The surge of ice loss from Greenland between 2005 and 2010, which drove up sea levels around the world, was not unprecedented. A similar spurt happened in the late 1980s, and possibly decades earlier as well.
It created a media feeding frenzy and dragged climate scientists' reputations through the mud, but nobody will be prosecuted for the "climategate" email hack. Thousands of emails were stolen from the servers of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in November 2009 and posted on a Russian email server. Climate sceptics seized on them to claim that scientists had conspired to withhold or alter data, unfairly manipulated the peer-review process and smeared their critics.
The Elgin drilling platform in the North Sea, off the east coast of Scotland, has been leaking natural gas since 25 March, 2012. As New Scientist went to press, Total, the company in charge, was still considering ways to stem the flow.
It's 2080. Global emissions peaked decades ago, too late to keep temperatures from rising more than 2 °C above preindustrial levels. The shift in climate has changed the world. As temperatures climbed by 2 °C, effects were felt first in poor and vulnerable regions like sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia. Extreme weather events - droughts, floods and hurricanes - became more common and severe. Vulnerable nations had a stark choice: adapt or face millions of deaths. At huge financial cost, society has adapted.
As the latest round of United Nations climate negotiations began in Durban, South Africa, expectations could scarcely have been lower. A globally binding deal is further away than ever. That makes considerable warming from climate change inevitable.