The Climate Benefits of Better Nitrogen and Phosphorus Management

Alan R. Townsend, Peter M. Vitousek, Benjamin Z. Houlton

Pursuing more efficient use of these elements has clear environmental, socioeconomic, and national security benefits. It would also help reduce some of the risks of a warming climate. Nearly four decades have passed since the phrase “global warming” first appeared in a scientific journal. Writing in Science in 1975, geochemist Wallace Broecker warned that rising […]

This article is in Economic Stimulus, Winter 2012

Perspective: Global Warming: The Hard Road Ahead

Robert Hahn, Peter Passell

With a president committed to fighting climate change and a new Congress inclined to go along, the prospects for greenhouse gas emissions abatement legislation are bright. That’s good news. The Bush and Clinton administrations’ intransigence on this issue set back U.S. action by at least a decade. But it should not obscure the reality that […]

This article is in Tapping Talent in a Global Economy, Spring 2009

Perspective: Agriculture’s Role in Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions

William J. Parton, Stephen J. Del Grosso, Ernie Marx, Amy L. Swan

Agriculture is responsible for 7% of total emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in the . Although agriculture is not the major source of greenhouse gas emissions—that title belongs to industrial plants that burn fossil fuel—it is nevertheless an important one and deserves increased attention. The good news is that useful remedies are at […]

This article is in Affordable National Security, Summer 2011

Practical Pieces of the Energy Puzzle: Climate Change: Think Globally, Assess Regionally, Act Locally

Charles F. Kennel

Scientists must develop regional assessments of climate change that are essential to the local policymakers who will have to make the critical decisions about how to respond. Climate change is here to stay. No matter how effectively governments and the private sector limit greenhouse gas emissions, average global temperatures will rise during the next several […]

This article is in Practical Pieces of the Energy Puzzle, Winter 2009

Science for Natural Resource Management under Climate Change

Patrick Gonzalez

Prioritize locations. To identify geographic priorities under climate change, managers can broadly consider three options: areas of high, medium, or low vulnerability. For acquisition of new areas, it may be prudent to prioritize areas of low vulnerability, known as refugia, and avoid areas of higher vulnerability. Conversely, for management of existing areas, it may be […]

This article is in Affordable National Security, Summer 2011

Practical Pieces of the Energy Puzzle: Reduce Greenhouse Gases Profitably

Richard Munson

A regulatory system that rewards energy companies for innovations that boost efficiency can appeal to environmentalists and industry alike. After the Senate’s failed effort to pass the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill, Congress could conclude that reducing greenhouse pollution is a political impossibility—the costs too high, the benefits too uncertain, the opposition too entrenched. But that […]

This article is in Practical Pieces of the Energy Puzzle, Winter 2009

The Energy-Climate Complex: Is Climate Change a National Security Issue?

Richard A. Matthew

The case for linking climate change and national security is robust but imperfect, and today there is a serious debate about whether it makes sense. Around the planet there is growing momentum to define climate change as a security issue and hence as an agenda-topping problem that deserves significant attention and resources. In December 2010, […]

This article is in The Energy/Climate Complex, Spring 2011

Full Disclosure: Using Transparency to Fight Climate Change

Elena Fagotto, Mary Graham

The information wars will continue, of course. There will be struggles over how to measure emissions from dispersed sources such as agriculture and other land-based activities. There will be questions about whether estimates of emissions are good enough and whether or when to use sensors for precise measurements. There will be debates about whether facility […]

This article is in Policymaking in the Information Age, Summer 2007

Time for Climate Plan B

William B. Bonvillian

With the recent political rejection of cap-and-trade carbon policies, the nation needs a new approach that pushes the development of energy technologies and fosters markets for them. Policymakers in the United States and elsewhere have assumed for 15 years that putting a price on carbon would be an effective strategy for addressing climate change. Nations […]

This article is in Energy Update, Winter 2011

The Need for Climate Engineering Research

Ken Caldeira, David W. Keith

Like it or not, a climate emergency is a possibility, and geoengineering could be the only affordable and fast-acting option to avoid a global catastrophe. Climate change triggered by the accumulation of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere has the potential of causing serious and lasting damage to human and natural systems. At today’s atmospheric […]

This article is in The Need for Geoengineering Research, Fall 2010

Conservatism and Climate Science

Steven F. Hayward

Objections to liberal environmental orthodoxy have less to do with the specifics of the research or the economic interests of the fossil fuel industry than with fundamental questions about hubris and democratic values. It is not news to say that climate change has become the most protracted science and policy controversy of all time. […]

This article is in What Next?, Spring 2014

Perspective: Reassessing Conservation Goals in a Changing Climate

Alejandro E. Camacho, Holly Doremus, Jason S. McLachlan, Ben A. Minteer

Climate change poses a hierarchy of significant challenges for conservation policy. First, the sheer scale of climate change calls for conservation efforts to be vastly stepped up. Second, the pace and extent of expected climate change will probably undermine the effectiveness of traditional conservation tools focused on protecting designated areas from human intrusion. The search […]

This article is in Making College Affordable, Summer 2010

Needed: Research Guidelines for Solar Radiation Management

M. Granger Morgan, Robert R. Nordhaus, Paul Gottlieb

As this approach to geoengineering gains attention, a coordinated plan for research will make it possible to understand how it might work and what dangers it could present. Emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) continue to rise. The effects of climate change are becoming ever more apparent. Yet prospects for reducing […]

This article is in Health Care That's Not for Dummies, Spring 2013

Pursuing Geoengineering for Atmospheric Restoration

Robert B. Jackson, James Salzman

Geoengineering is fraught with problems, but research on three approaches could lead to the greatest climate benefits with the smallest chance of unintentional environmental harm. A few decades ago, the notion of actively controlling Earth’s climate resided primarily in the writings of science fiction authors such as Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke. […]

This article is in Making College Affordable, Summer 2010

Vested Interests and Geoengineering Research

Jane C. S. Long, Dane Scott

Much remains uncertain about geoengineering, which may offer important benefits—or risks. In moving ahead, there is a set of guidelines that should prove valuable. On March 11, 2011, Japan suffered one of the most devastating earthquakes in its history, followed by a massive tsunami that engulfed reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant located […]

This article is in Health Care That's Not for Dummies, Spring 2013

On the Trails of the Glaciers

Fabiano Ventura

Retracing the steps of a famous early 20th century expedition through the South Asian Karakorum Range near the lofty peak of K2 reveals that the region’s glaciers are shrinking in response to a warming climate. On the Trails of the Glaciers is a multidisciplinary project, combining photography and science, to study the effects of climate […]

This article is in Better U.S. Health Care at Lower Cost, Winter 2010

The 80% Solution: Radical Carbon Emission Cuts for California

Jane C. S. Long, Jeffery Greenblatt

In addition to addressing such technology-inspired questions, there is a need to gather more and better data on how best to change behaviors in ways that would help reduce the size of the energy problem and to better delineate what the potential for saving energy through behavior change actually is. In summary, achieving radical emission […]

This article is in Making Sense of the Adolescent Brain, Spring 2012

Changing Climate, More Damaging Weather

Robert Repetto, Robert Easton

Clearly, this listing encompasses a large proportion of the U.S. economy, and the vulnerable regions extend over a large part of the country, including coastal regions subject to hurricanes, storm surges, and erosion; river basins subject to flooding; and agricultural areas subject to wind, storm, and drought damage. These underestimated risks should not be neglected […]

This article is in Better U.S. Health Care at Lower Cost, Winter 2010

Perspective: A Course Adjustment for Climate Talks

Ruth Greenspan Bell, Barry Blechman

With little hope that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process will produce an effective treaty, at least for the next several years and perhaps longer, are there other paths that could lead to near-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions? One approach, forcefully articulated by Richard Benedick (Issues, Winter 2007), would replace […]

This article is in Economic Stimulus, Winter 2012

The Road to a New Energy System: Climate Change and U.S. Competitiveness

Joel S. Yudken, Andrea M. Bassi

Some of these measures are being considered and a few have been incorporated in the current legislation. For example, Senator Brown’s Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act of 2009, which was merged into the House bill, would establish a $30 billion Manufacturing Revolving Loan Fund to help small- and medium-sized manufacturers retool, […]

This article is in The Road to a New Energy System, Fall 2009