State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

fresh water

  • Five Things the Energy Transition Can’t Do Without

    Five Things the Energy Transition Can’t Do Without

    Achieving the energy transition will take money, minerals, land, water, and skilled labor. Will we have enough of each?

  • A 1,000 Year Drought is Hitting the West. Could Desalination Be a Solution?

    A 1,000 Year Drought is Hitting the West. Could Desalination Be a Solution?

    Filtering salt out of water is used in many parts of the world that deal with severe drought, but it can come with its own set of problems.

  • As Climate Warms, Plants May Demand More Water, Cutting Supplies for People

    As Climate Warms, Plants May Demand More Water, Cutting Supplies for People

    New study challenges many climate scientists’ expectations that plants will make much of the world wetter in the future.

  • Scientists Map Huge Undersea Fresh-Water Aquifer Off U.S. Northeast

    Scientists Map Huge Undersea Fresh-Water Aquifer Off U.S. Northeast

    In a new survey of the sub-seafloor off the U.S. Northeast coast, scientists have made a surprising discovery: a gigantic aquifer of relatively fresh water trapped in porous sediments lying below the salty ocean.

  • Drought: A Wide-Angle Picture

    Drought: A Wide-Angle Picture

    A new book, the second in a series of primers with the Earth Institute imprint, provides an interdisciplinary overview drought, bringing together many fields including climate science, hydrology and ecology.

  • How Road Salt Harms the Environment

    How Road Salt Harms the Environment

    Recent research indicates that salt is accumulating in the environment and poses an emerging threat both to ecosystems and human health.

  • Researchers Map High Levels of Drugs in the Hudson River

    Researchers Map High Levels of Drugs in the Hudson River

    In a new study, researchers have mapped out a large variety of discarded pharmaceuticals dissolved throughout the Hudson River. They say that in some places, levels may be high enough to potentially affect aquatic life.

  • Keeping our Freshwater Fresh: Ecosystem Management Tools

    Keeping our Freshwater Fresh: Ecosystem Management Tools

    We have been harming our hard-earned water resources; is it too late to clean up our act? With the help of the nine principles of ecology we can work towards effectively and sustainably managing these ecosystems, which will help us preserve the quality of New York’s freshwater resources and maintain our high quality drinking water.

  • Have We Crossed the 9 Planetary Boundaries?

    Have We Crossed the 9 Planetary Boundaries?

    “The world needs to awaken itself to the looming catastrophe of global warming,” said Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, at a recent meeting in Muscat. “We must provide a safe operating space where vested interest and lobby-driven policies will not see the world marching into disaster.”

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

  • Five Things the Energy Transition Can’t Do Without

    Five Things the Energy Transition Can’t Do Without

    Achieving the energy transition will take money, minerals, land, water, and skilled labor. Will we have enough of each?

  • A 1,000 Year Drought is Hitting the West. Could Desalination Be a Solution?

    A 1,000 Year Drought is Hitting the West. Could Desalination Be a Solution?

    Filtering salt out of water is used in many parts of the world that deal with severe drought, but it can come with its own set of problems.

  • As Climate Warms, Plants May Demand More Water, Cutting Supplies for People

    As Climate Warms, Plants May Demand More Water, Cutting Supplies for People

    New study challenges many climate scientists’ expectations that plants will make much of the world wetter in the future.

  • Scientists Map Huge Undersea Fresh-Water Aquifer Off U.S. Northeast

    Scientists Map Huge Undersea Fresh-Water Aquifer Off U.S. Northeast

    In a new survey of the sub-seafloor off the U.S. Northeast coast, scientists have made a surprising discovery: a gigantic aquifer of relatively fresh water trapped in porous sediments lying below the salty ocean.

  • Drought: A Wide-Angle Picture

    Drought: A Wide-Angle Picture

    A new book, the second in a series of primers with the Earth Institute imprint, provides an interdisciplinary overview drought, bringing together many fields including climate science, hydrology and ecology.

  • How Road Salt Harms the Environment

    How Road Salt Harms the Environment

    Recent research indicates that salt is accumulating in the environment and poses an emerging threat both to ecosystems and human health.

  • Researchers Map High Levels of Drugs in the Hudson River

    Researchers Map High Levels of Drugs in the Hudson River

    In a new study, researchers have mapped out a large variety of discarded pharmaceuticals dissolved throughout the Hudson River. They say that in some places, levels may be high enough to potentially affect aquatic life.

  • Keeping our Freshwater Fresh: Ecosystem Management Tools

    Keeping our Freshwater Fresh: Ecosystem Management Tools

    We have been harming our hard-earned water resources; is it too late to clean up our act? With the help of the nine principles of ecology we can work towards effectively and sustainably managing these ecosystems, which will help us preserve the quality of New York’s freshwater resources and maintain our high quality drinking water.

  • Have We Crossed the 9 Planetary Boundaries?

    Have We Crossed the 9 Planetary Boundaries?

    “The world needs to awaken itself to the looming catastrophe of global warming,” said Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, at a recent meeting in Muscat. “We must provide a safe operating space where vested interest and lobby-driven policies will not see the world marching into disaster.”