Issues Magazine

Articles about climate

Satellites, Climate and Extreme Events

By Alexander Held

Data from satellites is essential to Australia’s monitoring, forecasting and long-term planning for both weather and climate.

Australia is one of the top users of satellite data worldwide. Even though Australians don’t own or operate any “Earth-observing” or “global positioning or navigation” satellites, this data has been widely embraced ever since the first such satellites were launched in the 1970s. The total area we regularly map and monitor from space has been estimated as close to one-eighth of the Earth’s surface.

Engineering the Climate

By Christopher Doyle

As global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions continues to stall, can engineering the climate provide a feasible solution to climate change?

The planet is overheating, and humanity faces an impending catastrophe unless scientists and engineers can find a radical solution that will save civilisation as we know it. Putting mirrors into space and shooting reflective particles from cannons out into the atmosphere are just some of the options that have been placed on the table.

Water: What’s in Store?

By Greg Leslie

Access to clean water, its use on arable land and the damage it does during extreme weather are the big challenges for today’s water management.

Water shapes ecosystems, landscapes and human society; it sets the conditions under which life exists on Earth. Absence of water means absence of life.

Five Major Trends

By Mark R. Anderson

A surprisingly small number of major trends are serving as primary drivers of the world today. Two of these are new, and two more have not yet been properly defined, but all are remarkable in their impact.

Privacy vs Lunacy: More Destruction, Lower Cost

One of the great, and perhaps most tragic, trends driving world events today is the increasing ability of the small and misguided to create ever larger amounts of destruction and death. While many people focus on the appropriately frightening spread of nuclear weapons, this is only the tip of the techno-terror iceberg, as many recent events have proven.

Never before have so few been able to kill so many. We have now also crossed a line beyond which we will never, as a species, return.

Transforming the World’s Energy Systems

By John Morgan

Three trends in world energy, and the way they play out over the next 50 years, will shape the boundaries of our civilisation.

Three trends in world energy are on a collision course: tightening of fossil fuel supply, the need to drastically cut our carbon dioxide emissions, and the increasing global demand for energy.