When Connor Stonesifer ’16 first arrived in Panama in the summer of 2015, his Spanish consisted of saying “I want” and having to point at things. When he asked the woman who ran the hostel where he was staying to turn up the air conditioning, he received a cup of pudding instead. The landscape of a recovering forest in Agua Salud. “It was not exactly an auspicious start to my first foray into independent field research,” said Stonesifer, an ecology and evolu
The 15th annual meeting of the Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI) was held on April 13-14, 2016 in London. This is the first time in the 15-year history of CMI that the annual meeting has been held somewhere other than the Princeton University campus. Holding the meeting in London facilitated greater engagement between CMI investigators and European colleagues. Over 60 people attended to hear presentations and take part in discussions about terrestrial and ocean carbon sinks, carbon targets and
In a new study, a team including Princeton University researchers has identified the traits that best protect trees against death from drought.
PEI associated faculty member Daniel Sigman participated in a recent study that found fertilizing the oceans with iron may not work as envisioned.
Researchers have discovered that competition for sunlight among rainforest trees leads to the remarkably consistent pattern of tree sizes seen in tropical forests around the globe.
Q&A with Michael Oppenheimer and Denise Mauzerall about the Paris Climate Agreement.
A study led by Princeton University researchers suggests that hotter nights may wield more influence than previously thought over the planet's atmosphere as global temperatures rise — and could eventually lead to more carbon flooding the atmosphere.
It's easy to think of plants as passive features of their environments, doing as the land prescribes, serving as a backdrop to the bustling animal kingdom.
Unchecked growth of coal-intensive energy in the world's developing nations is a threat to the international environmental treaty known as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Literally putting a price on carbon pollution and other greenhouse gasses is the best approach for nurturing the rapid growth of renewable energy and reducing emissions.
Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment (ACEE) have announced awards totaling $1,050,000 to support 11 innovative projects in energy and the environment.
In the virtual world of climate modeling, forests and other vegetation are assumed to quickly bounce back from extreme drought and resume their integral role in removing carbon dioxide from Earth's atmosphere.
The Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI) held its 14th annual meeting at Princeton University on April 14 and 15, 2015. More than 100 participants gathered to discuss CMI’s most recent initiatives in the areas of science, technology, and integration and outreach.
In an opinion piece in the journal Nature Lars Hedin discusses the need to better understand whether carbon uptake in forests worldwide is slowing.
Socolow’s commitment accounting research was featured by “Environmental Research Letters” as one of 2014’s 25 most ground-breaking articles.
An increase in human-made carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could initiate a chain reaction between plants and microorganisms that would unsettle one of the largest carbon reservoirs on the planet — soil.
Princeton University researchers have uncovered a previously unknown, and possibly substantial, source of the greenhouse gas methane to the Earth's atmosphere.
With an Extension of Financial Support from BP, Princeton’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative Now to Run to 2020
Princeton University President Christopher E. Eisgruber (left) and Felipe Bayon (right), senior vice president, BP America, shaking hands during the Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI) renewal announcement. (Photo by Mark Czaijkowski) In support of a long established partnership to find compelling and sustainable solutions to the carbon and climate change problem, BP has committed a further $10.5 million over five years to the Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI) at Princeton, which wil
The U.S. Department of Energy has selected a project led by Princeton University Professor Michael Celia for funding. The project is one of 13 chosen to develop technologies and methodologies for geologic storage of carbon dioxide (CO2). Celia’s project, which is joint with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Heriot Watt University in Scotland, will develop new modeling capabilities for simulation of CO2 and brine migration in fractured reservoirs. Flow interacti
Coal's Continued Dominance of Global Industrialization Must Be Made More Vivid in Climate Change Accounting
The world's accounting system for carbon emissions, run by the United Nations, disregards capital investments in future coal-fired and natural-gas power plants that will commit the world to several decades and billions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI) held its 13th annual meeting at Princeton University on April 15 and 16, 2014. More than 90 participants gathered to discuss CMI’s most recent initiatives.
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, has elected Robert Socolow as a member.
Book cover of "Paleoclimate" authored by Michael Bender, professor of geoscience at Princeton University In his new book “Paleoclimate”, Michael Bender, professor of geosciences at Princeton University and a lead-member of the Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI), produced a concise and comprehensive history of the Earth’s climate and how it has changed over time. The field of Paleoclimatology is the study of such changes and their causes. In particular, the stud
Princeton University-led research supported by the Carbon Mitigation Initiative suggests that even if carbon-dioxide emissions came to a sudden halt, our planet could continue to warm for hundreds of years.
Candice Chow ’09 Photo courtesy of Candice Chow For Princeton students interested in the environment, the diverse world of environmental studies can encompass a variety of intersecting passions. For Candice Chow-Gamboa, that intersection was sustainable agriculture and global poverty. “The impetus for my career path is the issue of how to feed the world without depleting its resources, and I discovered how those two things work together during my time at Princeton as an under
The mystery surrounding the Southern Ocean is just one of the research projects being conducted out of a Princeton University laboratory at the Forrestal Center.
Enhanced growth of Earth's leafy greens during the 20th century has significantly slowed the planet's transition to being red-hot, according to a new research study supported by the Princeton Carbon Mitigation Initiative.
A Princeton University-based study funded by the Carbon Mitigation Initiative found that a unique dynamic between trees and carbo-loading rhizobia bacteria may determine how well tropical forests absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Earlier this year, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 400 parts per million (ppm). The last time there was that much CO2 was three million years ago, when sea levels were 24 meters higher than they are today.
Princeton University will receive a 2013 Air Quality Excellence Award for its sustainability efforts. Each year, the Air Quality Partnership, a program of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, honors one public and one private institution for their efforts to improve air quality. As warmer weather approaches, so does the onset of ground-level ozone. High levels of ozone pose health risks for everyone, and large segments of the population are considered especially sensitive to ozone
Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is the only class of mitigation options able to significantly reduce carbon in the atmosphere. A special issue of the journal Climatic Change explores CDR from the perspectives of integrated assessment, technology optimization, and environmental science.
Turning solid waste into fuel and reducing greenhouse gases emitted in making concrete are the two innovations funded by the Princeton Energy and Environment Corporate Affiliates Program.
Forests absorb around one quarter of the carbon dioxide that humans produce, but one small insect pest is jeopardizing this good work, with potentially serious consequences for climate change.
Whether it's the economics of clean energy, the politics of Washington or claims over the severity of the problem itself, the debate over climate change is loud and crowded. One aspect that often goes overlooked is the Southern Ocean ringing Antarctica at the bottom of the globe. But that, says Jorge Sarmiento, is about to change.
Princeton University has one of the most extensive and capable investments in climate science of any institution, suggests Stephen Pacala.
One of the greatest challenges facing today’s policymakers is to find ways to meet the growing global demand for energy and to do so in more sustainable ways.
The study will be conducted by researchers at the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute (MERI); Rutgers-Newark, led by Karina Schafer and Princeton University, led by PEI's Peter Jaffe.
Increasingly, many scientists are puzzling over how best to present what they know and don’t know to a broader audience.
The Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) has announced $1.1 million in new awards to support climate and energy research at Princeton University.
Technologies for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere unlikely to slow climate change in near term, according to American Physical Society study led by Robert Socolow.
Two New Investigator Awards Support Research on Desalination Technology and Metabolic Rate Processes of Plants
The Grand Challenges Program has awarded two New Investigator Grants for 2011-2012. One will support a proposal by Michael Bender to develop new methods of measuring plant respiration and photosynthesis rates.
Francois Morel is recipient of ACS Award For Creative Advances In Environmental Science & Technology
Francois Morel, Albert G. Blanke, Jr., Professor of Geosciences and former director of PEI honored at award ceremony on March 29 at the 241st American Chemical Society national meeting.
The Toughest Job in the World? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Seeks Its First Communications Chief
In the highly politicized world of climate science, public relations can win or lose battles that shape the Earth's future.
Negotiations this year are smaller and more subdued than last year's climate conference in Copenhagen, with fewer heads of government attending the meetings -- and far fewer protests. But some, like climate expert Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University, say that less attention may translate to more progress on some important issues. In Copenhagen, expectations were raised so high that they obscured reality, he said.
The University of Cantabria has announced the award of a Honorary Doctor's Degree to Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe.
On Sept. 23, 2010, Michael Oppenheimer briefed the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, U.S. House of Representatives, on extreme weather in a warming world.
Various efforts are underway to find a cheap, efficient and scalable way to recycle the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide back into the hydrocarbons that fuel civilization
Tanzania's iconic national park must not be divided by a highway, say Andrew Dobson, Markus Borner, Tony Sinclair and 24 others. A route farther south would bring greater benefits to development and the environment.
Researchers at Princeton University are spearheading a project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to study the risks and economics of capturing carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and storing it underground.
Oppenheimer Receives Heinz Award for Assessing the Impacts of Global Warming and Air Pollution, and Working for Policies to Prevent Future Harm
Teresa Heinz and the Heinz Family Foundation today announced the winners of the 16th annual Heinz Awards, honoring the contributions of 10 innovative and inspiring individuals whose work has addressed environmental challenges. Each recipient receives an unrestricted cash prize of $100,000.
Princeton University researchers will participate in a $122 million research project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop technologies and educational programs to make buildings more energy efficient.
This summer's work builds upon PEI's multiyear environmental monitoring program to help improve water quality and ecological balance.
Robert Socolow, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, has received the Keystone Award for Leadership in the Environment.
Danny Sigman publishes Nature review article on the role of the Southern Ocean in driving glacial/interglacial changes in atmospheric CO2 concentratio
The oscillations during the past 2.5 million years between ice ages and interglacials were probably triggered by orbital changes, but the observed amplitude and timing of these climate cycles still awaits a full explanation. One notable correlation links lower partial pressure (or concentration) of CO2 with ice ages: changes in CO2 concentration may cause some of the ice-age cooling, but what causes the loss of CO2 is unknown. Daniel Sigman, Mathis Hain and Gerald Haug review the evidence in sup
Without aggressive action to reduce soot emissions, the time table for carbon dioxide emission reductions may need to be significantly accelerated in order to achieve international climate policy goals such as those set forth in last December's Copenhagen Accord.
To understand why Himalayan glaciers are melting, Princeton Professor Denise Mauzerall looks for causes as far away as Europe and Africa.
This has been one of PEI's most enterprising years. We are pleased to share our exciting news with faculty, students, staff, alumni and friends.
Faculty in Princeton and Norway Collaborate to Teach Innovative Carbon Capture and Sequestration Course
Serving audiences across the ocean.
PEI Research and Center News from Spring/Summer 2010.
Recently, an analysis of Essential Science IndicatorsSM from Thomson Reuters recognized the work of Dr. Lars Hedin as having the highest percent increase in total citations in the field of Environment & Ecology.
An international group of scientists, ethicists, and governance experts meeting here this week has agreed that research into large-scale modification of the planet is "indispensable" given the "threats" posed by climate change.
In order to be sure that agreed emissions reductions are taking place, the U.S. must deploy new monitoring technologies, according to a new report.
Students flipping through the course catalog this year may have wondered what a course cross-listed in Atelier, environmental science and theater entailed.
In its final and most powerful report, a U.N. panel of scientists meeting here describes the mounting risks of climate change in language that is both more specific and forceful than its previous assessments, according to scientists here.
Participants shared research findings in climate science, carbon capture and storage and policy from the past year and discussed prospects of future domestic and international climate policy.
If you want to save the planet, think for a minute about the simple plastic cup. Eight or 12 ounces, perhaps emblazoned with a Princeton logo — the University goes through thousands of them each month.
Rising acid levels in the world's oceans appear to be robbing the tiny animals that form the bedrock of the marine food web of a vital nutrient.
On June 1, 2009, PEI held it's 15th annual Class Day celebration.
A summary of the University's many campus sustainability initiatives.
PEI Research and Centers News from Fall/Winter 2009.
The question is a potential deal-killer: If nations ever agree to slash greenhouse gas emissions, how will the world know if they live up to their pledges?
Hoping to help fix the Earth's atmosphere, Catherine Peters recently found herself 4,100 feet underground.
Americans' day-to-day lives won't change noticeably if President Barack Obama achieves his newly announced goal of slashing carbon dioxide pollution by one-sixth in the next decade, experts say.
Although the very term "accounting rules" may cause most people to turn the page, the financial crisis has shown that when rules allow businesses to claim profits from what are actually losses, they distort economic incentives at our peril.
Natural ecosystems and biodiversity must be made a bulwark against climate change, not a casualty of it, argue Will R. Turner, Michael Oppenheimer and David S. Wilcove.
In its first report since adopting a Sustainability Plan in February 2008, Princeton University states that on-campus greenhouse gas emissions have decreased for the first time since the University's energy-efficient cogeneration plant was installed in 1996.
Catherine Peters to lead a University project to evaluate carbon storage, newly funded by the Department of Energy
Catherine Peters, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Acting Director of the Energy Grand Challenge program, is leading a university project to evaluate carbon storage, newly funded by the Department of Energy.
Biofuels derived from renewable sources can be produced in large quantities and address many problems related to fossil fuels, including greenhouse gas emissions, but only if they are made from certain sources, according to a new article by a team of scientists and policy experts that included several Princeton researchers.
The cap-and-trade law that is solving the acid rain problem is a very rare species: an unmitigated public policy triumph.
Just months before world leaders are scheduled to meet to devise a new international treaty on climate change, a research team led by Princeton University scientists has developed a new way of dividing responsibility for carbon emissions among countries.
Deutsche Bank Launches World's First Real-Time Carbon Counter that Displays Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere
Deutsche Bank's Asset Management division (DeAM) today launched the world's first scientifically valid, real-time carbon counter, a nearly 70-foot-tall digital billboard displaying the running total of long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Robert Socolow, a Princeton professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, will receive the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' Frank Kreith Energy Award for his pioneering contributions in energy research.
The Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) will host a symposium and conference Wednesday through Friday, April 29-May 1, to address challenges related to agriculture and climate change as the global population expands.
A team of researchers led by Princeton University scientists has found for the first time that tropical rainforests, a vital part of the Earth's ecosystem, rely on the rare trace element molybdenum to capture the nitrogen fertilizer needed to support their wildly productive growth.
Grand Challenges collaborations focus on development, energy, health solutions.
Energy company BP has committed to a five-year renewal of a joint research partnership with Princeton University that identifies ways of tackling the world's climate problem.
President Shirley M. Tilghman comments on Princeton's focus on energy and the environment.
Humanity can't go on like this. Earth's climate is shifting, and it is all but certainly civilization's fault for burning fossil fuels and spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Princeton Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Fred Dryer has a lofty goal: end the nation's reliance on oil for jet travel.
Princeton faculty members have been invited to submit proposals by Monday, Sept. 17, for seed grants for projects under a new teaching and research program focused on important issues that share dominant environmental, political, social and engineering dimensions
Ruthie Schwab, Ben Elga and Diana Bonaccorsi are spending their summer among rows of aromatic herbs, lines of leafy greens and mounds of sprouting vegetables, all contained in a small patch of land behind the University's Forbes College.
The earth is growing warmer, thanks to elevated concentrations of greenhouse gases, and the vast majority of scientists now believe that human activity, especially the burning of fossil fuels, is primarily responsible.
Michael Oppenheimer, David Wilcove, and others publish "Climate change: helping nature survive the human response" in Conservation International.
The paper Climate change: helping nature survive the human response, published in the scientific journal Conservation Letters, looks at efforts to both reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and potential action that could be taken by people to adapt to a changed climate and assesses the potential impact that these could have on global ecosystems.
PEI Professor François M.M. Morel has received the Einstein Chair Professorship from the Institute of Urban Environment (IUE), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
PEI Researchers Combat Climate Change through Land Rehabilitation and Carbon Sequestration in Northern Kenya
Researchers from Princeton, in partnership with other scientists, are launching a research project that will ultimately help improve the livelihoods of pastoralists in the Horn of Africa region.
For the second consecutive year since adopting a Sustainability Plan, Princeton University's on-campus greenhouse gas emissions have decreased.
Sigman's research provides new evidence of a tight connection between high dust input to the Southern Ocean and the emergence of the deep glaciations that characterize the past one million years.
Have Chinese Coal Plants Been Keeping Global Warming in Check? It all sounds logical, and, says Hiram Levy,"the idea is physically sound." But he's not convinced that this is what's really happening.