Growing awareness of the deficiencies of today’s greenhouse gas inventories is inspiring innovation by scientists, policymakers and activists. There is growing hope for “top-down” schemes based on rapid and even real-time measurement of atmospheric greenhouse gases. Now the push is on to install ground and satellite-based instruments.
Earthzine speaks with Jayaraman Srinivasan, the climate modeler tapped to lead India's Black Carbon Research Initiative, on the scientific and political context for research on soot and its role in glacial melting and climate change.
The GEO Carbon Strategy is a sweeping plan to multiply measurements of carbon flows and facilitate their conversion into analysis and model-building. The goal is to determine carbon’s fluxes through the environment with enough accuracy to pin-point the regions that are carbon sinks and sources. But the plan needs to secure the resources required to address under-observed regions and ecosystems.
Power Potential and Pitfalls on the Congo: Developing Africa’s Cleanest and Largest Hydropower Opportunity
The erratic progress made by the Democratic Republic of the Congo in capitalizing on the power of the Congo River for development of its economy is charted in this news analysis by writer Peter Fairley. Read his analysis here. NEW DEVELOPMENT: A Reuters news story confirms that the DRC government is pulling out of Westcor in favor of the Billiton-financed project.
South Africa’s Polar-Orbiting Ploughshares – A National Space Agency could help it become a regional powerhouse in Earth observation
South Africa, having proven its satellite capacity in the design, build out, and launch of SunSat and SumbandilaSat, is preparing to take its space program into higher orbit with the launch of a space agency. Twelve months ago President Kgalema Motlanthe signed legislation to create the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), and nominations for a board were approved in the fall. Its mandate is to promote the peaceful use of space, accelerate the industrial development of space technology, and foster research and international cooperation space science and engineering.
A month after South Africa succesfully launched it's second Earth observation satellite, Sumbandila, Earthzine contributor Peter Fairley talks with Dr. Philemon Mjwara, Director General of South Africa's Department of Science and Technology, about the launch, the benefits South Africa expects to reap from the satellite, and what's in store for the future of developing countries' involvement in Earth observation and sustainability.
In Sniffing out Geothermal Energy Resources from the Surface, Sky and Space, energy writer Peter Fairley travels to Paris to do on-the-scene reporting about the progress of geothermal energy in France and elsewhere. Fairley, the editor of the energy web journal Carbon-Nation, shows that geothermal is enjoying a renaissance among experts in many parts of the world as an effective alternative to fossil fuels that also reduces CO2 emissions.
For perspective on biodiversity loss and the data management challenges facing the CBD, Earthzine contributor Peter Fairley interviewed Kalemani Joseph Mulongoy by telephone at the CBD Secretariat in Montreal. Since 1999, Mr. Mulongoy has served as Principal Officer in charge of the Secretariat’s Scientific, Technical and Technological Matters Division.
"It’s almost a golden age of Earth observation because these many missions which are flying at the same time are all measuring different aspects of the system at the same time, and most with global extent. This is giving us, for the first time, the fodder for assembling an integrated view of the Earth."