Climate Panel, Revived by Earth Institute, Releases First Report

Scientists planting cordgrass to reduce erosion in New York’s Jamaica Bay salt marsh
Planting cordgrass to reduce erosion in New York’s Jamaica Bay salt marsh. (Don Riepe / American Littoral Society)

A national climate advisory panel disbanded by the Trump administration and reconvened last year with support from Columbia’s Earth Institute has issued a major report outlining how US cities and businesses can prepare for climate change. Among its recommendations is that communities plan not just for catastrophic events like hurricanes and wildfires but also for increased risk of heat-related injuries, drinking-water shortages, sunny-day flooding, and infectious disease. 

The fifteen-member panel, called the Independent Advisory Committee on Applied Climate Assessment, also announced the creation of a new consortium of climate-adaptation experts — the Science for Climate Action Network — that will help civic and industry leaders across the country incorporate climate data into their planning. 

“We want to get started right away,” says Richard Moss, a visiting senior research scientist at the Earth Institute and chairman of the advisory committee. “With climate impacts becoming more problematic and efforts to limit climate change falling further behind, we can’t afford to wait.”