Skip to main content

Climate Change News

The destructive power of volcanoes was captured by William Morgan in 1840 in a hand-colored lithograph. Ancient volcanic activity could serve as a model for modern-day climate change studies. Image courtesy of the USC Libraries Special Collections.

Ancient volcanoes could be key to predicting the impact of climate change

April 14, 2016

Just over 200 million years ago, long before the demise of the dinosaurs, a cataclysm killed off a significant chunk of the planet’s animal life. The leading theory implicates massive volcanic eruptions, triggered when…

A microscopic image shows the type of phytoplankton and bacteria observed by USC researchers during a study of algal blooms. Photo courtesy of David Needham and Jed Fuhrman.

Microorganisms battle it out within algal blooms

March 8, 2016

An unseen war raging among the ocean’s tiniest organisms has significant implications for understanding the ocean’s role in climate change, according to a new study. USC Dornsife researchers David Needham and Jed…

This Leiopathes coral is estimated to be more than 4,200 years old.

Oceanic fossils suggest current climate models misrepresent El Niño

December 17, 2015

An analysis of fossil corals and mollusk shells from the Pacific Ocean reveals there is no link between the strength of seasonal differences and El Niño, a complex but irregular climate pattern with large impacts on…

Contrasting projections of 21st century precipitation from two of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change models. The left panel shows a projection from Japan's Model for Interdisciplinary research on Climate (MIROC) and the right depicts projections from the United States' Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). The MIROC model projects a drying over the western U.S. during the 21st century, whereas the GFDL model projects wetter conditions. Image courtesy of Lowell Stott.

El Niño and beyond: How to predict climate change

December 10, 2015

In 2014, the Pacific Ocean was primed for a strong El Niño season. Warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific led scientists to believe that conditions would provide…

James Moffett, professor of biological sciences and earth sciences, served as chief scientific officer for a recent ocean expedition that was the first to find dissolved iron as far as 2,500 miles from its source in hydrothermal vents. Photo by Darrin S. Joy.

Deep Sea Surprise

November 6, 2015

Iron is the single most abundant element on Earth. It’s also one of the most important for living organisms, which use it for myriad biological processes. An expedition in the South East Pacific Ocean may have found the…

The new Ph.D. program will capitalize on the world-leading faculty expertise in population, place and health that already exists at USC.

Population, Health and Place

September 29, 2015

Physician John Snow’s use of a map to discover the contaminated water source that spawned the deadly 1854 cholera outbreak in the neighborhood of Soho in London, England, is widely recognized as one of the earliest…

The McCarthy Quad will be transformed into an “eco-hangout” where students can learn how they can impact climate change policy and generate solutions for a more sustainable future.

A Plan for Tomorrow

September 29, 2015

As carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue to rise, warming the climate and changing major ecosystems, USC Dornsife student Zach Manta wants his peers at USC to know that they can make a difference to reverse the…

Five panelists discussed the Pope’s recent encyclical on the environment and climate change at a Sept. 9 event.

Pope Francis — Environmental Activist?

September 10, 2015

Students, faculty and staff packed Doheny Library on USC’s University Park campus on Sept. 9 to hear how one of the world’s most beloved religious leaders is shaping the debate on climate change and global…

Undergraduates experience the midnight sun in the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik. Photos by Hanna Jolkovsky.

Exploring Arctic Issues

August 27, 2015

Perched 420 meters above sea level, USC Dornsife undergraduate Kathryn Kelly surveyed a stunning landscape of fjords, islands and white-capped mountains. Spread at her feet, like a jewel in the crown, lay one of the…

Abigail Gregg (left) and Laura Wang, the first USC students to receive Fulbright-Clinton Fellowships, are both graduates of USC Dornsife. Photos courtesy of Abigail Gregg and Laura Wang.

Toward a Better World

August 24, 2015

USC Dornsife alumnae Abigail Gregg and Laura Wang are the first USC graduates to receive Fulbright-Clinton Fellowships. Wang, a Trustee Scholar who graduated from USC Dornsife in 2012 with bachelor’s and master’s…