State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Global weirding?


Mountains of snow line the street,

And some days I envy a beard.

Ask any shoveler you meet –

The weather this winter is weird!


How strange is it, really? Some wonder,

If sea-ice melt unleashed the Vortex.

Has warming torn systems asunder;

Should we invest big in Gore-Tex?


We’ve been gripped by deep-freeze before;

Sometimes it’s just wicked cold.

The overall trends worry more:

How will it be when we’re old?


Thermostat’s tending to heat;

We wait as the sea gently rises.

Our future we surely will meet,

And always, we’ll get some surprises.


Photo Credit: Figure generated by Cameron Beccario (EARTH.NULLSCHOOL.NET); Results sourced from the NCEP/NOAA Global Forecast System

Further reading:

A letter in Science Magazine: “Global Warming and Winter Weather”

Maps of recent temperature anomalies: Climate Reanalyzer, University of Maine

This is one in a series of poems based on science news, written by Katherine Allen, a researcher in geochemistry and paleoclimate at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Visit Allen’s website for more.


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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