State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Ecology70

  • Ruth DeFries – Denning Professor of Sustainable Development; Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology

    What can satellite imagery tell us about the impact of humanity’s transformation of the landscape on climate and ecosystems? A lot, according to Ruth DeFries, ecosystems expert, Denning Professor of Sustainable Development, and professor of ecology, evolution, and environmental biology at Columbia University and the Earth Institute’s Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC). DeFries…

  • ioby.org: Bringing Awareness and Support to Local Environmental Projects

    If you’re anything like me, the effects of climate change and environmental degradation can often seem overwhelming. We can try to reduce our own carbon emissions through actions like taking public transportation and using less electricity, but it’s hard to see the impacts of those actions. What, I sometimes wonder, can I do to help…

  • Swine flu, climate change, and the future of infectious diseases

    Since the first cases of swine flu, or H1N1, were reported in April, public health organizations, governments, media and the general public have spent much time and energy trying to understand and contain the virus. Responses have ranged from the serious (like the WHO’s declaration of a phase 5 pandemic alert) to the ridiculous (like…

  • Operational Coconut Yield Predictions

    The Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka (CRI) has sustained an improved prediction scheme for national coconut production for the last four years. Coconuts are an important source of food and raw materials and also provide income to millions in the tropics. Coconuts are the most important food crop after rice in Sri Lanka and …

  • 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…

  • Lonnie Thompson’s 7,000 Meters of Ice

    I’ve been meaning to blog about Lonnie Thompson’s visit to Lamont last week; I suppose it’s the frigid temperatures here in New York that have kept melting tropical glaciers on my own back burner. For those who don’t know, Lonnie Thompson runs the Ice Core Paleoclimatology Research Group at the Ohio State’s Byrd Polar Research…

  • Biofuels, food security, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity

    Biofuel use is one of the strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that has already been incorporated into policy and regulatory frameworks. However, it has become increasingly evident that biofuel production has unintended consequences that extend beyond national boundaries and beyond the energy sector. Chief among these are concerns for food security. The food…

  • Ruth DeFries – Denning Professor of Sustainable Development; Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology

    What can satellite imagery tell us about the impact of humanity’s transformation of the landscape on climate and ecosystems? A lot, according to Ruth DeFries, ecosystems expert, Denning Professor of Sustainable Development, and professor of ecology, evolution, and environmental biology at Columbia University and the Earth Institute’s Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC). DeFries…

  • ioby.org: Bringing Awareness and Support to Local Environmental Projects

    If you’re anything like me, the effects of climate change and environmental degradation can often seem overwhelming. We can try to reduce our own carbon emissions through actions like taking public transportation and using less electricity, but it’s hard to see the impacts of those actions. What, I sometimes wonder, can I do to help…

  • Swine flu, climate change, and the future of infectious diseases

    Since the first cases of swine flu, or H1N1, were reported in April, public health organizations, governments, media and the general public have spent much time and energy trying to understand and contain the virus. Responses have ranged from the serious (like the WHO’s declaration of a phase 5 pandemic alert) to the ridiculous (like…

  • Operational Coconut Yield Predictions

    The Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka (CRI) has sustained an improved prediction scheme for national coconut production for the last four years. Coconuts are an important source of food and raw materials and also provide income to millions in the tropics. Coconuts are the most important food crop after rice in Sri Lanka and …

  • 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…

  • Lonnie Thompson’s 7,000 Meters of Ice

    I’ve been meaning to blog about Lonnie Thompson’s visit to Lamont last week; I suppose it’s the frigid temperatures here in New York that have kept melting tropical glaciers on my own back burner. For those who don’t know, Lonnie Thompson runs the Ice Core Paleoclimatology Research Group at the Ohio State’s Byrd Polar Research…

  • Biofuels, food security, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity

    Biofuel use is one of the strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that has already been incorporated into policy and regulatory frameworks. However, it has become increasingly evident that biofuel production has unintended consequences that extend beyond national boundaries and beyond the energy sector. Chief among these are concerns for food security. The food…