. 15
( 16)


about the environment and the Earth™s resources.1 Just what do we mean by
Imagine you are a member of the crew of a large spaceship on a voyage to
visit a distant planet. Your journey there and back will take many years. An
adequate, high-quality, source of energy is readily available in the radiation
from the Sun. Otherwise, resources for the journey are limited. The crew on
the spacecraft are engaged for much of the time in managing the resources as
carefully as possible. A local biosphere is created in the spacecraft where plants
are grown for food and everything is recycled. Careful accounts are kept of
all resources, with especial emphasis on non-replaceable components. That the
resources be sustainable at least for the duration of the voyage, both there and
back, is clearly essential.
Planet Earth is enormously larger than the spaceship we have just been describ-
ing. The crew of Spaceship Earth at over 6 billion and rising is also enormously
larger. The principle of sustainability should be applied to Spaceship Earth as rig-
orously as it has to be applied to the much smaller vehicle on its interplanetary
journey. Professor Kenneth Boulding, a distinguished American economist, was
the ¬rst to employ the image of Spaceship Earth. In a publication in 1966 he con-
trasted an ˜open™ or ˜cowboy™ economy2 (as he called an unconstrained economy)
with a ˜spaceship™ economy in which sustainability is paramount.3
There have been many de¬nitions of sustainability. The simplest I know
is ˜not cheating on our children™; to that may be added, ˜not cheating on our
neighbours™ and ˜not cheating on the rest of creation™. In other words, not pass-
ing on to our children or any future generation an Earth that is degraded com-
pared to the one we inherited, and also sharing common resources as necessary
with our neighbours in the rest of the world and caring properly for the non-
human creation.
Many things are happening in our modern world that are just not sustainable.4
In fact, we are all guilty of cheating in the three respects I have mentioned.
Table 12.1 lists ¬ve of the most important issues, brie¬‚y showing how they are
all connected together and also linked to other major areas of human activity
or concern. All these issues present enormous challenges.
To illustrate these connections let me use the example of tropical deforesta-
tion. Every year tropical forest is cut down or burnt equivalent approximately to
394 T H E G LO BA L V I L L AG E

Table 12.1 Important sustainability issues

Issue Linked to

Global warming and climate change Energy, transport, biodiversity loss, deforestation
Land-use change Biodiversity loss, deforestation, climate change, soil loss,
agriculture, water
Consumption Waste, ¬sh, food, energy, transport, deforestation, water
Waste Consumption, energy, agriculture, food
Fishing Consumption, food

the area of the island of Ireland. Some is to harvest valuable hardwoods unsus-
tainably; some is to create grassland to raise cattle to provide beef for some
of the world™s richest countries or to grow soya beans mostly to use as animal
feed again for the rich countries of the world. This level of deforestation adds
signi¬cantly to the atmospheric greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane
so increasing the rate of human-induced climate change. It also alters the local
climate close to the region where the deforestation is occurring. For instance,
in the Amazon if current levels of deforestation continue, some of Amazonia
could become much drier, even semi-desert, during this century. Further, when
the trees go, soil is lost by erosion; again in many parts of Amazonia the soil is
poor and easily washed away. Tropical forests are also rich in biodiversity. Loss
of forests results in irreplaceable species loss.
A helpful measure of sustainability is provided by the idea of the Ecological
Footprint and, for any given human community, the extent to which this
Footprint exceeds the resources and the land available. It has for instance been
estimated that three planets would be needed to provide the Footprint for eve-
ryone on Earth to possess the lifestyle of the richer countries.5

Not the only global problem
Global warming is not the only global problem. There are other issues of a global
scale; we need to see global warming in their context. Four problems of particu-
lar importance impact on the global warming issue.
The ¬rst is population growth. When I was born there were about 2000 mil-
lion people in the world. At the beginning of the twenty-¬rst century there were
6000 million. During the lifetime of my grandchildren it is likely to rise to 8000
or 9000 million.6 Most of the growth will be in developing countries; by 2020
they will contain over 80% of the world™s people. These new people will all make


demands for food, energy and work to generate the means of livelihood “ all
with associated implications for global warming.
The second issue is that of poverty and the increasing disparity in wealth
between the developed and the developing world. The gap between the rich
nations and the poor nations is becoming wider. The net ¬‚ow of wealth in
the world is from the poorer nations to the richer ones. Increasingly there are
demands that more justice and equity be realised within the world™s commu-
nities. The Prince of Wales has drawn attention to the strong links that exist
between population growth, poverty and environmental degradation (see
box above).
The third global issue is that of the consumption of resources, which in many
cases is contributing to the problem of global warming. Many of the resources
now being used cannot be replaced, yet we are using them at an unsustainable
rate. In other words, because of the rate at which we are depleting them, we
are seriously affecting their use even at a modest level by future generations.
396 T H E G LO BA L V I L L AG E

Poverty and population growth
The Prince of Wales, in addressing the World Commission on Environment and Development on 22 April
1992, spoke as follows:7

I do not want to add to the controversy over cause and effect with respect to the Third World™s
problems. Suf¬ce it to say that I don™t, in all logic, see how any society can improve its lot when
population growth regularly exceeds economic growth. The factors which will reduce population
growth are, by now, easily identi¬ed: a standard of health care that makes family planning viable,
increased female literacy, reduced infant mortality and access to clean water. Achieving them, of
course, is more dif¬cult “ but perhaps two simple truths need to be writ large over the portals
of every international gathering about the environment: we will not slow the birth rate until we
address poverty. And we will not protect the environment until we address the issue of poverty
and population growth in the same breath.

Further, over 80% of resources are consumed by 20% of the world™s population
and to propagate modern Western patterns of consumption into the developing
world is just not realistic. An important component of sustainable development,
therefore, is sustainable consumption8 of all resources.
The fourth issue is that of global security. Our traditional understanding
of security is based on the concept of the sovereign state with secure borders
against the outside world. But communications, industry and commerce increas-
ingly ignore state borders, and problems like that of global warming and the
other global issues we have mentioned transcend national boundaries. Security
therefore also needs to take on more of a global dimension.
The impacts of climate change will pose a threat to security. One of the
most recent wars has been fought over oil. It has been suggested that wars of
the future could be fought over water.9 The threat of con¬‚ ict must be greater
if nations lose scarce water supplies or the means of livelihood as a result of
climate change. A dangerous level of tension could easily arise, with large
numbers of environmental refugees as projected in Chapter 7. As has been
pointed out by Admiral Sir Julian Oswald,10 who has been deeply concerned
with British defence policy, a broader strategy regarding security needs to be
developed which considers inter alia environmental threats as possible sources
of con¬‚ ict. In addressing the appropriate action to combat such threats, it
may be better overall and more cost-effective in security terms to allocate
resources to the removal or the alleviation of the environmental threat rather
than to military or other measures to deal head-on with the security problem

Consumption of resources for material goods contributes to global warming. Pollution is a side issue
of our consumption.

The challenge to all sections of community
In facing the challenge, it is important to recognise that the problems raised
by global warming are not only global but long term; the timescales of climate
change, of major infrastructure change in energy generation or transport or of
major changes in programmes such as forestry are of the order of several dec-
ades. The programme of action must therefore be seen as both urgent and evolv-
ing, based on continuing scienti¬c, technical and economic assessments. As the
IPCC 1995 Report states, ˜The challenge is not to ¬nd the best policy today for
the next 100 years, but to select a prudent strategy and to adjust it over time in
the light of new information.™11
In pursuing the challenge, I list below some of the particular responsibili-
ties for different communities of expertise that generally transcend national
398 T H E G LO BA L V I L L AG E

• For the world™s scientists the brief is clear: to narrow the uncertainties regard-
ing the science of climate change and to provide better information espe-
cially about expected changes in climate extremes at the regional and local
levels. Not only politicians and policymakers, but also ordinary people in all
countries and at all levels of society, need the information provided in the
clearest possible form. Scientists also have an important role in contributing
to the research necessary to underpin the technical developments, for exam-
ple in the energy, transport, forestry and agriculture sectors, required by the
adaptation and mitigation strategies we have described.
• In the world of politics, it is over 20 years since Sir Crispin Tickell drew
attention to the need for international action addressing climate change.12
Since then, a great deal of progress has been made with the signing in Rio
in 1992 of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and with the set-
ting up of the Sustainable Development Commission in the United Nations.
The challenges presented by the Convention to politicians and decision-
makers, working both nationally and internationally, are, ¬ rstly, to achieve
the right balance of development against environmental concern, that is
to achieve sustainable development, and secondly, to ¬ nd the resolve to
turn the many ¬ ne words of the Convention into adequate, genuine and
urgent action (including both adaptation and mitigation) regarding climate
• In addressing both adaptation and mitigation, the role of technology is para-
mount. The necessary technology is available. Urgently needed is adequate
investment by both governments and industry in essential research and
development and in the training of adequate numbers of technologists and
engineers to carry it out. An important component of the strategy is the trans-
fer of appropriate technology between countries, especially in the energy sec-
tor. This has been speci¬cally recognised in the Climate Convention which in
Article 4, paragraph 5 states:

The developed country Parties ¦ shall take all practical steps to promote, facili-
tate and ¬nance, as appropriate, the transfer of, or access to, environmentally
sound technologies and know-how to other Parties, particularly developing coun-
try Parties, to enable them to implement the provisions of the Convention.

• The responsibilities of industry must also be seen in the world context. It is the
imagination, innovation, commitment and activity of industry that will do
most to solve the problem. Industries that have a global perspective, working

as appropriate with governments, need to develop a technical, ¬nancial and
policy strategy to this end. The challenge of global warming must not be seen
by industry as a threat but as a great opportunity; many companies from
some of the largest to the smallest are now seriously and effectively taking
sustainability and environmental considerations on board.13
• There are also new challenges for economists and social scientists; for instance,
that of adequately representing environmental costs (especially including
those ˜costs™ that cannot be valued in terms of money) and the value of ˜natu-
ral™ capital, especially when it is of a global kind “ as mentioned in Chapter
9. There is the further problem of dealing fairly with all countries. No coun-
try wants to be put at a disadvantage economically because it has taken its
responsibilities with respect to global warming more seriously than others. As
economic and other instruments (for instance, taxes, subsidies, capping and
trading arrangements, regulations or other measures) are devised to provide
the incentives for appropriate action regarding global warming by govern-
ments or by individuals, these must be seen to be both fair and effective for
all nations. Economists working with politicians and decision-makers need
to ¬nd imaginative solutions that recognise not just environmental concerns
but political realities.
• There is an important role for communicators and educators. Everybody in the
world is involved in climate change so everybody needs to be properly
informed “ to understand the evidence for it, its causes, the distribution of its
impacts and the action that can be taken to alleviate them. Climate change
is a complex topic; the challenge to educators (including churches and other
organisations involved in teaching) “ also to the media “is to inform in ways
that are understandable, comprehensive, honest and balanced.
• All countries will need to adapt to the climate change that applies in their
region. For many developing countries this will not be easy because of
increased ¬‚oods, droughts or signi¬cant rise in sea level. Reductions in risks
from disasters are some of the most important adaptation strategies. A chal-
lenge for aid agencies therefore is to prepare for more frequent and intense dis-
asters in vulnerable countries; the International Red Cross has already taken
the lead in this.14
• Finally, there is a challenge for everybody (see box). None of us can argue that
there is nothing we can usefully do. Edmund Burke, a British parliamentar-
ian of 200 years ago, said: No one made a greater mistake than he who did nothing
because he could do so little.
400 T H E G LO BA L V I L L AG E

There are many small efforts that individuals can make, which in numbers can help mitigate global warming.
Compared with paper directly from a forest source, recycled paper reduces water consumption by nearly
60% and energy use by 40%. Air and water pollution are decreased by 74% and 35% respectively.

The conception and conduct of environmental
While completing the writing of this last chapter for the third edition in 2004 I
attended the opening of the Zuckerman Institute for Connective Environmental
Research at the University of East Anglia “ a centre devoted to interdisciplinary
research on the environment. An opening lecture was given by William Clark,
Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development at
Harvard University.18 I was particularly struck by his remarks concerning the
changes that are necessary in the way research is conceived and conducted if
science (both natural and social) and technology are going to provide more ade-
quate support to environmental sustainability. He pointed out the need to address
all aspects of a problem both in the conception of the research and in its con-
duct and particularly emphasised the following four requirements:

What the individual can do
I have spelled out the responsibilities of experts of all kinds “ scientists, economists, technologists,
politicians, industrialists, communicators and educators. There are important contributions also to
be made by ordinary individuals to help to mitigate the problem of global warming.15 Some of these
are to:

• ensure maximum energy ef¬ciency in the home “ through good insulation (see box on page 342) against
cold in winter and heat in summer and by making sure that rooms are not overheated and that light is
not wasted;
• as consumers, take energy use into account, e.g. by buying goods that last longer and from more local
sources and buying appliances with high energy ef¬ciency;
• support, where possible, the provision of energy from non-fossil-fuel sources; for instance, purchase
˜green™ electricity (i.e. electricity from renewable sources) wherever this option is available;16
• drive a fuel-ef¬cient car and choose means of transport that tend to minimise overall energy use; for
instance, where possible, walking or cycling; think before travelling by air;
• check, when buying wood products, that they originate from a renewable source;
• contribute to projects that reduce carbon dioxide emissions “ this can be a way of compensating for
some of the emissions to which we contribute, e.g. from aircraft journeys;17
• through the democratic process, encourage local and national governments to deliver policies which
properly take the environment into account.

• An integrative, holistic approach that considers the interactions between mul-
tiple stresses and between various possible solutions. Such an approach also
seeks to integrate perspectives from both the natural and the social sciences,
so as to understand better the dynamical interplay by which environment
shapes society and society in turn reshapes environment. And these various
integrations must also be in a global context.
• A goal of ¬nding solutions not just of characterising problems. There is a ten-
dency amongst scientists to talk forever about problems but leave solu-
tions to others. Applied research seeking solutions is just as challenging
and worthy as so-called fundamental research identifying and describing
the problems.
• Ownership by both scientists and stakeholders.19 People are more prepared to
change their behaviour or beliefs in response to knowledge that they have
had a hand in researching or shaping.
402 T H E G LO BA L V I L L AG E

• Scientists must see themselves more as facilitators of social learning and less as
sources of social guidance. The problems faced in environmental research are
such that solutions will only be reached after a long and iterative learn-
ing process in which many sectors of society as well as scientists must be

Two other qualities that need to govern our attitude to research that have
often received emphasis in this book are those of honesty (especially accu-
racy and balance in the presentation of results) and humility (see, for instance,
the fourth bullet in the last paragraph and the quotation from Thomas Huxley
in Chapter 8, page 255). Together with the theme of holism from the last par-
agraph, they make up 3 Hs, an alliteration that assists in keeping them all
in mind.

The goal of environmental stewardship
Early in this chapter I invited you to imagine a voyage on Spaceship Earth. Let
me leave you with two further metaphors to provide some perspective on sus-
tainability especially as it is seen from the rich developed world.
The ¬rst metaphor represents unsustainability; I owe it to Professor Bob
Goudzwaard20 of the Free University of Amsterdam. He asks us to imagine our
position in the developed world to be like that of a passenger in a comfortable
seat on a high-speed train “ a train à grande vitesse (TGV) “ rushing along its tracks
through the villages and countryside. Our view from inside the train seems stable,
smooth and peaceful. Looking through the window beside us we perceive move-
ment, the landscape seems to be moving backwards “ staying behind. That, of
course, is an illusion; the speed of the train provides for us our different but
seemingly ¬ xed frame of reference. Now imagine another position in relation
to the TGV. We are standing in the open air just by the tracks as the train passes
by. The view from outside is very different. The train is going fast, rushing by “
perhaps too fast! We look anxiously ahead of the train to where some children
seem to be trying to cross the tracks.
We, modern human beings, tend to take the inside view, from where the
dynamic patterns of growth, consumption and progress seem completely nor-
mal. We are constantly stretching to increase the speed and dynamism of these
technological and market-driven patterns. From this inside view, we see poor
countries as underdeveloped and lagging behind. We also see the natural world
and the environment as unable to move fast enough, too restraining “ we want
them out of the way. We want to speed on with our own conception of progress
as if the landscape were not there.

A second metaphor “ of positive sustainability “ comes from the natural
world itself “ that of a tree. For the ¬ rst part of its life a tree puts all its avail-
able resources into growth. It needs to grow upwards as fast as possible to
reach the forest canopy to compete for its share of light that will bring more
effective growth. But then the tree matures. It has grown to its full size.
It has no drive to grow taller or wider. Its efforts and use of resources are
now directed into a different activity, that of producing fruit. It is the fruit
that will guarantee the future for subsequent generations of its species and
also provide sustenance for a wide range of other species of both plants and
animals “ so enabling the tree to ful¬ l its purpose within the total ecosystem
where it resides.
A point that is frequently made about such stewardship is that many of the
actions that must be taken to combat global warming are good to do anyway
because they will lead towards the sustainability that is essential if we are
to live in a world where happiness and justice thrive “ the sort of world that
most people long to see. Seeing action on climate change as a catalyst for
these other changes provides even more impetus for immediate and aggres-
sive action.
In our modern world we tend to be obsessed with material goals: economic
growth, the latest gadgets, more leisure and so on. But for our ful¬lment as
human beings we also desperately need challenges of a moral or spiritual kind.
Caring for the Earth, its peoples and its future could provide a common pur-
pose uniting the world™s peoples in a cooperative enterprise bringing value far
beyond the immediate tasks. There exist strong connections, that I drew out in
Chapter 8, between our basic attitudes and beliefs and environmental concern.
I presented a picture of humans as stewards or gardeners of the Earth. Many
people in the world are already deeply involved in a host of ways in action
towards greater sustainability. Such concern could, however, with bene¬t to
all, be elevated to a much higher public and political level both nationally and
internationally. In an article in Time Magazine at the time of the Summit on
Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, Ko¬ Annan, the Secretary-
General of the United Nations presented ˜Competing Futures™ in the following

Imagine a future of relentless storms and ¬‚oods; islands and heavily
inhabited coastal regions inundated by rising sea levels; fertile soils ren-
dered barren by drought and the desert™s advance; mass migrations of
environmental refugees; and armed con¬‚ icts over water and precious
natural resources.
404 T H E G LO BA L V I L L AG E

Then, think again “ for one might just as easily conjure a more hope-
ful picture: of green technologies; liveable cities; energy-ef¬cient homes,
transport and industry; and rising standards of living for all the people
not just a fortunate minority. The choice between these competing visions
is ours to make.

1 List and describe the most important environmental problems in your
country. Evaluate how each might be exacerbated under the type of climate
change expected with global warming.
2 It is commonly stated that my pollution or my country™s pollution is so small
compared with the whole, that any contribution I or my country can make
towards solving the problem is negligible. What arguments can you make to
counter this attitude?
3 Speak to people you know who are involved with industry and ¬nd out
their attitudes to local and global environmental concerns. What are the
important arguments that persuade industry to take the environment
4 Al Gore, Vice-President of the United States in 1996“2000, has proposed
a plan for saving the world™s environment.22 He has called it ˜A Global
Marshall Plan™ paralleled after the Marshall Plan through which the United
States assisted Western Europe to recover and rebuild after the Second
World War. Resources for the plan would need to come from the world™s
major wealthy countries. He has proposed ¬ve strategic goals for the plan:
(1) the stabilisation of world population; (2) the rapid creation and develop-
ment of environmentally appropriate technologies; (3) a comprehensive and
ubiquitous change in the economic ˜rules of the road™ by which we measure
the impact of our decisions on the environment; (4) the negotiation of a
new generation of international agreements, that must be sensitive to the
vast differences of capability and need between developed and develop-
ing nations; (5) the establishment of a cooperative plan for educating the
world™s citizens about our global environment. Consider these ¬ve goals.
Are they suf¬ciently comprehensive? Are there important goals that he has

5 How do you think governments can best move forward towards strategic
goals for the environment? How can citizens be persuaded to contribute to
government action if it involves making sacri¬ces, for example paying more
in tax?
6 Can you add to the list in the box at the end of the chapter of contributions
that the individual can make?
7 The Jubilee 2000 campaign has worked towards the cancellation of
Third World debt possibly in return for appropriate environmental action.
Discuss whether this is a good idea and how it might be made more
8 Millions of people (especially children) die in the world™s poorer countries
because they lack clean water. It is argued by Professor Bjorn Lomborg
that resources that might be used in reducing carbon dioxide emissions
could be better used in making sure that everyone has access to clean
water.23 Do you agree with this argument? If so how could the result be
realised in practice?
9 It has been suggested that anthropogenic climate change should be con-
sidered as a Weapon of Mass Destruction. Discuss the validity of this
10 Consider the requirements for the conception and conduct of research
that are detailed on page 401. Do you consider that they could be
components of a checklist against which research proposals might be
judged? How far does the research in which you are engaged or do
the research programmes with which you are connected ful¬l these
11 Analyse and compare the three metaphors introduced in the chapter “
Spaceship Earth, the TGV and the Tree. Are they helpful in providing per-
spective and vision? De¬ne the ways in which they might be misleading.
12 In 2000, at the Millennium Summit, the UN agreed eight Millennium Goals
with targets for achievement by 2015. Look up these goals.24 Comment
on how each of the goals might be connected with the issue of climate
change. Look up the further commitments, relevant to the environment
and climate change, made at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg in 2002. 25
To what extent are these adequate to meet the challenge of climate
change? What are the prospects for the goals and commitments being
achieved by 2015?
406 T H E G LO BA L V I L L AG E

Metz, B., Davidson, O., Bosch, P., Dave, R., Meyer, L. (eds.) 2007. Climate Change 2007:
Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth
Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Chapter 13 Policies, instruments and cooperative arrangements
IPCC AR4 2007 Synthesis Report
World Wildlife Fund 2006. Living Planet Report. www.footprintnetwork.org
Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC). www.unfccc.int

1 Sustainability not only concerns physical resources. 8 Many of the world™s national academies of science
It is also applied to activities and communities. led by the Royal Society in London have joined
Environmental sustainability is strongly linked together in a report pointing this out. See Appendix
to social sustainability “ about sustainable B in Towards Sustainable Consumption: A European
communities and sustainable economics. Perspective. 2000. London: Royal Society.
Sustainable development is an all-embracing term. 9 The former United Nations Secretary-General,
The Brundtland Report, Our Common Future, of Boutros Boutros-Ghali, has said that ˜the next war
1987 provides a milestone review of sustainable in the Middle East will be fought over water, not
development issues. politics™.
2 Michael Northcott in The Moral Climate, (London: 10 Oswald, J. 1993. Defence and environmental
Dorton, Longman and Todd, 2007), Chapter 4, calls it security, in Prins, Threats without Enemies.
frontier economics. 11 Synthesis of Scienti¬c“Technical Information Relevant to
3 Kenneth Boulding was Professor of Economics at Interpreting Article 2 of the UN Framework Convention on
the University of Colorado, sometime President Climate Change. 1995. Geneva: IPCC, p. 17.
of the American Economics Association and of 12 Tickell, C. 1986. Climatic Change and World Affairs,
the American Association for the Advancement second edition. Boston, Mass.: Harvard University
of Science. His article, ˜The economics of the Press.
coming Spaceship Earth™ was published in 1966 in 13 For instance, two of the largest oil companies, Shell
Environmental Quality in a Growing Economy pp. 77“82. and British Petroleum are taking action to reduce
4 See, for instance, UNEP, Global Environmental their internal carbon dioxide emissions and are also
Outlook 3, London: Earthscan, 2002 and Berry, R. J. putting strong investment into renewable energies.
(ed.) 2007. W hen Enough Is Enough: A Christian Lord Browne, former Chief Executive of BP, said in
Framework for Environmental Sustainability. London: a speech in Berlin in 1997, ˜No single company or
Apollos. country can solve the problem of climate change. It
5 See World Wildlife Fund 2006. Living Planet Report: would be foolish and arrogant to pretend otherwise.
www.panda.org/livingplanet But I hope we can make a difference “ not least to
6 The United Nations predicts a rise from 6.7 billion in the tone of the debate “ by showing what is possible
2006 to 9.2 billion by 2050. through constructive action.™
7 HRH the Prince of Wales, in the First Brundtland 14 The International Red Cross/Red Crescent has set
Speech, 22 April 1992, published in Prins, G. (ed.) 1993. up a Climate Centre based in the Netherlands as
Threats without Enemies. London: Earthscan, pp. 3“14. a bridge between Climate Change and Disaster
N OT E S F O R C H A P T E R 12

Preparedness. The activities of the Centre 17 See for instance Climate Care website:
are concerned with Awareness (information www.climatecare.org.uk.
and education), Action (development of 18 Clark, W. C. 2003. Sustainability science: challenges
climate adaptation in the context of Disaster for the new millennium. An address at the of¬cial
Preparedness programmes) and Advocacy (to ensure opening of the Zuckerman Institute for Connective
that policy development takes into account the Environmental Research, University of East
growing concern about the impacts of climate Anglia, Norwich, UK, 4 September 2003. http://
change and utilises existing experience with sustainabilityscience.org/ists/docs/clark_zicer_
climate adaptation and Disaster Preparedness). opening030904.pdf.
15 Some useful websites: Sierra Club USA, 19 This is illustrated by the experience of the IPCC, as
www.sierraclub.org/sustainable.consumption/; described on page 266.
Union of Concerned Scientists, www.ucsusa. 20 See www.allo¬‚ iferedeemed.co.uk/goudzwaard/
org; Energy Saving Trust, www.est.org.uk; BG111.pdf
Ecocongregation, www.encams.org; Christian 21 Ko¬ Annan, Time Magazine, 26 August 2002.
Ecology Link, www.christian-ecology.org.uk; 22 Expounded in the last chapter of Gore, A. 1992.
John Ray Initiative, www.jri.org.uk. Earth in the Balance. Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mif¬‚in
16 With changes in the organisation of electricity Company.
supply companies in some countries, it is becoming 23 Lomborg, B. (ed.) 2004. Global Crises, Global Solutions.
possible to purchase electricity, delivered by the Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
national grid, from a particular generating source, 24 UN Millennium Goals: www.un.org/
see for instance for the UK www.greenelectricity. millenniumgoals
org or www.good-energy.co.uk. 25 Earth Summit 2002: www.earthsummit2002.org
Appendix 1

Sl unit pre¬xes

Quantity Prefix Symbol

1012 tera T
10 9 giga G
10 6 mega M
103 kilo k
102 hecto h
10 ’2 centi c
10 ’3 milli m
10 ’6 micro μ
10 ’9 nano n

Chemical symbols

CFCs chloro¬‚uorocarbons N2 molecular nitrogen
CH4 methane N 2O nitrous oxide
CO carbon monoxide NO nitric oxide

CO2 carbon dioxide NO2 nitrogen dioxide
H2 molecular hydrogen O2 molecular oxygen
HCFCs hydrochloro¬‚uorocarbons O3 ozone
HFCs hydro¬‚uorocarbons OH hydroxyl radical
H 2O water SO2 sulphur dioxide
Appendix 2
Acknowledgements for ¬gures, photos and tables

1.1 From World Climate News, no. 16, July 1999. Geneva: World Meteorological
Organization. A similar map is prepared and published each year. Data from
Climate Prediction Center, NOAA, USA.
1.2 Figure 2.7 from Watson, R. et al. (eds.) 2001. Climate Change 2001: Synthesis Report.
Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Third Assessment Report of the
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b) After Fig. TS3 from Technical Summary, 2007. In Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate
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3.3 After Fig. 2.3a from Foster, P., Ramaswamy, V., Artaxo, P., Berntsen, T., Betts, R.,
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carbon dioxide. Chapter 3 in Houghton, J. T., Ding, Y., Griggs, D. J., Noguer, M.,
van der Linden, P. J., Dai, X., Maskell, K., Johnson, C. A. (eds.) Climate Change
2001: The Scienti¬c Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment
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University Press.
3.5 (a) and (b) From Chris Jones, UK Meteorological Of¬ce.
3.6 After Fig. SPM1 from Summary for Policymakers. In Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate
Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.
3.7 (a) After Fig. 2.11 from Foster, P. et al. In Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007:
The Physical Science Basis. (b) From Hadley Centre Brie¬ng, December 2005. Climate
Change and the Greenhouse Effect. Exeter: UK Met Of¬ce, p. 19.
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P. M., Dickinson, R. E., Hauglustaine, D., Heinze, C., Holland, E., Jacob, D., Lohman,
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3.11 After Fig. SPM 2 from Summary for Policymakers, In Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate
Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.
3.12 After Global surface albedo. In King et al., (eds). Our Changing Planet, p. 129.
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4.4 After Fig. SPM3 from Summary for Policymakers. In Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate
Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.
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Masson-Delmotte, V., Olago, D., Otto-Bliesner, B., Peltier, W. R., Rahmstorf, S.,
Ramesh, R., Raynaud, D., Rind, D., Solomina, O., Villalba, R., Zhang, D. 2007.
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4.6 (a) Adapted from Raynaud, D. et al. 1993. The ice core record of greenhouse gases.
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Scienti¬c American, 262, 43“50.
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5.5 From UK Meteorological Of¬ce.
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Physical Science Basis.
5.10 From Houghton, The Bakerian Lecture 1991. London: Royal Society.
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and attributing climate change. In Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007: The
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5.12 After Plate 19.3 from Palmer and Hagedorn, Predicability of Weather and Climate.
5.13 After FAQ 1.2, Fig. 1 from Le Treut et al. In Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007:
The Physical Science Basis. p. 104.
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5.18 From UK Meteorological Of¬ce.
5.19 This diagram and information about modelling past climates is from Kutzbach,
J. E. 1992. In Trenberth, K. E. (ed.) Climate System Modelling. Cambridge: Cambridge
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5.20 From Hansen, J. et al. 1992. Potential impact of Mt Pinatubo eruption. Geophysics
Research Letters, 19, 215“18. Also quoted in Technical summary, in Houghton, J. T.,
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1996. Climate Change 1995: The Science of Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge
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5.21 From Sarmiento, J. L. 1983. Journal of Physics and Oceanography, 13, 1924“39.
5.22 After Fig. 9.5 from Hegerl, G. C. et al. In Solomon et al.. (eds.) Climate Change 2007:
The Physical Science Basis.
5.24 From the Hadley Centre Report 2002. Regional Climate Modelling System. Exeter: UK
Met Of¬ce, p. 4.
6.1 Figure 17 from Technical summary. In Houghton et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2001:
The Scienti¬c Basis.
6.2 Figure 18 from Technical summary. In Houghton et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2001:
The Scienti¬c Basis.
6.4 (a) After Fig. SPM 5 from Summary for Policymakers. In Solomon et al. (eds.)
Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. (b) After Fig. TS 26 from Technical
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Friedlingstein, P., Gaye, A. T., Gregory, J. M., Kitoh, A., Knutti, J. M., Murphy, J. M.,
Noda, A., Raper, S. C. B., Watterson, I. G., Weaver, A. J., Zhao, Z. C. 2007. Global
climate projections, ibid.
6.5 After Fig. 10.7 from Meehl et al. In Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007: The
Physical Science Basis. Cambridge University Press.
6.6 After Fig. SPM 6 from Summary for policymakers. In Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate
Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.
6.7 After Fig. SPM 7 from Summary for policymakers. In Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate
Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.
6.8 After Fig. 2.32 from Folland C. K., Karl T. R. et al. 2001. Observed climate
variability and change, Chapter 2 in Houghton et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2001: The
Scienti¬c Basis, p. 155.
6.9 From Pittock, A. B. et al. 1991. Quoted in Houghton, J. T., Callander, B. A., Varney,
S. K. (eds.) Climate Change 1992: The Supplementary Report to the IPCC Assessments.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 120.
6.10 After Fig. 10.18 from Meehl et al. In Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007: The
Physical Science Basis.
6.11 From Palmer, T. N., Raisanen, J. 2002. Nature, 415, 512“14.
6.12 After Fig. 9 from Burke, E. J., Brown, S. J., Christidis, N. 2006. Modelling the recent
evolution of global drought and projections for the 21st century with the Hadley
Centre climate model. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 7, 1113“25.
6.13 From Hadley Centre Report 2002. Regional Climate Modelling System. Exeter: UK Met
6.14 From Hadley Centre Brie¬ng, 2005. Climate Change and the Greenhouse Effect. Exeter:
UK Met Of¬ce.
6.15 After Fig. 2.17 from Foster et al. In Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007: The
Physical Science Basis.
7.1 After Fig. 5.21 from Bindoff, N. L., Willebrand, J., Artale, V., Cazenave, A.,
Gregory, J., Gulev, S., Hanawa, K., Le Quere, C., Levitus, S., Nojiri, Y., Shum, C. K.,
Talley, L. D., Unnikrishnan, A. 2007 Observation: Oceanic climate change and sea
level. In Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.

7.2 After Fig. FAQ 5.1, Fig. 1 from Bindoff et al. In Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate Change
2007: The Physical Science Basis.
7.3 After Fig. TS 8 from Technical Summary. In Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate Change
2007: The Physical Science Basis, p. 41.
7.4 From Broadus, J. M. 1993. Possible impacts of, and adjustments to, sea-level rise:
the case of Bangladesh and Egypt. In Warrick, R. A., Barrow, E. M., Wigley, T. M. L.
(eds.) 1993. Climate and Sea-Level Change: Observations, Projections and Implications.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 263“75; adapted from Milliman, J. D.
1989. Environmental and economic implications of rising sea level and subsiding
deltas: the Nile and Bangladeshi examples. Ambio, 18, 340“5.
7.5 From Maurits la Rivière, J. W. 1989. Threats to the world™s water. Scienti¬c
American, 261, 48“55.
7.6 Figure 11.4(a) from Shiklomanov, I. A., Rodda, J. C. (eds.) 2003. World Water
Resources at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
7.7 After Fig. 3.2 from Kundzewicz, Z. W., Mata, L. J., Arnell, N. W., Doll, P., Kabat, P.,
Jimenez, B., Miller, K. A., Oki, T., Sen, Z., Shiklomanov, I. A., 2007. Freshwater
resources and their management. In Parry, M., Canziani, O., Palutikof, J., van der
Linden, P., Hansen, C. (eds.) Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.
Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 178
7.8 After Fig. 3.8 from Kundzewicz et al. In Parry et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007:
Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.
7.9 From the Hadley Centre Report 2002. Regional Climate Modelling System. Exeter: UK
Met Of¬ce p. 5.
7.10 From Tolba, M. K., El-Kholy, O. A. (eds.) 1992. The World Environment 1972“1992.
London: Chapman and Hall, p. 135.
7.11 (a) and (b) After Fig. 5.2 from Easterling, W. E., Aggarwal, P. K., Batima, P.,
Brander, K. M., Erda, L., Howden, S. M., Kirilenko, A., Morton, J., Soussana, J. F.,
Schmidhuber, J., Tubiello, F. N. 2007. Food, ¬bre and forest products. In Parry et al.
(eds.) Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.
7.12 Illustrating key elements of a study of crop yield and food trade under a changed
climate. From Parry, M. et al. 1999. Climate change and world food security: a new
assessment. Global Environmental Change, 9, S51“S67.
7.13 After Fig. 4.1 from Fischlin, A., Midgley, G. F., Price, J. T., Leemans, R., Gopal, B.,
Turley, C., Rounsevell, M. D. A., Dube, O. P., Tarazona, J., Velichko, A. A. 2007.
Ecosystems, their properties, goods and services. In Parry et al. (eds.) Climate
Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.
7.14 Adapted from Gates, D. M. 1993. Climate Change and its Biological Consequences.
Sunderland, Mass.: Sinauer Associates, p. 63. The original source is Delcourt, P. A.,
Delcourt, H. R. 1981. In Romans, R. C. (ed.) Geobotany II. New York: Plenum Press,
pp. 123“65.
7.15 From Gates, Climate Change and its Biological Consequences, p. 63.
7.16 Data from Bugmann, H. quoted in Miko U. F. et al. 1996. Climate change impacts
on forests. In Watson, R. T., Zinyowera, M. C., Moss, R. H. (eds.) 1996. Climate
Change 1995: Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change: Scienti¬c “ Technical

Analyses. Contribution of Working Group II to the Second Assessment Report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
Chapter 1.
7.17 After Fig. TS16 from Technical summary. In Parry et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007:
Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.
7.18 After Fig. 8.2 from Turley, C., Blackford, J. C., Widdecombe, S., Lowe, D.,
Nightingale, P. D., Rees, A. P. 2006. In Schellnhuber, H. J. (ed.) Avoiding Dangerous
Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Chapter 8.
7.19 After Fig. TS13 from Technical summary. In Parry et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007:
Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.
8.1 After Lovelock, J. E. 1988. The Ages of Gaia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 203.
8.2 From Lovelock, The Ages of Gaia, p. 82.
9.1 Figure 13.2 from Mearns, L. O., Hulme, M. et al. 2001. Climate scenario
development. In Houghton et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2001: The Scienti¬c Basis.
9.2 European Space Agency.
9.3 After Fig. Box 13.2 from Stern, N. 2007. The Stern Review: The Economics of Climate
Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 343.
10.1 After Fig. SPM3 from IPCC Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report.
10.2 After Fig. SPM11 from IPCC Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report.
10.3 From Jason Lowe and Chris Jones at the Hadley Centre, UK Meteorological Of¬ce.
10.4 After Fig SPM3a from Summary for policymakers. In Metz, B., Davidson, O.,
Bosch, P., Dave, R., Meyer, L. (eds.) Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution
of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
10.5 From the Global Commons Institute, Illustrating their ˜Contraction and
Convergence™ proposal for achieving stabilisation of carbon dioxide
11.1 Adapted and updated from Davis, G. R. 1990. Energy for planet Earth. Scienti¬c
American, 263, 21“7. Information from Fig. TS13, Technical summary. In Metz et
al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007: Mitigation.
11.2 After Fig. 4.4 from Sims, R. E. H., Schock, R. N., Adegbululgbe, A., Fenham, J.,
Konstantinaviciute, I., Moomaw, W., Nimir, H. B., Schlamadinger, B., Torres-
Martinez, J., Turner, C., Uchiyama, Y., Vuori, S. J. V., Wamukonya, N., Zhang, X.
2007. Energy supply. In Metz et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007: Mitigation.
11.3 After Fig. SPM2 from Summary for policymakers. In Metz et al. (eds.) Climate
Change 2007: Mitigation.
11.4 (a) After Fig 2.1 from Energy Technology Perspectives 2008. Paris: International
Energy Agency. (b) After Fig 2.2, ibid. (c) After Fig. 2.3 ibid.
11.5 Adapted from Scienti¬c American, 295, p. 30.
11.7 From Abuerdeen City Council.
11.9 After Fig. 5.4, from Kahn Riberio, S., Kobayashi, S., Beuthe, M., Gasca, J., Greene,
D., Lee, D. S., Muromachi, Y., Newton, P. J., Plotkin, S., Sperling, D., Wit, R., Zhou,
P. J. 2007. Transport and its infrastructure. In Metz et al. (eds.) Climate Change
2007: Mitigation.
11.10 After Fig. 5.3 from Kahn Ribero et al. In Metz et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007:
11.11 After Fig. 5.6, World Energy Outlook 2007. Paris: International Energy Agency.

11.12 After Fig. 2.18, Energy Technology Perspectives 2008. Paris: International Energy
11.14 Dr John Clifton-Brown, Aberystwyth University.
11.15 Adapted from Twidell, J., and Weir, T. 1986. Renewable Energy Resources. London: E.
and F. Spon, p. 100.
11.16 From Smith, P.F. 2001. Architecture in a Climate of Change. London: Architectural
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11.18 From Shell Renewables.
11.19 From Williams, N., Jacobson, K., Burris, H. 1993. Sunshine for light in the night.
Nature, 362, 691“2. For more recent information on solar home systems see
Martinot, E. et al. 2002. Renewable energy markets in developing countries.
Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 27, 309“48.
11.20 From the 22nd Report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.
London: Stationery Of¬ce.
11.21 www.wavedragon.com.
11.22 Figure TS6 from Metz et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007: Mitigation.
11.23 Figure SPM6 from Metz et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007: Mitigation.
11.24 Adapted from Twidell and Weir, Renewable Energy Resources, p. 399.
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renewable distributed energy application for hydrogen. Proc., 3rd Asia Paci¬c Regional
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11.26 From Enkvist, P. et al. 2007. A cost curve for greenhouse gas reduction. The
McKinsey Quarterly, 1, 35“45.

Chapter 1
Hurricane Wilma Reuters: GM1DWIALXUAA
Hurricane Mitch NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scienti¬c Visualization Studio
The Great Flood of 1993 NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scienti¬c Visualization
El Ni±o event of 1997“8 NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scienti¬c Visualisation

Chapter 2
Earth Rise NASA
Ice, oceans, land surfaces, and clouds © Cloudzilla, 6 December 2007
Venus, Earth, and Mars Lunar and Planetary Institute

Chapter 3
Industrial activity © 2006 Rinderart, courtesy ImageVortex.com
Didcot power station © Rose Davies, 7 February 2007
Plankton bloom ESA
Rice paddy ¬elds MET Of¬ce

Ozone depletion NASA
Aircraft contrails NASA

Chapter 4
Himalayan glaciers Image provided by Jeffrey Kargel, USGS/NASA JPL/AGU, through
NASA™s Earth Observatory
Nukuoro Atoll NASA
Ice core research BAS ref 10002006

Chapter 5
Supercell Floridalightening.com
Lewis Fry Richardson UK Meteorological of¬ce
Saharan dust storm NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using
data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response Team
Snow and ice Scott Polar Research Institute
Mount Pinatubo USGS/Cascades Volcano Observatory/Dave Harlow

Chapter 6
CloudSat spacecraft NASA/JPL
Torrential rain and ¬‚ooding Environmental Canada/Associated Press
Sea surface temperature NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scienti¬c Visualization

Chapter 7
African droughts PA photos
Arctic Ice NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scienti¬c Visualization Studio
Bangladesh ¬‚oods PA photos
Acid Rain Science Photo Library
Hurricane Katrina Space Imaging
US Coast Guardsman US Coast Guard

Chapter 8
The Earth NASA
Golden toad US Fish and Wildlife Service

Chapter 9
The Garden of Eden, Jan Brueghel V&A Museum
Industrial chimneys Getty Images
The IPCC delegation IPCC, Geneva
Bangladesh radar image ESA
Nature diagnosing climate change

Chapter 10
Amazon rainforest canopy iStockphoto
Bolivian rainforest NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scienti¬c Visualization Studio
Afforestation Agricultural Research Service / US Department of Agriculture
Land¬ ll site © D™Arcy Norman, 24 September 2006

Chapter 11
Solar PV US Air Force
Sleipner T gas platform Physics World, 19, 25 (2006), Institute of Physics
The Earth at night NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scienti¬c Visualization Studio
Wind turbines iStockphoto

Chapter 12
Deforestation iStockphoto
Recycled paper iStockphoto

3.1 Denman, K. L. and Brasseur, G. et al. 2007. Chapter 7 in Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate
Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.
3.2 Prather, M., Ehhalt, D. et al. 2001. Atmospheric chemistry and greenhouse gases.
Chapter 4, in Houghton et al. (eds.), Climate Change 2001: The Scienti¬c Basis.
4.1 Table SPM-1 from IPCC 2001 Synthesis Report with some updates from Table 3.8 in
Trenberth, K. E., Jones, P. D. et al., Chapter 3, in Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate Change
2007: The Physical Science Basis.
6.1 Data for 2005 and estimates of uncertainty in Figure 3.11. For 2050 and 2100 from
Ramaswamy, V. et al. 2001: Radiative forcing of climate change. In Houghton et al.
(eds.) Climate Change 2001: The Scienti¬c Basis, Chapter 6, Tables 6.1 and 6.14.
6.2 Table SPM-1 from Summary for policymakers. In Houghton et al. (eds.) Climate
Change 2001: The Scienti¬c Basis. Updated from Trenberth, K.E., Jones, P.D. et
al., Chapter 3, Table 3.8 and Christensen, J.H., Hewitson, B. et al., Chapter 11,
Table 11.2, in Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.
7.1 Based on Table TS3 IPCC AR4 2007 WG 2 Technical Survey p. 66.
7.2 Table SPM-4 from IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report.
7.3 Data from Munich Re, presented in Figure 8.6 in Vellinga, P., Mills, E. et al. 2001.
In McCarthy et al., (eds.) Climate Change 2001: Impacts.
7.4 Data from Munich Re, presented in Table 8.3 in Vellinga, P., Mills, E. et al. 2001. In
McCarthy et al., (eds.) Climate Change 2001: Impacts.
7.5 Table 19.6 in Smith, J. B. et al. Vulnerability to climate change and reasons for
concern: a synthesis. In McCarthy et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2001: Impacts.
7.6 IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report, Table SPM 3.
10.2 Table 6.7 from Ramaswamy, V. et al. 2001. In Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate Change
2001: The Scienti¬c Basis; also Solomon et al. (eds.) Climate Change 2007. The Physical
Science Basis.
10.3 Adapted from IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report, Table SPM 6.
11.2 Table SPM 6 Metz et al. (ed.) Climate Change 2007: Mitigatiz.

aerosol(s) A collection of airborne solid or liquid particles with a typical size
between 0.01 and 10 µm that reside in the atmosphere from periods of
hours to days or months. They may be natural or anthropogenic in origin.
They in¬‚uence climate directly through absorbing or scattering radiation or
indirectly by acting as cloud condensation nuclei
afforestation Planting of new forests on lands that historically have not contained
Agenda 21 A document accepted by the participating nations at UNCED on a wide
range of environmental and development issues for the twenty-¬rst century
albedo The fraction of light re¬‚ected by a surface, often expressed as a percentage.
Snow-covered surfaces have a high albedo level; vegetation-covered surfaces
have a low albedo, because of the light absorbed for photosynthesis
anthropic principle A principle which relates the existence of the Universe to
the existence of humans who can observe it
anthropogenic effects Effects which result from human activities such as the
burning of fossil fuels or deforestation
AOGCM Atmosphere“ocean coupled general circulation model
atmosphere The envelope of gases surrounding the Earth or other planets
atmospheric pressure The pressure of atmospheric gases on the surface of the
planet. High atmospheric pressure generally leads to stable weather conditions,
whereas low atmospheric pressure leads to storms such as cyclones
atom The smallest unit of an element that can take part in a chemical reaction.
Composed of a nucleus which contains protons and neutrons and is surrounded
by electrons
atomic mass The sum of the numbers of protons and neutrons in the nucleus of
an atom
biodiversity A measure of the number of different biological species found in a
particular area
biological pump The process whereby carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is
dissolved in sea water where it is used for photosynthesis by phytoplankton which
are eaten by zooplankton. The remains of these microscopic organisms sink to
the ocean bed, thus removing the carbon from the carbon cycle for hundreds,
thousands or millions of years

biomass The total weight of living material in a given area
biome A distinctive ecological system, characterised primarily by the nature of
its vegetation
biosphere The region on land, in the oceans and in the atmosphere inhabited by
living organisms
business-as-usual The scenario for future world patterns of energy consumption
and greenhouse gas emissions which assumes that there will be no major changes
in attitudes and priorities
C3, C4 plants Groups of plants which take up carbon dioxide in different ways
in photosynthesis and are hence affected to a different extent by increased
atmospheric carbon dioxide. Wheat, rice and soya bean are C3 plants; maize,
sugarcane and millet are C4 plants
carbon cycle The exchange of carbon in various chemical forms between the
atmosphere, the land and the oceans
carbon dioxide One of the major greenhouse gases. Human-generated carbon
dioxide is caused mainly by the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation
carbon dioxide The process whereby plants grow more rapidly
fertilisation effect under an atmosphere of increased carbon dioxide
concentration. It affects C3 plants more than C4 plants
Celsius Temperature scale, sometimes known as the centigrade scale. Its
¬ xed points are the freezing point of water (0 °C) and the boiling point of
water (100 °C)
CFCs Chloro¬‚uorocarbons; synthetic compounds used extensively for refrigeration
and aerosol sprays until it was realised that they destroy ozone (they are also
very powerful greenhouse gases) and have a very long lifetime once in the
atmosphere. The Montreal Protocol agreement of 1987 is resulting in the scaling
down of CFC production and use in industrialised countries
chaos A mathematical theory describing systems that are very sensitive to the way
they are originally set up; small discrepancies in the initial conditions will lead
to completely different outcomes when the system has been in operation for
a while. For example, the motion of a pendulum when its point of suspension
undergoes forced oscillation will form a particular pattern as it swings. Started
from a slightly different position, it can form a completely different pattern,
which could not have been predicted by studying the ¬rst one. The weather
is a partly chaotic system, which means that even with perfectly accurate
forecasting techniques, there will always be a limit to the length of time ahead
that a useful forecast can be made
CHP Combined Heat and Power; provided when heat produced by a power station
is utilised for distinct heating instead of being wasted
CIS Commonwealth of Independent States (former USSR)
420 G LO S S A RY

climate sensitivity The global average temperature rise under doubled carbon
dioxide concentration in the atmosphere
climate The average weather in a particular region
CO2e or carbon dioxide equivalent concentration The concentration of
carbon dioxide that would cause the same radiative forcing as a given mixture
of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases
compound A substance formed from two or more elements chemically combined
in ¬ xed proportions
condensation The process of changing state from gas to liquid
convection The transfer of heat within a ¬‚uid generated by a temperature
coppicing Cropping of wood by judicious pruning so that the trees are not cut
down entirely and can regrow
cryosphere The component of the climate system consisting of all snow, ice and
permafrost on and beneath the surface of the Earth and ocean
Daisyworld A model of biological feedback mechanisms developed by James
Lovelock (see also Gaia hypothesis)
DC Developing country: also Third World country
deforestation Cutting down forests; one of the causes of the enhanced greenhouse
effect, not only when the wood is burned or decomposes, releasing carbon
dioxide, but also because the trees previously took carbon dioxide from the
atmosphere in the process of photosynthesis
deuterium Heavy isotope of hydrogen
drylands Areas of the world where precipitation is low and where rainfall often
consists of small, erratic, short, high-intensity storms
ecosystem A distinct system of interdependent plants and animals, together with
their physical environment
El Ni±o A pattern of ocean surface temperature in the Paci¬c off the coast of
South America, which has a large in¬‚uence on world climate
electron Negatively charged component of the atom
element Any substance that cannot be separated by chemical means into two or
more simpler substances
environmental refugees People forced to leave their homes because of
environmental factors such as drought, ¬‚oods or sea level rise
EU European Union
evaporation The process of changing state from liquid to gas
FAO The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

feedbacks Factors which tend to increase the rate of a process (positive feedbacks)
or decrease it (negative feedbacks), and are themselves affected in such a way
as to continue the feedback process. One example of a positive feedback is
snow falling on the Earth™s surface, which gives a high albedo level. The high
level of re¬‚ected rather than absorbed solar radiation will make the Earth™s
surface colder than it would otherwise have been. This will encourage more
snow to fall, and so the process continues
fossil fuels Fuels such as coal, oil and gas made by decomposition of ancient
animal and plant remains which give off carbon dioxide when burned
FSU Countries of the former Soviet Union
Gaia hypothesis The idea, developed by James Lovelock, that the biosphere is an
entity capable of keeping the planet healthy by controlling the physical and
chemical environment
geoengineering Arti¬cial modi¬cation of the environment to counteract global
geothermal energy Energy obtained by the transfer of heat to the surface of the
Earth from layers deep down in the Earth™s crust
global warming The idea that increased greenhouse gases cause the Earth™s
temperature to rise globally (see greenhouse effect)
Green Revolution Development of new strains of many crops in the 1960s which
increased food production dramatically
greenhouse effect The cause of global warming. Incoming solar radiation is
transmitted by the atmosphere to the Earth™s surface, which it warms. The
energy is retransmitted as thermal radiation, but some of it is absorbed by
molecules of greenhouse gases instead of being retransmitted out to space, thus
warming the atmosphere. The name comes from the ability of greenhouse
glass to transmit incoming solar radiation but retain some of the outgoing
thermal radiation to warm the interior of the greenhouse. The ˜natural™
greenhouse effect is due to the greenhouse gases present for natural reasons,
and is also observed for the neighbouring planets in the solar system. The
˜enhanced™ greenhouse effect is the added effect caused by the greenhouse
gases present in the atmosphere due to human activities, such as the burning
of fossil fuels and deforestation
greenhouse gas emissions The release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere,
causing global warming
greenhouse gases Molecules in the Earth™s atmosphere such as carbon dioxide (CO2),
methane (CH4) and CFCs which warm the atmosphere because they absorb some
of the thermal radiation emitted from the Earth™s surface (see greenhouse effect)
GtC Gigatonnes of carbon (C) (1 gigatonne = 109 tonnes). 1 GtC = 3.7 Gt carbon dioxide
422 G LO S S A RY

GWP Global warming potential: the ratio of the enhanced greenhouse effect of any
gas compared with that of carbon dioxide
heat capacity The amount of heat input required to change the temperature of a
substance by 1 °C. Water has a high heat capacity so it takes a large amount of
heat input to give it a small rise in temperature
hectopascal (hPa) Unit of atmospheric pressure equal to millibar. Typical pressure
at the surface is 1000 hPa
hydrological (water) cycle The exchange of water between the atmosphere, the
land and the oceans
hydropower The use of water power to generate electricity
IEA International Energy Agency, a body that acts as energy advisor to 27 countries
belonging to the OECD. In particular, it addresses the 3Es of energy policy,
energy security, economic development and environmental protection.
IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “ the world scienti¬c body
assessing global warming
isotopes Different forms of an element with different atomic masses; an element
is de¬ned by the number of protons its nucleus contains, but the number of
neutrons may vary, giving different isotopes. For example, the nucleus of a
carbon atom contains six protons. The most common isotope of carbon is 12C,
with six neutrons making up an atomic mass of 12. One of the other isotopes
is 14C, with eight neutrons, giving an atomic mass of 14. Carbon-containing
compounds such as carbon dioxide will contain a mixture of 12C and 14C isotopes.
See also deuterium, tritium
latent heat The heat absorbed when a substance changes from liquid to gas
(evaporation), for example when water evaporates from the sea surface using
the Sun™s energy. It is given out when a substance changes from gas to liquid
(condensation), for example when clouds are formed in the atmosphere
Milankovitch forcing The imposition of regularity on climate change triggered
by regular changes in distribution of solar radiation (see Milankovitch theory)
Milankovitch theory The idea that major ice ages of the past may be linked
with regular variations in the Earth™s orbit around the Sun, leading to varying
distribution of incoming solar radiation
millibar (mb) Unit of atmospheric pressure equal to hectopascal. Typical pressure
at the surface is 1000 mb
MINK Region of the United States comprising the states of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska
and Kansas, used for a detailed climate study by the US Department of Energy
mole fraction (or mixing ratio) The ratio of the number of moles of a constituent
in a given volume to the total number of moles of all constituents in that
volume. It differs from volume mixing ratio (expressed for instance in ppmv,
etc.) by the corrections for non-ideality of gases, which is signi¬cant relative to
measurement precision for many greenhouse gases

molecule Two or more atoms of one or more elements chemically combined in ¬ xed
proportions. For example, atoms of the elements carbon (C) and oxygen (O)
are chemically bonded in the proportion one to two to make molecules of
the compound carbon dioxide (CO2). Molecules can also be formed of a single
element, for example ozone (O3)
monsoon Particular seasonal weather patterns in sub-tropical regions which are
connected with particular periods of heavy rainfall
neutron A component of most atomic nuclei without electric charge, of
approximately the same mass as the proton
OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; a consortium
of 30 countries (including the members of the European Union, Australia,
Canada, Japan and the USA) that share commitment to democratic government
and market economy
optical depth The fraction of a particular radiation incident on the top of the
atmosphere that reaches a given level in the atmosphere is given by exp(’T)
where T is the optical depth
ozone hole A region of the atmosphere over Antarctica where, during spring in the
southern hemisphere, about half the atmospheric ozone disappears
palaeoclimatology The reconstruction of ancient climates by such means as ice-
core measurements. These use the ratios of different isotopes of oxygen in
different samples taken from a deep ice ˜core™ to determine the temperature
in the atmosphere when the sample condensed as snow in the clouds. The deeper
the origin of the sample, the longer ago the snow became ice (compressed
under the weight of more snowfall)
parameterisation In climate models, this term refers to the technique of
representing processes in terms of an algorithm (a process of step by step
calculation) and appropriate quantities (or parameters)
passive solar design The design of buildings to maximise use of solar radiation. A
wall designed as a passive solar energy collector is called a solar wall
photosynthesis The series of chemical reactions by which plants take in the Sun™s
energy, carbon dioxide and water vapour to form materials for growth, and give
out oxygen. Anaerobic photosynthesis takes place in the absence of oxygen
phytoplankton Minute forms of plant life in the oceans
ppb parts per billion (thousand million) “ measurement of mixing ratio (see mole
fraction) or concentration
ppm parts per million “ measurement of mixing ratio (see mole fraction) or
Precautionary Principle The principle of prevention being better than cure,
applied to potential environmental degradation
primary energy Energy sources, such as fossil fuels, nuclear or wind power, which
are not used directly for energy but transformed into light, useful heat, motor
424 G LO S S A RY

power and so on. For example, a coal-¬red power station which generates
electricity uses coal as its primary energy
proton A positively charged component of the atomic nucleus
PV Photovoltaic: a solar cell often made of silicon which converts solar radiation
into electricity
radiation budget The breakdown of the radiation which enters and leaves the
Earth™s atmosphere. The quantity of solar radiation entering the atmosphere
from space on average is balanced by the thermal radiation leaving the Earth™s
surface and the atmosphere
radiative forcing The change in average net radiation at the top of the troposphere
(the lower atmosphere) which occurs because of a change in the concentration
of a greenhouse gas or because of some other change in the overall climate
system. Cloud radiative forcing is the change in the net radiation at the top of
the troposphere due to the presence of the cloud
reforestation Planting of forests on lands that have previously contained forests
but that have been converted to some other use
renewable energy Energy sources which are not depleted by use, for example
hydropower, PV solar cells, wind power and coppicing
respiration The series of chemical reactions by which plants and animals break
down stored foods with the use of oxygen to give energy, carbon dioxide and
water vapour
sequestration Removal and storage, for example, carbon dioxide taken from the
atmosphere into plants via photosynthesis, or the storage of carbon dioxide in old
oil or gas wells
sink Any process, activity or mechanism that removes a greenhouse gas, aerosol or
precursor of a greenhouse gas or aerosol from the atmosphere
solar radiation Energy from the Sun
sonde A device sent into the atmosphere for instance by balloon to obtain
information such as temperature and atmospheric pressure, and which sends
back information by radio
stewardship The attitude that human beings should see the Earth as a garden
to be cultivated rather than a treasury to be raided. (See also sustainable
stratosphere The region of the atmosphere between about 10 and 50 km altitude
where the temperature increases with height and where the ozone layer is
sustainable development Development which meets the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own
thermal radiation Radiation emitted by all bodies, in amounts depending on
their temperature. Hot bodies emit more radiation than cold ones

thermodynamics The First Law of thermodynamics expresses that in any
physical or chemical process energy is conserved (i.e. it is neither created nor
destroyed). The Second Law of thermodynamics states that it is not possible to
construct a device which only takes heat energy from a reservoir and turns it
into other forms of energy or which only delivers the heat energy to another
reservoir at a different temperature. The Law further provides a formula for
the maximum ef¬ciency of a heat engine which takes heat from a cooler body
and delivers it to a hotter one
thermohaline Large-scale density-driven circulation in the circulation (THC)
ocean caused by differences in temperature and salinity
transpiration The transfer of water from plants to the atmosphere
tritium Radioactive isotope of hydrogen, used to trace the spread of radioactivity
in the ocean after atomic bomb tests, and hence to map ocean currents
tropical cyclone A storm or wind system rotating around a central area of low
atmospheric pressure and occurring in tropical regions. They can be of great
strength and are also called hurricanes and typhoons. Tornadoes are much
smaller storms of similar violence
troposphere The region of the lower atmosphere up to a height of about 10
km where the temperature falls with height and where convection is the
dominant process for transfer of heat in the vertical
UNCED United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held at Rio
de Janeiro in June 1992, after which the United Nations Framework Convention
on Climate Change was signed by 160 participating countries
UNEP United Nations Environmental Programme “ one of the bodies that set up
the IPCC
UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change with 192
member countries was agreed at the UNCED in 1992
UV Ultraviolet radiation
watt Unit of power
WEC World Energy Council “ an international body with a broad membership of


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