2011 May - The Leading Edge
Direct Removal of Carbon Dioxide from Air Likely Not Viable, Report Suggests
ScienceDaily (May 9, 2011) —
Technologies for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are unlikely to offer an economically feasible way to slow human-driven climate change for several decades, according to a new report. The American Physical Society has released a new assessment -- Direct Air Capture of CO2 with Chemicals -- to better inform the scientific community on the technical aspects of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Source: Science Daily
America's Climate Choices Final Report
May 12: The National Research Council has released the final report of America's Climate Choices. The report is available now through the National Academies Press. It includes a CD of the four panel reports of the America's Climate Choices series as well as materials based on those reports.
Several members of the report's authoring committee discussed will discuss the findings in A Conversation on America's Climate Choices on May 12 (see details below). A video recording of that discussion will be posted on Friday, May 13 on this site.
The report finds that the significant risks that climate change poses to human society and the environment provide a strong motivation to move ahead with substantial response efforts. Current efforts of local, state, and private sector actors are important, but not likely to yield progress comparable to what could be achieved with the addition of strong federal policies that establish coherent national goals and incentives, and that promote strong U.S. engagement in international-level response efforts. The inherent complexities and uncertainties of climate change are best met by applying an iterative risk management framework and making efforts to: significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions; prepare for adapting to impacts; invest in scientific research, technology development, and information systems; and facilitate engagement between scientific and technical experts and the many types of stakeholders making America's climate choices.
The Stockholm Memorandum
3rd Nobel Laureate Symposium* on Global Sustainability, Stockholm, Sweden, 16-19 May 2011 –by Stefan Rahmstorf
On Wednesday, 17 Nobel laureates who gathered in Stockholm have published a remarkable memorandum, asking for “fundamental transformation and innovation in all spheres and at all scales in order to stop and reverse global environmental change”. The Stockholm Memorandum concludes that we have entered a new geological era: the Anthropocene, where humanity has become the main driver of global change. The document states:
Science makes clear that we are transgressing planetary boundaries that have kept civilization safe for the past 10,000 years. [...]
We can no longer exclude the possibility that our collective actions will trigger tipping points, risking abrupt and irreversible consequences for human communities and ecological systems.
We cannot continue on our current path. The time for procrastination is over. We cannot afford the luxury of denial.
Mario Molina (Nobel prize in chemistry 1995) signs the Stockholm Memorandum
The memorandum results from a 3-day symposium (attended also by the king of Sweden) on the intertwined problems of poverty, development, ecosystem deterioration and the climate crisis. In the memorandum, the Nobel laureates call for immediate emergency measures as well as long-term structural solutions, and they give specific recommendations in eight key priority areas. For example in climate policy, they recommend to:
Keep global warming below 2ºC, implying a peak in global CO2 emissions no later than 2015 and recognise that even a warming of 2ºC carries a very high risk of serious impacts and the need for major adaptation efforts.
The memorandum was handed over to the members of the UN high-level panel on global sustainability, who traveled to Stockholm in order to discuss it with the Nobel laureates and experts at the symposium.
p.s. As a little reminder of the ongoing work of the merchants of doubt, a small band of five or six “climate sceptic” protesters were gathered outside the symposium, some of whom flown in from Berlin. Their pamphlet identified them as part of the longstanding anti-climate-science campaign of US billionaire Lyndon Larouche and claimed that climate change is “a hoax” and an “insane theory”, the global temperature measurements are “mere lies”, the Nobel laureates meeting “a conspiracy” and the Stockholm Memorandum a “Fascist Manifesto”. I approached one of the protesters who carried a banner “against Green fascism” and asked him whether he seriously believes what his pamphlet says, namely that our meeting is a “symposium for global genocide”. He nodded emphatically and replied: “Yes, of course!”