When economist Carl Pray heard about plans for the first international assessment of agricultural research, a gold standard sprang to mind: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But things didn't turn out the way he expected.

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.

The sequencing of maize genomes and the development of new strains are enabling faster exploitation of this key crop's natural diversity.

From delicate orchids and magnolias to rare Chinese yews and Kwangtung pines, the flora of Guangdong Nanling National Nature Reserve is considered so precious that ecologists call the reserve "a treasure trove of species." But winter storms have reduced the biological hot spot to a splintered ruin.

In the long shadow of the now defunct Kolar Gold Fields, a small revolution is slowly sweeping the desolate countryside: a revolution to take world class science education to village schools and open

Most prior studies have found that substituting biofuels for gasoline will reduce greenhouse gases because biofuels sequester carbon through the growth of the feedstock. These analyses have failed to count the carbon emissions that occur as farmers worldwide respond to higher prices and convert forest and grassland to new cropland to replace the grain diverted to biofuels.

Increasing energy use, climate change and carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels make switching to low-carbon fuels a high priority. Biofuels are a potential low-carbon energy source, but whether biofuels offer carbon savings depends on how they are produced.

Aerosols play an integral role in climate by directly scattering or absorbing solar radiation, and indirectly these particles serve as condensation and ice nucleic in clouds. Ice formation in tropospheric clouds is required for snow and most rainfall.

The nation of Ethiopia is seeking to leverage its past-including its most famous daughter, the hominid called Lucy-to help secure its future.

As concerns wane that the bird flu strain H5N1 will spark a global pandemic, scientists are warning that the virus, perhaps less of a threat, is here to stay.