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January 2017

Will It Rain? Monitoring Program Puts Crucial Info in Hands of Remotest Farmers

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 2:00pm

At a vegetable farm in West Africa, where the planting is done by hand, questions about weather boil down to the most urgent question of all:  Will the rains be good or bad?

Writing Environmental Ruin, or How to Write an Obituary for an Embattled Planet

Publish Date: 
Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 2:15pm

Until recently, Princeton University junior Anne Merrill wasn't aware of how time and distance can dampen a person's awareness of the pervasiveness and the toxic endurance of environmental degradation.

In African 'Fairy Circles,' a Template for Nature's Many Patterns

Publish Date: 
Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 4:00pm

Be it the Mima mounds of Washington state or the famous "fairy circles" of Namibia in southwestern Africa, people are captivated by the regular patterns of plant growth that blanket desert and grassland landscapes, often with mesmerizing consistency.

Climate Change to Alter Global Pattern of Mild Weather

Publish Date: 
Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 11:15am

Scientists from Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have produced the first global analysis of how climate change may affect the frequency and location of mild-weather days — and it may be soon.

Giant Middle East Dust Storm Caused by a Changing Climate, Not Human Conflict

Publish Date: 
Friday, January 13, 2017 - 2:15pm

In August 2015, a dust storm blanketed large areas of seven Middle East nations in a haze of dust and sand thick enough to obscure them from satellite view. The storm led to several deaths, thousands of cases of respiratory ailments and injuries, and canceled airline flights and closed ports. 

Tree-Bark Thickness Indicates Fire-Resistance in a Hotter Future

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 10:15am

A new study has found that trees worldwide develop thicker bark when they live in fire-prone areas. The findings suggest that bark thickness could help predict which forests and savannas will survive a warmer climate in which wildfires are expected to increase in frequency.

A New Professional Ethics for Sustainable Prosperity

Publish Date: 
Friday, January 6, 2017 - 2:15pm

This essay by Melissa Lane forms part of a series within the work programme of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity, investigating the philosophical understandings of sustainable prosperity.

The Fire Through the Smoke: Working for Transparency in Climate Projections

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - 1:45pm

The government of a low-lying island nation is considering the construction of a seawall to protect its capital and economic hub from the rising seas brought on by climate change. The length and expense of the project depends on how high the wall needs to be — 3 feet? Four?

A wall that's too high would be needlessly expensive and intrusive. One that is too low would make the effort to protect the soon-to-be inundated city in vain, sapping resources that could have been put toward other preventative measures. Doing nothing could be disastrous.