Archive by category | Conferences and Meetings

New climate centre launches at Columbia

Guest contribution by Bill Hewitt Yesterday saw the launch of a new climate research center in New York City. The Columbia Climate Center is the offspring of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, itself the brainchild of its founder and director, the influential and prolific economist, Jeffrey Sachs. The CCC has defined an ambitious mission for itself: to integrate the work of various world-class centers and institutes at Columbia, to develop strategies for mitigation of and adaptation to global climate change, and to communicate the science and best policy thinking to the public and decision makers. The affiliates of the  … Read more

European views on prospects for a global climate deal

In the latest issue of the McKinsey Quarterly, economists Nicholas Stern and Michael Grubb, along with European Commissioner Janez Potočnik, share their views on whether governments will agree a global climate deal at the UN climate change conference in December in Copenhagen. Check out the interactive video available here or read the transcript.  Read more

Copenhagen: Why the media matters

I took part in a session today at the International Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen on the role of the media in communicating climate change. Organised by Max Boykoff at the University of Oxford, the session brought together a diverse panel of journalists and academics who study media trends.  Read more

Copenhagen: Food insecurity

A sobering presentation by Marshall Burke of Stanford on future agriculture. He and colleagues looked at historical climate and yield data for various crops in various parts of the world and projected the relationship they found into various future climates as found in the IPCC. As the IPCC itself reported, much of the tropics did badly in this analysis, and the worst performer was maize in southern Africa which was down in yield by about 30% by 2030.  Read more

Copenhagen: Who’s reporting?

I had a look this morning at a breakdown of the press registration at this conference by country. Clear winners are Denmark and the UK, with 40 or so people each. Both of those are inflated figures, because some third-country and international organisations are covering the meeting out of Copenhagen and London (Japanese TV stations are listed as UK, for example, as is Al Jazeera English). But still there is a lot of genuine UK interest: national papers and the BBC. And the locals are out in force.  Read more

Copenhagen: Has the Amazon tipping point tipped?

It appears that the action on Wednesday afternoon was where I was not: in the session on tipping points. Chris Jones of the Met Office’s Hadley Centre presented some studies of the Amazon (abstract in pdf) that have caused a big media stir. The studies suggest that a) there is a threshold level of warming beyond which much of the Amazon forest is committed to die back (probably being replaced by savanna) and b) that for significant parts of the forest that threshold is alarmingly low. Indeed it is quite possibly either unavoidable in the near future or already dwindling in the rear-view mirror.  Read more

Copenhagen: Twittering geoengineering

There’s a technical session on geoengineering at the meeting today, and I thought I’d try twittering from it. Since this is a personal experiment and may not pan out, I’ll be using my personal twitterfeed,, not the naturenews feed.  Read more

Copenhagen: Pachauri to lead Yale climate and energy research institute

Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will head up a new climate and energy research institute at Yale University from this Fall.  Read more

Copenhagen: International climate science congress kicks off

Over 2000 delegates from 80 nations have gathered this week in Copenhagen to update the global assessment of climate change, and I’m fortunate enough to be one of them.  Read more