From Kansas State University's:

Consortium for Agricultural Soils Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases



Charles W. Rice, K-State Department of Agronomy, National CASMGS Director

(785) 532-7217

Scott Staggenborg, K-State Department of Agronomy (785) 532-7214

Steve Watson, CASMGS Communications (785) 532-7105


July 30, 2004

No. 36



* K-State Agronomist To Help Author Next UN Report On Climate Change



* CASMGS Helps U.S., New Zealand Deepen Cooperation On Climate Change



* New Version Of Premier Global Climate Model Released



* Eight Countries Cooperate To Re-Capture Methane

* Shell Oil Head Views Carbon Sequestration As Essential






K-State Agronomist to Help Author

Next UN Report on Climate Change


Chuck Rice, K-State professor of agronomy, has been invited to be one of the lead authors of a chapter in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).


“This is a tremendous responsibility and honor. IPCC assessment reports are often used to establish far-reaching policies and programs on climate change, and it’s critical to make sure that the reports are accurate, thorough, and completely objective,” Rice said.


“I’ll be one of 10 scientists responsible for the chapter on agriculture, including carbon sequestration and land use,” he added.


The IPCC was created in 1988 by the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization. Its role is to provide objective assessments of the current research worldwide on climate change.


Previous IPCC Assessment Reports, published in 1990, 1995, and 2001, have had powerful effects on public policy. The First Assessment Report confirmed to the general public the scientific basis of climate change. It also helped lead to the adoption of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.


The Second Assessment Report, in 1995, contributed to the negotiations that led to the adoption of the Convention’s Kyoto Protocol in 1997. The Third Assessment Report provided updated information used by governments worldwide to set policies.


IPCC Assessment Reports involve the collective efforts of about 2,000 science experts from around the world, Rice said. The report undergoes a rigorous two-stage international review process before it is adopted and published.


The IPCC is organized into three working groups and a task force on national greenhouse gas inventories. Working Group I assesses the scientific aspects of the climate system and of climate change. Working Group II addresses the vulnerability of human and natural systems to climate change, the negative and positive consequences of climate change, and options for adapting to them. Working Group III assesses options for limiting greenhouse gas emissions and otherwise mitigating climate change, and economic issues.


“My contribution will be within Working Group III,” Rice explained. “This Working Group addresses the issue of how to reduce greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.”



-- Steve Watson






CASMGS Helps U.S., New Zealand

Deepen Cooperation On Climate Change


Six new projects were announced in Washington under the New Zealand - United States bilateral climate change partnership.


The announcement was made by Judy Lawrence of the New Zealand Climate Change Office and Dr Harlan Watson, the US Senior Climate Negotiator and Special Representative. The partnership focuses on research into climate science and sequestration technology.


The new projects announced are:


* A study of global methane emissions

* The rescue and digitization of historic climate data

* Work on carbon dioxide sequestration in coal seams

* Work to develop new materials for the hydrogen economy

* Work on nitrous oxide emissions from grazed pastures

* The hosting of a joint event with Australia, to work with developing countries in the Pacific on climate observation


"The announcement of these projects today underlines our continuing joint commitment to climate change," says NZ Energy Minister and Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change, Pete Hodgson.


The New Zealand delegation met with senior U.S. officials from the Departments of State and Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Consortium for Agricultural Soils Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases (CASMGS), and the Environmental Protection Agency. Chuck Rice, Kansas State University Department of Agronomy, represented CASMGS.


Twenty-six projects were announced on the partnership's launch when a U.S. delegation visited Wellington in July 2003. The priority areas set out in the partnership are: climate change science, technology development, greenhouse gas accounting in forestry and agriculture, engagement with business, emissions registries, cooperation with developing countries, climate change research in Antarctica, public education initiatives and product and process standards.


-- New Zealand Climate Change Office, July 16, 2004






New Version of Premier

Global Climate Model Released


The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., is unveiling a powerful new version of a supercomputer-based system to model Earth's climate and to project global temperature rise in coming decades. Scientists will contribute results to the next assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international research body that advises policymakers on the likely impacts of climate change. The system, known as the Community Climate System Model, version 3 (CCSM3), indicates in a preliminary finding that global temperatures may rise more than the previous version had projected if societies continue to emit large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.


CCSM3 shows global temperatures could rise by 4.7 degrees Fahrenheit in a hypothetical scenario in which atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide are suddenly doubled. That is significantly more than the 3.6 degree Fahrenheit increase that had been indicated by the preceding version of the model.


William Collins, an NCAR scientist who oversaw the development of CCSM3, says researchers have yet to pin down exactly what is making the model more sensitive to an increased level of carbon dioxide. But he says the model overall is significantly more accurate than its predecessor.


As scientists learn more about the atmosphere, the world's most powerful climate models generally agree about the climatic effects of carbon dioxide, an important greenhouse gas emitted by motor vehicles, power plants, and other sources. Observations show that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have increased from 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv) in preindustrial times to more than 370 ppmv today, and the increase is continuing. A doubling of carbon dioxide over present-day levels would significantly increase global temperatures, according to all the major models. The models do not always agree, however, on the complex impacts of clouds, sea ice, and other pieces of the climate system.


-- The National Science Foundation, June 22, 2004






Eight Countries Cooperate

To Re-Capture Methane


The United States will join efforts with Australia, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, United Kingdom, and Ukraine to develop and promote cooperation on the recovery and use of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The Partnership claims to have the potential to reduce net methane emissions by up to 50 MtCO2e annually by 2015.


The Methane to Markets Partnership aims to deliver significant energy, safety, and environmental benefits through the recovery and use of methane, while reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.


The Partnership will focus on deploying cost-effective technologies in landfill gas-to-energy projects, methane recovery projects at coal mines, and improvements in natural gas systems, announced the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The US alone will commit $53 million over the next five years to this means.


-- U.S. EPA, July 29, 2004






Shell Oil Head Views

Carbon Sequestration As Essential


The head of one of the world's biggest oil giants has said unless carbon dioxide emissions are dealt with he sees "very little hope for the world."


Ron Oxburgh, head of Shell Oil, told the Guardian newspaper that climate change made him "very worried for the planet."


He said a technology to trap harmful emissions, blamed by many scientists for climate change, must be developed. But he said he feared "the timescale might be impossible".


"No one can be comfortable at the prospect of continuing to pump out the amounts of carbon dioxide that we are at present," said the Shell boss. "People are going to go on allowing this atmospheric carbon dioxide to build up, with consequences that we really can't predict, but are probably not good."


He said a technique called carbon sequestration urgently needs to be developed to capture greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide, so they can be stored underground, rather than be allowed to enter the atmosphere.


"Sequestration is difficult, but if we don't have sequestration then I see very little hope for the world. I don't see any other approach."





September 5-9, 2004

Seventh International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control

Vancouver, Canada

For more information, see:


September 19-22, 2004

Emissions Marketing Association 8th Annual Fall Meeting and International Conference

Toronto, Canada

For more information, see:


September 21-23, 2004

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Expert Meeting on Industrial Technology Development, Transfer and Diffusion

Tokyo, Japan

For more information, see:


March 1-3, 2005

Carbon Market Insights 2005

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

For more information, see:






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