Research: The Foundation of the Earth Institute

Research: The Foundation of the Earth Institute

The Earth Institute’s scientists seek answers to questions about the fundamentals of the earth’s systems and the life they sustain: climate and geology, oceans and atmosphere, food, water, public health, energy, hazards, and ecosystems. The research originates in the laboratory, but it extends to places around the world, where knowledge is applied and where new research questions emerge.

How fast are Antarctic ice sheets melting, and sea levels rising? How is this affecting coastal regions? How will climate change affect health? How can we ensure that we will be able to grow enough food to feed the planet as farmers face a greater risk from drought? How can we reduce, store and reuse the CO2 that’s warming the planet, and create a society driven by alternative energy sources? How can we bring clean energy, clean water and sanitation to poor communities? How will we improve our ability to assess risks from earthquakes, droughts and floods, and sea level rise?

The complex nature of these questions requires interdisciplinary research. So the institute reaches across the university to forge collaborations among scientists, faculty and experts in a great variety of disciplines, from climatology to law, and from engineering to economics and public policy.

Our work is centered around these fundamental research themes: