Archive by category | Earth System Science Partnership

Earth System Science: The warming hole

The upcoming IPCC working group 1 report highlights something interesting about global climate trends – the eastern United States is an anomaly. For a blob centered roughly on Alabama (and encompassing DC and the white house), things haven’t got significantly warmer between 1901 and 2005. It looks like the only other place in the world for which that’s true is over the water just south of Greenland.  Read more

Earth System Science: Mind the gap

Scientists here are concerned about data. In Africa, we heard yesterday, the amount of data from river gauges being sent to international databases has decreased by some 90% since 1990 – not a promising statistic given the vast importance of water flow to that continent. And today Kevin Trenberth of NCAR hammered home the potential upcoming problems with earth-observing satellite data.  Read more

Earth System Science: Water, water, everywhere.

A digital atlas is being planned to map out the world’s water usage. There are already a handful of such projects, but this one plans to do it all (there’s a theme at this conference, of doing things bigger – I guess that comes of all that interdisciplinary research). It will – in an all-singing and dancing online format – show global maps of water in terms of how much is in the ground, how much rains down, runs off, gets drunk or sucked up for industry, how many dams and reservoirs there are, etc. etc. etc. (see a document about it here).  Read more

Earth system science: Saving the planet

Mike Raupach, of the ESSP’s global carbon project, confessed today that while he bought carbon ‘credit’ to offset his trip here for the conference, and he’s sure that the group he bought it from is legitimate, he doesn’t really, actually know how the carbon is counted up or if his trip is truly offset. I must admit that having recently bought my brother carbon credits for his birthday I faced the same problem. I’m pretty sure my money is going to the greater good of the planet, but exactly how I don’t know.  Read more