Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Guardian: Climate Change FAQ

Someone at the Guardian has put together a nice ‘Ultimate FAQ’ on climate change issues.  I’ve copied the questions below- links take you straight to the relevant Guardian article.  They’re not hugely detailed statistical analyses, but a useful primer for each area.

Big picture
• What exactly is the climate?
• What is climate change?
• Is the world really getting warmer?
• Are humans definitely causing global warming?
• Does a small temperature rise actually matter?
• How much warmer will the planet get?
• Is there a scientific consensus on man-made climate change?

• What is the greenhouse effect?
• What is the carbon cycle?
• When did we discover man-made climate change?
• Are hurricanes getting worse because of global warming?
• Haven’t we had ‘global cooling’ lately?
• If water vapour is the key greenhouse gas, why are man-made emissions important?
• How do trees and forests relate to climate change?
• How do volcanoes affect the climate?
• Is the sun causing global warming?
• What was the Little Ice Age?
• What’s the IPCC?
• If it’s getting warmer, how come the 2010 winter was so cold?
• Can we rely on computer models to predict future climate change?

Emissions and footprints
• What is carbon?
• Which industries and activities emit the most carbon?
• What’s the target for solving climate change?
• What are CO2e and global warming potential (GWP)?
• What are ‘outsourced emissions’?
• What are the main man-made greenhouse gases?
• Can ‘peak oil’ help slow climate change?
• How long do greenhouse gases stay in the air?

Politics & society
• If global warming was such a big deal wouldn’t governments have sorted it out?
• What is the Kyoto protocol and has it made any difference?
• Which nations are most responsible for climate change?
• What is the economic cost of climate change?
• What is the Stern review?
• What is emissions trading?
• What is the emissions trading scheme and does it work?
• What is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)?
• Why does climate change get described as a ‘stock-flow’ problem?
• What is climate change adaptation?
• What are the options for financing climate change adaptation?

• Why do we need low-carbon energy – and how much is currently produced?
• What is carbon capture and storage?
• What are the main types of carbon capture and storage technology?
• What is geo-engineering?
• What are biofuels and are they a good idea?
• What is thorium and how does it generate power?

• What are climate change feedback loops?
• Will rising seas put cities such as New York and London under water?
• Will the Gulf Stream slow down, freezing the UK and northern Europe?
• Are tornadoes affected by climate change
• Could climate change be a good thing?
• Will climate change cause wars?
• How will climate change affect rainfall?


Freedom of Information Requests

The Campaign for Freedom of Information has produced this very handy guide on how to do a good FOI request.

The guide includes a model letter, advice on which body to contact, and two excellent tables at the end (p26 onwards) listing kinds of data that can or can’t be exempt due to public interest arguments.

Download the Campaign for Freedom of Information’s Short Guide to the Freedom of Information Act