State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

water security

  • Changing Perspectives: How Bottom-Up Studies Can Improve Water Security

    Changing Perspectives: How Bottom-Up Studies Can Improve Water Security

    When monitoring melting glaciers, integrating scientific knowledge with local and Indigenous knowledge may improve data collection as well as local adaptation.

  • Studying Sustainability in Israel: It’s Complicated

    Studying Sustainability in Israel: It’s Complicated

    MPA in Environmental Science and Policy students travel to Israel to learn more about the geopolitical climate and resource management as a tool for peace.

  • Rising Temperatures Load the Dice for Megadrought Risk

    Rising Temperatures Load the Dice for Megadrought Risk

    As the American Southwest grows hotter, the risk of severe, long-lasting megadroughts rises, passing 90 percent this century if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current pace, a new study from scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory says. Aggressively reducing emissions can cut that risk.

  • Drought in Papua New Guinea Heightens Tensions over Gold Mine

    Drought in Papua New Guinea Heightens Tensions over Gold Mine

    In the highlands of Papua New Guinea, tensions between local villagers and a gold mining operation over access to clean water are being heightened by a prolonged drought.

  • Beyond Market Economics?

    Bottled water – “one of the least green and least defensible ripoffs on the market.” Is this a routine quote from one of the usual suspects of anti-bottled water campaigners? Surprisingly, no. It’s from the Economist – the journalistic bastion of free market economics – and is is included in their new special report on…

  • Creating a Sustainable Water Future

    The concept of sustainable development encompasses not only environmental sustainability, but also economic sustainability, and sociopolitical sustainability. There may be no bigger an issue when taking into account the three aspects of sustainable development than the issue of global water scarcity and the growing gap between water supply and demand. Water is arguably our most…

  • India’s Water Future

    I recently returned from a CWC trip to India, where we have several projects underway.  During this trip, we had the opportunity to talk with a range of  water users – farmers, corporations, academic experts, and government officials.  One thing became very clear to me: Although India’s water situation is precarious, there is a real…

  • Water and Energy Conflict in Central Asia

    Water resources management in the Central Asia region faces formidable challenges. The hydrological regimes of the two major rivers in the region, the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya, are complex and vulnerable to climate change. Water diversions to agricultural, industrial and domestic users have reduced flows in downstream regions, resulting in severe ecological damages.…

  • Punjab: A tale of prosperity and decline

    The state of Punjab, located in the northwest part of the country, is known as the breadbasket of India. Punjab produces 20% of the nation’s wheat, 11% of its rice, and 11% of its cotton, from only 1.5% of its geographical area.  Punjab is in trouble, however; groundwater is rapidly decreasing. Water levels have dropped…

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

  • Changing Perspectives: How Bottom-Up Studies Can Improve Water Security

    Changing Perspectives: How Bottom-Up Studies Can Improve Water Security

    When monitoring melting glaciers, integrating scientific knowledge with local and Indigenous knowledge may improve data collection as well as local adaptation.

  • Studying Sustainability in Israel: It’s Complicated

    Studying Sustainability in Israel: It’s Complicated

    MPA in Environmental Science and Policy students travel to Israel to learn more about the geopolitical climate and resource management as a tool for peace.

  • Rising Temperatures Load the Dice for Megadrought Risk

    Rising Temperatures Load the Dice for Megadrought Risk

    As the American Southwest grows hotter, the risk of severe, long-lasting megadroughts rises, passing 90 percent this century if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current pace, a new study from scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory says. Aggressively reducing emissions can cut that risk.

  • Drought in Papua New Guinea Heightens Tensions over Gold Mine

    Drought in Papua New Guinea Heightens Tensions over Gold Mine

    In the highlands of Papua New Guinea, tensions between local villagers and a gold mining operation over access to clean water are being heightened by a prolonged drought.

  • Beyond Market Economics?

    Bottled water – “one of the least green and least defensible ripoffs on the market.” Is this a routine quote from one of the usual suspects of anti-bottled water campaigners? Surprisingly, no. It’s from the Economist – the journalistic bastion of free market economics – and is is included in their new special report on…

  • Creating a Sustainable Water Future

    The concept of sustainable development encompasses not only environmental sustainability, but also economic sustainability, and sociopolitical sustainability. There may be no bigger an issue when taking into account the three aspects of sustainable development than the issue of global water scarcity and the growing gap between water supply and demand. Water is arguably our most…

  • India’s Water Future

    I recently returned from a CWC trip to India, where we have several projects underway.  During this trip, we had the opportunity to talk with a range of  water users – farmers, corporations, academic experts, and government officials.  One thing became very clear to me: Although India’s water situation is precarious, there is a real…

  • Water and Energy Conflict in Central Asia

    Water resources management in the Central Asia region faces formidable challenges. The hydrological regimes of the two major rivers in the region, the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya, are complex and vulnerable to climate change. Water diversions to agricultural, industrial and domestic users have reduced flows in downstream regions, resulting in severe ecological damages.…

  • Punjab: A tale of prosperity and decline

    The state of Punjab, located in the northwest part of the country, is known as the breadbasket of India. Punjab produces 20% of the nation’s wheat, 11% of its rice, and 11% of its cotton, from only 1.5% of its geographical area.  Punjab is in trouble, however; groundwater is rapidly decreasing. Water levels have dropped…