Towards an African Geosciences Union

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In two weeks many of the worlds leading scientists (including a CSAGer) will be descending on northeast Austria to discuss the latest in geosciences research at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) annual meeting. During the lunch break yesterday, I therefore asked colleagues a question which was met with a polite trickle of laughter. “Is there… Read more »

Planet Under Pressure: Day 4

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With only 120 days to go until the Olympics, London is making the final preparations for what has been dubbed the first “sustainable games”. The picture below was taken from a viewpoint outside the conference centre and shows the Olympic stadium, the love-it-or-hate-it red ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture and a newly installed wind turbine providing renewable… Read more »

Planet Under Pressure: Day 3

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On the third day of the conference, the focus shifted to solutions and how scientists might enable solutions to be enacted. In the morning I attended a session on adaptation dominated by presenters from Australia (which is no bad thing of course). Rohan Hamden gave an interesting talk about regional adaptation plans in south Australia…. Read more »

Planet Under Pressure: Day 2

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On another unusually sunny and warm March day in London, the Excel Centre (above) played host to the second day of the Planet Under Pressure conference. The day began with an address by Yvo De Boer (former executive of the UNFCCC) who described that the key challenge for enabling green growth was decoupling human progress… Read more »

Planet Under Pressure: Day 1

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In June this year, world leaders and the glitterati of global change sciences will meet in Brazil for the Rio+20 meeting. Twenty years on from the original Earth Summit, the world still faces daunting environmental challenges. In preparation for the Rio+20 meeting, scientists, policy makers, business leaders and the media are in London to discuss… Read more »

Ethiopia’s head start on delivering climate services in Africa

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The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) was established at the World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3) in Geneva, September 2009, with the joint aim of “better serving society’s need for accurate and timely information on climate” and increasing the number acronyms used in climate change discourse. The High-level Taskforce (HLT) was subsequently… Read more »

Regional climate predictions, projections or possibilities?

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In a recent edition of EOS (newspaper of the American Geophysical Union), a provocatively titled piece by Roger Pielke Sr. and Robert Wilby, “Regional climate downscaling: what is the point?”, questions the information contained in regional climate model projections for use by the impacts community. Following a description of the various types of downscaling approaches,… Read more »

Another negative impact we could all do without

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As an Englishman I do enjoy a good cup of tea. In the UK I was an occasional drinker of rooibos but now that I live in South Africa it is becoming a daily ritual. In fact, I am gradually migrating away from “normal” tea (at least that’s what we English call it) towards rooibos… Read more »

Climate change is an initial condition problem too!

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In my experience, when scientists talk about climate change, many distinguish between weather and climate as noise about a trend; the noise being the weather and the climate being the trend, the signal hidden in the noise. I have a fundamental dislike for this treatment of weather as “noise” (see also blog by Roger Pielke… Read more »