in the garden, repotting an indoor plant, or even just listening to nature sounds to relax.

To help advance our work, please consider supporting Columbia Climate School and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory today. You can also learn more on our Earth Day website.

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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