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You Asked: When Will Polar Bears Go Extinct?

you-asked:-when-will-polar-bears-go-extinct?

A polar bear with its cub. Photo: AWeith/Wikimedia Commons “You Asked” is a series where Columbia Climate School experts tackle reader questions on science and sustainability. The following question was submitted by one of our Instagram followers, and the response comes from Robert Newton, a senior research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Q: How fast will polar bears go extinct at the rate that global warming is happening? Robert Newton studies Arctic climate change at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. A: Nobody knows for sure if polar bears will…

Associated Press Offers Interactive ‘Primer’ on New Extreme Heat Data Set

associated-press-offers-interactive-‘primer’-on-new-extreme-heat-data-set

Screenshot of an interactive graphic produced by the Associated Press that visualizes a new data set on global extreme heat exposure. The Associated Press (AP) has produced an interactive feature that explores increasing heat extremes in cities worldwide. The feature uses data from CIESIN, a center within the new Columbia Climate School. The dataset was produced as part of a study led by CIESIN postdoctoral research scientist Cascade Tuholske, published last month. Tuholske and his co-authors combined temperature and humidity measures with population estimates to better understand how growing heat…

Sustainability Management Hits the Big Time

sustainability-management-hits-the-big-time

Back in 2009, I was looking for ways to combine my interest in environmental policy with my interest in effective organizational management. I had always considered these two areas separate, but the more I examined the field of organizational management in the 21st century, the more I saw environmental issues becoming central to the field of management. This led to my 2010 book, Sustainability Management, and the development of Columbia’s Master of Science program in Sustainability Management. As we designed the curriculum, we developed an area of management study we…

Collect Our Scientist Cards

collect-our-scientist-cards

Our baseball-style trading cards highlight a few of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory’s amazing scientists, and can now be downloaded for free. Illustrations by Emily Soo Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) is the scientific research heart of the Columbia Climate school. For more than 50 years, we’ve been hosting the annual LDEO Open House as a way to show neighbors, members of the Columbia community, and general audiences how our planet works and the research we do at LDEO. Scientists at LDEO study the planet from its deepest interior to the outer reaches…

Build Back Better and American Climate Leadership

build-back-better-and-american-climate-leadership

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed President Biden’s Build Back Better bill that includes several social welfare and family support provisions. It also includes a critically important program to accelerate the reduction of America’s greenhouse gasses. If we are to ever mitigate greenhouse gasses and reduce global warming, this bill is essential to demonstrate that America is serious and will provide an example for other nations to emulate. The bill includes a fee on large companies that leak methane. I think that fee has little chance of surviving…

International Team to Drill Deep Through Antarctic Ice Into Ancient Sediments

international-team-to-drill-deep-through-antarctic-ice-into-ancient-sediments

Researchers are preparing to drill through ice into sediments beneath the ocean floor deep below Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf to find out if carbon dioxide emissions targeted in international climate negotiations will head off catastrophic melt of the icy continent. The research project, dubbed SWAIS 2C, will investigate the sensitivity of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to global warming of 2 degrees Centigrade. Scientists will retrieve sediments from beneath the ice in a bid to find out how the ice behaved during times in the past when temperatures were as…

Associated Press Offers Interactive “Primer” on New Extreme Heat Data Set

associated-press-offers-interactive-“primer”-on-new-extreme-heat-data-set

Screenshot of an interactive graphic produced by the Associated Press that visualizes a new data set on global extreme heat exposure. The Associated Press (AP) has produced an interactive feature that explores increasing heat extremes in cities worldwide. The feature uses data from CIESIN, a center within the new Columbia Climate School. The dataset was produced as part of a study led by CIESIN postdoctoral research scientist Cascade Tuholske, published last month. Tuholske and his co-authors combined temperature and humidity measures with population estimates to better understand how growing heat…

Advice on How to Deal With Family Politics and COVID-19 Concerns This Thanksgiving

advice-on-how-to-deal-with-family-politics-and-covid-19-concerns-this-thanksgiving

Many families are gathering in person for Thanksgiving for the first time in two years, which, for many, is a welcome change from eating turkey and pie over a Zoom call. However, holidays are often fraught for families, and this year, the lingering COVID-19 pandemic and continuing political polarization could add to the potential conflict. Columbia News asked Peter T. Coleman, professor of psychology and education at Teachers College and the author of “The Way Out: How to Overcome Toxic Polarization,” for his advice on how to steer through the…

You Can Help Protect a Fish Species That Is Vital to Oceanic Ecosystems

you-can-help-protect-a-fish-species-that-is-vital-to-oceanic-ecosystems

You Can Help Protect a Fish Species That Is Vital to Oceanic Ecosystems Omega Protein Corp and Omega Protein, Inc. may not be household names, but many of their products are. These two companies, collectively known as “Omega,” compose one of the largest reduction fishing organizations in North America. They capture and process fish known as menhaden, then resell the “reduced fish” for use in pet food, agriculture and aquaculture feed, and human fish oil supplements. By mass harvesting menhaden, Omega is putting the marine ecosystems in the Atlantic Ocean…

Statistics Breakthrough May Help Scientists Calculate Likelihood of Worst-Case Scenarios

statistics-breakthrough-may-help-scientists-calculate-likelihood-of-worst-case-scenarios

Of all things, which is the most likely to end life on Earth as we know it: a meteorite strike, extreme climate change, a pandemic, a solar flare? A new statistical method could help scientists more accurately analyze worst (or best) case scenarios by teasing out information about events that are rare, but highly consequential. The method could help everyone from investors to government officials and insurance companies make informed decisions on potential dangers where data is sparse. “Though they are by definition rare, such events do occur, and they…