"These vegetables are part of our common cultural heritage, and our goal is to make sure these seeds remain in the public domain for people to use in the future," says UW-Madison horticulture professor and plant breeder Irwin Goldman, who helped write the pledge.
Goldman will release two carrot varieties he developed-named Sovereign and Oranje in the spirit of the event-at a public ceremony Thursday's public ceremony, which is set for 11 a.m. on the front lawn of the UW-Madison's Microbial Sciences Building, 1550 Linden Drive.
The Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) was established in 2011 by public plant breeders, farmers, non-governmental organization staff and sustainable food systems advocates from around the nation concerned about the decreasing availability of plant germplasm-seeds-for public plant breeders and farmer-breeders to work with.
Many air pollution monitors require a long optical path for making accurate measurements. This usually dictates large fixed instruments that sometimes resort to folding optics like Herriott cells.
NASA has come up with a clever way to make a physically small but optically long path using a cylindrical cavity that could be precsion machined in an aluminum billet. A varity of pollution monitoring tools could be inexpensive and potentially accurate. This kind of precision maching isn't cheap, but Apple has the manufacturing chops to make these cavities at scale. Not that they'd do it, but it would make a wonderful addition to their phones and pads - imagine if every edu iPad came with one. The density of pollution measurements would could improve by several orders of magnitude.
Andy Revkin comments on a new Showtime series on global warming. Communication with the public has been fairly unsuccessful to date - perhaps this series will make a difference and perhaps not.
It remains to be seen whether the series draws a substantial and sustained audience, but the Showtime team, at least in episode one, deserves plaudits for taking a compellingly fresh approach to showing the importance of climate hazards to human affairs, the role of greenhouse gases in raising the odds of some costly and dangerous outcomes and — perhaps most important — revealing the roots of the polarizing divisions in society over this issue.
But those films were overtly polemical. What’s more engaging here is having the movie and television stars — in the first segment it’s Harrison Ford and Don Cheadle (along with Tom Friedman from The Times*) — asking questions and driving the story through their inquiry.
An embedded video of the first episode is available on his blog.
While existance of human-caused global warming is overwhelmingly accepted models of its economic consequences are poorly developed and need sharpening. These are very complex as there are so many moving parts and errors can be large but improvements can be very useful. A piece in Nature notes while the costs of carbon emissions are currently underestmated, they are still valuable for setting policy.
As legal, climate-science and economics experts, we believe that the current estimate for the social cost of carbon is useful for policy-making, notwithstanding the significant uncertainties. The leading economic models all point in the same direction: that climate change causes substantial economic harm, justifying immediate action to reduce emissions. In fact, because the models omit some major risks associated with climate change, such as social unrest and disruptions to economic growth, they are probably understating future harms. The alternative — assigning no value to reductions in carbon dioxide emissions — would lead to regulation of greenhouse gases that is even more lax.
Instead, climate-economic models need to be extended to include a wider range of social and economic impacts. Gaps need to be filled, such as the economic responses of developing countries and estimates of damages at extreme temperatures. Today, only a handful of researchers in the United States and Europe specialize in such modelling. A broader programme involving more people exploring more phenomena is needed to better estimate the social cost of carbon and to guide policy-makers. Otherwise policies will become untethered from economic realities.
Up there, in the densely forested valleys that funnel streams off steep hills to the water’s edge, were the chimpanzees she had come to study. With the assistance of a game warden who acted as escort, Goodall and her mother put up their ex-army tent. “If you wanted air to come in, you just rolled up the sides and tied them with tape,” she says. “Well, the air came in, but the spiders, scorpions and snakes came in as well.”
Although her mother was terrified – “You know I’m afraid of spiders!” – Goodall was apparently fearless, setting off up the slopes to explore her new home. “I sat up there and just couldn’t imagine I was there. It seemed absolutely unreal.”
The picture Goodall paints – a folding camp bed beside a palm tree in a forest clearing beneath a bright moon, the sound of baboons barking in the distance, a heroine called Jane – could have come straight from an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel. The only thing that’s missing is Tarzan, but maybe he’s up on the hillside with Cheeta. I wonder if the realisation of so fantastical a childhood dream has helped her stay connected to her youth – but again she sets me straight. Rather it is The Birches, the home near Bournemouth in which she grew up: when not travelling, this is where Goodall still returns, to “all my childhood books, the trees I climbed as a child, the cliffs where I walked… I am blessed in this way.”
The scientists emphasized that climate change is not just some problem of the distant future, but is happening now. For instance, in much of the American West, mountain snowpack is declining, threatening water supplies for the region, the scientists reported. And the snow that does fall is melting earlier in the year, which means there is less meltwater to ease the parched summers.In Alaska, the collapse of sea ice is allowing huge waves to strike the coast, causing erosion so rapid that it is already forcing entire communities to relocate.
“Now we are at the point where there is so much information, so much evidence, that we can no longer plead ignorance,” said Michel Jarraud, secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization.
I haven't read the final IPCC report yet. It is supposed to more directly communicate to the public than earlier reports. These reports represent a messy agreement.