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September 13, 2022

Welcome Aandishah and Ibuki!

The Smerdon Climate Lab is excited to welcome two new graduate students!  Aandishah Samara and Ibuki Sugiura joined Columbia in fall 2022 as first-year graduate students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.  Both have interests in hydroclimate variability and change and will be working on two collaborative NSF projects (here and

August 02, 2022

Burning Up

Gasping salmon with infected lesions. Emaciated deer searching sagebrush flats for water. Clams and mussels boiled to death in their shells.

August 02, 2022

From Charlemagne to Climate Change: The current water woes of the American Southwest and its arid future

This is not a drill, or a far-flung fantasy; Southwestern US is facing a critical megadrought. The last two decades have been the driest since 800 CE, and pioneering studies by Columbia Scientists and other institutions have proven that the anthropogenic impact on the climate is a major contributing factor. The water level at the region's two largest reservoirs is at a record low, resulting in contention between seven states and millions of their residents for their diminishing share of hydroelectric power as well as agricultural and residential water demand.