State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Climate News Roundup: Week of 4/03

Glaciers in Chile ‘melt at fastest rate in 350 years,’ BBC, Apr. 3

According to new research by the Universities of Aberystwyth, Exeter, and Stockholm, mountain glaciers of the Patagonian icefield are melting and causing sea level rise at the fastest rate in the past 350 years.  Using remote-sensing technology, the scientists were able to look at much longer timescales than previous studies.

10-year window to save reef: expert, The Sydney Morning Herald, Apr. 4

In anticipation of his address to a major Australian climate conference, Professor Ove Hoegh Guldberg issued a warning that if emissions are not dramatically cut over the next 10 years, the Great Barrier Reef will be lost. The director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland said that at this rate of coral bleaching, triggered by warming temperatures, the Great Barrier Reef would be gone in 40 years.

Multitude of Species Face Climate Threat, New York Times, Apr. 4

Using a new generation of fossil databases, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley reported that with the current above-normal rate of extinctions a sixth mass extinction could ensue. The scientists warn against oversimplifications of biological systems, discouraging attempts to link the fate of any single species to climate change. They claim that the global impacts are easier to assess than looking at biodiversity regionally.

Australians ‘must counter offensive climate rallies,’ The Sydney Morning Herald, Apr. 5

In recent weeks, Australia has seen numerous rallies for and against implementing a carbon tax. Australians in support of clean jobs, clean energy, and environmental protection are being called upon to counter “offensive” anti-carbon tax rallies.

Climate ‘technical fix’ may yield warming, not cooling, BBC, Apr. 6

A geo-engineering strategy, which whitens clouds by spraying them with particles of sea water, could reflect more solar radiation back to space and cool the earth. A study presented at the European Geosciences Union found that using water droplets of the wrong size would lead to warming, not cooling.

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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