State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Middle East

  • Photo Essay: High Desert, Deep Earth

    Photo Essay: High Desert, Deep Earth

    In the Arabian peninsula nation of Oman, geologists are studying the Hajar mountains–a range containing rocks that have been thrust up from the deep earth. Accessible to humans in only a few places on earth, these kinds of rocks offer clues to the planet’s deep history–and possible ways that natural processes may be harnessed to…

  • Ancient Rocks, Modern Purpose

    Ancient Rocks, Modern Purpose

    The desert sultanate of Oman is home to some of the weirdest—and possibly most useful—rocks on earth. The stark Hajar mountains, near the border with Saudi Arabia, contain a chunk of earth’s mantle—a zone that makes up most of earth’s mass, but normally lies inaccessible to humans, far below the surface. Here, though, a sliver…

  • The Environment as a Tool for Peace in the Middle East

    The Environment as a Tool for Peace in the Middle East

    Understanding the Middle East conflict is not an easy task, and adding an environmental component to the puzzle doesn’t make it any easier. Students in the Regional Environmental Sustainability in the Middle East program, having gone through 16 days of an 18-day trip to the region, now see clearly how complex the issues actually are.…

  • Unpacking Preconceptions

    Unpacking Preconceptions

    After a late arrival in Amman, Jordan on Sunday night, students in the Regional Environmental Sustainability in the Middle East program hit the ground running on Monday morning. An orientation at the Columbia University Middle East Center was followed by presentations at the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature office.

  • Singing the Blues About Water Scarcity

    Singing the Blues About Water Scarcity

    Otis Redding sang “you don’t miss your water ’til your well runs dry” in 1965 about pining for a lost love. Last week, Climate and Society founder and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory scientist Mark Cane reprised it with a much different, more literal focus: water scarcity in the 21st century.

  • Water, Oil, Food – A Crisis for Saudi Arabia and the World

    Water, Oil, Food – A Crisis for Saudi Arabia and the World

    A water crisis is unfolding in Saudi Arabia that could have profound implications for both the Saudi people and for the rest of the world.

  • Parched for Peace: The Fertile Crescent Might Be Barren

    Parched for Peace: The Fertile Crescent Might Be Barren

    This past October, the Levant Desalination Association and Nosstia, an organization of expat Syrian scientists, arranged a conference in the capital city of Damascus to discuss Syria’s water crisis.

  • Parched for Peace: A Slight Digression, Just for Kicks

    Parched for Peace: A Slight Digression, Just for Kicks

    Yesterday, FIFA announced that the 2022 World Cup would be held in Qatar, the first Middle Eastern country ever chosen to host the tournament.

  • Water, Another Crisis for Iraq

    In a place like Iraq, our attention is on the big issues, and we might forget that life also goes on for regular people. They need to grow crops and wash dishes and make tea. For many people in the country, those mundane things can be every bit as big an issue. If you don’t…

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

  • Photo Essay: High Desert, Deep Earth

    Photo Essay: High Desert, Deep Earth

    In the Arabian peninsula nation of Oman, geologists are studying the Hajar mountains–a range containing rocks that have been thrust up from the deep earth. Accessible to humans in only a few places on earth, these kinds of rocks offer clues to the planet’s deep history–and possible ways that natural processes may be harnessed to…

  • Ancient Rocks, Modern Purpose

    Ancient Rocks, Modern Purpose

    The desert sultanate of Oman is home to some of the weirdest—and possibly most useful—rocks on earth. The stark Hajar mountains, near the border with Saudi Arabia, contain a chunk of earth’s mantle—a zone that makes up most of earth’s mass, but normally lies inaccessible to humans, far below the surface. Here, though, a sliver…

  • The Environment as a Tool for Peace in the Middle East

    The Environment as a Tool for Peace in the Middle East

    Understanding the Middle East conflict is not an easy task, and adding an environmental component to the puzzle doesn’t make it any easier. Students in the Regional Environmental Sustainability in the Middle East program, having gone through 16 days of an 18-day trip to the region, now see clearly how complex the issues actually are.…

  • Unpacking Preconceptions

    Unpacking Preconceptions

    After a late arrival in Amman, Jordan on Sunday night, students in the Regional Environmental Sustainability in the Middle East program hit the ground running on Monday morning. An orientation at the Columbia University Middle East Center was followed by presentations at the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature office.

  • Singing the Blues About Water Scarcity

    Singing the Blues About Water Scarcity

    Otis Redding sang “you don’t miss your water ’til your well runs dry” in 1965 about pining for a lost love. Last week, Climate and Society founder and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory scientist Mark Cane reprised it with a much different, more literal focus: water scarcity in the 21st century.

  • Water, Oil, Food – A Crisis for Saudi Arabia and the World

    Water, Oil, Food – A Crisis for Saudi Arabia and the World

    A water crisis is unfolding in Saudi Arabia that could have profound implications for both the Saudi people and for the rest of the world.

  • Parched for Peace: The Fertile Crescent Might Be Barren

    Parched for Peace: The Fertile Crescent Might Be Barren

    This past October, the Levant Desalination Association and Nosstia, an organization of expat Syrian scientists, arranged a conference in the capital city of Damascus to discuss Syria’s water crisis.

  • Parched for Peace: A Slight Digression, Just for Kicks

    Parched for Peace: A Slight Digression, Just for Kicks

    Yesterday, FIFA announced that the 2022 World Cup would be held in Qatar, the first Middle Eastern country ever chosen to host the tournament.

  • Water, Another Crisis for Iraq

    In a place like Iraq, our attention is on the big issues, and we might forget that life also goes on for regular people. They need to grow crops and wash dishes and make tea. For many people in the country, those mundane things can be every bit as big an issue. If you don’t…