State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Climate News Roundup: Week of 10/02

With Death of Forests, a Loss of Key Climate Protectors, NY Times, Oct. 1

Wildfires, extended drought, and uncontrolled beetle populations are some of the climate related threats facing American forests. In addition to being threatened by climate change, failing forests could themselves represent a two-fold threat to future climate: firstly, the forest could stop absorbing carbon, and secondly, they could release massive amounts of carbon back into the atmosphere if they were to burn or decay at a sufficiently high rate.

U.S. aviation lobbying ‘will not change European emission trading laws’, The Guardian, Oct. 4

Airlines from dozens of countries, led by the U.S., are increasing pressure to overturn an EU measure that would force airline carriers to pay for carbon emitted during takeoff and landing at European airports. While the airlines argue that the rule infringes on national sovereignty and aviation treaties, environmental groups and the EU remain firm that the rule is key to forcing the airline industry to play its part in combating climate change.

Climate change eradicating Arctic’s oldest ice, The Vancouver Sun, Oct. 5

NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center have issued a report documenting extensive shrinkage of ice cover in the Arctic for the 5th straight year. In addition, they have found that oldest Arctic ice is being replaced with younger, thinner ice sheets. This trend is of great concern, since with the disappearance of the oldest, thickest ice, the Arctic is more likely to experience ice-free summers in decades to come.

Is climate change affecting fall foliage?, USA Today, Oct.

Although no definitive study has been conducted in the U.S., several sources suggest that warming temperatures contribute to later leaf changing and dropping.  Studies conducted in Europe and Japan have indicated that leaves are changing colors and dropping later, which suggests the same might be true in the U.S. Establishing a firm link between climate change and changes in fall foliage is difficult, since yearly fluctuations in precipitation, temperature extremes, and soil moisture play a large role in determining when and how trees will drop their leaves.

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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Declan@Natural health remedies
Declan@Natural health remedies
12 years ago

I find it hard to believe that only now these airlines are being held accountable for their participation in the global climate conditions. Of course they will say it is an infringement on their national sovereignty, but this is not a question of what “was” but what “is” and changes need to be made. Do people not realize that in order to combat climate change we have to make sacrifices. Change comes about by “changing”, not by itself, but by effort.

12 years ago

It’s surprising that no one has tried to manufacture more fuel-efficient jet engines.