Bridges vol. 40, July 2014 / In This Issue
The release of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) on climate change created a stir in the global scientific communities. Its scientists and governmental contributors were shifted into a political controversy over perceived errors in the report, with calls for review of the process. The report was used to formulate a warming to all nations of the increased levels of greenhouse gases, caused in part by human activities. The release of AR5 at the beginning of 2014 brought climate change back to the forefront of multidisciplinary fields in science and research. With sides forming on either end of the topic, Bridges: Volume 40 focuses on the array of issues raised by the report.
Our features include Ricky Passarelli and Owen McAleer from the Stimson Center, who discuss the increase in severe weather patterns and what it means for the growth of modern urban centers in “Dealing with Dynamics: Water and Security in the Urban Era.” Helmut Habersack, Christine Sindelar, Angelika Riegler, and Bernhard Schober also touch on water security when reviewing necessary steps to sustainably manage rivers, focusing on the Danube River Basin, in “Integrated Research and Management of Rivers.” Valerie Braun and Axel Borsdorf represent the Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research at the Austrian Academy of Science and lay out the challenges mountain biodiversity faces in “Mountains and Their Grand Challenges.”
International consultant on food quality at UNIDO, Laura Natalia Fernández Cedi reviews Genuss regions in Austria as part of a global picture to localize food and reduce emissions in “Fostering Local Consumption through Territorial Marketing.” “Campus Tulln” takes a deeper look into the technopol growing in Austria for agro- and environmental companies and institutions. Our energy innovation austria contribution reviews other innovative campuses and buildings, laying out the new technologies and concepts for building renovation.
This volume’s “Spotlight” features Martin Stuefer, an Austrian geophysicist conducting research in Alaska.
Columnist Norm Neureiter from AAAS describes the unusual history of IIASA and its remarkable creation in the sphere of science diplomacy. Stephen Ezell’s “Innovation Matters” column reviews the state of autonomous vehicles as “smart technology” merges with the transportation industry. The latest “Letter from Brussels” features Florian Pecenka’s review of improving quality assurance in education in Europe.
Our guest op/ed writers were two scientists involved with the recent IPCC report: Helmut Haberl and Silke Beck. Haberl gives a personal reflection on working with the IPCC in “Climate Change: Global Development Model on Trial.” Beck and her team question the current IPCC structure and suggest ways to alter the model for more effective results in, “Climate Change and the Assessment of Expert Knowledge: Does the IPCC Model Need Updating?”
In “Noteworthy Information” we review the latest news updates in our network, including the latest from Capital Hill in Washington DC with “Bills in Brief.” OSTA’s Director Philipp Marxgut also reviews the 2014 George C. Marshall Visit to Austria. Then in “News from the Network” we have the latest funding opportunity for scientists in “Re$earch Re$ources” with a call for proposals from the new Ludwig Boltzmann Institutes. We also have the latest updates on our RINA scientists in “Moves and Milestones”, showcasing the achievements of Austrian scientists across North America.
We hope the latest from Bridges provides an enjoyable and informative reading experience.
Chief Editor of Bridges