The September 9, 2006 Economist has a cover-story survey (a large multi-article report) on climate change.
Unfortunately most of it is behind a paywall, but the introduction is open.
The heat is on
Since that IPCC report five years ago, the science has tended to confirm the idea that something serious is happening. In the 1990s, satellite data seemed to contradict the terrestrial data that showed temperatures rising. The disparity puzzled scientists and fuelled scepticism. The satellite data, it turned out, were wrong: having been put right, they now agree with terrestrial data that things are hotting up. Observations about what is happening to the climate have tended to confirm, or run ahead of, what the models predicted would happen. Arctic sea ice, for instance, is melting unexpectedly fast, at 9% a decade. Glaciers are melting surprisingly swiftly. And a range of phenomena, such as hurricane activity, that were previously thought to be unconnected to climate change are now increasingly linked to it.
In an unrelated note, they did a very good special report on synthetic biology in the previous (September 2, 2006) issue, but it's paywalled. Here's a taste from their article Life 2.0 - the scientists all sound quite mad to me
At the moment, BioBricks, like Lego, are still a toy. They have been used for proof-of-principle studies such as taking photographs with films made of modified bacteria, but not yet for serious applications. But there are a lot of them around—many in the public domain at MIT's Registry of Standard Biological Parts. Such “open wetware” is one reason for the emergence of biohacking (see article).
Whether BioBricks will come to dominate the field remains to be seen. One difficulty they face is the cussed tendency of biological things to evolve. An electronic component, once designed, can be turned out reliably in a factory. BioBricks are bred, rather than made, and that introduces scope for error. Meanwhile, other researchers are content to work with things that more closely resemble natural components, although they still assemble them in unconventional ways.