Royal Society Science in the British Newspapers

May 12, 2007 at 7:36 am | Posted in Britain, Climate change, Environment, Newpapers, Oxford University, Royal Society, Science | Leave a comment

RSS Royal Society Science in the News – Friday 11 May 2007

  • Q. Why have I moved the Royal Society ‘Science in the News’ RSS feed to the top of my widgets column?
  • A. It provides an easy way to monitor what British newspapers are saying about climate change each day.

For example, from the Environment section of Science in the News – Friday 11 May 2007, I can track down the links and add them easily for the stories of interest to me:

Environment

Global warming is mentioned as a possible factor in the rise of the tick population in the UK, increasing the risk for visitors to the countryside of contracting Lyme disease. (The Times, p35, 1/3p)

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Stifling summers forecast by Nasa for US east coast

  • Researchers at Nasa have warned that unless growth in greenhouse gas emissions can be successfully curbed, large areas of the eastern United States, from Washington DC to Florida, can expect to suffer catastrophically hot summers within just a couple of generations. (The Independent, p42, 2/3p)

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In the ‘Earth Log’ section: (i) pictorial evidence of the damage caused to the sea bed habitat by trawling (ii) remembering author Rachel Carson, born 100 years ago this month, and her warnings on the use of DDT. (The Daily Telegraph, p7, 1/2p)

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Surge in carbon levels shows vegetation struggling to cope

  • Climate change may have passed a key tipping point that could mean temperatures rising more quickly than predicted and it being harder to tackle global warming, according to Bristol University research published in Geophysical Research Letters. Bristol University researchers say a previously unexplained surge of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere in recent years is due to more greenhouse gas escaping from trees, plants and soils. (The Guardian, p17, 1 col)

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Climate change could lead to global conflict, says Beckett

  • Foreign secretary Margaret Beckett warned yesterday that tackling climate change is essential to global security. Climate change could spawn a new era of conflicts around the world over water and other scarce resources unless more is done to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, warned yesterday. She said climate-driven conflicts were already under way in Africa. Underlying the Darfur crisis, she said, was a “struggle between nomadic and pastoral (…) (Financial Times, p6, brief; The Guardian, p26, 1 col)

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Awkward questions on behalf of our children

Disagreement is usually more instructive than consensus, and economists’ current debate about climate change is no exception. It reveals three important questions that have gone largely unanswered in popular discussions. Though economists have exposed the questions, we need the scientists, the sociologists and the philosophers to answer them.

The root of the problems is that the costs of preventing climate change start now, while many of the benefits come in 100 years or more. If growth continues at its recent historical rate, world gross domestic product per capita will be at least five times higher in 100 years. That means we should not feel too obliged to make sacrifices that make future generations even richer, any more than our grandparents should have given up their only television so that we can have yet one more set in the house. But it also means that the outcomes that really matter in cost-benefit calculations about climate change are those that are so disastrous that they wipe out the benefits of economic growth. (…)

Opinion piece on the costs of preventing climate change, by Paul Klemperer, Edgeworth professor of economics at Oxford University. (Financial Times, p15, 1 col)

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It was announced yesterday that Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein should be joining the European Union’s greenhouse gas trading scheme within the next few months, becoming the first non-EU members to join. (Financial Times, p12, brief)

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