State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Night Watchman

Nick Frearson as 'Night Watchman' for the gravimeter.
Nick Frearson as 'Night Watchman' for the gravimeter.

Nick Frearson, Gravimeter Instrument Team, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory:

PUNTA ARENAS, Chile–I have become a night watchman of sorts. The gravimeter we’re using in our flights over Antarctica must remain powered at all times, so between flights I hole up in the old terminal next to the aircraft watching, …and watching. We won’t be on the first few flights, so our focus for now is to make sure the gravimeter functions smoothly in the air. We have rigged up a light in the window of the plane connected to the gravimeter rack so I can tell instantly if we lose power. I can also see if the constant wind whipping through the area rips any of the cables loose.

For our first mission to Getz Ice Shelf on Friday we had cool temperatures of 40 ° F and a BRISK wind of 40 knots. The plan is to start with the most difficult flights– areas that are farthest away or with the worst weather– early in the season. Getz Ice Shelf lies along the fringe of Marie Byrd Land and creeps into the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica. This eleven hour flight will cover a long stretch of sea ice, onto Getz ice shelf, and then up the Davitz glacier.

Follow our flights  through twitter updates linked to our icebridge webpage

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Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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Rev Dr P J John
14 years ago

Tip of the iceberg. The meltdown and water level rising weather or climate change is not heart warming to know. We are feeling the resulots here in Singapore and the regions of SE Asia. Pollution, famine, wars and overpopulation are pressing us to somekind of action by 6.5 billion humanity before we go extinct. Have been reading and digesting Professor Jeffry Sachs book for over two years for now slowly steadly although could have done it within a month for obvious reasons. Great work in words and deeds a step leads us forward to the 1k miles journey ahead. I am at “The End of Poverty” book now at Chapter five page five, the world is in major economic crises.

We know 800 million to 1 billion people today will go to bed with empty stomachs the war on terrorism as we agree must also include the war on poverty. President Obama meeting Prime Minster Singh is not by chance, India the biggest democracy has around 1 billion people after China. USA with much lesser populace will this thanksgiving and year eat 240million turkeys.

Average poor in Asia-Pacific and Africa will survive on USD2 per day and there are over 50 million jobless today and around there homeless.

Where do we go from here? I agree with your final chapter “Our Generation’s Challenge” I feel very tired here in Singapore as I am involved in grassroots here and also the region in serious missions. This morning had two smses from Indonesia one grassroots leaders down with Heart concerns and high BPM andothers mother hospitalized in Singapore for stroke.

I agree totally to your position diagnosis is not enough major remedy needed. We must get the G8, G20, G77 countries including th oil producing ones regardless of race, language, or religion:
Commit to Ending Poverty by engaging all nations and tounges
Adopt a plan of action TMDG is going on the right track
Raise the voice of the poor with Obama and Singh as Gandhi and Nartin L King Jr are dead but spirits reign
Redeem the role of the USA and UN in the global village
Rescue the IMF and WB also ADB all the rest from imp-loding with collective debts and mismanagements
Strengthen the UN
Harness Global Science
Promote SD at all levels
Make a personal commitment which I have…..2025 is not too far away
we can make it happen in our lifetime day by day in every way with God’s help……CNN Hero award was worthwhile it was global but must be regionalized to mobilize proactive ripple effect.