Archive by category | Climate Science

Plant power

Why carbon dioxide concentrations over the past 24 million years or so have never dropped below 200 parts per million, despite environmental conditions that have been favourable for CO2 drawdown by rock weathering and sedimentation, has always been a bit of a mystery.  Read more

Perestroika and permafrost

Perestroika and permafrost

Russia has been a rather puzzling actor in the complicated diplomatic game which resulted in the Kyoto protocol, and which will be played out again in Copenhagen in December. Climate warming doesn’t make headlines, and has so far not been a big concern, between Moscow and Vladivostok. What prompted Russian leaders to ratify Kyoto was the prospect of making good money from emissions trading, rather than conviction that man-made climate change is a real phenomenon and a threat to society.  Read more

What’s going Bonn?

What’s going Bonn?

Cross-posted from The Great Beyond This week’s UN hosted climate change talks in Bonn, Germany, are well underway. According to New Scientist this climate summit is “more important than the G20”. So what’s going on in Bonn? This meeting is the first of five sessions leading up to what the UN says will be an “ambitious and effective international climate change deal” to be finalised in Copenhagen in December (pdf). The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has already started its ‘countdown to Copenhagen’ timer. However, as Reuters pointed out on Wednesday, delegates from 175 nations even managed  … Read more

Copenhagen: Prognosis on global warming worsens

The clear message to emerge from the 3-day climate congress that wrapped up yesterday here in Copenhagen is that the prognosis on global warming is worse than anticipated by the IPCC in 2007. I reported the full story over on Nature News yesterday (no* subscription required). Here’s an excerpt:  … Read more

Copenhagen: Why the media matters

I took part in a session today at the International Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen on the role of the media in communicating climate change. Organised by Max Boykoff at the University of Oxford, the session brought together a diverse panel of journalists and academics who study media trends.  Read more

Copenhagen: Food insecurity

A sobering presentation by Marshall Burke of Stanford on future agriculture. He and colleagues looked at historical climate and yield data for various crops in various parts of the world and projected the relationship they found into various future climates as found in the IPCC. As the IPCC itself reported, much of the tropics did badly in this analysis, and the worst performer was maize in southern Africa which was down in yield by about 30% by 2030.  Read more