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July Climate Briefing: Waiting for the Winds to Change

Read our ENSO Essentials & Impacts pages for more about El Niño. Tony Barnston provides an overview of the briefing Neutral conditions remain in the central equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean that define El Niño and La Niña events, called the Nino3.4 region. Recent weekly sea-surface temperature anomalies dipped just below the -0.5º threshold used to define La Niña, but those […]

25,000 Insured Ethiopian Farmers Receive Payments for El Niño Droughts

By Daniel Osgood More than 25,000 insured farming families in Ethiopia have received payments for crop loss and damages after a year of devastating drought caused in large part by the 2015 El Niño. The farmers purchased the insurance through the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative [latest report], run by the World Food Program and Oxfam America. […]

Catatumbo Lightning. Hernan Parra.

Primer pronóstico estacional de rayos del mundo

Con unos 250 flashes por kilómetro cuadrado por año, la Cuenca del Lago de Maracaibo en el noroeste de Venezuela tiene la mayor tasa anual de rayos del mundo. La actividad de rayos es tan común en este sitio que tiene un nombre propio, Relámpagos del Catatumbo, siguiendo el nombre de la región localizada en […]

Catatumbo Lightning. Hernan Parra.

World’s First Seasonal Lightning Forecast

At about 250 lightning flashes per square kilometer per year, the Lake Maracaibo Basin in northwestern Venezuela has the highest annual lightning rate of any place in the world. Lightning activity is so common there that it has a proper name, Catatumbo Lightning, named for the Catatumbo region located in the southwest corner of the […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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