Archive by date | January 2010

Testing geoengineering: a catch 22

Guest contribution by Mason Inman Governments are starting to take a look at geoengineering — planetary-scale projects to cool the planet. No longer in the realm of science fiction, this is something that many are calling to regulate — and soon. The technique that has geoengineering proponents most excited, and geoengineering critics most worried, are proposals to shoot sulphate aerosols into the stratosphere. These tiny particles, like those that large volcanoes spew into the air, can cool the planet. ‘Natural experiments’, such as the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, show that this works. At a hearing this month of  … Read more

Pachauri under Pressure: Quotes of the Day Special

Pachauri under Pressure: Quotes of the Day Special

Cross-posted by Daniel Cressey on The Great Beyond The row over an erroneous claim by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that Himalayan glaciers could vanish by 2035 shows no sign of abating. Soon we’ll be calling it ‘2035-gate’. “I am not going to stand down, I am going to stand up.” Rajendra Pachauri, head of the IPCC, tells the BBC he will not quit. “The IPCC’s shortfalls are illustrated with the behaviour of Pachauri, its chair since 2002. … Without significant institutional reform, the IPCC, and climate science as a whole, risks more than just bad press. It risks  … Read more

Health at risk as climate aid spending increases, warns Bill Gates

Health at risk as climate aid spending increases, warns Bill Gates

Cross-posted from Daniel Cressey on The Great Beyond Bill Gates has expressed concern that focusing aid money on climate change at the expense of health could lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths. In the 2010 annual letter from his charitable foundation, Gates notes that the Copenhagen Summit talked of pushing for $10 billion per year for the next three years to help developing countries deal with climate change, with a $100 billion per year by 2020 goal. “I am concerned that some of this money will come from reducing other categories of foreign aid, especially health,” he writes. “If  … Read more

IPCC apologises for Himalayan glacier melt error

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has conceded an error when stating in its last report, released 2007, that Himalayan glaciers are likely to melt by 2035. The claim has been criticized by numerous glaciologists for being highly unplausible (see Glacier estimate is on thin ice)  … Read more

The real holes in climate science

When I started working last month on a news feature about gaps in climate science I was expecting a tough reporting job. Too fresh, so I thought, were the scars the field and many leading scientists had received from the hacking affair at the Climate Research Unit (CRU) in Norwich to readily discuss with a reporter the ‘dirty laundry’ (my phrase) of climate science.  Read more