News and Events

Lamont and the EI host a wide collection of regular seminars and events.  Follow the below links to our various seminar, colloquia and events pages.  The most recent news and events related to our group are also provided in the regularly updated list of links on this page.

News

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

If you had $100 million to spend, what would you do with it? That’s the amount of money Elon Musk has stated he’ll be spending on combating climate change, though he’s set on one particular type of technology: carbon capture. Unlike renewable energy or energy efficiency projects, carbon capture aims to zap carbon dioxide out of the air, either passively from the air or at industrial sites with lots of emissions.

But is that the best way to use $100 million to fight climate change? Some experts agree that carbon capture is ideal, while others say we should focus more on changing policy and energy use habits to lower our giant carbon footprint before trying to remove it out of thin air. We asked four sustainability experts across the realms of policy, technology, and climate science what they would do if they could drop $100 million on any sustainability project of their choice, and what they said might surprise you. Read More

You Asked” is a series where Earth Institute experts tackle reader questions on science and sustainability. Over the past few years, we’ve received a lot of questions about carbon dioxide — how it traps heat, how it can have such a big effect if it only makes up a tiny percentage of the atmosphere, and more. With the help of Jason Smerdon, a climate scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, we answer several of those questions here.  Read More

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

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

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