News from the Columbia Climate School

Climate News Roundup – Week of 8/30 and 9/6

Talks at Geneva Dialogue on Climate Finance constructive, BAFU

The Swiss Environment Minister, together with the Mexican Foreign Secretary, concluded an informal 2-day meeting of 46 countries and the EU on the future of climate change finance. The dialogue aimed to discuss the problems surrounding the challenge of raising and distributing $100 billion annually, as required by the Copenhagen Accord, to fight climate change and promote adaptation.

Temperature records to be made public, Telegraph

The UK Met Office, which heads UK research on weather and climate change, will make large sets of global temperature data public. Some of the data dates back hundreds of years, and will include hourly temperature records from weather stations across the globe. This collection will be accessible online to the general public, presented in collaboration with Google. The decision to make this collection public is widely seen as a response to heavy criticism from climate change skeptics, who have attacked some climate researchers for not sharing data.

Climate panel must adapt to survive, Nature

In March 2010, the UN Secretary General and the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) commissioned the InterAcademy Council (IAC) to review IPCC procedures. Inspired by a series of scandals, including hacked emails from a well-known climate research center and factual errors in the IPCC’s latest reports, the IAC was charged with recommending ways for the Panel to increase the quality and authority of its reports. The IAC’s findings were published on August 30th to significant media attention. The IAC suggested strengthening existing procedures, such as better identification of source documentation, and recommended new procedures, such as developing an explicit conflict of interest policy and standardizing expressions of uncertainty.

U.S. reiterates commitment to 2020 climate goal, Reuters

Todd Stern, head U.S. envoy to the UN climate negotiations, expressed the U.S.’s continued commitment to achieve a 17 percent cut in emissions from 2005 levels by 2020, despite stalled climate legislation in the Senate. Mr. Stern explained that the U.S. would use EPA regulations, as well as other policy instruments, in order to reach the 17 percent commitment in the absence of any climate legislation from Congress.

Weird Weather in a Warming World, The New York Times

Navigating the grey zone of “climate versus weather” communication is a complex endeavor: although no single event can be held as proof of human-induced climate change, a string of extreme weather events (from deadly heat waves in Russia to devastating floods in Pakistan) have the potential to demonstrate the effects of climate change to a skeptical lay public.

Science for the Planet: In these short video explainers, discover how scientists and scholars across the Columbia Climate School are working to understand the effects of climate change and help solve the crisis.
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