Archive by date | August 2009

World Climate Conference-3: Towards Climate Prediction

I’ll be heading to Geneva this coming Sunday to attend the World Meteorological Organisation’s third World Climate Conference. The conference, which runs from August 31 until September 4, takes climate prediction as its theme, and aims to establish an international framework to guide the development of climate services, linking climate predictions with climate-risk management and adaptation. This should an interesting opportunity to look in more depth at the issue of whether climate prediction is indeed scientifically feasible and if so, at what it will take to move from climate projections to predictions.  Read more

The high cost of adaptation

Adapting to climate change will cost many times more than the UN has estimated, according to a report by former IPCC working group co-chair Martin Parry and colleagues, published by the International Institute for Environment and Development and the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London.  Read more

Renewable technologies increase energy sprawl

Renewable technologies increase energy sprawl

If the United States starts weaning off of oil and coal and onto homegrown biofuels, renewables, nuclear and other options, how much land will be gobbled up by new forms of energy production? This future “energy sprawl” is calculated in a PLoS ONE paper this week. Biofuels will have the biggest impact, Nature News reports:  … Read more

Coming soon to a website near you…

The trailer for the Nature film series from Lindau has just been released. You can watch it here. The trailer introduces the Lindau Meetings and the six films that follow – we’ll be releasing the films one a week from Thursday. The climate film, ‘The Two Degree Target’ is the grand finale and will be released on Thursday 1st October at around 6pm London time.  Read more

Time to unleash seabed methane?

Time to unleash seabed methane?

A new reservoir of fossil fuel could be ready to tap much sooner than previously thought. R&Ders have been talking up natural gas extraction from methane hydrates – a solid form of the greenhouse gas, found tucked away beneath the sea floor where low temperature and high pressure keep it stable.  Read more

China cuts methane emissions from rice fields

China cuts methane emissions from rice fields

Rice paddies produce an estimated 20% of the methane released by human activities. But according to data presented at a Beijing climate conference last week, a switch to certain farming practices could erase most of those emissions. Jane Qiu reports on the research over at Nature News.  Read more

When money grows on trees

When money grows on trees

In this year’s series of UN climate talks – the latest of which took place last week in Bonn – one of the issues negotiators are sinking their teeth into is a source of greenhouse gases that has previously been sidestepped. Chopping and burning trees causes an estimated one-fifth of global emissions, and slowing down deforestation could be the cheapest and quickest way to keep a substantial load of gas out of the atmosphere. With this in mind, the Bali meeting in 2007 called for a decision on forests to be made by the time the 2009 talks wrap up in Copenhagen this December.  Read more

Hurricane peak in the past

Hurricane peak in the past

Whether climate change will increase the number of hurricanes is fiercely debated in the research community. There is also strong disagreement between researchers over the accuracy of claims that hurricane activity has peaked over the past ten years. But a new study in Nature this week (subscription) throws more weight behind arguments that hurricane numbers are on the rise and could continue to surge as a result of global warming. The paper’s covered here on Nature News. The study looked at historical hurricane activity across the entire tropical Atlantic basin to see if the current peak in storm numbers is  … Read more