Wednesday, November 20, 2013

More than 100 organisations call on ministers from key developed countries to act on climate change 'loss and damage'

In total, 120 organisations from around the world, including the Cayman Institute the joined the call, which shows the depth of support for this issue, joint call to action on loss and damage.

We wanted to give you a quick update and let you know that:

  • You can now see the full list of organisations who signed the call (attached).
  • The call was presented to journalists yesterday afternoon during a joint press conference where we also highlighted the key countries who are blocking progress to achieving a loss and damage mechanism (US, Japan, Canada, Norway, EU, Australia).
  • The press conference was fairly well attended and colleagues were able to do a number of interviews afterwards. We will share any media coverage as/when it becomes available.
  • You can find a photo of the banner we presented at the press conference attached.
  • We also personally handed over the call from 120 organisations to the six key delegations mentioned above.
  • Please continue to help us drive interest in this issue – in particular, if your communications colleagues can continue to help us by posting the joint call on websites and engaging on social media. The banner photo has been retweeted a number of times already.
  • Further updates will follow as the loss and damage issue unfolds over the course of the week.
Best wishes,




Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Elders debate ethical leadership

The Elders debate ethical leadership (part 1)

"To be bold; to have the courage of your convictions; and to think long-term, not short-term or for political expedience; those are characteristics common to good leaders." Gro Harlem Brundtland

The Elders partner with Al Jazeera's South2North programme for a public debate on ethical leadership.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Our Perpetual Ocean

This is an animation of ocean surface currents from June 2005 to December 2007 from NASA satellites. Watch how bigger currents like the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean and the Kuroshio in the Pacific carry warm waters across thousands of miles at speeds greater than four miles per hour (six kilometers per hour); how coastal currents like the Agulhas in the Southern Hemisphere move equatorial waters toward Earth's poles; and how thousands of other ocean currents are confined to particular regions and form slow-moving, circular pools called eddies. Credit: NASA/SVS
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The swirling flows of tens of thousands of ocean currents were captured in this scientific visualization created by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

"There is also a 20-minute long tour, which shows these global surface currents in more detail," says Horace Mitchell, the lead of the visualization studio. "We also released a three-minute version on our NASA Visualization Explorer iPad app."

Both the 20-minute and 3-minute versions are available in high definition here:

The visualization covers the period June 2005 to December 2007 and is based on a synthesis of a numerical model with observational data, created by a NASA project called Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, or ECCO for short. ECCO is a joint project between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. ECCO uses advanced mathematical tools to combine observations with the MIT numerical ocean model to obtain realistic descriptions of how ocean circulation evolves over time.

These model-data syntheses are among the largest computations of their kind ever undertaken. They are made possible by high-end computing resources provided by NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

ECCO model-data syntheses are being used to quantify the ocean's role in the global carbon cycle, to understand the recent evolution of the polar oceans, to monitor time-evolving heat, water, and chemical exchanges within and between different components of the Earth system, and for many other science applications.

In the particular model-data synthesis used for this visualization, only the larger, ocean basin-wide scales have been adjusted to fit observations. Smaller-scale ocean currents are free to evolve on their own according to the computer model's equations. Due to the limited resolution of this particular model, only the larger eddies are represented, and tend to look more 'perfect' than they are in real life. Despite these model limitations, the visualization offers a realistic study in both the order and the chaos of the circulating waters that populate Earth's ocean.

Data used by the ECCO project include: sea surface height from NASA's Topex/Poseidon, Jason-1, and Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 satellite altimeters; gravity from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment mission; surface wind stress from NASA's QuikScat mission; sea surface temperature from the NASA/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS; sea ice concentration and velocity data from passive microwave radiometers; and temperature and salinity profiles from shipborne casts, moorings and the international Argo ocean observation system. More


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Experts say nuclear power needed to slow warming

Some of the world's top climate scientists say wind and solar energy won't be enough to head off extreme global warming, and they're asking environmentalists to support the development of safer nuclear power as one way to cut fossil fuel pollution.

Traveling Wave Reactor

Four scientists who have played a key role in alerting the public to the dangers of climate change sent letters Sunday to leading environmental groups and politicians around the world. The letter, an advance copy of which was given to The Associated Press, urges a crucial discussion on the role of nuclear power in fighting climate change.

Environmentalists agree that global warming is a threat to ecosystems and humans, but many oppose nuclear power and believe that new forms of renewable energy will be able to power the world within the next few decades.

That isn't realistic, the letter said.

"Those energy sources cannot scale up fast enough" to deliver the amount of cheap and reliable power the world needs, and "with the planet warming and carbon dioxide emissions rising faster than ever, we cannot afford to turn away from any technology" that has the potential to reduce greenhouse gases.

The letter signers are James Hansen, a former top NASA scientist; Ken Caldeira, of the Carnegie Institution; Kerry Emanuel, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Tom Wigley, of the University of Adelaide in Australia.

Hansen began publishing research on the threat of global warming more than 30 years ago, and his testimony before Congress in 1988 helped launch a mainstream discussion. Last February he was arrested in front of the White House at a climate protest that included the head of the Sierra Club and other activists. Caldeira was a contributor to reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Emanuel is known for his research on possible links between climate change and hurricanes, and Wigley has also been doing climate research for more than 30 years.

Emanuel said the signers aren't opposed to renewable energy sources but want environmentalists to understand that "realistically, they cannot on their own solve the world's energy problems."

The vast majority of climate scientists say they're now virtually certain that pollution from fossil fuels has increased global temperatures over the last 60 years. They say emissions need to be sharply reduced to prevent more extreme damage in the future.

In 2011 worldwide carbon dioxide emissions jumped 3 percent, because of a large increase by China, the No. 1 carbon polluting country. The U.S. is No. 2 in carbon emissions.

Hansen, who's now at Columbia University, said it's not enough for environmentalists to simply oppose fossil fuels and promote renewable energy.

"They're cheating themselves if they keep believing this fiction that all we need" is renewable energy such as wind and solar, Hansen told the AP.

The joint letter says, "The time has come for those who take the threat of global warming seriously to embrace the development and deployment of safer nuclear power systems" as part of efforts to build a new global energy supply.

Stephen Ansolabehere, a Harvard professor who studies energy issues, said nuclear power is "very divisive" within the environmental movement. But he added that the letter could help educate the public about the difficult choices that climate change presents.

One major environmental advocacy organization, the Natural Resources Defense Council, warned that "nuclear power is no panacea for our climate woes."

Risk of catastrophe is only one drawback of nuclear power, NRDC President Frances Beinecke said in a statement. Waste storage and security of nuclear material are also important issues, he said.

"The better path is to clean up our power plants and invest in efficiency and renewable energy."

The scientists acknowledge that there are risks to using nuclear power, but say those are far smaller than the risk posed by extreme climate change.

"We understand that today's nuclear plants are far from perfect." More



Friday, November 1, 2013

Amira Willighagen on Holland's Got Tallent

I watched this video for the first time a few moments ago and I was so overwhelmed by the talent this your lady has that there were tears streaming down my face. Her voice is amazing, just so incredibly talented.

You may well question why this video is on a climate chenge blog. However, I think to myself of all the wonderful talented young people that I have met in just the last year in training courses and workshops that I have attended, or the young lady of twelve that I watched last night giving a speech on political representation for young people in her hometown. She was an incredible speaker,

And I, like James Hansen, former director of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies and author of Storms of my Grandchildren, who retired rather than be censored, have children and dammit, I want this world preserved for them. If the corporations cannot conduct business ethically and with Corporate Social Responsability, then they shall go down in history as murderers, and they shall go down.

And then I realize that we are destroying their world. Through burning fossil fuel, polluting the atmosphere and destroying the environment.

Let us all work to preserve this planet in an almost pristine state for these youngsters, who I would say are a lot smarter and talented than we are, They are the future so let us give them a chance.