Archive by category | Regional climate

Biomass, biomass, burning black

Biomass, biomass, burning black

A study published in Science today (subscription) uses carbon-14 measurements to figure out where the black carbon drifting in the haze above South Asia is coming from. That’s a prerequisite to cleaning it up – which, as we’ve reported here, could be a major boon to a very vulnerable region. The light-absorbing compound not only causes cancer (among other ill health effects), but reportedly warms some places as much as greenhouse gases do. Because its lifespan in the atmosphere is far shorter than carbon dioxide’s, these impacts could potentially be reduced quickly – if we knew where to clamp down.  Read more

Bangladesh’s battle with climate change

Bangladesh’s battle with climate change

As a vast, flat delta, Bangladesh is perhaps the country most clearly associated with the threat of rising seas – without protective barriers along the coast, even a moderate increase in sea level could cause flooding deep inland. Estimates suggest that even a one-metre rise could swallow 15 to 20 per cent of the land area, where some 20 million people reside.  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

A precipitous rise in extreme rainfall

A precipitous rise in extreme rainfall

Global warming has been expected to bring not only droughts, but also floods, because what rain you get comes hammering down harder. And the downpours of the future now look to be even more drenching than expected.  Read more