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June Climate Briefing: Neutral, For Now

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing The El Niño event that began in spring 2015 has come to an end. Sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region, have been in the neutral category […]

Forecasting Climate, with Help from the Baobab Tree

In El Niño retrospective, lessons from Senegal In a three-part series for the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, graduate student Catherine Pomposi relates her experience in Senegal during the 2015 El Niño. She explains the 2015 El Niño forecast and its climate impacts in Senegal, as well as current efforts to better understand climate in […]

Public Health in a Climate Context

To create and implement scientific solutions to climate change, we need a new generation of health professionals trained in the connection between climate and human health.  A global consortium on climate and health education hosted by Columbia’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society and Mailman School of Public Health will discuss the best scientific […]


International Meeting: Connecting Health and Climate

Yesterday, Linda Fried, the dean of the Mailman School of Public Health, wrote about the crucial connection between climate and public health in a piece for the Huffington Post. Understanding and anticipating the ways in which climate change and variability can adversely affect human health, she wrote, requires a global commitment to share science and best practices […]


May Climate Briefing: Signs Point to La Niña

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing The El Niño event declared over a year ago is in its last weeks, with odds for at least a weak La Niña to develop by late summer are pegged at more than 50%. Sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are […]

Farmland in the Bicol region, Philippines. Photo by Erica Allis

Climate Models and Food Security in the Philippines

By Megan Helseth The Bicol River Basin in the eastern Philippines is home to more than 5 million people, most of whom rely on agriculture and fishing for their livelihoods. The area is vulnerable to many climate and weather events, including typhoons, floods and dry spells. Each of these can have major impacts on local […]


Heightened Fire Activity Predicted for Amazon in 2016

The IRI has developed a forecast maproom that characterizes the expected fire activity in the Amazon based on climate conditions for the upcoming dry season. Kátia Fernandes, along with Walter Baethgen and Lisa Goddard, have been researching how the Amazon fires are influenced by large-scale ocean phenomena and how sea surface temperature (SST) forecasts can […]


April Climate Briefing: El Niño Lingers, La Niña Looms

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Over a year ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center and IRI jointly issued an El Niño advisory, indicating El Niño conditions had arrived and were expected to continue. That advisory is still in effect, but this month […]


El Niño 2015 Conference Report

In November 2015, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University, in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, convened the El Niño 2015 Conference. The report from this conference is now available. In addition to recordings and summaries of the […]

Mr Cheikh Sidy Cissokho (CNAAS) discusses historical drought years with farmers in the village of Woundoudou Amirou, Senegal. Photo: Dan Osgood/IRI, March 2016.

Farmers receive insurance payouts in Senegal

In Tambacounda, Senegal, small-scale farmers rely on sufficient and steady rainfall at key times of the growing season. As climate change leads to increased irregularity and intensity of rainfall events, the adaptation strategies employed by farmers to cope with shocks do not always suffice. The fear of poor productivity in a year often prevents them from […]

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