Wednesday Jan 09, 2008

3 days late

My family and I were supposed to be back at work and school this Monday but it was not meant to be.

Like the German soccer team, Hansa Rostock, we also got stuck in the heavily snowed out Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) in Tehran. (Hansa Rostock had a friendly with Iran's B national team last Saturday. Besides the really bad whether, one may blame the delay on the lack of adequate winter equipment and staffing at the new airport which just opened a few months ago.)

When we disembarked Saturday night, GMT, it should have taken us 20 hours, including layover and taxi rides to and from airports, to get from my parents' home in Tehran to our home in the South San Francisco Bay Area. Instead, heavy snows in Tehran and its international airport undid all our planning, and the same trip took 100 hours to complete, including two nights of stay at hotels in Tehran and Frankfurt due to cancellations, delays and missed flights. These 100 hours include, among other delays, taxi rides, check-in and re-booking waits, etc., 7.5 hours of sitting in a plane stuck in a snow blizzard, 10 hours spent reconsidering options while waiting for word on the weather in the transit zone of IKIA, a night at a Tehran hotel, 10 hours of waiting for news form the airport, 10 hours of waiting at the airline check-in at Tehran to ensure that we could restore our place on a new flight, now as "stand-by" passengers, another 7 hours of sitting in the plane while the path out of the gate was blocked by planes abandoned in snow, and a night spent in Frankfurt due to a missed connection. All this and more after our early morning Jan. 6 flight was canceled due to heavy snow. (I guess this was my birthday present.)

My wife and I missed three important work days, which we now have to "account" as vacation, and the kids were automatically dropped from the school rolls but we hope to be able to overcome these problems.  

The only positive thing I can say about this experience is that we made and met a lot of good friends on the way -- others who were going through the same or very similar ordeals, connecting through to other locations in Europe, Canada and the U.S. 

I will post photographs and videos later. 

Saturday Feb 03, 2007

IPCC

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was set up by WMO and UNEP to "assess scientific, technical and socio- economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation." The fourth assessment of the IPCC will be released under Climate Change 2007. You can also consult IPCC's February 2, 2007 Paris conference webcast for a preview.

These assessment reports do not come out haphazardly. The third assessment was called Climate Change 2001. So, 6 years of further work and data has gone into the new assessment.

David Adam of The Guardian reports from Paris, summarizing some of the highlights of the recent report releases by IPCC's Working Group I, focused on "Physical Science Basis" of climate change. 

Average temperatures could increase by as much as 6.4C by the end of the century if emissions continue to rise, with a rise of 4C most likely, according to the final report of an expert panel set up by the UN to study the problem. The forecast is higher than previous estimates, because scientists have discovered that Earth's land and oceans are becoming less able to absorb carbon dioxide.

You can also listen to Guardian's interview with its reporter, Mr. Adam.

The working group has made available The IPCC Working Group I Fourth Assessment Report Summary for Policymakers (SPM). Page 15 of the report contains green house gas concentration measures based on examination of ice-core going back to 10,000 years.

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