State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

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Heading for Thin Air

Project scientists (starting second from left) Dwi Susanto, Dodo Gunawan and Lonnie Thompson sign documents launching the glacier-coring expedition.

The project to core the glaciers of Puncak Jaya was officially launched today at a press conference in Jakarta, at the offices of the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG). Agency director general Sri Woro B. Harijono hailed the project as “a milestone for climate study in Indonesia” that will produce important data for the world. Among other attendees: biochemist Bruce Alberts, who serves both as an international science envoy for U.S. president Barack Obama and editor-in-chief of the leading journal Science. Aside from the important data that we hope this expedition will bring back, everyone here views it as an important step in U.S.-Indonesian scientific cooperation.

The Indonesian press heavily covered the event; for instance, read the Jakarta Post’s article. The journal Science also produced a fine preview of the work, headlined “Arduous Expedition to Sample Last Virgin Tropical Glaciers.”

Tomorrow, we will make the five-hour flight to Papua, then the long trek to base camp. After that, the truly arduous part begins.

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

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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