Archive by date | May 2010

Picture post: ‘hottest April ever’

Picture post: ‘hottest April ever’

Cross-posted by Daniel Cressey on The Great Beyond April this year was the hottest on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced. The combined surface temperatures on land and at sea averaged 14.5 °C, some 0.76 °C above the 20th century average. Average ocean surface temperature was the warmest on record for April and the global land surface temperature was the third warmest on record for the month. NOAA also says that Arctic sea ice was “below normal for the 11th consecutive April” while “based on NOAA satellite observations, snow cover extent was the fourth-lowest on record” since  … Read more

Costa Rican to become new UN climate chief

Cross-posted from Quirin Schiermeier on The Great Beyond Christiana Figueres, a Costa Rican climate diplomacy expert, is to become the new head of the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention of Climate Change. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to confirm her appointment later in the week, the BBC reports. Figueres, daughter of former Costa Rican president Jose Figueres Ferrer, has been involved in the international climate negotiation process since 1995. The UN’s outgoing climate chief, Yvo de Boer of the Netherlands, announced in February to step down on July 1 after nearly four years in office. The run-off has been  … Read more

New, ‘relentlessly pragmatic’ approach to climate change needed?

New, ‘relentlessly pragmatic’ approach to climate change needed?

Cross-posted from Daniel Cressey on The Great Beyond The collapse of UN-led international efforts to combat climate change means a new approach that is “politically attractive and relentlessly pragmatic” is required, according to a new report. The 14 authors of a new report on climate policy describe themselves as “an eclectic group of academics, analysts and energy policy advocates”. They say the Kyoto Protocol style approach “crashed” last year with the perceived failure of the Copenhagen meeting. A new approach, focusing on human dignity, is required, they argue in their ‘Hartwell Paper’ – named after the house in Buckinghamshire where  … Read more

Confronting the biodiversity crisis

Confronting the biodiversity crisis

In 2002, the world’s governments agreed to significantly slow the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. Time is almost up, and by most accounts they’ve failed. Now that climate change is emerging as one of biodiversity’s greatest threats, scientists are proposing new ways to tackle the crisis. In the latest, and last, issue of Nature Reports Climate Change, Hannah Hoag reports on some of the most promising efforts underway to protect biodiversity against rising temperature and other impacts of climate change.  Read more

‘Stop McCarthy-like attacks on climate science’

‘Stop McCarthy-like attacks on climate science’

Daniel Cressey; cross-posted from The Great Beyond Over 250 members of the US National Academy of Sciences have hit back at global warming deniers, warning that attacks on climate science are being mainly driven not by intellectual inquiry but by special interest and dogma. In a letter published in Science the researchers compare the recent furore around the so-called ‘climate-gate’ stolen emails to the Communist witch hunts of the 50s led by Joseph McCarthy “We urge our policy-makers and the public to move forward immediately to address the causes of climate change, including the un-restrained burning of fossil fuels,” they  … Read more