No increase in global temperature variability despite changing regional patterns

A commonly used assumption about climate change is that increasing temperature goes hand in hand with increasing climatic variability. One of the problems with this claim is that, while temperature is a well-defined concept, variability can mean different things to different people. It is clear that there are mechanisms (e.g. hurricane systems) that link temperature…

Whose sustainability, which sustainability?

The last two weeks, I was serving as a teaching side-kick for a course on agent-based modeling at the Global Sustainability Summer School 2012, which was jointly organized in Potsdam close to Berlin by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), in partnership with the Santa…

The Amazon basin in transition

In a review paper that appeared in this week’s edition of Nature, Davidson and colleagues describe the interactions and feedbacks between land use change, climate change, and a range of more local climatically mediated processes such as water balance, winds and pressure systems and fire in the Amazon basin. I found this a very nice…