Climate Through A Different Lens: Poverty, Inequality, Sustainability

November 16, 2015

Technology has brought us low-cost global communication, and also enabled a global economy. It has also brought us closer and further from each other. We now know more about other cultures. We also see the differences, and sharpen our sense of inequities. Perhaps, this, rather than a control of greenhouse gases, needs to be the primary conversation.

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With El Niño, Be Careful What You Wish for

November 16, 2015

In Southern California, a strong El Niño usually signals rain. Given that California is now in the throes of a severe drought, it seems like that should be a good thing, even if it comes with risk of floods. But the reality of climate is more complex and counter-intuitive than it first appears.

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Making Agriculture Sustainable in One of India’s Poorest States

September 9, 2015

Jharkhand, India is one of the nation's poorest and most most food-insecure states, with over 45 percent of the population living below the poverty line. Can a research team devise sustainable ways to improve livelihoods, productivity and sustainable water use?

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Learning from a River’s History to Prepare for the Future

August 17, 2015

Researchers from eight universities, including Columbia University, are using tree ring and glacier analysis to reconstruct the climate history of the Missouri River Basin in order to give policymakers and water managers better decision-making tools to manage the river.

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The Growing Groundwater Crisis

August 3, 2015

Groundwater is being depleted at alarming rates, not only in drought-stricken California, but around the world. When groundwater is depleted, it can take tens to hundreds of years to for it to reestablish its sustainable level, if at all. What can be done to avert a water crisis?

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U.S. Drought Risk Wider than Previously Thought

May 4, 2015 | 3 Comments

New research from the Columbia Water Center suggests that many more places in the United States are at risk of drought-induced water stress than is commonly thought, including dense metropolitan regions such as New York City and Washington, D.C.

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Overuse of Water by Indian Farmers Threatens Supply

April 14, 2015 | 2 Comments

Convincing farmers that it's worth it to reduce their water consumption will rest on our ability to help develop local groups to manage aquifers at the community-level.

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Indian Sundarban

March 30, 2015

We arrived in Kolkata, and filmed by the Hooghly River. While it is no longer the main channel of the Ganges, it is still the Holy Ganges and we saw a funeral procession spreading ashes of a loved one while filming there. Then a 5 hour trip by car, ferry, rickshaw and boat to the Indian Sundarbans. The mangrove forest here is undergoing more erosion and land loss than in Bangladesh, where more river sediments can replenish it. The water here is more saline and the trees are small. A tiger was spotted by another boat, but was gone when we got there.

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Salt Kilns and Landscape Change in the Sundarbans

March 21, 2015

Leaving Hiron Point, we headed east through the Sundarbans to Kotka. At Kotka the students had walks through the forest seeing deer, wild boar and monkeys, while a smaller group also sampled near a set of 300 year old salt making kilns for OSL dating. We managed to finish while the tide inundated the site. We ended our day with a visit to an island that has recently emerged from the slain which the succession from bare sand to mangrove is visible.

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Polder 32 and Hiron Point

March 20, 2015

We visited Polder 32, an embanked island in the delta that was flooded for almost two years when the embankment failed in several places during Cyclone Aila. In addition to the problem of increased subsidence due to the embankment, the area struggles for fresh water. Then we sailed to Hiron Point, a forest station in the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest. We serviced equipment we have here while our armed guards watch for tigers.

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