State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

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  • Sailing Across the Atlantic In Search of a Solution to Our Plastic Problem

    Sailing Across the Atlantic In Search of a Solution to Our Plastic Problem

    In mid-April, Agustina Besada will embark on a journey to #unplastify the world.

  • The Truth About Bioplastics

    The Truth About Bioplastics

    Plastics made from organic material are often touted as being eco-friendly, but do they live up to the hype?

  • New York’s Waterways Are Swimming in Plastic Microbeads

    New York’s Waterways Are Swimming in Plastic Microbeads

    Plastic microbeads, common in soap, toothpaste and other consumer products, are flooding waters. A team from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is doing the first large-scale assessment of their impact on New York’s waterways.

  • What Happens to All That Plastic?

    What Happens to All That Plastic?

    Americans discard about 33.6 million tons of plastic each year, but only 9.5 percent of it is recycled and 15 percent is combusted in waste-to-energy facilities. What happens to the rest of it?

  • Changing Litterbugs One Wave at a Time

    Changing Litterbugs One Wave at a Time

    As the mid-Pacific trash island grows, forces are at work to change people’s minds about how they may be adding to it.

  • Our Oceans: A Plastic Soup

    Our Oceans: A Plastic Soup

    “Humanity’s plastic footprint is probably more dangerous than its carbon footprint,” said Captain Charles Moore, who, in 1997, discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Its name is misleading because the huge expanse of floating marine debris is actually more like a soup of confetti-sized plastic bits, produced by the runoff of our throwaway lifestyle that…

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

  • Sailing Across the Atlantic In Search of a Solution to Our Plastic Problem

    Sailing Across the Atlantic In Search of a Solution to Our Plastic Problem

    In mid-April, Agustina Besada will embark on a journey to #unplastify the world.

  • The Truth About Bioplastics

    The Truth About Bioplastics

    Plastics made from organic material are often touted as being eco-friendly, but do they live up to the hype?

  • New York’s Waterways Are Swimming in Plastic Microbeads

    New York’s Waterways Are Swimming in Plastic Microbeads

    Plastic microbeads, common in soap, toothpaste and other consumer products, are flooding waters. A team from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is doing the first large-scale assessment of their impact on New York’s waterways.

  • What Happens to All That Plastic?

    What Happens to All That Plastic?

    Americans discard about 33.6 million tons of plastic each year, but only 9.5 percent of it is recycled and 15 percent is combusted in waste-to-energy facilities. What happens to the rest of it?

  • Changing Litterbugs One Wave at a Time

    Changing Litterbugs One Wave at a Time

    As the mid-Pacific trash island grows, forces are at work to change people’s minds about how they may be adding to it.

  • Our Oceans: A Plastic Soup

    Our Oceans: A Plastic Soup

    “Humanity’s plastic footprint is probably more dangerous than its carbon footprint,” said Captain Charles Moore, who, in 1997, discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Its name is misleading because the huge expanse of floating marine debris is actually more like a soup of confetti-sized plastic bits, produced by the runoff of our throwaway lifestyle that…