News & Events

The latest climate change news from Cornell and beyond.

 

Feb. 10 seminar: Reducing Uncertainty in Rainfall Projections for Improved Food Security in Malawi

Reducing Uncertainty in Rainfall Projections for Improved Food Security in Malawi

Wednesday February 10 12:20-1:10pm
135 Emerson Hall

Speakers:

  • David Wolfe, Cornell Professor, Horticulture Section, School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Toby Ault, Cornell Professor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Refreshments provided. Co-sponsored by the Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences, Natural Resources, and The Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management


Reflections on COP21 climate agreement panel Feb. 3

 

Click image for poster.

Click image for poster.

COP21: Reflections on the Historic Climate Agreement – What’s next for the world?
Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 7:15pm to 8:45pm
Tompkins County Public Library, Borg Warner Room, 101 E Green St, Ithaca, NY

Join six Ithacans who participated in COP21 in Paris, for personal reflections on the 195-nation agreement on climate change. Followed by a community conversation about next steps.

Panelists:

  • Bob Howarth, Cornell University
  • Sandra Steingraber, Ithaca College, author
  • Karen Pinkus, Cornell University
  • Allison Chatrchyan, Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture
  • Johannes Lehmann, Cornell University
  • Colleen Boland, We are Seneca Lake

Introduction: Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton

Sponsored by:  Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Tompkins County Planning Department, Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative


Why Climate Change Rhetoric Simultaneously Succeeds and Fails

 

Adam Levine, Assistant professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University

Adam Levine, Assistant professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University

Adam Levine and Reuben Kline in the Huffington Post [2016-01-04]:

Despite mounting evidence about the threats posed by climate change, most Americans do not consider it to be a very important problem facing the country, nor are they engaged in large-scale advocacy efforts to address it.

What might be done? An increasingly common argument, backed both by intuition and social science research, is that rhetoric should highlight how climate change will personally affect Americans’ lives. Among the most common “personal relevance” frames are those that focus on how it might impact personal health or make it more difficult for people to obtain the food that they need.

It turns out that these personal relevance messages have the opposite effect from what we might expect: Although they do increase people’s concern about climate change, they actually reduce their willingness to advocate on the issue.

Read the whole article.


Feb. 18 panel: International Management of the Paris Climate Change Agreement: What Next?

Thursday, February 18, 2016
4:45pm to 6:00pm
Warren Hall, B25

Panelists:

  • Robert W. Howarth, David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology & Environmental Biology.
  • David WolfeProfessor, School of Integrative Plant Science and Chair of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (ACSF) Climate Change Focus Group.
  • John MathiasonAdjunct Professor at the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs and the Managing Director of Associates for International Management Services (AIMS).

Climate change is the most important international issue for humans ever.  It is borderless, affects everyone and cannot be solved by the workings of the State system or the magic of the marketplace.  It requires international management.  This was known before the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris in December, but will be even more important as the Paris Agreement is implemented.  The colloquium will discuss what we can and should expect over the next thirty years.

Some of the dimensions of international management were explored in a 2013 issue of the Journal of International Organizations Studies edited by John Mathiason.  Its introduction stated “Despite the fact that international institutions will clearly be tasked with coping with the global response to climate change, little research has focused on the current and new institutions dealing with climate change. This is partly due to the fact that the negotiations about how to address the climate change problem have not concluded.”  The negotiations, for the moment, were concluded in Paris and some of the areas for management are reflected in the Agreement.

The Paris Agreement’s implementation will involve more negotiation and setting up and managing the negotiation process will continue to be an international responsibility executed by the Secretariat of the UNFCCC located in Bonn.

Read more about the event and view full bios of panelists.


Video: Cornell Takes on Climate Change

ryan-mattson-vid
View video

From TWC Capital District News:

Climate change has become a huge topic of discussion lately, especially following an international agreement on how to combat the problem. But here in New York, Cornell University is taking a different approach. They’ve created the Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture to help train and educate farmers on how to adapt to a changing climate and reduce their impact on the environment. Cornell’s Matt Ryan and Neil Mattson joined us to talk about the initiative. View video


Climate change topic at NYS Agricultural Society Forum

Art-DeGaetanox500

Art DeGaetano—Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Professor at Cornell University and director of the NE Regional Climate Center. (Jason Koski/University Photography)

Morning Ag Clips [2015-12-23].

Undoubtedly climate change is a hot topic globally for world powers, developing nations, major industry, and competing think tanks. But how does the issue impact New Yorkers and how food is produced, processed and sold in our communities? On January 7, 2015 at the Holiday Inn Liverpool, a broad cross section of over 500 producers and representatives of the Empire State food and agricultural system will consider this contested issue and what changes and opportunities are on the horizon for climate smart farming.

Keynote speakers include Dr. Art DeGaetano—Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Professor at Cornell University and director of the NE Regional Climate Center; and Dr. Laura Lengnick—Professor of Sustainable Agriculture at Warren Wilson College in NC, who is one of the primary authors of the USDA comprehensive report on climate change effects and adaption strategies for US agriculture. Three producers, ranging from a traditional dairy to a community supported mixed-vegetable farm will contribute their insights and experience, and respond to questions.

In addition to Commissioner Richard Ball of the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, Val Dolcini, Administrator of the Farm Service Agency , USDA, will be a special guest to present the inaugural Next Generation Farmer Award.

Read the whole article.


A changing climate means a changing menu

 

Mike Hoffmann

Mike Hoffmann

Michael Hoffmann in The Hill [2015-12-22]

Imagine that you and I are dining at a restaurant for a very special meal, where the choices are wide, the server is welcoming and knowledgeable, and the atmosphere is cozy — a perfect place for a crisp December evening. I order a Manhattan, three cherries, and you select a nice white wine. After a selection of raw oysters, we enjoy simple salads of mixed greens, avocado, cherry tomatoes and fresh parmesan. The conversation is warming up as we work our way to our main courses: lobster bisque for me, grilled shrimp and saffron rice for you. We end with coffee, chocolate mousse and panna cotta. Bon appétit!

But let’s take a few steps back. Our meal came to us from around the world thanks to a complex and interconnected global food system. It involves picking, packing, cleaning, hauling and shipping saffron from Kashmir, India; rice from Vietnam; fruit from Chile; wheat from Kansas; and other ingredients from thousands of points around the globe.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s “Climate Change, Global Food Security and the U.S. Food System” report released during the 2015 Paris Climate Conference earlier this month points to a new reality. All of these dots and their connections in this global system are under an intensifying threat: Climate change is fundamentally altering our menu. “Big Food” is taking notice of these changes, and so should we.

Read the whole article.

Michael Hoffmann is executive director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture, faculty fellow at Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and a professor in the Department of Entomology.


Reporting from Paris: COP21 updates

The 21st Conference of the Parties in Paris brings the world together to address climate change. And Cornell’s delegation to COP21 continues to report from the center of the action.

This week’s updates:carbon circles

Read more about Cornell’s delegation to COP 21.


Report from Paris: COP21 at the Half-way Point

malting ice in ParisSunday, 6 December 2015
Robert Howarth
David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology & Environmental Biology at Cornell University
One of the four Cornell-appointed Observer Delegates to COP21

Read the full update.


New element tracking method a boon for geoscientists

 

Thea Whitman collects samples from experimental plots at Cornell’s Mount Pleasant research farm.

Thea Whitman collects samples from experimental plots at Cornell’s Mount Pleasant research farm.

Cornell Chronicle [2015-11-19]:

Geoscientists track how elements cycle across land, air and water to better understand climate change, ecological food webs and resources, plant nutrient cycling, water use and for forensics purposes.

But until now, they have only been able to parse inputs of such elements as carbon or nitrogen in a system when there are two sources. Yet many natural systems may have three or more interdependent sources, leaving researchers unable to separate inputs from one source to another, and hindering them from understanding how sources may interact with each other to affect overall carbon or nitrogen cycling in that system.

A Cornell study in the Nov. 4 issue of Nature Communications describes a new method that allows geoscientists to tease out the exact inputs from three different sources.

Read the whole article.