Nature Geoscience’s latest issue highlights the challenges of understanding fluctuating sea level – from 70 million years ago to the future (sea level content free to registered users). A collection of commentaries and research papers look at how sea level has changed in the past and try to project its future evolution. In addition, the issue provides insights into some of the societal impacts of sea level change, and how some countries are planning for the future. Read more
There’s an interesting commenary in Nature this week by Steve Rayner of the James Martin Institute in Oxford and Gwyn Prins of the LSE, arguing that while emissions abatement is a global priority, the Kyoto Protocol is the wrong tool for the job — a one-size-fits-all approach that, among other failings, doesn’t actually look likely to deliver the reductions that it has promised. Unfortunately, as they argue, this sub-optimal approach has developed an iconic status of its own, so that in many minds to be against Kyoto is tantamount to being against any form of action on climate. They’re worried that this means people will uncritically attempt to follow up the Kyoto protocol (which expires in 2012) with a son-of-Kyoto that contains many or all of the same flaws, when they should be having a much more radical rethink.