Time to catch up with some climate stuff that I’ve accumulated over the last couple of weeks.
- Auckland lawyers Lowndes Associates have become the first legal firm in NZ to achieve CarbonZero certification – which means that they’ve taken steps to measure their carbon emissions, actively reduce them, and then have bought credible offsets to cover the rest.
- The first hints of NIWA’s new regional climate projections are beginning to emerge. By the end of the century, Southland could be as warm as today’s Bay Of Plenty. And Jim Salinger, who first noticed that we were warming up, was given a good profile by the Herald.
- A belated mention for the Be The Change campaign, a climate change awareness campaign that trundled up the country in a bus in the last couple of months of the year. As the SST reported: “From Bluff to Kerikeri, the Be The Change bus tour is a Greenpeace, Oxfam, and Forest and Bird campaign to get ordinary New Zealanders working to stop climate change.”
- The NZ Stock Exchange’s carbon trading market, TZ1, is aiming for a mid-year launch, and has appointed former Vector CEO Mark Franklin to head up the operation.
- The German developed SkySail system for sail-assisted shipping (as featured in HT) is about to get an extended sea trial on a voyage from Europe to Venezuela, Boston and back: “Under favorable wind conditions, the 160-square meter kite shaped like a paraglider is expected to reduce fuel costs by up to 20 percent or more ($1,600 per day) and cut, by a similarly significant amount, its carbon dioxide emissions.” [Yahoo News, Guardian [UK]] There’s lively discussion of the pros and cons over at Frogblog.
- Some new science: another study confirms that IPCC sea level rise projections are conservative – pointing out that in the last interglacial levels rose by up to 1.6m per century. Work on the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum 55 million years ago, considered the best historical analogue for the present situation, confirms that initial warming caused massive carbon cycle feedbacks that boosted temperatures even further. In the Arctic, warming peaked at about +24C.
- Some turn of the year roundups: Technology Review covers the year in energy and nanotech (good news for batteries), The Independent [UK] rounds up the climate news, New Scientist brings an earth science perspective, while NOAA presents a nice graphic of the year’s extreme weather events.
- At Gristmill, Tom Athanasiou takes a perceptive look at the post-Bali world, and Joe Romm explores some of the latest thinking on what sort of target we should be aiming for. Bottom line: we may already be overshooting. And at the New York Times, Jared Diamond explains the collision between population growth and consumption growth. There’s a crunch coming.
- Finally, NZine reviewed Hot Topic, and liked it: “I strongly recommend everyone to read this book, but especially recommend it to those who make decisions on action to counter the impact of global warming and those who are able to influence the thinking of others on this issue.”