State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Climate News Roundup: Week of 6/26

Prodigal Plankton Returns to the Atlantic, Discovery News, Jun 26

According to researchers with the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science, a species of plankton called Neodenticula seminae is an Atlantic resident again, 800,000 years after it became extinct in the ocean. The microscopic plant has been documented with sufficient frequency over the last several years to determine that the species has indeed returned. The plankton’s arrival has been facilitated, the researchers say, by melting polar ice providing an easier passage for transport from one ocean basin to the other.

Herder Perceptions of Climate Change, New York Times, Jun 30

Over the last 70 years Mongolia’s climate has warmed almost 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The ability of the herders and their herds to survive depends on their knowledge of the weather and seasonal changes, information that has been passed on through many generations and is essential in the harsh Mongolian climate of cold, windy, dry winters and relatively warm, wet summers. But now the climate is changing, and the herders are beginning to worry about their future. Ninety-nine percent of the herders interviewed say that the seasons have changed.

Poland’s EU budget commissioner in climate change controversy, The Telegraph, July 1

Poland is reliant on coal-fired power stations for up to 90 per cent of its electricity and the former Communist bloc country last week blocked an EU attempt to increase a target to cut CO2 emissions from 20 to 30 per cent. Janusz Lewandowski, Poland’s EU budget commissioner has been forced to recant after he claimed climate change was exaggerated and argued that overambitious EU CO2 emissions targets would hurt his country’s economy.

Exxon Cut Financing to Climate Skeptics, Group Says, New York Times, July 1

Greenpeace U.S.A. has issued a report saying that all of the research funding received since 2003 by Willie Soon, an astrophysicist who has been a critic of climate science, came from oil or coal interests like ExxonMobil and the Southern Company, a utility that burns coal. Dr. Soon, who works at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has researched whether solar variance might be responsible for climate warming.

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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