Nov. 22, 2009 - In a provocative new study, a University of Utah scientist argues that rising carbon dioxide emissions - the major cause of global warming - cannot be stabilized unless the world's economy collapses or society builds the equivalent of one new nuclear power plant each day. "It looks unlikely that there will be any substantial near-term departure from recently observed acceleration in carbon dioxide emission rates," says the new paper by Tim Garrett, an associate professor of atmospheric sciences.
I grew up planning for my future, wondering which college I would attend, what to study, and later on, where to work, which articles to write, what my next book might be, how to pay a mortgage, and which mountaineering trip I might like to take next. Now, I wonder about the future of our planet. During a recent visit with my eight-year-old niece and 10- and 12-year-old nephews, I stopped myself from asking them what they wanted to do when they grew up, or any of the future-oriented questions I used to ask myself.
Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane - a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide - have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region. The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.
A new paper published in The Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society fills in the gaps in the UK Met Office HadCRUT4 surface temperature data set, and finds that the global surface warming since 1997 has happened more than twice as fast as the HadCRUT4 estimate. This short video abstract summarizes the study's approach and results.
Latest climate and biosphere modelling suggests that the length of time carbon remains in vegetation during the global carbon cycle -- known as 'residence time' -- is the key "uncertainty" in predicting how Earth's terrestrial plant life -- and consequently almost all life -- will respond to higher CO2 levels and global warming, say researchers. Carbon will spend increasingly less time in vegetation as the negative impacts of climate change take their toll through factors such as increased drought levels -- with carbon rapidly rele
One of the key indicators and consequences of global warming is ice loss at the Earth’s poles. As the planet warms, on average and over time, more ice melts every summer. It refreezes in the winter, but again, as temperatures rise, in general we’ll see less ice at any given time as compared to the year before. The situation for the two poles is different. In the north, the Arctic ice floats on the ocean, and in the south, the Antarctic ice is over land and sea. This means that they ways they melt — how quickly, how much, even where specifically in those regions — are different.
A few days ago I watched the documentary Chasing Ice, as part of our local Transition initiative’s film series. What really struck me in the film was the narrator’s four word comment about 1/3 through the film when he was discussing what we can/should do about arctic melting and runaway climate change: “There is no time.” Just that. He meant that there is no time for us to continue to do what we have been doing — the politicking, stalling, denial, endless debate and research.
In 2014, England will follow the example set by Wales and Scotland and introduce a carrier bag charge. If the Welsh and Scottish experiences are anything to go by, the policy will drastically reduce the number of bags in circulation, keeping unnecessary waste out of landfill and removing a little polythene from the diet of our cities' seagulls. Like recycling, re-using carrier bags has become something of an iconic "sustainable behaviour".