Dead Sea salt reveals drought on a scale never recorded – and it could happen again

March 29, 2017 by  
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Thick layers of Dead Sea salt found 1,000 feet below the sea bed holds clues to our planet’s past – and a warning. The salt reveals during warm periods in Earth’s history, the region – the Dead Sea is bordered by Palestine, Jordan, and Israel – suffered from drought with no known precedent. The salt, scrutinized by an international team of researchers led by Yael Kiro of Columbia University , doesn’t just offer a history lesson, but a caution climate change could seriously dry the region again in the future. Crystalline salt from beneath the Dead Sea reveals 120,000 and 10,000 years ago, rainfall in the area was a fifth of modern levels. These dry periods were naturally caused. But human-caused climate change today could potentially dry the region – which is already struggling – more than we realized. Right now the Middle East’s fresh water per capita availability is 10 times less than the world average, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Related: Dramatic Video Captures Rebirth of the River Zin in Israel’s Negev Desert Back in 2010, scientists drilled 1,500 feet into the Dead Sea bed’s deepest part. They obtained a cross-section that provided 200,000 years of climate history in the area. Alternating layers of salt and mud showed dry and wet times. Only recently, however, did scientists analyze the core in great detail. The region suffered from what Columbia University called epic dry periods. Kiro said in a statement, “All the observations show this region is one of those most affected by modern climate change, and it’s predicted to get dryer. What we showed is that even under natural conditions, it can become much drier than predicted by any of our models.” The journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters published the research in an early online edition . Six other scientists from institutions in Israel and Spain also contributed to the study. Via The Guardian and Columbia University Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Dead Sea salt reveals drought on a scale never recorded – and it could happen again

Michigan to replace thousands of Flint water lines in settlement

March 29, 2017 by  
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A judge approved a settlement with the state of Michigan today that will come as welcome news to thousands of residents: at least 18,000 homes in Flint will have their toxic water pipes replaced over the next three years. The state has committed $87 million to identify and replace any service lines containing lead or galvanized steel by 2020. The settlement marks the end of a lawsuit filed last year by Concerned Pastors for Social Action , the Natural Resources Defense Council , the American Civil Liberties Union and a resident of Flint, targeted at both city and state officials. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver has praised the agreement. The $87 million used to replace the pipes will come from a variety of sources. The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, which was passed by Congress last year, will provide up to $20 million in funds, with the state matching another $20 million. The state must also hold an extra $10 million in reserve, in case the repairs end up being more expensive than anticipated. The state will also cover the $895,000 the plaintiffs ran up in litigation costs. Related: 1,700 Flint residents sue the EPA over tainted water In the meantime , residents will have to either pick up bottled water from designated locations in the city, or they’ll have to install water filters on their taps. Though the filters have been shown to render the city’s water safe for human consumption, many residents are nervous and distrustful of anything that comes out of their taps (and with good reason). The lawsuit had asked that bottled water be delivered door to door throughout the city until pipe replacement was complete, but the judge shot down that request. Via Reuters Images via Pixabay and Paul Hudson

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Michigan to replace thousands of Flint water lines in settlement

Columbia alumni making sense of sustainable investing

January 5, 2017 by  
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There is both a growing demand for investing that accounts for sustainability performance, but also obstacles to discerning the best investments.

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Columbia alumni making sense of sustainable investing

Two supermassive black holes are heading for a cosmic mega-collision

September 17, 2015 by  
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If you’re weary, feelin’ small, remember that somewhere out there, two supermassive black holes are heading for a cosmic mega-collision. Earlier this year, astronomers at Caltech identified a cosmic event that is occurring 3.5 billion light years from Earth: two supermassive black holes spiraling helplessly towards each other. Recent work by researchers at Columbia University adds further evidence that indeed the black holes are on a collision course. The consequences are not yet completely clear, but this meeting will certainly be cataclysmic for nearby stars and planets. Read the rest of Two supermassive black holes are heading for a cosmic mega-collision

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These States Are Poorly Prepared for Global Warming – Is Yours on the List?

June 25, 2015 by  
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Every state has a plan for what to do in the event of disaster, specifically, a “State Hazard Mitigation Plan,” but there’s no requirement that these plans take global warming into consideration. As a result, individual states vary wildly from one another in their levels of preparation for storms, flooding, heatwaves and other climate disasters. This map , from Matthew Babcock at Columbia University’s Center for Climate Change Law shows each state’s level of preparation for global warming -related hazards, and, in short, it’s bad news for Delaware, better news for California. Read the rest of These States Are Poorly Prepared for Global Warming – Is Yours on the List? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: (FEMA) , Climate Change , Climate Disaster , Columbia University , disaster mitigation , disaster planning , extreme weather , flooding , global warming , hazard mitigation , hurricanes , Matthew Babcock , natural disaster , State Hazard Mitigation Plan , superstorm

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These States Are Poorly Prepared for Global Warming – Is Yours on the List?

New study shows U.S. to face worst droughts in 1,000 years

February 13, 2015 by  
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Hang on to your water bottles. The United States is primed for the worst droughts recorded in the last 1,000 years, thanks to climate change. Projections by climate scientists at Columbia University show the U.S. will experience droughts throughout the 21 st   century far worse than the one in wreaking havoc in California , while a data from NASA shows carbon emissions could be the driving force behind the massive water shortages. Read the rest of New study shows U.S. to face worst droughts in 1,000 years Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: agriculture , california drought , Climate Change , Columbia University , Drought , dust bowl , farming , greenhouse gasses , mega-drought , megadrought , nasa , united states , water shortage

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New study shows U.S. to face worst droughts in 1,000 years

Aladdin City: Construction to begin on Dubai Creek’s epic fantasy towers next year

February 13, 2015 by  
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Dubai is no stranger to outlandish architectural endeavors , and the latest project to get the go ahead will be no exception. Based on the tales of Aladdin and Sindbad, the 4,000 acre Aladdin City project will bring theatrical 34-storey towers to the city’s oldest region, the Dubai Creek, and will be located just outside an area that is soon expected to receive UNESCO World Heritage status. Read the rest of Aladdin City: Construction to begin on Dubai Creek’s epic fantasy towers next year Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aladdin city , arabian nights , dubai , Dubai Architecture , dubai creek , Emirates , green design , Middle East , Sustinable Design , tourism , towers

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Aladdin City: Construction to begin on Dubai Creek’s epic fantasy towers next year

New Maps Show the Price World Oceans Pay for Sucking Up Our CO2

November 12, 2014 by  
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We should be thankful for our oceans. In addition to providing us with food and recreation and a host of other services, they absorb up to one quarter of our carbon dioxide emissions. As a result, climate change is not nearly as bad as it might be. But they, and the marine creatures that live in them, also pay a tremendous price for this inadvertent favor: acidification . Motherboard Vice reports that our oceans are 30 percent more acidic today than they were 200 years ago, and now for the first time, we know which oceans are acidifying at a faster rate than others. Tara Takahashi from Columbia University and his team used four decades of data to map how acidity levels vary across the world’s oceans; their research appeared in the August issue of the journal Marine Chemistry . Read the rest of New Maps Show the Price World Oceans Pay for Sucking Up Our CO2 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , CO2 emissions , Columbia University , Environment , global warming , maps , Marine Chemistry , News , ocean acidification , ocean acidification maps , ocean warming , Taro Takahashi

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New Maps Show the Price World Oceans Pay for Sucking Up Our CO2

Perkins+Will Proposes a Green-Roofed Apartment Building That Doubles as a Power Plant

February 5, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Perkins+Will Proposes a Green-Roofed Apartment Building That Doubles as a Power Plant Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Columbia University study , EPA standards , flooding , flooding protection , green roof , Green-Roofed building , perkins+will , Perkins+Will power plant apartment building , power plant design , waste management , waste to energy        

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Perkins+Will Proposes a Green-Roofed Apartment Building That Doubles as a Power Plant

Designing and Building with Bacteria Could be the Future of Architecture

August 30, 2013 by  
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The rate at which science has been evolving for the last few decades suggests it won’t be long before we’re able to build houses with bacteria . Manufacturing processes are close to replacing traditional factories with biological ones, where the tasks performed by digitally controlled machines will be taken by living, breathing and potentially even intelligent organisms . Read the rest of Designing and Building with Bacteria Could be the Future of Architecture Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bacteria house , bacteria houses , bioengineering , biomimicry , Building With Bacteria , Cambridge University , Columbia University , Columbia University biological research , David Benjamin , fossil fuels , glucose economy , Living Foundries Program , scientific research , The Living Thing        

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