iOS app Android app

Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., Ph.D.
GET UPDATES FROM Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., Ph.D.
Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., is Senior Fellow for Environmental and Sustainable Systems at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, N.Y. He is the former president of ESF. Dr. Murphy was previously president and chairman of the board of O"Brien & Gere, an environmental engineering firm based in Syracuse. He has a Ph.D. in chemistry from Syracuse University, where he was a NASA Fellow, and a B.A. in chemistry from St. Michael's College.

Entries by Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., Ph.D.

We Make Progress -- but Need More -- on Climate Change

(4) Comments | Posted February 25, 2015 | 10:56 AM

While we were experiencing record cold weather in Central New York (-17°F on Feb. 16, 2015), it was hard to assimilate the Jan. 16 New York Times article headlined, "2014 Breaks Heat Record, Challenging Global Warming Skeptics." The article cited the recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report that said...

Read Post

Now Is the Time for National Water Resource Policy

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 10:25 AM

Water is our most precious natural resource and, yet, we abuse it and fail to effectively manage it.

The Center for Neighborhood Technology, a not-for-profit organization based in Chicago that focuses on sustainable cities, estimates that the loss of water from our municipal distribution systems approaches 2.1 trillion gallons per...

Read Post

New Studies, Reports Heighten Need for Action on Climate Change

(16) Comments | Posted October 24, 2014 | 8:28 PM

For years our Congress has ignored humans' impact on climate change.

Many members of Congress have used terms like "pseudoscience" and ignored the fact that 97 percent of scientists studying the issue have concluded that climate change is real, that its impact will significantly worsen with time and that...

Read Post

Microplastics: New Threat to Our Aquatic Ecosystem

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 2:37 PM

The use of plastics in our daily lives has grown drastically over the last several decades. It is difficult for us to function without using plastics in some form. Think about our annual use of nearly 300 million metric tons, with a significant percentage (up to 40 percent) used as...

Read Post

Forests: Cost-Effective Way to Mitigate Climate Change

(2) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 3:33 PM

The natural photosynthetic process that drives the growth of trees results in the storage of carbon largely in the form of cellulose and hemicellulose. As a result, forests have an important function in helping regulate the Earth's carbon cycle.

The capacity of our forests to sequester carbon suggests that optimized...

Read Post

Our Urban Forests Improve the Quality of Life

(2) Comments | Posted May 30, 2014 | 9:55 AM

There is an increasing awareness that healthy urban forests improve the quality of life for people in urban settings. Consider what our urban trees do:

  • Sequester carbon dioxide and release oxygen through the process of photosynthesis
  • A single mature tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of CO2¬/year and...
Read Post

Endocrine Disruptors: Latest Threat to Surface Waters

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2014 | 12:05 PM

The United States has one of the world's best systems for both wastewater and potable water treatment and distribution; however, that doesn't mean we are without challenges.

We are familiar with the impact of various synthetic organic chemicals on the human endocrine system and their ultimate stress on human reproduction,...

Read Post

Why We Need to Move From Coal to Natural Gas

(1) Comments | Posted November 21, 2013 | 1:39 PM

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg intends to adopt and implement a climate adaptation plan that will reduce the city's future exposure to climate-related threats such as Superstorm Sandy. At $19.5 billion covering 250 initiatives, it is one of the most ambitious plans being advanced and yet it is likely...

Read Post

Water Trumps Every Other Resource

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 5:13 PM

Water is both the most important molecule and the most important resource on the face of the earth. Water clearly trumps oil, natural gas or any other resource available to our global society.

Think about our most important universal solvent. Think about the human body made up of between...

Read Post

Earth Day Highlights Challenges That Remain

(1) Comments | Posted April 17, 2013 | 11:43 AM

As we pause to celebrate Earth Day this month, we need to reflect on the progress made since Rachel Carson's call to action in 1969 and the first Earth Day in 1970:

  • Most of our severe hazardous waste sites have been cleaned up or are in the process of being...
Read Post

Draft Climate Report Paints Bleak Picture

(5) Comments | Posted January 25, 2013 | 5:37 PM

The 2013 Draft National Climate Assessment Report was released for public review on January 11 in the form of a 1,193-page document that paints a bleak picture. The report was prepared by the 60-person National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee with more than 240 authors providing input.

The introduction...

Read Post

Engaged Individuals Can Help Solve Environmental Challenges

(6) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 10:31 AM

Another year is about to end, creating a natural stopping point for reflection and evaluation. While we consider this year's accomplishments and look ahead to what we'd like to change next year, our environment deserves some attention.

Humans -- you and I and the rest of the...

Read Post

U.S. Green Building Council Constructs a Greener Future

(2) Comments | Posted September 14, 2012 | 12:09 PM

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has given new meaning to the term "building the future."

Just 12 years after developing the innovative Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program that established a blueprint for sustainable construction and building rehabilitation, the USGBC has assumed a significant role at...

Read Post

Natural Disasters Tell the Story of Climate Change

(8) Comments | Posted July 19, 2012 | 5:14 PM

Anyone still wondering if climate change is real should consider the following:

  • Two tropical storms, Alberto and Beryl, formed before the start of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, the first such occurrence since 1908.
  • In 2011, there were 12 natural disasters in the United States that each caused more than...
Read Post