Carbon dioxide: the good and the bad, the right and the wrong

Professor Colin Prentice, AXA Chair in Biosphere and Climate Impacts  “Carbon Dioxide: The Good News” – This is the title of a recent Global Warming Policy Foundation report (Goklany, 2015) that focuses on the benefits of CO2 for people. In a hard-hitting foreword, eminent physicist Freeman Dyson claims that the entire scientific and policy establishment has been suffering from a form of “tribal group-think” that involves … Continue reading Carbon dioxide: the good and the bad, the right and the wrong

Taking the planet’s temperature: How are global temperatures calculated?

Grantham intern Peter Davies (Department of Physics) delves into global temperature records. Statements such as “2014 earth’s warmest year on record” or “No global warming for 18 years 1 month” are conclusions from different atmospheric temperature data sets.  Before assessing which is true it is important to understand how temperatures are measured, how data sets are created and used to calculate global temperatures, and the … Continue reading Taking the planet’s temperature: How are global temperatures calculated?

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How much CO2 can trees take up?

In the fourth post in our sustainability series, SSCP-DTP student Rebecca Thomas considers the role of the biosphere as a carbon sink, and assesses whether planting trees can really offset carbon emissions. The terrestrial biosphere (land based vegetation) is often considered to have benefited from climate change over the last 50 years (an argument that is used by a number of climate skeptics). Trees, after … Continue reading How much CO2 can trees take up?