Columbia Engineering Archives - Page 2 of 3 - State of the Planet

flooding in highway

Penny Wise and Pound Foolish? NYC Budget Cuts Aggravated Flooding and Deaths

When drainage infrastructure isn’t maintained, even modest rainfall events can cause dangerous flooding.

by Yunus Kovankaya, Sara Schwetschenau, and Upmanu Lall |January 6, 2022
A waste-to-energy power plant in Ningbo, China

The U.S. Should Phase Out Landfilling, as China and the E.U. Are Doing

Compared to landfilling, waste-to-energy plants reduce carbon emissions and conserve land. China provides a good example of how waste-to-energy can be expanded.

by Nickolas J. Themelis |May 5, 2021
headshots of 12 students

Meet 12 Columbia Graduates Taking on the Climate Crisis

These students are serious about Earth Day, and doing their part to protect the environment. They are committed to thinking and acting more sustainably.

by |April 16, 2021
Texas Guardsmen assist a motorist stuck on snow and ice during extreme winter weather conditions in Abilene, Texas

How Unprecedented Was the February 2021 Texas Cold Snap?

A look at historical trends shows that extreme cold spells are relatively common during Texas winters. Maybe it’s time to start designing for it.

by James Doss-Gollin, David J Farnham, Upmanu Lall, Vijay Modi |March 16, 2021
brown hills and sparse trees and shrubs

Study Pinpoints Process That Eases Drying in Drylands

Climate change is making drylands drier, but scientists have identified a natural process that helps to ease the loss of surface water in arid areas.

by |January 5, 2021

Some Amazon Regions May Resist Climate-Driven Drying Better Than Thought

New research suggests that trees may handle predicted drier conditions better than current models suggest.

by |November 20, 2020

New Data Suggest COVID-19 Is Shifting the Burden of Energy Costs to Households

Apartment-level electricity use has increased under New York’s stay-at-home order. It could make matters worse for households already struggling economically.

by Christoph J. Meinrenken, Vijay Modi, Kathleen R. McKeown and Patricia J. Culligan |April 21, 2020
Joaquin Phoenix speaking at event

A Greener Red Carpet

In your Oscar speech, don’t just preach sustainability — wear it.

by Carla Cantor |February 7, 2020

Heating Buildings Leaves a Huge Carbon Footprint, But There’s a Fix For It

Researchers within the Earth Institute are working to decarbonize New York City’s heat and hot water.

by |January 15, 2019

Fall Events Provide Hope for Solving Climate Change

In a variety of talks and panels, experts gathered on campus to discuss ideas and technologies that can help us overcome the planet’s biggest environmental challenge.

by |December 7, 2018