Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
ONE OF THE biggest developments of 1996, from the perspective of those who were interested in global warming and climate change, was the formation of the new Columbia University Earth Institute, designed to bring together 11 separate centers for research, education, and innovation. The move happened at a crucial time; 1995 and 1996 were among the warmest years yet recorded. Columbia University, founded in the 1750s as Kings College, which boasted luminaries such as Alexander Hamilton among its early students, had long been in the forefront of the study of the Earth and its changes. Columbia had the nation's first full-time department of geology in the 19th century, and, as the school grew, so did the size of its Earth-oriented faculty. Columbia was already one of the leaders in the field when, in 1949, the widow of New York banker Thomas W. Lamont (1870–1948) announced she would give his estate, ...