Archive by date | June 2008

Climate change ‘for a crowded planet’

Climate change 'for a crowded planet'

Development economist Jeffrey Sachs, famous for the economic turnarounds he’s helped engineer as an advisor to Latin American and Eastern European governments, is also known for his optimism that the living standards of the world’s poorest can be raised much higher without sacrificing either the wealth of the industrialized world or crucial natural resources. But among analysts of global change, optimism is relative. “I believe that there is most likely a path of sustainable development, but we can’t quite be sure,” Sachs told a sold-out lecture hall at the London Zoo last night. “It’s a question mark.”  … Read more

Clean, green flying machines

Clean, green flying machines

What happens to the planet if air traffic keeps multiplying too fast for new climate-friendly plane upgrades to keep pace with the rising greenhouse emissions? The IPCC mulled it over almost a decade ago, even before sounding its 2001 global warming alarm call. Lately the problem has been pressing ever harder on European consciences, so that EU parliament members recently vowed to fast-track plans for trading aviation emissions on a carbon market – while airlines yelped defensively that they’d gotten an unfair tarring in mediagenic protests. London’s Science Museum examines this race of energy efficiency against passenger numbers in a  … Read more

A tribute to the trees

A tribute to the trees

For all tree huggers out there, this week’s Science is dedicated to ‘forests in flux’, paying tribute to the trees and their contribution to the greater good. A special collection of articles in print, with complementary and online material, examines the fate of the world’s forests, in the face of climate change and an escalating human population. If it’s been a while since you’ve had the chance to appreciate the languid leafiness of forest foliage, check out the online video. Or for those of you hoping for a more ‘hands on’ experience, there’s a whole section of Science Careers dedicated  … Read more

Biomass boosting

Biomass boosting

Cross-posted from The Great Beyond

Over at Canada’s Financial Post, Lawrence Solomon is excited about the increase in biomass over the past two decades.

Planet Earth is on a roll! GPP is way up. NPP is way up. To the surprise of those who have been bearish on the planet, the data shows global production has been steadily climbing to record levels, ones not seen since these measurements began.

This is neither new nor surprising.

Putting a price on carbon

Putting a price on carbon

Whether and how to put a price on carbon has been something of a hot topic this week, primarily due to the proposal of a landmark climate change bill to the US Senate that would “cap and trade” emissions of the greenhouse gas. Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, the climate change bill offered by Senators Boxer, Lieberman, and Warner died today in the Senate after Democrat leaders fell a dozen votes short of the 60 needed to defeat Republican obstruction. Republicans opposed the global warming bill over fears of the economic costs of pricing the greenhouse gas, though Democrats argued there would  … Read more

Icebreaker: Voyage to the top of the world

Icebreaker: Voyage to the top of the world

From tomorrow, Nature reporter and Climate Feedback blogger Quirin Schiermeier will be spending a week aboard the Canadian research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen, as part of a project to study climate change in the high Canadian Arctic. He will join an expedition of one of the largest projects in the International Polar Year research programme – the Circumpolar Flaw Lead System Study, led by David Barber of the University of Manitoba. During the field season, from October 2007 to August 2008, more than 200 scientists from 15 countries will be studying the impact of climate change on sea ice, Arctic peoples,  … Read more