State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Climate News Round Up: Week of 8/1

Obstacles to Capturing Carbon Gas, NYTimes, July 31

Carbon capture and sequestration is a technology that traps carbon dioxide and stores it, usually underground in a geological formation. The process, already used by oil and natural gas companies, presents the opportunity for capturing CO2 from power plants and other sources of carbon emissions as a means of mitigating climate change. Substantial obstacles face the expansion of this technology, including high costs and fears over leaks and unforeseen environmental consequences.

Climate Change an Extra Burden for Native Americans, Study Says , NYTimes, August 3

Because of their increased dependence on natural resources for income and to meet dietary needs, American communities of Alaskan natives and American Indians are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. A new study from the National Wildlife Federation finds that these groups will “suffer disproportionately” from climate change, as a function of their “economic, cultural, and spiritual” dependence on lands and natural resources.

China to cap energy use in national low-carbon plan, The Guardian, August 4

Later this year, the Chinese government is expected to release a low-carbon plan which will most likely include a cap on energy consumption. The limit on energy consumption is unclear, but some estimates place it at 4.1 billion tons of coal equivalent, which is 25% higher than last year’s consumption. A limit on energy consumption could help to form meaningful carbon markets.

Carbon offsets near record low, worst performing commodity , Scientific American, August 5

Carbon offsets, a form of permits for carbon dioxide emissions, have reached near all-time lows on Friday. The fall in prices is due to an overly high supply of permits from the U.N. panel which prints the offsets, in combination with weak demand in the main EU carbon market.

Climate change affects each U.S. state, Web tool shows, USA Today, August 5

The National Climatic Data Center and the Natural Resources Defense Council have created a new Web tool which allows users to see how climate affects their state. The map uses data to see how a given state is vulnerable to drought, flooding, and heat waves, as well as the attendant health problems.

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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