State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

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  • Students Assess City Greenhouse Gas Reduction Tools

    Students Assess City Greenhouse Gas Reduction Tools

    Students in the Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy (MPA-ESP) program worked this past semester to analyze city-level strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  • The How and Why of Green Building

    The How and Why of Green Building

    Buildings account for almost a third of global greenhouse gas emissions and the U.N. Environment Programme projects that if we continue with business as usual in the building sector, these emissions will double by 2030. Fortunately, green building is on the rise around the world.

  • This Earth Day, Commute Another Way

    This Earth Day, Commute Another Way

    This Earth Day, April 22, 2016, New York City residents and commuters are encouraged to leave their car at home and use another means of travel as part of the city’s first year of Car-Free Day. Find out what Columbia University is doing in support of #CarFreeNYC.

  • Working with Facebook to Create Better Population Maps

    Working with Facebook to Create Better Population Maps

    Knowing how settlements are distributed across the landscape—e.g., in clusters, along roads or waterways, or scattered widely—has important implications for designing infrastructure, improving access, and promoting sustainability.

  • The Sustainable City

    By concentrating human population in cities, we will make it possible to preserve land for wilderness, ecosystem maintenance and agriculture. People will travel to these places and will experience nature, but only a fortunate few will live close to nature.

  • Scientists’ Conference to Address Global Food Security

    Scientists’ Conference to Address Global Food Security

    Columbia University is teaming up with Cornell University to co-host the second International Global Food Security Conference to bring together 500-plus scientists to investigate the behavioral, biophysical, economic, institutional, political, social and technological drivers of current and future global food security.

  • As Los Angeles Heats Up, Fog Fades

    As Los Angeles Heats Up, Fog Fades

    A new study has found that urbanization around coastal Southern California is driving fog away and causing the low clouds, crucial for providing shade and moderating temperatures in summer, to rise. This trend has important implications for ecosystems and cities.

  • Using Spatial Analysis to Help Manage Conflict

    Using Spatial Analysis to Help Manage Conflict

    Peri-urban areas are particularly vulnerable to land use conflicts due to their geographic and socio-economic characteristics: They are transitional zones in transforming societies, where various economic activities associated with each urban setting try to co-exist. In this context, peri-urban agriculture plays a key role for the multiplicity and diversity of stakeholders providing environmental and economic…

  • A Faustian Choice: Population and Environment

    A Faustian Choice: Population and Environment

    Population growth is a key contributor to the pressures pushing at our planetary boundaries. In Rio+20 discussions, implications of population growth have become shrouded in platitudes. It is important that discussions on planetary limits clearly lay out possible strategies that can alleviate these pressures.

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

  • Students Assess City Greenhouse Gas Reduction Tools

    Students Assess City Greenhouse Gas Reduction Tools

    Students in the Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy (MPA-ESP) program worked this past semester to analyze city-level strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  • The How and Why of Green Building

    The How and Why of Green Building

    Buildings account for almost a third of global greenhouse gas emissions and the U.N. Environment Programme projects that if we continue with business as usual in the building sector, these emissions will double by 2030. Fortunately, green building is on the rise around the world.

  • This Earth Day, Commute Another Way

    This Earth Day, Commute Another Way

    This Earth Day, April 22, 2016, New York City residents and commuters are encouraged to leave their car at home and use another means of travel as part of the city’s first year of Car-Free Day. Find out what Columbia University is doing in support of #CarFreeNYC.

  • Working with Facebook to Create Better Population Maps

    Working with Facebook to Create Better Population Maps

    Knowing how settlements are distributed across the landscape—e.g., in clusters, along roads or waterways, or scattered widely—has important implications for designing infrastructure, improving access, and promoting sustainability.

  • The Sustainable City

    By concentrating human population in cities, we will make it possible to preserve land for wilderness, ecosystem maintenance and agriculture. People will travel to these places and will experience nature, but only a fortunate few will live close to nature.

  • Scientists’ Conference to Address Global Food Security

    Scientists’ Conference to Address Global Food Security

    Columbia University is teaming up with Cornell University to co-host the second International Global Food Security Conference to bring together 500-plus scientists to investigate the behavioral, biophysical, economic, institutional, political, social and technological drivers of current and future global food security.

  • As Los Angeles Heats Up, Fog Fades

    As Los Angeles Heats Up, Fog Fades

    A new study has found that urbanization around coastal Southern California is driving fog away and causing the low clouds, crucial for providing shade and moderating temperatures in summer, to rise. This trend has important implications for ecosystems and cities.

  • Using Spatial Analysis to Help Manage Conflict

    Using Spatial Analysis to Help Manage Conflict

    Peri-urban areas are particularly vulnerable to land use conflicts due to their geographic and socio-economic characteristics: They are transitional zones in transforming societies, where various economic activities associated with each urban setting try to co-exist. In this context, peri-urban agriculture plays a key role for the multiplicity and diversity of stakeholders providing environmental and economic…

  • A Faustian Choice: Population and Environment

    A Faustian Choice: Population and Environment

    Population growth is a key contributor to the pressures pushing at our planetary boundaries. In Rio+20 discussions, implications of population growth have become shrouded in platitudes. It is important that discussions on planetary limits clearly lay out possible strategies that can alleviate these pressures.