Other stories below: Andy Revkin explains the “Revkin” collection of climategate emails
The plan to withdraw from Kyoto Protocol will severely mar the talking process at the UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa, the Chinese delegation told Xinhua on Tuesday.
It will further hurt the international community’s endeavor to cope with climate change, said Su Wei, deputy head of the Chinese delegation to the Durban conference and chief negotiator on climate change.
The attempted withdrawal “will definitely add to the obstacles in our negotiation,” Su noted, in reference to reports about a recent decision by the Canadian cabinet.
Su said the Canadian delegation to the Durban conference had not yet clarified its stance.
“I learnt this message from the media,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Canadian media reported that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet had already decided to withdraw from the agreement, and had planned to formally announce the decision after the Durban conference.
The U.N.’s top climate scientist cautioned climate negotiators Wednesday that global warming is leading to human dangers and soaring financial costs, but containing carbon emissions will have a host of benefits.
Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, summarized a litany of potential disasters at a U.N. climate conference in the South African city of Durban. Although he gave no explicit deadlines, the implication was that time is running out for greenhouse gas emissions to level off and begin to decline.
Heat waves currently experienced once every 20 years will happen every other year by the end of this century, he said.
Coastal areas and islands are threatened with inundation by global warming, rain-reliant agriculture in Africa will shrink by half and many species will disappear. Within a decade, up to 250 million more people will face the stress of scarce water….
To stabilize carbon concentrations in the atmosphere would slow economic growth by 0.12 percent per year, he said, but those costs would be offset by improved health, greater energy security and more secure food supplies.
Since Nov. 19, 2009, when someone unknown distributed a large batch of climate-related e-mail messages extracted from servers at the University of East Anglia, and now again with a newly released cache, I’ve noted that I appear repeatedly in the exchanges, both as a message author and subject. Here’s the search result for my name.
As a reporter covering climate science and policy in depth since 1988, I’d be ashamed if my name had not been in these documents. That would imply I wasn’t doing my job. In any case, all kinds of accusations and insinuations have flowed as a result. Check this search of Twitter for ‘revkin climategate’ for a sampler. Alana Goodman, an assistant online editor of Commentary, joined the crowd with a piece criticizing me earlier this week.
I reached her via Twitter last night and then emailed a longer reaction (which you can read at the end of this post). I also said I’d answer a few questions….
On bad media: There has been plenty of misinformation and/or disinformation on climate disseminated by the media over the years — much of it related to the AGW point above (conflating all climate science with flawed examples, or mashing up meanings). One case in point was George Will’s coverage of polar climate issues. Another was Time Magazine’s “Be Worried, Be Very Worried” cover story….Q. In another e-mail you wrote, “the only discourse now is among folks who believe human-forced climate change is a huge problem…the ‘hotter’ voices are doing their job well. I’m doing mine.” From the context and the linked article, I take this to mean that your “job” was to inform the public that the only respectable discussions on climate change were going on between the “reasonable” AGW believers (you, in this case), and the extreme AGW believers – cutting out the skeptics completely. Is that what you were trying to say, or can you clarify?
A. I find it hard to draw the same conclusion in looking at my coverage, which has long included the voices of researchers challenging the predominant line of thinking on climate science, among them Roger Pielke Sr., Richard Lindzen, who was quoted in the 2006 article you read, John Christy, Ivar Giaever (a Nobelist who rejects the science pointing to dangerous greenhouse warming) and others.
Submerged springs along the Yucatan coast may offer a hint of what the coral reefs will look like in coming decades, as global warming inexorably increases concentrations of carbon dioxide in the world’s oceans.
The naturally low pH (a measure of acidity) in the water around the springs creates conditions similar to those that will result from the widespread acidification of surface waters that scientists expect to occur as the oceans absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
A team led by scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has been studying the submarine springs at Puerto Morelos near the Mesoamerican reef for the past three years.
In a paper published online Nov. 20 in the the journal Coral Reefs, the researchers reported that they found small, patchily distributed colonies of only a few species of corals, without the structurally complex corals that compose the framework of the nearby Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, one of the Caribbean’s largest coral reef ecosystems.
The Persian Gulf nation of Qatar has been selected as the site of next year’s United Nations climate change meeting, edging out South Korea. The announcement came as this year’s meeting opened in Durban, South Africa, with delegates from 194 nations facing growing concerns about rising global temperatures and more frequent climate-related catastrophes.
The announcement from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change said that Qatar and South Korea would work closely to mold the agenda for next year’s meeting, known as the 18th annual Conference of the Parties, or COP 18. The meetings rotate among regions. The 2009 meeting was held in Copenhagen; last year’s meeting was in Cancún, Mexico.
How many workers does it take to change a light bulb? Not as many as it used to.
Bulbs built around light-emitting diodes—semiconductors that produce bright light when zapped with electricity—last 10 times longer than conventional bulbs, meaning fewer ladders blocking frozen-food aisles or unsightly scaffolds towering in hotel lobbies as workers change blown-out bulbs. With energy savings not yet enough in some cases to cover the higher cost of the new bulbs, it’s lower maintenance costs that are getting sales across the finish line.