State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Surface Water4

  • Nature’s Toxic Crusaders

    Nature’s Toxic Crusaders

    Can mushrooms help clean up oil spills? Can oysters filter sewage pollution? Industrial waste is being injected into the planet’s soil and water as a result of human activity. Pioneers in the field of conservation and sustainability are employing nature’s own biological task force to help clean up.

  • What’s Holding Water Conservation Back in Rockland County?

    What’s Holding Water Conservation Back in Rockland County?

    Rockland County’s main water provider, United Water NY, wants to build a treatment plant on the Hudson River that would deliver more freshwater to Rockland taps. As the project awaits state approval, a new debate on water consumption has emerged. Should people be encouraged, or even required, to use less? And if so, how?

  • Water, Water Everywhere, But Nary a Drop to Drink

    Water, Water Everywhere, But Nary a Drop to Drink

    It is a unique challenge of our generation that many in the developing world have cellular phones and TVs, but lack reliable access to water. Odd, perhaps, given that water is marketed as essential for life, a human right, and heart rending pictures of women and children walking miles to fetch water are routinely flashed…

  • Hydraulic Fracturing and Food Security: Can We Have Our Cake and Eat it Too?

    Hydraulic Fracturing and Food Security: Can We Have Our Cake and Eat it Too?

    What are the implications of hydraulic fracturing on agriculture and food security? In agricultural areas with widespread, ongoing hydrofracking, there have been incidences of livestock poisoning from contaminated surface water sources or grasses, and soil contamination from explosions, spills, flares, irresponsible fracking-wastewater treatment, and leaky gas pipes.

  • Water and Food Facts for World Water Day

    Water and Food Facts for World Water Day

    March 22 is World Water Day, and its theme this year—water and food security—couldn’t be more pressing. But what do we really know about water—where it goes, what it’s used for, and how to preserve it?

  • The Sundarbans

    The Sundarbans

    After finally reaching the Mongla and our boat, we settled into our new home. It is a similar design, but much larger than the one we used in September. As we ate dinner and explored the ship, it started the overnight journey to the southeastern part of the Sundarbans where the wildlife is most plentiful.…

  • Rivers and the Road

    Rivers and the Road

    We spent a day on the islands (chars) in the Brahmaputra River seeing the geology and talking to the residents. Then after an evening of feasting and dancing in our new Saris and lungis, we hit the road for the trip to the Sundarbans.

  • Facing the Food and Water Challenges of the Future

    Facing the Food and Water Challenges of the Future

    The global population, now 7 billion, is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 and will require 70 percent more food than we are producing today, and much more water for agriculture, drinking and industry. Will we have enough water to meet the demand?

  • Class Trip – to Bangladesh

    Class Trip – to Bangladesh

    To help my students in a class on hazards of Bangladesh better understand the country, I am taking them there to experience Bangladesh for themselves.

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

  • Nature’s Toxic Crusaders

    Nature’s Toxic Crusaders

    Can mushrooms help clean up oil spills? Can oysters filter sewage pollution? Industrial waste is being injected into the planet’s soil and water as a result of human activity. Pioneers in the field of conservation and sustainability are employing nature’s own biological task force to help clean up.

  • What’s Holding Water Conservation Back in Rockland County?

    What’s Holding Water Conservation Back in Rockland County?

    Rockland County’s main water provider, United Water NY, wants to build a treatment plant on the Hudson River that would deliver more freshwater to Rockland taps. As the project awaits state approval, a new debate on water consumption has emerged. Should people be encouraged, or even required, to use less? And if so, how?

  • Water, Water Everywhere, But Nary a Drop to Drink

    Water, Water Everywhere, But Nary a Drop to Drink

    It is a unique challenge of our generation that many in the developing world have cellular phones and TVs, but lack reliable access to water. Odd, perhaps, given that water is marketed as essential for life, a human right, and heart rending pictures of women and children walking miles to fetch water are routinely flashed…

  • Hydraulic Fracturing and Food Security: Can We Have Our Cake and Eat it Too?

    Hydraulic Fracturing and Food Security: Can We Have Our Cake and Eat it Too?

    What are the implications of hydraulic fracturing on agriculture and food security? In agricultural areas with widespread, ongoing hydrofracking, there have been incidences of livestock poisoning from contaminated surface water sources or grasses, and soil contamination from explosions, spills, flares, irresponsible fracking-wastewater treatment, and leaky gas pipes.

  • Water and Food Facts for World Water Day

    Water and Food Facts for World Water Day

    March 22 is World Water Day, and its theme this year—water and food security—couldn’t be more pressing. But what do we really know about water—where it goes, what it’s used for, and how to preserve it?

  • The Sundarbans

    The Sundarbans

    After finally reaching the Mongla and our boat, we settled into our new home. It is a similar design, but much larger than the one we used in September. As we ate dinner and explored the ship, it started the overnight journey to the southeastern part of the Sundarbans where the wildlife is most plentiful.…

  • Rivers and the Road

    Rivers and the Road

    We spent a day on the islands (chars) in the Brahmaputra River seeing the geology and talking to the residents. Then after an evening of feasting and dancing in our new Saris and lungis, we hit the road for the trip to the Sundarbans.

  • Facing the Food and Water Challenges of the Future

    Facing the Food and Water Challenges of the Future

    The global population, now 7 billion, is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 and will require 70 percent more food than we are producing today, and much more water for agriculture, drinking and industry. Will we have enough water to meet the demand?

  • Class Trip – to Bangladesh

    Class Trip – to Bangladesh

    To help my students in a class on hazards of Bangladesh better understand the country, I am taking them there to experience Bangladesh for themselves.