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気になった一文集(English ver. No. 17)

a future without a GRACE mission in orbit would be an unfortunate and unnecessarily risky backward step for regional water management.

Water in the BalanceScience 340, 1300-1301 (14 June 2013) "Perspective"


Telling an optimistic story, by using the language of solutions, transitions and resilience, is more persuasive and more likely to promote useful action. Similarly, extreme weather events such as hurricanes and tornadoes capture the public’s attention in a way that decades of warnings about global warming have failed to do — notwithstanding that the connection between the two is complex.

If we want action on energy transition and combating climate change, we must offer concrete and viable solutions — no money goes to problems, only to fixes. We should advocate solutions in an upbeat, tractable way, tailored to particular world views.

Why have these local approaches worked? People like feeling that they are part of the solution, instead of being hostage  to intangible problems such as oil dependency  and  climate change. They seize on things that give them hope and optimism. Capitalizing on these feelings should be a common objective of those who seek sustainable solutions.

I believe that these local measures must be championed to move us away from dependency on fossil fuels and towards renewable energies, and away from personal vehicles to public transport. Instead of agitating for indirect and punitive policy mechanisms such as carbon taxes, we should be advocating feed-in tariff schemes that encourage renewable energy, better rail networks, bicycle-friendly streets, local-food production, and improvements to the efficiency of our built environment.

Messages about climate change and energy that use fear- and threat-based tactics have not mobilized responses.

Positive energyNature 498, 293–295 (20 June 2013) "COMMENT"


The question of what drives changes in the deep ocean circulation is a fascinating and open research topic in modern oceanography and one where paleoclimate studies could help provide an answer in the future.  

The Role of Deep Ocean Circulation in Setting Glacial Climates」Jess F. Adkins, 2013, Paleoceanography


In a world that strives for continued economic growth, moving the energy infrastructure away from fossil fuels is a challenging task.

Air capture could address automobile and airplane emissions inaccessible to point-source CCS. It could also remove residual emissions from point-source capture.

The urgency of the development of CO2 capture from ambient air」Klaus S. Lackner et al. PNAS 109, 13156-13162 (14 August 2012) "PERSPECTIVE"


Changes to the energy system depend on what re-election-oriented politicians are willing to do — they would not pass laws that are not supported by their constituents — and on what consumers in the marketplace are willing to accept: will they pay for hybrid cars or energy-efficient light bulbs? Therefore, when it comes to energy, the role of citizens is critical.

Consistent with the few previous studies on other topics such as affirmative action, hate group speech and urban sprawl, the researchers find that opposite and equally strong frames cancel out, therefore appealing to the economic or national security benefits of clean energy does nothing to increase support when countered by the opposing frame — economic or national security risks.

Stunted policy support」James N. Druckman, Nature Climate Change 3, 617 (2013) "NEWS AND VIEWS"


In 2007, when the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment was published, the global warming debate seemed to be over.Climate models simulated the observed warming of around 0.2 °C per decade, but only if the effects of greenhouse gases were included. The observations were well within the model uncertainties and a similar rate of warming was predicted for the future. However, it is now clear that the rate of warming has slowed substantially over the past 15 years or so and the observations are very much at the lower end of model simulations.

For example, a cooling could be caused by a downturn of solar radiation, or an increase in the radiation reflected back to space by aerosol particles in the atmosphere. Aerosols increase temporarily after volcanic eruptions, but are also generated by pollution, especially sulphur dioxide from industry. These factors are referred to as external because they are imposed on the climate system, which consists of the oceans, atmosphere, land and cryosphere. However, climate also varies internally without any changes in external factors. Examples of such natural internal variability include the El Niño–Southern Oscillation, which causes the tropical Pacific to warm and cool every few years, and decadal variations in the strength of the ocean currents in the Atlantic Ocean. Both of these affect the climate worldwide, including globally averaged temperatures.

Global warming will therefore not proceed monotonically; indeed, the historical record shows periods where temperatures rose rapidly, such as the 1920s to 1940s and 1970s to 1990s, and periods with little warming or even cooling, such as the early twentieth century and the 1940s and 1960s. Many of these historical periods can be explained by major volcanic eruptions, changes in solar activity or anthropogenic aerosol emissions, and are well simulated by models.

Has global warming stalled?」Doug Smith, Nature Climate Change 3, 618–619 (2013) "NEWS AND VIEWS"


The cost of natural disasters in terms of life and property is, by some measures, on the rise. Climate and weather variability in the form of droughts, floods and damaging storm effects, is regularly inflicting suffering around the world, often disproportionately affecting developing countries and possibly contributing to violent regional conflicts.

However, climate and weather are strongly influenced by chaotic processes, which subject predictions to errors and uncertainty. Moreover, whether by lack of proper institutions and procedures or simply because of human reluctance to act, the dire consequences of extreme events are often unavoidable even when they have been successfully predicted. Such constraints, amongst others, should be borne in mind particularly when contemplating intervention to prevent disasters through geoengineering.

Volcanic rain shift」Yochanan Kushnir, Nature Climate Change 3, 619–620 (2013) "NEWS AND VIEWS"


The temperature differential is the engine that  drives  the  spectacular  summer  deluges  in  South Asia  known as  the  Indian monsoon—or  so  say textbooks. A  new  spate  of  research is  challenging  exist ing  dogma, sparking  a  debate  over  the Tibetan Plateau’s role in the Indian monsoon. How  it’s decided  could have  effects reaching  far  beyond  the  climate science community.

Monsoon Melee」Jane Qiu, Science 340, 1400-1401 (21 June 2013) "NEWS FOCUS"


The question arises, what is causing the Northern Hemisphere land biosphere, especially at high latitudes, to go into hyperdrive? Surely, the biosphere must be enjoying the warming. Satellite observations show  that from 1982 to 2011, the photosynthetic season has been lengthening over the past three decades: On average, the onset of greening of northern ecosystems (>45 N) has advanced by 1 day per decade  in  the spring, and  the seasonally  integrated  photosynthesis  has increased, consistent with the warming and thawing.

The authors hypothesize that observed changes in the structure of the biosphere—for example, northward migration of the tree line, increased shrub cover in the Arctic, and reestablishment of forests after fires—have enhanced carbon uptake to the extent necessary to explain the amplitude trend.

Permafrost  carbon  dynamics  is  just beginning to be incorporated into the next-generation models. Still, understanding of the transient carbon dynamics of a thawing Arctic  is  rudimentary. 

The biosphere is changing, and changing rapidly. Currently it is a sink for a quarter of  the anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Will it continue to act as a sink for fossil fuel–derived CO2? Current  results,  including those reported by Graven et al., suggest that it will do so until microbial respiration overtakes photosynthetic uptake. The race is on. 
生物圏は変化しつつあり、急速に変化している。現在では人為起源CO2排出の4分の1を吸収している。生物圏は化石燃料由来のCO2の吸収源であり続けるのだろうか?Graven et al.いよって報告されたものを含む最近の研究結果は、微生物呼吸が光合成による炭素取り込みを上回るまで吸収源であり続けることが示唆されている。レースは始まっているのである。

A Hyperventilating Biosphere」Inez Fung, Science 341, 1075-1076 (6 September 2013) "PERSPECTIVE"


Asking nations to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions is apparently asking too much: there is no sign of a downturn in global CO2 emissions. 

But judging from past developments, zero global emissions look unachievable, at least in the next few decades: so far, we haven’t even been able to stop rates of CO2 emissions from continuing to increase. In this situation, carbon capture and storage — the idea of stripping CO2 from exhaust fumes before they enter the atmosphere, and storing the gas in a safe place — could be the only solution.

Capacities for geological storage are uncertain, pilot projects for deep-ocean sequestration have been halted, and public acceptance of both options is at best questionable — not least because full risk assessments based on solid scientific data are scarce. These questions need to be addressed sooner rather than later, if carbon sequestration is to become the solution for the climate problem.

Saved by sequestration?Nature Geoscience 2, 809 (2009) "Editorial"