State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Climate267

  • China, coal liquefaction, and more…

    The NYT’s Andy Revkin notes that China opened its first large-scale coal-to-liquid (CTL) facility on December 30. CTL technology, which converts coal into liquid fuel such as gasoline or diesel, has been around since the early 20th century, but has only been widely used twice – in Germany during World War II and in South…

  • Obama’s Stimulus Plan and Climate Change

    By George Deodatis Although not officially announced yet, it is almost certain that the eagerly anticipated stimulus plan of Obama’s new administration will include hundreds of billions of dollars in a wide range of civil infrastructure works, as commented by Anne Polansky’s

  • Using Insurance in Adaptation Efforts

    If the recent Conference of the Parties in Poznan, Poland was any indication, next year’s buzzword in the climate-change community will be climate risk insurance. “Dealing with insurance is of fundamental importance in order to meet adaptation objectives,” said UNFCCC Secretary General Yvo de Boer. “If you can’t get insurance because climate change makes you…

  • Prescriptive science?

    This is just a short post to draw your attention to John Tierney’s New York Times column on John Holdren’s appointment as Obama’s science advisor. Tierney contends that: “Dr. Holdren is certainly entitled to his views, but what concerns me is his tendency to conflate the science of climate change with prescriptions to cut greenhouse…

  • Cooler, 2008 Still Ranks in the Top 10

    A paper released last week by the World Meteorological Organization reports that the preliminary global mean temperature for 2008 is 14.3°C (57.7° F). This is significantly below 2007’s 14.7°C (58.5°F), and – as Time magazine reports – the coolest year since the turn of the century. Sadly, our half-hearted efforts at carbon offsetting cannot take…

  • Climate change and the hydrological cycle

    The prospects of significant and damaging changes in the hydrological cycle due to the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations were raised in earlier IPCC reports and restated more strongly in the most recent, 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). Now, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) issued its final Synthesis and Assessment Report on…

  • Around the world: Canada, Part 1

    Periodically I’ll be taking a look at how countries other than the Big Four are faring in the fight against severe global warming, as commentators tend to focus on the United States, China, India and the European Union. This is the first in a two-part post on Canada. Oh, Canada! Our enlightened neighbor to the…

  • Abrupt Climate Change, How Likely?

    Yesterday the USGS released “Abrupt Climate Change, Final Report, Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.4” of  the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research. You can download the four page brochure or the full report here.  Columbia scientists Edward R. Cook (the lead author) and Richard Seager, both from Lamont-Doherty Earth…

  • Biofuels, food security, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity

    Biofuel use is one of the strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that has already been incorporated into policy and regulatory frameworks. However, it has become increasingly evident that biofuel production has unintended consequences that extend beyond national boundaries and beyond the energy sector. Chief among these are concerns for food security. The food…

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

  • China, coal liquefaction, and more…

    The NYT’s Andy Revkin notes that China opened its first large-scale coal-to-liquid (CTL) facility on December 30. CTL technology, which converts coal into liquid fuel such as gasoline or diesel, has been around since the early 20th century, but has only been widely used twice – in Germany during World War II and in South…

  • Obama’s Stimulus Plan and Climate Change

    By George Deodatis Although not officially announced yet, it is almost certain that the eagerly anticipated stimulus plan of Obama’s new administration will include hundreds of billions of dollars in a wide range of civil infrastructure works, as commented by Anne Polansky’s

  • Using Insurance in Adaptation Efforts

    If the recent Conference of the Parties in Poznan, Poland was any indication, next year’s buzzword in the climate-change community will be climate risk insurance. “Dealing with insurance is of fundamental importance in order to meet adaptation objectives,” said UNFCCC Secretary General Yvo de Boer. “If you can’t get insurance because climate change makes you…

  • Prescriptive science?

    This is just a short post to draw your attention to John Tierney’s New York Times column on John Holdren’s appointment as Obama’s science advisor. Tierney contends that: “Dr. Holdren is certainly entitled to his views, but what concerns me is his tendency to conflate the science of climate change with prescriptions to cut greenhouse…

  • Cooler, 2008 Still Ranks in the Top 10

    A paper released last week by the World Meteorological Organization reports that the preliminary global mean temperature for 2008 is 14.3°C (57.7° F). This is significantly below 2007’s 14.7°C (58.5°F), and – as Time magazine reports – the coolest year since the turn of the century. Sadly, our half-hearted efforts at carbon offsetting cannot take…

  • Climate change and the hydrological cycle

    The prospects of significant and damaging changes in the hydrological cycle due to the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations were raised in earlier IPCC reports and restated more strongly in the most recent, 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). Now, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) issued its final Synthesis and Assessment Report on…

  • Around the world: Canada, Part 1

    Periodically I’ll be taking a look at how countries other than the Big Four are faring in the fight against severe global warming, as commentators tend to focus on the United States, China, India and the European Union. This is the first in a two-part post on Canada. Oh, Canada! Our enlightened neighbor to the…

  • Abrupt Climate Change, How Likely?

    Yesterday the USGS released “Abrupt Climate Change, Final Report, Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.4” of  the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research. You can download the four page brochure or the full report here.  Columbia scientists Edward R. Cook (the lead author) and Richard Seager, both from Lamont-Doherty Earth…

  • Biofuels, food security, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity

    Biofuel use is one of the strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that has already been incorporated into policy and regulatory frameworks. However, it has become increasingly evident that biofuel production has unintended consequences that extend beyond national boundaries and beyond the energy sector. Chief among these are concerns for food security. The food…