Call to contribute to the General Assembly carbon offsetting programme

As a core project of the World Climate Research Programme, SPARC seeks to ensure that their General Assemblies are as environmentally responsible as possible. While we have implemented a carbon offsetting programme for the GA, uptake of this initiative can best be described as weak. If you have not already done so, we would encourage you to consider making use of the programme we have established to offset your CO2 emissions resulting from your travel to Queenstown. The easiest way to do that is to go to:

and go to the "Make a Donation" section at the bottom.

Future Earth Initial Design

Future Earth has just published the final report of the Transition Team, the group of experts that led the initial design of the research initiative on global sustainability.

The report sets out the initial design of Future Earth, comprising a research framework and governance structure, preliminary reflections on communication and engagement, capacity-building and education strategies, and implementation guidelines.

It was developed by the Future Earth Transition Team, a group of more than 30 researchers and experts from many countries and representative of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, as well as from international organisations, research funders and business.

The recommendations of this report are now being taken forward by the Future Earth interim secretariat, and the full initiative is expected to be up and running by the end of 2014.

Find report.

Science update: Recent variability of the tropical tropopause inversion layer

In a new GRL article, W. Wang and co-authors investigate recent variability of the tropopause temperature and the tropopause inversion layer (TIL) using GPS-RO observations and the WACCM chemistry-climate model. They find that the tropopause temperature increased by 0.8K from 2001-2011, while the TIL decreased in strength by 0.4K over the same period. This indicates that the vertical temperature gradient in the tropopause region has declined, and therefore the stability above the tropopause weakened. Model simulations show that the increased tropopause temperature and weaker TIL are related to weakened tropical upwelling. Such changes in the thermal structure of the UTLS may have important consequences, including, for example, a possible increase in water vapour entering the lower stratosphere. The full abstract can be found here.