State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Year in Review: Our Top Stories of 2021

man stands behind solar panels
How much energy could rooftop solar panels provide throughout the world? A new study refines estimates. (Kyu Lee/Columbia Climate School)

What a year it’s been. COVID-19 hasn’t quit, political polarization is growing, and global temperatures continue to climb. But for us, one big bright spot has been the launch of the Columbia Climate School, whose goal is to generate knowledge-based solutions to create a more just and sustainable planet.

As the Earth Institute transitions into the Climate School, State of the Planet has been expanding its coverage to not only include the experts at our centers and programs, but also our fantastic colleagues working on climate and sustainability throughout Columbia University. Below, you’ll find a short roundup of some of our favorite stories and videos of 2021.

Happy holidays, and see you in the new year!

Our Most Visited Posts From 2021

Most Covered In the Media

map of extreme heat exposure
Urban areas are increasingly exposed to extreme heat. View an interactive version of this map. Created by Jeremy Hinsdale/Columbia Climate School

Video Highlights

  • Recordings from our Managed Retreat conference: These talks address a range of scientific, social, policy and governance issues around the process of relocating homes, communities, and planned development away from growing hazards.
  • Columbia Climate School Students Video 2021: The Columbia Climate School’s first class of students share their reasons for enrolling and their dreams for a safer and more just future for people and the planet.

Don’t Miss These Other Important Stories

women writing on paper
Researchers at Columbia’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society are developing tools that allow them to collect data directly from thousands of farmers about the climate disaster risks they face. The data will be used to design better index insurance to protect farmers when disaster strikes. Credit: Daniel Osgood/IRI

Climate Across the University


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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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