Archive by category | GHG emissions

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

A sleeping giant?

A sleeping giant?

One noteworthy observation at December’s AGU conference – the latest and largest ever gathering of earth and space scientists – was the attention being given to a threat conceivably worse than carbon dioxide. In numerous talks, during poster sessions and over coffee, scientists were discussing methane – a greenhouse gas with a warming potential 25 times that of CO2.  Read more

NASA’s next challenge

NASA’s next challenge

The loss of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO), which last week ended up in the ocean rather than in orbit, is a hard blow not only to the team who devoted much of the last decade to getting it off the ground but to scientific – and especially climate – research.  Read more

Vulcan minds meld with Google

Vulcan minds meld with Google

Cross-posted from The Great Beyond Lucky American readers can now get an instant carbon-guilt trip, all courtesy of Google and NASA. Researchers at Purdue University in Indiana, with funding from NASA, have shoehorned a wealth of data on carbon dioxide emissions into the interactive globe tool that is Google Earth. It’s a timely move, given that the Environmental Protection Agency seems to be preparing to regulate carbon dioxide for the first time (NY Times) and NASA is about to launch its Orbiting Carbon Observatory (Nature Reports Climate Change). The data for this new addition to Google Earth comes from the  … Read more

Jungle Fit!

“Lewis.jpg”Tropical forests which (still) cover around 10% of the global land area contain more carbon per hectare than any other form of vegetation. It’s obvious from that that their growth or decline has a huge impact on the global carbon budget.  Read more

New Arctic feedback: vicious peat circles

New Arctic feedback: vicious peat circles

Researchers have discovered new hot spots for emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide: barren patches of peat dotted across northern tundra. And warming in the Arctic – just as it threatens to multiply emissions of carbon dioxide and methane from thawing permafrost and drying bogs – could accelerate the output of this lesser-known climate change culprit, according to a study in Nature Geoscience this week (subscription).  Read more