Topic: News

Mark Cane, George Philander, Win 2017 Vetlesen Prize

Mark Cane was instrumental in the 1996 establishment of Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society. Two scientists who untangled the complex forces that drive El Niño, the world’s most powerful weather cycle, have won the 2017 Vetlesen Prize for achievement in earth sciences. The $250,000 award will go to S. George Philander […]

Scaling up climate-smart agriculture

Experts panel on climate-smart agriculture innovations brought agriculture to the forefront of the discussion on climate actions during Climate Week NYC 2016. This story originally appeared on the CCAFS website. The Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA) in partnership with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), the International Research Institute for Climate […]

#LamontRocks: IRI @ Open House

This Saturday, October 8, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory campus opens its doors to the public. Started over 50 years ago by Lamont’s first director, Open House offers adults and children to learn more about the science studied every day at the campus. Here’s what’s going on at the IRI tent throughout the day: All day — Coloring! […]

From Climate Science to Climate Service – Three Considerations

A new paper in Science argues that the most effective climate services consider three key factors. Every day, weather services help people decide what to wear, how to how to get to and from work and how to spend our weekends. We take such services for granted – they’re ubiquitous and often just a tap […]

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 […]

New Climate Services Program in Rwanda Aims to Reach One Million Farmers

The Rwanda Climate Services for Agriculture project, officially launched on #WorldMetDay 2016, will benefit nearly one million farmers over the next three years and reshape national food-security planning for the long term. (Kigali, Rwanda) 23 March 2016. To build a more climate-resilient agriculture sector, the Rwandan government and partners are taking action to provide nearly […]

Extreme Tornado Outbreaks Have Become More Common

A new paper shows that the average number of tornadoes per outbreak has grown by more than 40% over the last half century. The likelihood of extreme outbreaks – those with many tornadoes – is also greater. Most death and destruction inflicted by tornadoes in North America occurs during outbreaks—large-scale weather events that can last one to […]

Climate Resilience (Animation)

Climate resilience: it’s the ability for communities to recover from the impacts of climate events. It’s the difference between weather being manageable…or a catastrophe. But for many parts of the world, where livelihoods depend so much on the climate, critical weather and climate information is unavailable or unusable. The International Research Institute for Climate and […]

International Conference on El Niño, November 17 and 18

One of the strongest El Niño events ever measured is now underway. It is already causing droughts and flooding in different parts of the world, and affecting food production, water availability, public health and energy supplies in a number of countries. The last major El Niño occurred in 1997/98, wreaking widespread havoc and erasing years of development gains. The world is […]

Send Us El Niño Headlines!

Here at the IRI, we’re constantly thinking about El Niño: its prediction, its evolution, its impacts, etc. We also keep tabs on the communication — and miscommunication — of El Niño, but we can’t be everywhere (and neither can Tony Barnston). We need your help! We’re inviting you to send snapshots of headlines related to El Niño that […]

IRI @ Climate Week NYC 2015

Staff members from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) are participating in a number of high-level events during Climate Week NYC  this year. See the schedule below, and follow the links for more information. Launch of the Global Nutrition Report Tuesday, September 22 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Hearst Building, New York Climate change is complicating global efforts […]

IRI @ Paris #CFCC15

The International Scientific Conference “Our Common Future under Climate Change” will take place in Paris, July 6-9, 2015. This four-day conference will be the largest forum for the scientific community to come together ahead of the 21st UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, aka COP21, which will be hosted by France in December 2015. Building on the […]

Frequency of Tornadoes, Hail Linked to El Niño, La Niña

Study May Aid Seasonal Forecasting Climate scientists can spot El Niño and La Niña conditions developing months ahead of time, and they use this knowledge to make more accurate forecasts of droughts, flooding and even hurricane activity around the world. Now, a new study shows that El Niño and La Niña conditions can also help […]

Looking back: A year of forecasts, partnerships and climate information

by Manon Verchot In 2013, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society teamed up with the University of Arizona to help regions of the world that are most vulnerable to climate variability and change. Here’s a look at what has been accomplished so far. Farmers are at the mercy of the weather. They need […]

New Study Proves Weather-Based Index Insurance Can Work For Rural Poor on Large Scale

Findings spur Nigerian government to look into solutions to cover 15 million farmers by 2017 LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (26 January 2015) — Nigerian government officials will convene in London this week to gather advice for scaling-up agricultural insurance policies for smallholder farmers, to bolster the up and coming agricultural powerhouse’s resilience to climate and market shocks. The meeting […]

Getting it Right on Climate Resilience

By Lisa Goddard, IRI Director For many parts of the world, especially in developing countries, no early warning systems exist for storms or floods. No decision-support systems provide regular or timely information for farmers that depend on seasonal rains. The impacts are broad – this century has already seen a million deaths and $1.7 trillion […]

8 Ways We Can Strengthen Development and Increase Climate Resilience

Today, President Obama announced a new executive order that will help vulnerable nations around the world be more resilient to climate and disasters.  Climate variability and change pose a set of serious risks and challenges, but as the President highlighted, we can be better equipped to overcome them. For nearly two decades, the International Research […]

Climate Week Panel: Building Innovative Index Insurance Markets

First Climate Week Panel To Focus On Building Innovative Index Insurance Markets in Developing Countries NEW YORK, September 18, 2014 — A panel of leaders and experts from the business, humanitarian and research communities will convene this week at the Climate Week NYC to discuss the growing relevance of index insurance as a tool to […]

Join us for Climate Week NYC 2014

The International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) is co-hosting several events during Climate Week NYC 2014. See the schedule of IRI events below, and follow the links for more information. If you are a member of the media and would like to attend any of the events, please write to media @ iri.columbia.edu. Sustaining Health Linking Environment, […]

Special Issue: Shaping the Landscape of Climate Services

“A climate-informed and climate-ready world is possible. Large investments are being made toward adaptation and resilience to climate change, but many of those investments are separated from the more immediate climate-related vulnerabilities and opportunities that society faces. Information is increasingly available that could be used to guide action; however, information alone is not sufficient.” -Lisa […]

Jeffrey Shaman Wins CDC’s “Predict the Influenza Season” Contest

The Centers for Disease control and Prevention has awarded first prize for its “Predict the Influenza Season Challenge” to a team led by Jeffrey Shaman, an assistant professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and a scientist affiliated with the International Research Institute for Climate and Society.  Shaman and colleagues developed a scientifically […]

IRI and U. of Arizona Team Up for Climate

IRI and the University of Arizona address climate vulnerability in most at-risk areas of the world in new project The Caribbean, Asia’s Indo-Gangetic Plain and West Africa are three regions known to be extremely vulnerable to climate variability and change, particularly to droughts, extreme weather events and stresses on food production, water resources and coastal areas. A […]

Climate Services for Farmers: Jamaica

Follow-up coverage from the recently held Third International Conference on Climate Services (ICCS3) continues, this time from our partners at the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). The World Bank’s Ana E. Bucher gives an informative overview of the climate challenges faced by farmers in Mafoota, a small farming community in […]

IRI, USAID’s New Training Webcasts for Climate-Resilient Development

IRI, USAID Launch Training Webcasts to Inform Adaptation Planning and Climate-Resilient Development The International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have launched a new set of training webcasts geared for development professionals who want to be more fluent in the science that underpins their climate change adaptation projects. The […]

Q&A – Steve Zebiak on Climate Services Conference

Stephen Zebiak is head of the Climate Services Partnership Secretariat, and Senior Research Scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society. The Climate Services Partnership is an informal collaborative platform to advance knowledge, tools, and capacities in the delivery of science-based climate services to inform practical decision and policy making. Previously, Zebiak was Director-General […]

Third International Conference on Climate Services

The Climate Services Partnership is pleased to announce the third International Conference on Climate Services (ICCS 3), which will be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica from December 4-6, 2013. Just as weather services provides us with forecasts of short-term temperatures and rainfall, climate services provide users with timely information about a range of expected conditions […]

Sizzling Science: The Climate Models Calendar

The only calendar on Earth that shares the planet’s hottest climate science and the people behind it. Be among the first to display it by supporting the Climate Models Kickstarter campaign. On a steamy summer day this past August, six climate researchers from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society made a few stops on their […]

Risk of Amazon Rainforest Dieback Higher than IPCC Projects

This article is a modification from the original press release issued by The University of Texas at Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences A new study suggests the southern portion of the Amazon rainforest is at a much higher risk of dieback due to climate change than projections made in the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel […]

Insuring 37,000 Rwandan Farmers Against Drought

Index insurance can lower the cost of insurance, allowing smallholder farmers to buy insurance that can help them withstand the impacts of bad years and risk making productive investments in good years. A key component of index insurance is historical data – often temperature or rainfall data – to use as a basis for creating an index that determines when insurance payouts […]

An Institutional Review

In June, IRI hosted its first-ever review with its International Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee. Staff presented the IRI’s vision for growth as well as highlights of the institution’s work, supported by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for 15 years, to use advances in climate science to address societally relevant problems. The International Research […]

Planning in the Near Term for Climate Change

By Georgette Jasen When scientists talk about climate change, they usually mean significant changes in the measures of climate over several decades or longer. Climate variability generally refers to seasonal changes over a year or so. Lisa Goddard, an expert on climate change and variability, focuses on where the two intersect. As director of the […]

IRI Names New Deputy Director

Haresh Bhojwani has been appointed to be the Deputy Director of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, part of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. He will coordinate IRI’s connections with development and humanitarian organizations so that IRI’s research can target the needs of those vulnerable to climate impacts, especially through the institution’s international collaborations. […]

Role-Reversal (and Some Fun) at AGU

Francesco Fiondella is normally behind the scenes writing web stories, developing audio slideshows and videos for the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI). But at this year’s annual American Geophysical Union (AGU), the tables were turned for a brief moment. To see what happened when IRI scientist Andy Barnston ambushed Francesco about his presentation on unconventional […]

Poor Ethiopian Farmers Receive “Unprecedented” Insurance Payout

Oxfam America and The Rockefeller Foundation announced a weather index insurance payout of unprecedented scale directly to poor farmers. Thanks to a groundbreaking new program that relies on advanced satellite technology, more than 12,200 farmers in 45 villages in Northern Ethiopia will benefit from drought protection. As a result of this year’s drought conditions each […]

IRI’s New Director

Lisa Goddard, a leading expert on climate change and El Niño’s influence on climate has been appointed director of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, part of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. The IRI is devoted to studying climate prediction and helping vulnerable societies anticipate, prevent and manage climate-related events such as droughts, floods […]

Climate Services event at COP-17

The International Research Institute for Climate and Society will be hosting a panel event at this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place in Durban, South Africa from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9. The panelists will discuss the recent creation of the Climate Services Partnership, which was the main outcome of the recent International […]

International Climate Services

Easily accessible and timely climate information can help societies not only limit the economic and social damage caused by climate-related disasters, but also take advantage of opportunities provided by favorable conditions. Climate services are meant to fill this need. The IRI and the Earth Institute, along with NOAA, Germany’s Climate Services Center, the UK Met […]

Climate Smart Public Health

What do hot summer days in Beijing and heavy rains in rural Colombia have in common? Both are climate events that can trigger a host of public health calamities. And they’re just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways that climate and health interact. Despite strong connectivity between the two disciplines, […]

Homecoming

by Ken Kostel It would be easy for any graduate student to turn inward during his or her time at Columbia University, to focus solely on the long, rigorous task of publishing journal articles and completing the thesis. It would be easier still for a newly minted scientist to look anywhere other than his or […]

Now is the Time for Climate Services

Changes in climate and weather affect everyone on the planet. Those changes can cause damage or pose opportunities depending on their scale. For example, drought or overly heavy rains can wipe out crops and cause a ripple of damages. However, a more manageable increase in rains can help farmers have a bumper year and accompanying […]

IRI in Copenhagen

The International Research Institute for Climate and Society, part of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, will host and participate in a number of events at this year’s Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen, Denmark. Event details are below, in chronological order. Climate change in Google Earth Climate Change Kiosk in the Bella Center, December 10, 11 […]

IRI Climate Scientist Appointed to NAS Advisory Panel

Lisa Goddard, a climate scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, has been appointed to the National Academies of Science’s prestigious Climate Research Committee. She will be helping to promote progress in her field and give advice to government agencies on the scientific aspects of climate and climate change. The CRC also […]

IPCC Chief Rajendra Pachauri new IRI Board Chairman

Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, has agreed to serve as the next board chairman of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society. “I think there’s so much that the IRI can do. Climate change […]

Browse Archive