This year marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the Mauna Loa CO2 record, the longest continuous record of CO2 in the atmosphere. Initiated by Charles D. Keeling of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the record provided the first compelling evidence that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was rising.

Climate change authorities long ago tagged carbon dioxide public enemy number one. Now, there may be a new number two: tiny particles of black carbon, or soot. According to a new analysis reported online in Nature Geoscience, climate scientists are concluding that reports such as last November's assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may seriously underestimate black carbon's role in global warming.

Abstract Black carbon in soot is the dominant absorber of visible solar radiation in the atmosphere. Anthropogenic sources of black carbon, although distributed globally, are most concentrated in the tropics where solar irradiance is highest. Black carbon is often transported over long distances, mixing with other aerosols along the way. The aerosol mix can form transcontinental plumes of atmospheric brown clouds, with vertical extents of 3 to 5 km.

Climate sceptics are right. Temperature increases do precede rises in atmospheric carbon dioxide - the opposite of what you would expect if changes in CO2 levels were really driving climate change.

Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with Albert Gore Jr., sending a strong message about the importance of the world's future climate. Indeed, for two decades, international scientists and policy-makers contributing to the IPCC process have provided assessments of climate change science, impacts and mitigation, addressing one of the most far-reaching and complex challenges that society has ever faced. Yet this is no time for IPCC to rest on its laurels.

Dinosaurs might have known a surprising amount about what we think of as a quintessentially modern problem: global warming.

This study set out to identify and understand the extent to which, and ways in which, information from climate change models is being integrated into agricultural development practice and decision making in Africa. Adaptation to climate variability is not new, but climate change is expected to present heightened risk, new combinations of risks and potentially grave consequences.

High-resolution speleothem records from China have provided insights into the factors that control the strength of the East Asian monsoon.

Deposits in a Chinese cave tell the story of the region 's climate stretching back more than 200,000 years, well past the last interglacial warm period

We should not wait to cut back on burning fossil fuels until we have developed greener technology to supply our energy needs, despite what many economists are advising their respective governments. Such a waiting game may have deadly consequences. Feb 27, 2008

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