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March 09, 2021

Volcanoes May Have Large, Lasting Impacts on Global Precipitation

Large tropical volcanoes have caused some of the world’s most destructive natural disasters, with eruptions spewing out massive streams of harmful gases and hot debris that can wipe out everything in their path. But, what about wider impacts on global climate? Large eruptions are well known to temporarily cool the planet, but the picture is less clear when it comes to changes in the global distribution of rainfall.

March 07, 2021

For Planet Earth, No Tourism is a Curse and a Blessing

For the planet, the year without tourists was a curse and a blessing.

With flights canceled, cruise ships mothballed and vacations largely scrapped, carbon emissions plummeted. Wildlife that usually kept a low profile amid a crush of tourists in vacation hot spots suddenly emerged. And a lack of cruise ships in places like Alaska meant that humpback whales could hear each other’s calls without the din of engines. Read More

March 02, 2021

Fueling the Future

On January 29, Columbia announced the completion of its divestment from oil and gas companies and the formalization of “this policy of non-investment for the foreseeable future.” The decision came on the heels of several other climate-focused initiatives and was undoubtedly the result of long years of heated protest, dialogue, and deliberation among multiple committed parties on campus. Unsurprisingly, the announcement has inspired a wide range of responses, from admiration to hope, cynicism to outrage. Read More