September 01, 2014

11:00 AM | Imaggeo on Mondays: A massive slump
One of the regions that has experienced most warming over the second half of the 20th century is the Potter Peninsula on King George Island in Antartica. It is here that Marc Oliva and his collaborators are studying what the effects of the warming conditions on the geomorphological processes prevailing in these environments. “Permafrost is […]
7:01 AM | Drought Myth-Busting: Why El Niño Is Never A Good Bet
The peculiar set of ocean conditions are known as a California rainmaker -- but El Niño's reputation has been greatly exaggerated.

August 31, 2014

9:47 PM | How Hot Is Your City?
You’ve probably heard about the urban heat island effect, but I bet you do not realize is how much it affects your weather (and how much it costs you in cooling costs). The folks at Climate Central put out a report this month that breaks down how large the temperature differences are between some cities, and the rural areas surrounding them. The report makes it obvious that we are paying a …
6:55 PM | The Juneau Tour: Scientific American Alaska Cruise, Part 3
Scientific American Bright Horizons Cruise 22 arrives in Anchorage, Alaska, on August 31st, which allows us to post audio from a fascinating taxi trip through Juneau on August 28th. -- Read more on
3:02 PM | Yawning wolves, face-mites and space-based lasers to fight global warming
Who’d Have Thunk It? 31.08.14 Do you ever get annoyed at having to wait for ages at border immigration? Well it could be that the time-consuming checks are not totally effective at matching photos to faces: A study on passport officers in Australia found that there was a ‘14% acceptance rate of ‘fraudulent photos’. Perhaps…

August 28, 2014

8:34 PM | Obama May Use Executive Power to Forge International Climate Change Deal as U.N. Draft Report Paints Stark Climate Picture
A leaked draft of a report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that global warming is already affecting all continents and that additional pollution from heat-trapping gases will worsen the situation. “Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the…
7:42 PM | Reduce, Reuse and Re-(bi)cycle
Audra Stark plans to pedal 300 miles from New York City to Washington, D.C., from Sept. 20-24 to raise money for The Earth Institute and other organizations working on the issues of climate, environment and transportation. “Too often I’ve found myself and others complaining about and debating an issue without taking action in our daily lives," she said. "Joining Climate Ride is one more way I can act on my lifelong concern about climate change, and take a further step on my personal […]
6:14 PM | Louisiana Is Losing An Entire Football Field Of Land Every Hour
Louisiana's coastline is changing — and changing fast, as you can see in the above map which shows the coastal land lost between 1922 and today. And the losses are only getting faster.Read more...
3:45 PM | Juneau Where I Am: <i>Scientific American</i> Alaska Cruise, Part 2
Scientific American Bright Horizons Cruise 22 arrives in Juneau, Alaska -- Read more on
5:44 AM | The Stochastic Resonance Program (Part 2)
guest post by David Tanzer Last time we introduced the concept of stochastic resonance. Briefly, it’s a way that noise can amplify a signal, by giving an extra nudge that helps a system receiving that signal make the jump from one state to another. Today we’ll describe a program that demonstrates this concept. But first, […]

August 27, 2014

7:59 PM | Practicum Introduces Students to Earth Institute Research
Each fall the Earth Institute offers a broad survey of the applications of frontier research to the practice of sustainable development through contributions from Earth Institute researchers and directors in the Earth Institute Practicum. The practicum provides an opportunity to learn about salient issues in sustainable development, sustainability management and environmental science from world-class faculty and researchers in these areas.
11:29 AM | Poverty eradication and climate change: Is there a conflict?
Many people associate raising living standards in developing countries with increases in greenhouse gas emissions. New research by IIASA's Narasimha Rao shows that may not be the case. Continue reading →
10:30 AM | GeoCinema Online: The Geological Storage of CO2
 Welcome to week two of GeoCinema Screenings! In a time when we can’t escape the fact that anthropogenic emissions are contributing to the warming of the Earth, we must explore all the options to reduce the impact of releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The three films this week tackle the challenge of separating CO2 […]
9:00 AM | Climate Change Communication: Taking the Temperature (Part 1)
Editor's Note: This is a guest blog post by Kirk Englehardt (@kirkenglehardt). Kirk is Director of Research Communication and Marketing for the Georgia Institute of Technology. He blogs about strategic communication & #scicomm on LinkedIn and The Strategy Room.  He also curates and shares #scicomm content, which can be found on Flipboard, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook.  Introduction: A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a college friend who now works as a […]
7:31 AM | Ship Noise Makes Young Eels Stressed and Vulnerable to Predation
Noise pollution in the ocean isn’t just a nuisance; it has grave consequences for the survival of some marine organisms. A recent study reveals that ship noises make young eels stressed and when confronted with predators, they are less likely to fend off attacks due to impaired escape behaviors, known as antipredator responses.  During exposure […]

August 25, 2014

7:04 PM | The Energy to Fight Injustice
The enormity of these anti-nuclear policy decisions is difficult to exaggerate. Energy consumption is an inescapable requirement of development, and renewable energy sources alone cannot satisfy the energy demands of China and other developing nations. They now have no choice but to burn massive amounts of coal if they wish to raise their living standards.

August 23, 2014

7:28 AM | Information Aversion
Originally posted on Azimuth:? Why do ostriches stick their heads under the sand when they’re scared? They don’t. So why do people say they do? A Roman named Pliny the Elder might be partially to blame. He wrote that ostriches “imagine, when they have thrust their head and neck into a bush, that the…

August 22, 2014

2:31 PM | Faint Young Sun
Through an ancient looking-glass, Perhaps you'd see more H2 gas, And if with denser gas collided, Greater greenhouse warmth provided.
1:25 PM | Has Earth's Missing Heat Been Found?
A new study suggests a natural climate cycle in the North Atlantic Ocean gobbled Earth's extra heat.
12:48 PM | Reflections of a Changing North
No one ever leaves the field the same way they entered it. Yes there is a new layer of mud on equipment, the expected wear and tear on your personal gear and your physical being, but that is not what I am referring to. I am acknowledging the intangible shift in perspective from a deepened understanding and a broadened vision that has been provided by the experience, and beyond that the questions that drive the next field campaign.

August 21, 2014

9:40 PM | Does the motion of the solar system affect our climate?
The Earth’s climate is believed to be affected, not just by people driving Humvees, but by a series of complex cycles, which can occur over a few years (such as El Nino) or even tens of thousands of years (changes in the Earth’s axis of rotation). But another cycle which may have an effect, lasts…

Shaviv, N., Prokoph, A. & Veizer, J. (2014). Is the Solar System's Galactic Motion Imprinted in the Phanerozoic Climate?, Scientific Reports, 4 6150. DOI: 10.1038/srep06150

9:03 PM | AESS Webinar : UN Sustainable Development Goals Setting Agenda for Sustainability
The webinar UN Sustainable Development Goals Setting Agenda for Sustainability is part of the Association for Environmental Studies and Educators (AESS) Webinar Series Visit Eventbrite to Register here The AESS webinar takes place on September 8, 2014 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm EST The live webinar presented by Magdalena A K Muir, Adjunct Associate Researcher with Columbia Climate [...]

August 20, 2014

10:05 PM | Temperature Key to Crocs in the Sea
Evolution is great at producing novelty. Every organism that has ever lived – from the first cell to …
1:24 PM | Rising Ocean Acidity Weakens Hunting Ability in Sharks
Sharks, the ocean’s top predators, renowned for their impressive hunting abilities, rely extensively on their keen sense of smell to hunt prey located miles away—earning themselves the label “swimming noses.” But a new study reveals that high levels of seawater acidity expected due to climate change can diminish their ability to track prey through sensing […]
7:01 AM | Drought-Stricken California Town Struggles to Keep the Water Flowing
From heavy machinery to hand-held flour sifters, this town is pulling out all the stops to save its water.

August 18, 2014

5:42 PM | Geography in the News: The Strangest Desert
By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM The Strange Namib Desert of Africa Africa seems to always be in the news covering conflict and disease across the continent. Its wonderful physical diversity, however, provides a background that is often overlooked by the casual reader. The Namib Desert is just one of…
1:40 PM | Major Gift Will Expand Center for Climate Change Law
Columbia Law School's Center for Climate Change Law will be newly expanded with a major gift from the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation. The center, an affiliate of the Earth Institute, has been renamed the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.
6:07 AM | El Nino Project (Part 7)
So, we’ve seen that Ludescher et al have a way to predict El Niños. But there’s something a bit funny: their definition of El Niño is not the standard one! Precisely defining a complicated climate phenomenon like El Niño is a tricky business. Lots of different things tend to happen when an El Niño occurs. […]

August 17, 2014

9:28 PM | Profiles In Courage
Republicans and global warming: In stark contrast to their party’s public stance on Capitol Hill, many Republicans privately acknowledge the scientific consensus that human activity is at least partially responsible for climate change and recognize the need to address the problem. However, they see little political benefit to speaking out on the issue… Anthony Adragna, […]

August 14, 2014

7:17 PM | Studies Find Climate Change to Disrupt Antarctic and Tropical Ecosystems
A recent study finds that West Antarctica’s ecosystem is highly correlated to its climate. As a result, climate change will have a negative impact on its ecological relationships, from plankton to penguins. Antarctica isn’t alone - climate change will also affect tropical ocean ecosystems by causing mass coral bleaching.
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