State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Jordan River

  • In Biblical Land, Searching for Droughts Past and Future

    In Biblical Land, Searching for Droughts Past and Future

    Human-influenced climate warming has already reduced rainfall and increased evaporation in the Mideast, worsening water shortages. Up to now, climate scientists had projected that rainfall could decline another 20 percent by 2100. But the Dead Sea cores suggest that things could become much worse, much faster.

  • Photo Essay: The Dead Sea, Living Waters and Megadrought

    Photo Essay: The Dead Sea, Living Waters and Megadrought

    Thousands of years before Biblical times, during a period when temperatures were unusually high, the lands around the Dead Sea now occupied by Israel, Jordan and surrounding nations suffered megadroughts far worse than any recorded by humans. Warming climate now threatens to return such conditions to this already hard-pressed region.

  • How to Wrap Your Head Around Dead Sea Rehabilitation

    How to Wrap Your Head Around Dead Sea Rehabilitation

    The Dead Sea has been receding at an average rate of 1 meter per year. How can this important historic, cultural and environmental landmark be rehabilitated in one of the world’s driest regions while improving water access for Israel, Palestine and Jordan?

  • Study Ecology Abroad: Jordan and Brazil SEE-U

    Study Ecology Abroad: Jordan and Brazil SEE-U

    Now is the time to apply by the next rolling admissions deadline for the Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability’s Summer Ecosystem Experiences for Undergraduates study abroad program.

  • The Dead Sea Dilemma – Part II

    My prior post about the “The Dead Sea Dilemma” summarized the current condition of the Dead Sea and the ecological value of the region. In this post I will briefly describe two solutions that have been suggested. The Red Sea to Dead Sea Water Conveyance project – a conduit to transport water from the Red…

  • The Dead Sea Dilemma – Part I

    There is one thing that people do agree on in the Middle East – the Dead Sea needs help. Its surface level is dropping by an average of three feet a year and the shoreline has retreated more than a mile in some locations. Over the past 50 years, the surface area of the Sea…

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

  • In Biblical Land, Searching for Droughts Past and Future

    In Biblical Land, Searching for Droughts Past and Future

    Human-influenced climate warming has already reduced rainfall and increased evaporation in the Mideast, worsening water shortages. Up to now, climate scientists had projected that rainfall could decline another 20 percent by 2100. But the Dead Sea cores suggest that things could become much worse, much faster.

  • Photo Essay: The Dead Sea, Living Waters and Megadrought

    Photo Essay: The Dead Sea, Living Waters and Megadrought

    Thousands of years before Biblical times, during a period when temperatures were unusually high, the lands around the Dead Sea now occupied by Israel, Jordan and surrounding nations suffered megadroughts far worse than any recorded by humans. Warming climate now threatens to return such conditions to this already hard-pressed region.

  • How to Wrap Your Head Around Dead Sea Rehabilitation

    How to Wrap Your Head Around Dead Sea Rehabilitation

    The Dead Sea has been receding at an average rate of 1 meter per year. How can this important historic, cultural and environmental landmark be rehabilitated in one of the world’s driest regions while improving water access for Israel, Palestine and Jordan?

  • Study Ecology Abroad: Jordan and Brazil SEE-U

    Study Ecology Abroad: Jordan and Brazil SEE-U

    Now is the time to apply by the next rolling admissions deadline for the Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability’s Summer Ecosystem Experiences for Undergraduates study abroad program.

  • The Dead Sea Dilemma – Part II

    My prior post about the “The Dead Sea Dilemma” summarized the current condition of the Dead Sea and the ecological value of the region. In this post I will briefly describe two solutions that have been suggested. The Red Sea to Dead Sea Water Conveyance project – a conduit to transport water from the Red…

  • The Dead Sea Dilemma – Part I

    There is one thing that people do agree on in the Middle East – the Dead Sea needs help. Its surface level is dropping by an average of three feet a year and the shoreline has retreated more than a mile in some locations. Over the past 50 years, the surface area of the Sea…