Archive for November, 2011

Cool COP Morning: Nations Talk Climate in Durban, South Africa

Written by Lisa Hayden on . Posted in COP17, Learn, The Wonk Room Flickr

Delegates are arriving in Durban, South Africa, as another United Nations climate change conference gets underway, amid sobering science reports, calls to “occupy” the talks, pleas from the Pope, and even deadly floods in the host province.

Based on the history of negotiations, expectations in the media are admittedly rather low for this 17th Conference of the Parties – or COP as it’s known – of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. But the urgent need for concrete progress on the world’s shared climate problem is spurring representatives from more than 190 countries to meet for the next two weeks to seek some kind of agreement to limit the world’s collective carbon pollution from the burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests.

Chinese Scientists Tour U.S. Sea-Level Rise Work with The Nature Conservancy

Written by Lisa Hayden on . Posted in Learn

October 2011 - Chinese Sci Yuan Lin Walking in Southold LI marsh with Nicole Maher and Adam Starke_WEB size

The Nature Conservancy hosts Chinese scientists for a tour of coastal sites on Long Island Sound and Louisiana to share research and tools for preparing for sea-level rise.

The scientists from State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, part of East China Normal University in Shanghai, had worked with The Conservancy before to develop a management plan for Dongtan National Nature Reserve, a 60,000-acre wetland reserve on Chongming Island, the world’s largest alluvial island, situated in the delta of the Yangtze River.

Climate Extremes: the Time to Respond is Now

Written by Frank Lowenstein on . Posted in Act, Extreme weather, Learn


When it comes to thinking about preparedness and response to our changing planet, we’re urging the world to follow our lead.

Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its new report looking at the relationship of climate change to extreme weather and outlining strategies for addressing these impacts.

The report confirms the fact that climate change is like steroids for many extreme weather-related events like drought, floods, wildfire, heat waves and rain. Think of many of the events we’ve seen in this intense and wacky year of weather as a trailer for the climate change feature film. This is not a movie we want to see.

“Year of Forests” Ends With Progress on Illegal Logging

Written by Wahjudi Wardojo on . Posted in Learn


Forests have come to stand as a near-universal symbol for nature and the environmental movement.

But in the environmental context, green really means one thing: forests. Forests have come to stand as a near-universal symbol for nature and the environmental movement. They even speak to the increasing percentage of the global population that lives in cities, who are far more dependent on forests than they perhaps realize.

This connection — between people and forests — underpins the second Asia Pacific Forestry Week that took place from Nov. 7-11 in Beijing (and is also the theme of the 2011 UN-declared International Year of Forests).

California Coastal Development Commission Considers Rising Seas

Written by Anne Wallach Thomas on . Posted in Learn, The Wonk Room

416640820_218054b899_Flickr user BitHead SF Bay

San Francisco Bay region’s first look at sea level rise offers lessons for bringing people together to look ahead.

The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission recently released a new report and adopted a revised land use plan, making a great topic for my new column, focusing on preparation and safety from climate risks, here at Planet Change. So, I’ve asked Sarah Newkirk, director of Coastal Conservation at The Nature Conservancy in California, some questions about it.

Are Reports About the October Nor’easter Missing the Story?

Written by Frank Lowenstein on . Posted in Extreme weather, Learn

apples in the snow_567

Last week’s Northeast snowstorm and extended power outages have focused renewed attention on extreme weather. But was this event related to climate change? Most press coverage says no, and as a result the press are well on their way to getting the story wrong.

Scientists are increasingly recognizing that climate change plays a central role in the extreme weather events that are slamming people and communities around the world. This week press coverage began of an IPCC report on extreme weather due out in two weeks, which will identify a better than 90 percent chance that climate change will bring more severe weather in our future.

Is 2011’s Crazy Year in Weather Our “New Normal”?

Written by Frank Lowenstein on . Posted in Extreme weather, Learn


Climate change is helping to make extreme and wacky weather events part of a new “normal” that we need to be prepared for as best we can.

Last Saturday evening while walking to the variety show at my son’s college, snow began to fall, mixing with the puddles from the day’s rain and clinging to boots and the hems of jeans. Two hours later the world had changed. The streets of Waltham, Massachusetts were nearly impassable—not due to the few inches of snow that had accumulated, but to the branches and even whole trees that had bent and fallen into the roads.

About Planet Change

Planet Change is a Nature Conservancy blog site designed to share stories about actions the Conservancy and others around the world are taking to fight carbon pollution and the impacts of climate change, and to help people feel the connections between climate change and their daily lives and understand actions they can take.

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