Sustainable Development

Tufa Dinku, a researcher at Columbia University's International Research Institute for Climate and Society, is working to fill Africa's climate-data gaps by combining satellite measurements with sparse on-the-ground weather-station data. Improved weather and climate forecasts can help farmers and epidemiologists increase crop yields and limit the spread of malaria and other infectious diseases.
morningside campus aerial

Photo by Eileen Barroso

Columbia University has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent in the next three years through a mix of energy conservation and efficiency measures under its first campus sustainability plan.
Oyster ecosystem

Associate Professor Kate Orff’s Oyster-tecture is a plan to bring oysters, which filter water and form reefs that can buffer against storm surges, back to New York Harbor. The project, expected to be completed by 2019, will create bays to host finfish, shellfish and lobsters while reducing erosion. It will also serve as an environmental education site. Courtesy of Kate Orff

As cities worldwide attempt to redefine the relationship between urban ecology and design in response to a changing climate, landscape architect Kate Orff is approaching her work as a synthesis of art, science, nature, climate and community.

A recent slowdown in global warming has led some skeptics to renew their claims that industrial carbon emissions are not causing a century-long rise in Earth’s surface temperatures.