Science and Technology Advisory Panel update 2008
The Science and Technology Advisory Panel has issued an update of its activities.
1. Infra red aerial survey: We have prepared a costed proposal to be submitted to Winchester City Council for an aircraft-based infra red survey of Winchester to determine with high resolution which buildings have poorly insulated roofs. We hope to submit this to the City Council within the next few weeks.
2. Ten Top Tips: In conjunction with the Communications Group, we have prepared a list of 10 top tips to advise the general public on the most effective actions to reduce their carbon footprints. This will be shortly published on the WinACC website and as a leaflet.
3. Carbon footprint calculators: We have compared the validity of different web-based carbon footprint calculators and sent our recommendations to the Communications group.
4. Creating a Climate of Change: The latest IPCC report (IPCC4) is based on scientific evidence at least three years old. We have summarised more recently published work not available for inclusion in IPCC4. This shows that the rate of greenhouse gas emission and of melting of Arctic and Antarctic ice in 2005-2007 was worse than the IPCC4’s worst case scenario. Further, it shows that the climate change modelling techniques used for IPCC4 omit or underestimate the effects of several important positive feedback mechanisms. Consequently IPCC4 considerably underestimates future warming and sea level rises and the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission rates required to mitigate these.
Our report considers how WinACC should respond to this new evidence. We conclude that a voluntary, bottom-up reduction in GHG emissions, though desirable and necessary is insufficient on its own to produce the mitigation required. We conclude that in addition ,WinACC must encourage the organisations and citizens of Winchester to join with others worldwide to create a social movement, a Climate of Change, to encourage and persuade governments to use their fiscal, regulatory and statutory powers to move swiftly towards a zero carbon society. After revision our report will be published on the website.
5. Air travel: We have written a brief report reviewing the latest findings on GHG emissions from air travel. We have also offered advice that carbon offsetting schemes based on tree planting in a temperate climate are considerably less effective (in tonnes of carbon removed per hectare) than saving tropical rain forest.