State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

plant evolution

  • How Did Africa’s Grasslands Get Started?

    How Did Africa’s Grasslands Get Started?

    Millions of years ago, vegetation across much of the world underwent a transformation as grasses with a new way of doing photosynthesis displaced previously dominant plants, shrubs and trees. A new study examines what got these plants started, and why they spread so far and wide.

  • How Australia Got Planted

    How Australia Got Planted

    A new study has uncovered when and why the native vegetation that today dominates much of Australia first expanded across the continent.

  • Study Finds Genetic Clues to How Plants Adapt to Climate

    Study Finds Genetic Clues to How Plants Adapt to Climate

    Using supercomputers to analyze hundreds of thousands of genetic markers, scientists say they have found how a common weed uses its genetic code to adapt to changes in its environment such as cold and drought. The findings could help develop crops that are more adaptable to climate change.

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

  • How Did Africa’s Grasslands Get Started?

    How Did Africa’s Grasslands Get Started?

    Millions of years ago, vegetation across much of the world underwent a transformation as grasses with a new way of doing photosynthesis displaced previously dominant plants, shrubs and trees. A new study examines what got these plants started, and why they spread so far and wide.

  • How Australia Got Planted

    How Australia Got Planted

    A new study has uncovered when and why the native vegetation that today dominates much of Australia first expanded across the continent.

  • Study Finds Genetic Clues to How Plants Adapt to Climate

    Study Finds Genetic Clues to How Plants Adapt to Climate

    Using supercomputers to analyze hundreds of thousands of genetic markers, scientists say they have found how a common weed uses its genetic code to adapt to changes in its environment such as cold and drought. The findings could help develop crops that are more adaptable to climate change.