Two centuries since the start of the Industrial Revolution, the human population has increased six-fold, and economic activity an estimated fifty-fold. The sheer number of people on the planet and the intensity of economic activity are having profound effects on the long-term global climate, threatening to disrupt vast biological, geochemical, and social systems in future decades. This is fact.
Carbon dioxide levels today are nearly 30% more than they were prior to the industrial revolution. What is truly unprecedented about current carbon dioxide levels is the speed in which they have risen In the millions of years of known geological history, the Earth has never experienced such a rapid rise. The signature of human influence is unequivocal.There is no doubt that we have caused this change to the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels. Broecker Video
The Earth Institute at Columbia, whose members include many of the world’s leading experts in earth, biological, social, and health sciences, work on a broad body of research related to climate and climate change:
Continued scientific and technological research is critical to help us understand, mitigate, and adapt to changes. However, it is widely felt that it’s not a lack of science but rather a lack of public understanding and political will preventing us from taking actions that could be taken today to stem human forced climate change. Purdy Video
Earth Institute scientists are working to enhance the sophistication and specificity of climate forecasting and to create new social, political, and economic mechanisms for using scientific data to build resilience to climate variability and change on the world’s most vulnerable regions. Mutter Video
What Causes Abrupt Climate Change?
What causes abrupt climate change? How can we tell that it has happened before and what could cause it to happen again? Scientists from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory answer some of the most frequently asked questions about climate: http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/pi/arch/
The Earth Institute at Columbia University is the world’s leading academic center for the integrated study of Earth, its environment and society. The Earth Institute builds upon excellence in the core disciplines –earth sciences, biological sciences, engineering sciences, social sciences and health sciences –and stresses cross-disciplinary approaches to complex problems. Through its research training and global partnerships, it mobilizes science and technology to advance sustainable development, while placing special emphasis on the needs of the world’s poor.