State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

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  • Splicing the Role of Genetics in Conservation

    Splicing the Role of Genetics in Conservation

    Genetics hold the secret to understanding evolutionary processes. They also hold the secret to how ecological and climatic factors influence the course of evolution. In fact, recent research—ranging in topics from butterfly speciation to the genetic diversity of immune systems in giant pandas—has found that genetics play a vital role in the outcome of conservation…

  • Spring Courses in Conservation, Ecology & Policy

    Spring Courses in Conservation, Ecology & Policy

    The Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability (EICES) at Columbia University provides executive training in environmental sustainability through courses in science, economics and policy. We invite you to join our leading experts and practitioners, strengthen your understanding of human-ecosystem interactions, and become an effective environmental leader and decision-maker.

  • Scientists Discover New Species of Monkey

    Scientists Discover New Species of Monkey

    In a gigantic and remote rainforest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a team of scientists have discovered a new species of Old World monkey known as the “Lesula.”

  • The Evolution of The Moral Brain

    The Evolution of The Moral Brain

    Drawing upon the narrative of his new book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, Dr. Jonathan Haidt gave a lecture entitled “The Rationalist Delusion in Moral Psychology,” on April 24, 2012 to members of Teachers College at Columbia University. Dr. Haidt elaborates on his own research in moral and…

  • Fossil Teeth, Traces of Climate & Evolution

    Fossil Teeth, Traces of Climate & Evolution

    From fossil teeth to carbon traces of plants in the soil, scientists are studying how changes in climate may have influenced early human evolution in Africa. Researchers from around the world gathered for a symposium held recently at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Watch the videos.

  • Did the Oceans Influence Human Evolution?

    Did the Oceans Influence Human Evolution?

    Scientists often invoke climate as a possible factor in human evolution; but only recently have they developed the ability to get enough information about past climates and related fossil evidence to see any details. A half-dozen leading paleontologists and climate scientists discussed recent advances in a symposium this week at the annual meeting of the…

  • What Darwin Saw

    What Darwin Saw

    Sir Charles Darwin realized that humanity is interwoven with nature, that all of life is in a state of constant flux. The empowerment of nature, made possible by Darwin’s integration of human life into the whole, and grounded in his lived experience and profound humility, is the foundation of modern ecology.

  • Ecological Succession: Forest Fires to the Ocean Floor

    Ecological Succession: Forest Fires to the Ocean Floor

    A new study reveals that new microbes supplant the active hydrothermal vent’s microbes after the site ceases to produce thermal energy. Though more research is necessary to fully understand the regeneration process in the dormant hydrothermal vents, the study provides an additional platform for ecologists to explore how ecosystems recover from natural unbalances and how…

  • Evolutionary Psychology of Climate Change

    Evolutionary Psychology of Climate Change

    Why haven’t we rallied our collective power to mitigate climate change? Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, argues that human brains evolved to respond to threats that have four features, ones that global warming lack.

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

  • Splicing the Role of Genetics in Conservation

    Splicing the Role of Genetics in Conservation

    Genetics hold the secret to understanding evolutionary processes. They also hold the secret to how ecological and climatic factors influence the course of evolution. In fact, recent research—ranging in topics from butterfly speciation to the genetic diversity of immune systems in giant pandas—has found that genetics play a vital role in the outcome of conservation…

  • Spring Courses in Conservation, Ecology & Policy

    Spring Courses in Conservation, Ecology & Policy

    The Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability (EICES) at Columbia University provides executive training in environmental sustainability through courses in science, economics and policy. We invite you to join our leading experts and practitioners, strengthen your understanding of human-ecosystem interactions, and become an effective environmental leader and decision-maker.

  • Scientists Discover New Species of Monkey

    Scientists Discover New Species of Monkey

    In a gigantic and remote rainforest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a team of scientists have discovered a new species of Old World monkey known as the “Lesula.”

  • The Evolution of The Moral Brain

    The Evolution of The Moral Brain

    Drawing upon the narrative of his new book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, Dr. Jonathan Haidt gave a lecture entitled “The Rationalist Delusion in Moral Psychology,” on April 24, 2012 to members of Teachers College at Columbia University. Dr. Haidt elaborates on his own research in moral and…

  • Fossil Teeth, Traces of Climate & Evolution

    Fossil Teeth, Traces of Climate & Evolution

    From fossil teeth to carbon traces of plants in the soil, scientists are studying how changes in climate may have influenced early human evolution in Africa. Researchers from around the world gathered for a symposium held recently at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Watch the videos.

  • Did the Oceans Influence Human Evolution?

    Did the Oceans Influence Human Evolution?

    Scientists often invoke climate as a possible factor in human evolution; but only recently have they developed the ability to get enough information about past climates and related fossil evidence to see any details. A half-dozen leading paleontologists and climate scientists discussed recent advances in a symposium this week at the annual meeting of the…

  • What Darwin Saw

    What Darwin Saw

    Sir Charles Darwin realized that humanity is interwoven with nature, that all of life is in a state of constant flux. The empowerment of nature, made possible by Darwin’s integration of human life into the whole, and grounded in his lived experience and profound humility, is the foundation of modern ecology.

  • Ecological Succession: Forest Fires to the Ocean Floor

    Ecological Succession: Forest Fires to the Ocean Floor

    A new study reveals that new microbes supplant the active hydrothermal vent’s microbes after the site ceases to produce thermal energy. Though more research is necessary to fully understand the regeneration process in the dormant hydrothermal vents, the study provides an additional platform for ecologists to explore how ecosystems recover from natural unbalances and how…

  • Evolutionary Psychology of Climate Change

    Evolutionary Psychology of Climate Change

    Why haven’t we rallied our collective power to mitigate climate change? Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, argues that human brains evolved to respond to threats that have four features, ones that global warming lack.