News from the Columbia Climate School

Category: Natural Disasters64

  • How to Help Haiti Recover

    President Obama has declared that the United States will not forsake Haiti in its moment of agony. Honoring this commitment would be a first for Washington. To prevent a deepening spiral of death, the United States will have to do things differently than in the past. American relief and development institutions do not function properly,…

  • The Haiti Earthquake

    The quake in Haiti came suddenly—but the results were predictable. At the moment it struck, scientists from the Earth Institute and other parts of Columbia University were in Port-au-Prince with a UN-sponsored project assessing how to reduce the nation’s obvious vulnerability to natural disasters. It is clear that the extreme toll came as much from poverty…

  • Reactions to Haiti Earthquake

    Scientists from Columbia University’s Earth Institute and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory have provided some photographs and commented analysis of the earthquake in Haiti.

  • Shaking Out Some Money

    That rumbling you feel is not necessarily a passing subway. New York City and the surrounding region gets a surprising number of small earthquakes, and a 2008 study from the region’s network of seismographs, run by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, suggests that the risk of a damaging one is not negligible. This week, the federal government announced a major upgrade…

  • India: the Impact of the 2009 Monsoon Failure

    This article is the second in a series inspired by the recent Columbia Water Center trip to India During our recent CWC trip to India (during the first three weeks of August) one news story dominated all others: this year’s near total failure of the monsoon.  Many of us in the West don’t really understand what…

  • Mudslides: Forecasting Risk

    Landslides kill thousands of people each year but because they’re often triggered by earthquakes or heavy rains, the danger remains poorly understood. “In densely populated areas, landslides take no prisoners,” said Art Lerner-Lam, a scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.  “They’ll wipe out an entire village at once. Even a small landslide can kill…

  • Suburban Seismology

    Three minor earthquakes struck North Jersey last month. Yes, Jersey. Turns out the state known for its turnpikes and shopping malls also has a major geological landmark: the Ramapo Fault, which crosses into New York and Pennsylvania. “Earthquakes are not unexpected here,” seismologist Won-Young Kim told The New York Times. “It’s just an indication that…

  • What Was That Big Bang?

    Iran seems to be moving toward an atomic bomb; North Korea reportedly could build a half dozen; and terrorist attacks have revived the specter of a faceoff between nuclear-armed Pakistan and India. Yet the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, forbidding  nuclear testing, has failed to win ratification from the U.S. Senate and lawmakers of some other nations. Opponents say scientists cannot reliably detect clandestine tests: Why should…

Science for the Planet: In these short video explainers, discover how scientists and scholars across the Columbia Climate School are working to understand the effects of climate change and help solve the crisis.
  • How to Help Haiti Recover

    President Obama has declared that the United States will not forsake Haiti in its moment of agony. Honoring this commitment would be a first for Washington. To prevent a deepening spiral of death, the United States will have to do things differently than in the past. American relief and development institutions do not function properly,…

  • The Haiti Earthquake

    The quake in Haiti came suddenly—but the results were predictable. At the moment it struck, scientists from the Earth Institute and other parts of Columbia University were in Port-au-Prince with a UN-sponsored project assessing how to reduce the nation’s obvious vulnerability to natural disasters. It is clear that the extreme toll came as much from poverty…

  • Reactions to Haiti Earthquake

    Scientists from Columbia University’s Earth Institute and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory have provided some photographs and commented analysis of the earthquake in Haiti.

  • Shaking Out Some Money

    That rumbling you feel is not necessarily a passing subway. New York City and the surrounding region gets a surprising number of small earthquakes, and a 2008 study from the region’s network of seismographs, run by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, suggests that the risk of a damaging one is not negligible. This week, the federal government announced a major upgrade…

  • India: the Impact of the 2009 Monsoon Failure

    This article is the second in a series inspired by the recent Columbia Water Center trip to India During our recent CWC trip to India (during the first three weeks of August) one news story dominated all others: this year’s near total failure of the monsoon.  Many of us in the West don’t really understand what…

  • Mudslides: Forecasting Risk

    Landslides kill thousands of people each year but because they’re often triggered by earthquakes or heavy rains, the danger remains poorly understood. “In densely populated areas, landslides take no prisoners,” said Art Lerner-Lam, a scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.  “They’ll wipe out an entire village at once. Even a small landslide can kill…

  • Suburban Seismology

    Three minor earthquakes struck North Jersey last month. Yes, Jersey. Turns out the state known for its turnpikes and shopping malls also has a major geological landmark: the Ramapo Fault, which crosses into New York and Pennsylvania. “Earthquakes are not unexpected here,” seismologist Won-Young Kim told The New York Times. “It’s just an indication that…

  • What Was That Big Bang?

    Iran seems to be moving toward an atomic bomb; North Korea reportedly could build a half dozen; and terrorist attacks have revived the specter of a faceoff between nuclear-armed Pakistan and India. Yet the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, forbidding  nuclear testing, has failed to win ratification from the U.S. Senate and lawmakers of some other nations. Opponents say scientists cannot reliably detect clandestine tests: Why should…