Catching up on recent stories of Cornell climate change efforts:
Republicans doubt ‘global warming’ more than ‘climate change’ [Cornell Chronicle 2017-06-20] - On the heels of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, a new Cornell study finds that climate-science labels do matter. The U.S. public doubts the existence of “global warming” more than it doubts “climate change” – and Republicans are driving the effect, the research found. In a nationally representative survey, 74.4 percent of respondents who identified as Republicans said they believed that climate change is really happening. But only 65.5 percent said they believed in global warming. In contrast, 94 percent of Democrats replied “yes” to both questions. The research appeared May 14 in the journal Climatic Change.
Rising seas could result in 2 billion refugees by 2100 [Cornell Chronicle 2017-06-19] - In the year 2100, 2 billion people – about one-fifth of the world’s population – could become climate change refugees due to rising ocean levels. Those who once lived on coastlines will face displacement and resettlement bottlenecks as they seek habitable places inland, according to Cornell research the journal Land Use Policy, July 2017. “We’re going to have more people on less land and sooner that we think,” said lead author Charles Geisler, professor emeritus of development sociology. “The future rise in global mean sea level probably won’t be gradual. Yet few policy makers are taking stock of the significant barriers to entry that coastal climate refugees, like other refugees, will encounter when they migrate to higher ground.”
Atkinson Center names 2017-18 SSHA faculty fellows [Cornell Chronicle 2017-06-13] - Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future has named eight social sciences, humanities and arts (SSHA) fellows for the 2017-18 academic year. The fellows, who come from across the university, will add distinctive perspectives to the arena of sustainability by reshaping behaviors, imaginations and minds through their research, said David Lodge, the Atkinson Center’s Francis J. DiSalvo Director. “This work complements, extends and applies the Atkinson Center’s sustainability advances in the life, physical, environmental and agricultural sciences,” said Lodge. “These scholars are working on a diversity of issues – from the use of emotion in climate change communications to communities’ experiences with energy transitions. Their work will play a critical role in imagining and building a sustainable future in which people and the planet thrive.”
Bill Nye ’77 assures Cornellians that they can save the world [Cornell Chronicle 2017-06-12] - With his trademark humor, much of it at his own expense, Bill Nye ’77 – known to a generation as “The Science Guy” – captivated and delighted alumni and others with his Reunion Weekend talk, “Everything All At Once – How Cornellians Will Save the World.” He spent much of his talk defending the scientifically proven fact that the Earth’s climate is warming, a process that has been accelerated over the past 250 years by industrialization and a population boom. He also mentioned a few notable climate change “deniers,” most notably Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and President Donald Trump.
Atkinson’s Academic Venture Fund awards $1.8M to 15 projects [Cornell Chronicle 2017-06-09] - The Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future’s Academic Venture Fund awarded $1.8 million in 2017, with a record 15 grants to seed novel approaches to some of the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Several Atkinson teams are exploring new ways to promote planetary health for the well-being of humans, animals and ecosystems. Cornell’s new Master of Public Health (MPH) – an interdisciplinary degree program begun in fall 2017 – is co-sponsoring three projects, thanks to a gift from David Atkinson.
Climate Change Garden offers a lens into the future [Cornell Chronicle 2017-06-08] - In the shadow of Barbara McClintock’s historic campus shed, plots of foliage thicken in the university’s Climate Change Demonstration Garden. Located at the Cornell Botanic Gardens, these raised beds provide a living illustration of how future temperature conditions may affect plants. “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we’re facing,” said Sonja Skelly, director of education at Cornell Botanic Gardens. “For the general public, climate change is something they hear about, but it can be out of sight, out of mind. It is some sort of future phenomenon. It is not going to happen in our lifetime. It’s going to happen to somebody else in another part of the world, other than ourselves.”
Governor, labor unions announce climate jobs program [Cornell Chronicle 2017-06-02] – The June 2 launch of the Climate Jobs New York campaign and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that he will dramatically increase the state’s efforts to combat climate change represents a historic breakthrough by positioning unions to tackle the climate crisis and lead the nation in transitioning to a clean-energy economy. “The national debates on climate change are often defined as ‘jobs versus the environment’ or ‘workers against environmentalists,’” said Lara Skinner, associate director of The Worker Institute at Cornell. “This campaign changes the debate.”
Kaiser named fellow of agriculture and economics group [Cornell Chronicle 2017-05-30] – The chance to solve real-world problems has always motivated Harry Kaiser. While studying economics as a graduate student, he turned to the agricultural sector to make the greatest impact. Since then, his work has tackled such questions as how climate change affects food production and how taxes on unhealthy food drive nutritional choices.
Cornell’s Climate-Conscious Urban Campus Arises [The New York Times 2017-05-29] - When Cornell University competed in 2011 to develop an applied science and engineering campus in New York City, part of its pitch was that it would construct an academic building that would at least approach making as much energy as it used in a year, a concept known as net zero. It won. Then came the hard work of making that vision happen at the campus, known as Cornell Tech.
Cornell’s Hudson River conservation work nets DEC award [Cornell Chronicle 2017-05-25] - Cornell is working with communities along the Hudson to address issues of sea-level rise and flooding, which are projected to increase with climate change. The Climate-Adaptive Design studio, a program led by assistant professor Josh Cerra in the Department of Landscape Architecture, links Cornell students with flood-risk Hudson Riverfront communities to explore design alternatives for more climate resilient and connected waterfront areas as they respond to climate change.
Cornell climate center at front line of drought response [Cornell Chronicle 2017-05-23] – For 35 years, the NRCC, housed in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has been helping farmers and policymakers adapt to the weather. Led by director Art DeGaetano, professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, the NRCC monitors climatic conditions and shares the information with the public, part of its mission to inform and apply climate research for economic efficiency and the public interest. Because scientists anticipate climate change will cause an increase in extreme weather, including more frequent flooding and droughts, the work of the NRCC is proving even more indispensable, according to DeGaetano.
David Lodge’s contributions part of Arctic species plan [Cornell Chronicle 2017-05-17] - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed a comprehensive environmental agreement May 11 among eight nations that adopted the first Arctic Invasive Alien Species (ARIAS) strategy and action plan, developed by representatives of those nations including the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future’s David Lodge. The declaration recognized that human activity outside the Arctic region greatly contributes to climate change and pollution there; members noted “with concern” that the Arctic is warming at more than twice the global average, resulting in widespread negative environmental and economic impacts.
Climate Change Will Cut Cereal Yields, Model Predicts [UC Davis News 2017-05-15] – Climate change will likely cause wheat and barley yields to decline by 17 to 33 percent by the end of the century, predicts a new statistical model developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and Cornell University.
Einaudi speaker touts value of international education, languages [Cornell Chronicle 2017-05-15] - Multilingualism and the ability to understand cultures helps in solving global crises such as climate change and military conflicts, said Obama administration official Mohamed Abdel-Kader May 10 as part of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies’ Distinguished Speakers Series.
Category: News & Events