Archive by date | August 2008

Permafrost study breaks ground

Permafrost study breaks ground

Arctic permafrost has been the subject of much global warming worry, but not so much detailed research. A new survey of North American Arctic permafrost published in Nature Geoscience this week (subscription required) breaks new ground, literally.  Read more

US climate report comes under fire

The US Climate Change Science Program will revise and reissue its latest report following widespread criticism and a mountain of comments during the official review period. The news has spurred talk of sinister motives from groups like the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, as well as some media attention (Greenwire, subscription required) suggesting undue influence from global warming skeptics.  Read more

Eulogy to an element

Eulogy to an element

Carbon’s colourful rise to infamy has been something of an underreported story, at least until now. Swamped by innumerable accounts of its current status as public enemy number one, it’s easy to forget that this element has a rather glorious past and present. Former Time magazine reporter Eric Roston chronicles the story of carbon and its significance in the wider universe in his first book ‘The Age of Carbon’, which Mark Lynas reviews over on Nature Reports Climate Change. Lynas, who has just recently been awarded the 2008 Royal Society Prize for Science Books, calls Roston’s book “a welcome slew  … Read more

More for the annals of climate misinformation

I’m all for a website that distills climate science papers into something easily understood by the general public, especially if it avoids the hype and hysteria all too often employed by headline news.  Read more

Get your terawatts here

Get your terawatts here

I was lucky enough to spend last weekend at this year’s SciFoo, and took in a number of sessions on climate and energy. There was a lot of sometimes quite heated debate, but what was struck me most forcefully was the common ground that the optimists and pessimists share — specifically, a belief that the challenge in front of us is utterly huge. I almost said mind-numbingly huge, but people like Dan Schrag and Saul Griffith and Chris Uhlik have minds too active and well-exercised to numb easily…

Undergraduates are rational, and other findings from Green Psychology

Undergraduates are rational, and other findings from Green Psychology

USA Today has staked out the environmental-news angle on the annual American Psychological Association conference, ongoing this weekend. The behemoth meeting has some 16,000 attendees flocking to talks on everything from Pharmacotherapy to Peace Psychology. Those are actual topic headings in the programme, whereas Green Psychology is not. But the paper’s reporter Sharon Jayson cleverly rounds up a few ‘green’ presentations – new, unpublished research about how sustainability messages filter through the brain of the poor media-besieged layperson.  Read more

Climate research funding slashed

Climate research funding slashed

In this week’s issue of Nature, we look into an ongoing debate about research priorities within the National Center for Atmospheric Research, one of the United States’ main climate research facilities in Boulder, Colorado. Our story follows up on an earlier piece in the New York Times by Andrew Revkin, who initially broke the news that NCAR was laying off the well-respected political scientist Michael Glantz. Revkin also covered the story in his Dot Earth blog. Such stories frequently peel apart like onions, and this one was no different. Glantz is not alone in his belief that NCAR is turning  … Read more

Debate on coal heats up as climate protests reach climax

Protests at the climate camp in Kingsnorth, Kent, the site of a proposed new coal fired power plant, reached a climax this weekend, as reported by various news sources. Demonstrators, who promised to reach the site by air, land and sea, reached about 3,000 in number during the course of the week, but – met by some 1,500 police officers – failed to halt business at the site’s existing plant.  Read more