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Precious Earth
Photo by Chris Hildreth

Precious Earth

Duke leaders rise to face the challenges of climate change.

Though Duke has recently made its own climate commitment, Duke scientists have been investigating climate issues for decades. From controlled forest burns to solar power, from carbon in wetlands to oyster fisheries and methane capture, Duke has long sought climate solutions.
Meet some of our climate leaders.

Nicholas Distinguished Professor of Earth Science Drew Shindell is a leader in the study of global climate change and its relationship to human society. That makes him a key player in Duke’s Climate Commitment.

The Price of Gas

It Was True About Methane

Possible greenhouse win

IN A WORLD DRAGGING ITS HEELS in facing the existential crisis of climate change, Drew Shindell is leading the way toward consensus. It starts with cow burps.

A View from Their Own Roof

Solar Power Saves Water

saves water

Avner Vengosh and Erika Weinthal, both professor at the Nicholas School, put solar panels on their house during the lockdown. The panels do more than just generate power: they also reduce water footprint. They’ve done the math.

How a hot, dry Summer can lead
to higher salinity

Studying Our Weirding Ocean

saves water

Commercial fishermen notice summer flounder, historically a North Carolina fish, driven as far north as New York and New Jersey by warming seas. At the same time, shrimp have been flushed from the too-warm shallows of the Chesapeake Bay into deeper North Carolina waters – in staggering numbers. Stone crabs, historically a Florida species, turn up in Beaufort, North Carolina. Farmed oysters, a potential replacement


Wildfires Rising

THE FIRE CHASERS deployed on 24 hours’ notice. The moment a severe and complex fire developed, the N.C. State University wildfire research team convoyed across the American West, jamming to a playlist of songs with the word “fire” in the title. Once at the fire, they embedded with Type 1 Incident Management Teams – the most elite wildland firefighters in the nation.