State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

drought8

  • East Africa Drought Is “Exceptional”

    East Africa Drought Is “Exceptional”

    Climate scientist Simon Mason talks about the drought and the role of climate information in disaster preparedness and response.

  • Natural Disasters: The Upside

    Natural Disasters: The Upside

    Floods, volcanoes, earthquakes–really, very little good news comes out of this sort of thing. Maybe the occasional feel-good story about, say, a child miraculously dug from the rubble days later, tired but unharmed and in good spirits, having survived on a cache of crackers and Coke. Actually, says John Mutter, an Earth Institute professor of sustainability studies, disasters can sometimes…

  • Health Risks From Famine Likely to Persist

    Health Risks From Famine Likely to Persist

    Video Short: IRI’s Madeleine Thomson discusses the short- and long-term health risks of the East Africa famine

  • Asia’s Motown Meets Waterworld–The Global Water Supply Chain Crisis

    Asia’s Motown Meets Waterworld–The Global Water Supply Chain Crisis

    Since July, an almost unceasing torrent of rain has soaked Thailand, flooding farms, roads, factories, and finally Bangkok itself, a city of some 12 million people; so far at least 500 people have died. To date the government has ordered evacuations of 12 of the city’s 50 districts, even as water continues to creep through…

  • Sprouting Trees From the Underground Forest — A Simple Way to Fight Desertification and Climate Change

    Sprouting Trees From the Underground Forest — A Simple Way to Fight Desertification and Climate Change

    Beginning in Niger in the 1980s, Tony Rinaudo, an African aid missionary, began working with farmers to develop a new approach to reforesting degraded landscape. The practice he developed involved selective pruning of shrub shoots to a main stem, which was then pruned of its lower leaves and branches. Within a few years, new woodlands…

  • Using Tree Rings to Understand and Protect New York’s Water

    Using Tree Rings to Understand and Protect New York’s Water

    The upper Delaware River Basin System is one of the largest water supply systems for the city of New York. Today our understanding and management of these reservoir systems is based on the short historical records of data, which are limited. Scientists need to find a way to look further into the past. One of…

  • Welcome Back, La Niña

    Welcome Back, La Niña

    The components of La Niña are getting ready to tango. But will their performance break any climate records this time around?

  • Hybrid Climate Data for East Africa

    Hybrid Climate Data for East Africa

    In our latest video interview, climate scientist Tufa Dinku talks about his work on combining weather station data with satellite information to generate high-resolution data sets. These data could be used for making more accurate forecasts and can feed into other climate risk management activities, such as early-warning systems. With funding from Google.org, Dinku and…

  • Climate Underpinnings of East Africa Drought

    Climate Underpinnings of East Africa Drought

    Watch a video interview of climate scientist Brad Lyon on the conditions leading up to the ongoing drought in East Africa. He says there’s a chance of La Niña forming later in the year, which could have devastating consequences for a region already plagued by widespread famine.

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

  • East Africa Drought Is “Exceptional”

    East Africa Drought Is “Exceptional”

    Climate scientist Simon Mason talks about the drought and the role of climate information in disaster preparedness and response.

  • Natural Disasters: The Upside

    Natural Disasters: The Upside

    Floods, volcanoes, earthquakes–really, very little good news comes out of this sort of thing. Maybe the occasional feel-good story about, say, a child miraculously dug from the rubble days later, tired but unharmed and in good spirits, having survived on a cache of crackers and Coke. Actually, says John Mutter, an Earth Institute professor of sustainability studies, disasters can sometimes…

  • Health Risks From Famine Likely to Persist

    Health Risks From Famine Likely to Persist

    Video Short: IRI’s Madeleine Thomson discusses the short- and long-term health risks of the East Africa famine

  • Asia’s Motown Meets Waterworld–The Global Water Supply Chain Crisis

    Asia’s Motown Meets Waterworld–The Global Water Supply Chain Crisis

    Since July, an almost unceasing torrent of rain has soaked Thailand, flooding farms, roads, factories, and finally Bangkok itself, a city of some 12 million people; so far at least 500 people have died. To date the government has ordered evacuations of 12 of the city’s 50 districts, even as water continues to creep through…

  • Sprouting Trees From the Underground Forest — A Simple Way to Fight Desertification and Climate Change

    Sprouting Trees From the Underground Forest — A Simple Way to Fight Desertification and Climate Change

    Beginning in Niger in the 1980s, Tony Rinaudo, an African aid missionary, began working with farmers to develop a new approach to reforesting degraded landscape. The practice he developed involved selective pruning of shrub shoots to a main stem, which was then pruned of its lower leaves and branches. Within a few years, new woodlands…

  • Using Tree Rings to Understand and Protect New York’s Water

    Using Tree Rings to Understand and Protect New York’s Water

    The upper Delaware River Basin System is one of the largest water supply systems for the city of New York. Today our understanding and management of these reservoir systems is based on the short historical records of data, which are limited. Scientists need to find a way to look further into the past. One of…

  • Welcome Back, La Niña

    Welcome Back, La Niña

    The components of La Niña are getting ready to tango. But will their performance break any climate records this time around?

  • Hybrid Climate Data for East Africa

    Hybrid Climate Data for East Africa

    In our latest video interview, climate scientist Tufa Dinku talks about his work on combining weather station data with satellite information to generate high-resolution data sets. These data could be used for making more accurate forecasts and can feed into other climate risk management activities, such as early-warning systems. With funding from Google.org, Dinku and…

  • Climate Underpinnings of East Africa Drought

    Climate Underpinnings of East Africa Drought

    Watch a video interview of climate scientist Brad Lyon on the conditions leading up to the ongoing drought in East Africa. He says there’s a chance of La Niña forming later in the year, which could have devastating consequences for a region already plagued by widespread famine.