Archive by category | AGU

AGU 2008: Asteroid impacts and climate change: which is the greater threat?

What do Boston, London, New York, Frankfurt, San Francisco, and Paris have in common? They have all been destroyed by asteroid impacts—in the movies. The death toll was enormous in every case. Understandably, people are worried that such a catastrophe might actually occur within their lifetime.  Read more

AGU 2008: Uncertainty and overshooting 2°C

As speculation grows that agreeing a global deal on climate change may extend well beyond the 2009 deadline, the risk of overshooting the EU’s target to limit the increase in global temperature to 2°C over pre-industrial levels looks increasingly likely.  Read more

AGU 2008: Peak fuel reserves

Whether peak oil is good news for the climate ultimately depends on what replaces oil as our staple fuel source. It will be unsurprising to most that replacing dwindling oil reserves with coal would do little to solve the climate problem, but how much coal remains is also highly uncertain, according to Prof. David Rutledge of Caltech, who spoke to the press at the AGU this morning.  Read more

AGU 2008: On the home front

I hadn’t anticipated quite so much rain during the AGU’s Fall conference in San Francisco, but apparently this exact week is, on average, the city’s wettest of the year. Or so I heard at today’s session on how the region is likely to be impacted by climate change.  Read more

AGU 2008: conference kicks off

Over the past 24 hours, some 15,000 earth scientists descended on San Francisco for the annual Fall conference of the American Geophysical Union. Delegates were a dead give away at the airport and on the BART yesterday with their large poster tubes in tow. It’s my first AGU and it could be the jet lag, but I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed by the sheer size and number of parallel sessions; at any given time I could be at one of at least four climate-related talks and invariably find myself wondering why the session next door is receiving louder applause.  Read more