State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

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  • Photo Essay: Where the Trees Meet the Tundra

    Photo Essay: Where the Trees Meet the Tundra

    Due to warming climate and increasing human exploitation, far northern forests and the tundra beyond are undergoing rapid changes. In northern Alaska, scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and other institutions are studying the responses of trees at the very edge of their range.

  • Where Trees Meet Tundra, Decoding Signals of Climate Change

    Where Trees Meet Tundra, Decoding Signals of Climate Change

    In northern Alaska’s Brooks Range, the earth as most of us know it comes to an end. The northern tree line-a boundary that circles all of earth’s northern landmasses for more than 8,300 miles, and forms the planet’s biggest ecological transition zone–runs through here. Scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are studying how climate…

  • Photo Essay: High in the Hills, Climate May Challenge Forests

    Photo Essay: High in the Hills, Climate May Challenge Forests

    Forests in the south-central United States are some of the country’s most productive and diverse. They also sit in a warming “hole”—an area where the progressive rise in temperature affecting most of the continent hasn’t yet taken hold. A team from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is studying how these forests might shift—or even disappear—when…

  • How Will Shifting Climate Change U.S. Forests?

    How Will Shifting Climate Change U.S. Forests?

    One foggy spring morning just after a hard rain, Park Williams was tromping through the woods deep in Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains. Toiling down a steep slope, he supposedly was keeping a simultaneous eye out for rattlesnakes, copperheads, poison ivy and big old trees. Williams seemed mostly focused on the trees, though; attention to the other…

  • Genetic Modifications You May Not Know About

    Genetic Modifications You May Not Know About

    While much attention is focused on genetically modified foods, fewer people are aware that many other genetically modified organisms and cells are in development. Columbia University’s Shaheed Naeem and Matthew Palmer offer their perspectives.

  • The Pluvial Continues… Has the Long Rain Epoch Begun?

    The Pluvial Continues… Has the Long Rain Epoch Begun?

    Daily comparisons on TV or other media sources are typically based upon recent climate and ignore the past. Dased upon paleo records, the full picture indicates that we are sitting in one of the more unusually wet periods of the last 500 years.

  • Urban Trees Fight CO2 Emissions

    Urban Trees Fight CO2 Emissions

    Trees play a vital role in cleaning air and absorbing carbon dioxide.

  • I’ll Go on a Cross-Date if You Show Me Some Rings

    I’ll Go on a Cross-Date if You Show Me Some Rings

    Ever since I’ve started learning to cross-date tree core samples, I’ve learned I have a type. I prefer my tree cores to be black oaks, middle-aged, with some nice big rings to show me. Alright, fine, I can deal with some smaller rings every now and then. As long as they’re some nice marker rings.…

  • Tree Rings and Teachable Moments

    Tree Rings and Teachable Moments

    Nicole Davi, a postdoctoral scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society and the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, thinks tree rings are an ideal way to motivate students to collect and analyze data as well as to learn about climate change.

Columbia campus skyline with text Columbia Climate School Class Day 2024 - Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations to our Columbia Climate School MA in Climate & Society Class of 2024! Learn about our May 10 Class Day celebration. #ColumbiaClimate2024

  • Photo Essay: Where the Trees Meet the Tundra

    Photo Essay: Where the Trees Meet the Tundra

    Due to warming climate and increasing human exploitation, far northern forests and the tundra beyond are undergoing rapid changes. In northern Alaska, scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and other institutions are studying the responses of trees at the very edge of their range.

  • Where Trees Meet Tundra, Decoding Signals of Climate Change

    Where Trees Meet Tundra, Decoding Signals of Climate Change

    In northern Alaska’s Brooks Range, the earth as most of us know it comes to an end. The northern tree line-a boundary that circles all of earth’s northern landmasses for more than 8,300 miles, and forms the planet’s biggest ecological transition zone–runs through here. Scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are studying how climate…

  • Photo Essay: High in the Hills, Climate May Challenge Forests

    Photo Essay: High in the Hills, Climate May Challenge Forests

    Forests in the south-central United States are some of the country’s most productive and diverse. They also sit in a warming “hole”—an area where the progressive rise in temperature affecting most of the continent hasn’t yet taken hold. A team from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is studying how these forests might shift—or even disappear—when…

  • How Will Shifting Climate Change U.S. Forests?

    How Will Shifting Climate Change U.S. Forests?

    One foggy spring morning just after a hard rain, Park Williams was tromping through the woods deep in Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains. Toiling down a steep slope, he supposedly was keeping a simultaneous eye out for rattlesnakes, copperheads, poison ivy and big old trees. Williams seemed mostly focused on the trees, though; attention to the other…

  • Genetic Modifications You May Not Know About

    Genetic Modifications You May Not Know About

    While much attention is focused on genetically modified foods, fewer people are aware that many other genetically modified organisms and cells are in development. Columbia University’s Shaheed Naeem and Matthew Palmer offer their perspectives.

  • The Pluvial Continues… Has the Long Rain Epoch Begun?

    The Pluvial Continues… Has the Long Rain Epoch Begun?

    Daily comparisons on TV or other media sources are typically based upon recent climate and ignore the past. Dased upon paleo records, the full picture indicates that we are sitting in one of the more unusually wet periods of the last 500 years.

  • Urban Trees Fight CO2 Emissions

    Urban Trees Fight CO2 Emissions

    Trees play a vital role in cleaning air and absorbing carbon dioxide.

  • I’ll Go on a Cross-Date if You Show Me Some Rings

    I’ll Go on a Cross-Date if You Show Me Some Rings

    Ever since I’ve started learning to cross-date tree core samples, I’ve learned I have a type. I prefer my tree cores to be black oaks, middle-aged, with some nice big rings to show me. Alright, fine, I can deal with some smaller rings every now and then. As long as they’re some nice marker rings.…

  • Tree Rings and Teachable Moments

    Tree Rings and Teachable Moments

    Nicole Davi, a postdoctoral scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society and the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, thinks tree rings are an ideal way to motivate students to collect and analyze data as well as to learn about climate change.