State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Climate266

  • Giving new meaning to the word “hybrid”

    Last week, we learned that the Obama EPA will conclude that carbon dioxide is an air pollutant as defined by the Clean Air Act (CAA).  But a so-called endangerment finding on CO2 won’t lead to comprehensive CAA regulation, as I argued a few posts ago. Rather, the Obama administration will use the CAA as a…

  • La Niña Conditions to Continue?

    According to Tony Barnston of the IRI, the La Niña conditions which began in December are likely to continue until mid-March. Click on the graph below for a better look at the probabilistic forecast. As mentioned in an earlier post, La Niña events are characterized by unusually cold sea surface temperatures (SST) in the central…

  • Oil sands on Obama’s Canada agenda

    President Obama visits Canada today, and climate change is expected to be on the agenda. In Canada, the big issue is the development of the Albertan oil sands, which promise greater energy independence from the Middle East (a longtime U.S. goal) but also greater emissions as a result of the energy-intensive process of extracting oil from…

  • Watch out GHGs: the Clean Air Act is coming to get you!

    It took two years and a new administration, but the EPA is finally going to formally consider regulating carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act. In the 2007 case Massachusetts v. EPA, the Supreme Court held that the Clean Air Act (CAA) was capable of regulating CO2 and ordered the EPA to give good reasons…

  • When will we see a sea level rise of three feet?

    Recently, the Columbia Climate Center had the chance to participate in an event aiming to improve public awareness on climate change.  On the weekend of the 6th and 7th of February, the CCC had a table in the Polar Fair in the International Polar Weekend at the American Museum of Natural History. It was a…

  • Interdisciplinary Work: Big Challenge, But Not Impossible

    Health professionals, epidemiologists, health management workers and health policymakers are increasingly concerned about the potential impact that climate variability and climate change could have on public health. However, many public health professionals are not yet aware of the ways in which climate information can help them manage the impacts of climate on their work. At…

  • Arctic Sea Ice in a Warmer Climate

    Dr. Jennifer Kay, a post doc at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), was  at Lamont recently to give a talk entitled “Mechanisms for Recent Sea Loss.” Kay’s talk offered a detailed explanation of recent sea loss in the Arctic, including the all-time low experienced in 2007. Kay also outlined mechanisms that may have…

  • Low-cost water management in Ethiopia

    Water capture and storage for irrigation has been an ongoing theme of research in Columbia’s earth and environmental engineering department, but Professor Upmanu Lall has recently taken things a step further. With funding from the Pulitzer family, Lall challenged a group of students in his senior engineering course to design a low-cost system of water…

  • McKinsey’s New GHG Abatement Curve

    McKinsey & Company has just released a new study outlining the potential costs of climate change mitigation. The report, which revises work originally published in 2007, evaluates 200 greenhouse gas abatement opportunities across 10 sectors and 21 world regions. It concludes that greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 35-40% below 1990 levels by 2030 are achievable…

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

  • Giving new meaning to the word “hybrid”

    Last week, we learned that the Obama EPA will conclude that carbon dioxide is an air pollutant as defined by the Clean Air Act (CAA).  But a so-called endangerment finding on CO2 won’t lead to comprehensive CAA regulation, as I argued a few posts ago. Rather, the Obama administration will use the CAA as a…

  • La Niña Conditions to Continue?

    According to Tony Barnston of the IRI, the La Niña conditions which began in December are likely to continue until mid-March. Click on the graph below for a better look at the probabilistic forecast. As mentioned in an earlier post, La Niña events are characterized by unusually cold sea surface temperatures (SST) in the central…

  • Oil sands on Obama’s Canada agenda

    President Obama visits Canada today, and climate change is expected to be on the agenda. In Canada, the big issue is the development of the Albertan oil sands, which promise greater energy independence from the Middle East (a longtime U.S. goal) but also greater emissions as a result of the energy-intensive process of extracting oil from…

  • Watch out GHGs: the Clean Air Act is coming to get you!

    It took two years and a new administration, but the EPA is finally going to formally consider regulating carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act. In the 2007 case Massachusetts v. EPA, the Supreme Court held that the Clean Air Act (CAA) was capable of regulating CO2 and ordered the EPA to give good reasons…

  • When will we see a sea level rise of three feet?

    Recently, the Columbia Climate Center had the chance to participate in an event aiming to improve public awareness on climate change.  On the weekend of the 6th and 7th of February, the CCC had a table in the Polar Fair in the International Polar Weekend at the American Museum of Natural History. It was a…

  • Interdisciplinary Work: Big Challenge, But Not Impossible

    Health professionals, epidemiologists, health management workers and health policymakers are increasingly concerned about the potential impact that climate variability and climate change could have on public health. However, many public health professionals are not yet aware of the ways in which climate information can help them manage the impacts of climate on their work. At…

  • Arctic Sea Ice in a Warmer Climate

    Dr. Jennifer Kay, a post doc at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), was  at Lamont recently to give a talk entitled “Mechanisms for Recent Sea Loss.” Kay’s talk offered a detailed explanation of recent sea loss in the Arctic, including the all-time low experienced in 2007. Kay also outlined mechanisms that may have…

  • Low-cost water management in Ethiopia

    Water capture and storage for irrigation has been an ongoing theme of research in Columbia’s earth and environmental engineering department, but Professor Upmanu Lall has recently taken things a step further. With funding from the Pulitzer family, Lall challenged a group of students in his senior engineering course to design a low-cost system of water…

  • McKinsey’s New GHG Abatement Curve

    McKinsey & Company has just released a new study outlining the potential costs of climate change mitigation. The report, which revises work originally published in 2007, evaluates 200 greenhouse gas abatement opportunities across 10 sectors and 21 world regions. It concludes that greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 35-40% below 1990 levels by 2030 are achievable…