State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Reconvened Scientific Advisory Committee on Climate Change Holds its First Meeting

A key scientific advisory committee on climate change, disbanded by the federal government late last year and subsequently reconvened by the Earth Institute at Columbia University, will hold its first meeting in New York City this week.

The committee, officially titled the Independent Advisory Committee on Applied Climate Assessment (formerly known as the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment), is a group of leading scientists and experts tasked with providing recommendations to help federal, state and local government, communities, and the private sector plan for the effects of climate change. The federal committee was dissolved by the Trump administration in late 2017 and reconvened with support from Columbia University, New York State, and the American Meteorological Society in January 2018.

“In New York, we don’t believe denying climate change is a successful survival strategy and the work of this committee has never been more urgent,” said Governor Cuomo in an announcement today. “Letting these experts continue their work without political interference is critical to the future of our state and our planet.”

The reconstituted group will carry on its vital work of advising on how to better provide decision-makers the ability to better understand how climate change will impact their organizations and communities, and what they can do to plan for those impacts.

The 19-member committee, chaired by Richard Moss, visiting senior research scientist at the Earth Institute, is meeting at Columbia University from May 1 to May 3. The committee will collaborate to develop strategies for deeper engagement by states and cities in the National Climate Assessment, a federal government interagency effort on climate change science mandated by the Global Change Research Act of 1990. To learn more about the committee’s work, please go to

“We know that many states and cities are looking for better information to advance their climate preparedness,” said Moss. “Scientists are improving knowledge that can support climate action, and our advice is designed to help the National Climate Assessment better evaluate and make that information available.”

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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