Archive by category | GHG emissions

Extent of ‘carbon outsourcing’ revealed

Extent of ‘carbon outsourcing’ revealed

Posted for Richard Van Noorden from The Great Beyond More than one-fifth of the carbon dioxide produced by China in 2004 was emitted to provide goods and services for non-Chinese consumers, mainly in western Europe, the United States and Japan. The statistic comes from the latest study to look at an alternative style of carbon accounting — one that assigns CO2 emissions to the consumers responsible for them. By contrast, inventories such as those reported under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) simply tally the amount of gas each country produces. Ken Caldeira and Steve Davis, of  … Read more

Madagascar: how to save a forest

Anjali Nayar, an International Development Research Centre fellow at Nature, recently visited a pioneering project in Madagascar that’s aiming to protect one of the country’s few remaining forests. About 90% of the species in Madagascar’s rainforests are found nowhere else on Earth, but efforts to save the island nation’s forests are about more than conserving biodiversity.  Read more

Cutting non-CO2 climate agents

International climate policy is largely focused on reducing emissions of carbon dioxide. But even if we reduce emissions now, a proportion of CO2 will stay in the atmosphere for millennia. A faster-acting strategy is needed if we’re to avoid dangerous climate change in the short term. That’s the message from a team of experts writing in the latest issue of PNAS.  Read more

Warming speeds carbon release from peat

Warming speeds carbon release from peat

Northern peatlands, typical for subarctic Scandinavia and Russia, contain one third of the world’s soil organic carbon. How much extra carbon these soils will release to the atmosphere, through accelerated respiration in a warmer climate, has been pretty much guesswork. Data from an eight-year in situ experiment carried out in Sweden now suggest that even modest warming will release enough extra carbon to effectively equalize the European Union’s emissions reductions achieved under the Kyoto Protocol.  Read more

What the G8 target means

The G8 meeting last week – the last get-together of the leaders of the world’s major industrialized nations before the United Nations climate summit in December – was loaded with expectations as to what Obama & Co might give climate negotiators to take with them to Copenhagen.  Read more

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

Greening vs. Gassing in the Arctic

Scientists have long debated how the global climate might be affected by thawing of the Arctic’s permanently frozen soils, known as permafrost. As permafrost melts, bacteria break down the organic matter in the soil, releasing greenhouse gases. But at the same time, plants flourish with access to warmer, deeper soils, taking in carbon dioxide. The overall affect on the climate was assumed to be the balance between the gassing and greening.  Read more