Climate Change News Archive
Content provided by Stuart Gary, ABC Science Online
Earth´s thermosphere went through its biggest contraction in 43 years.
Researchers expected to see a contraction due to a solar minimum, but not this significant.
One explanation may be an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.(read more)
New links to the latest Climate Change science, some presented at the "Dealing with Drought — Adapting to Climate Change" workshop in Durango Oct 22, 2009.
"Dealing With Drought" Workshop's Home Page
WASHINGTON — Have you heard that the world is now cooling instead of warming? You may have seen some news reports on the Internet or heard about it from a provocative new book. Only one problem: It´s not true, according to an analysis of the numbers done by several independent statisticians for The Associated Press.
The case that the Earth might be cooling partly stems from recent weather. Last year was cooler than previous years. It´s been a while since the super—hot years of 1998 and 2005. So is this a longer climate trend or just weather´s normal ups and downs?..(more)
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SWEDEN is to become the first country to slap "climate—friendly" labels on food products. The hope is that the labels will prompt consumers to buy greener products, but there are worries that some companies may use the scheme to "greenwash".
A small milk producer north of Stockholm is expected to be the first company to sport the "climate-certified" tag. One way it cut its use of energy and nutrients was by switching from chemical-based fertilisers to manure...(more)
by Dale Rodebaugh
Three events scheduled in Durango on Friday and Saturday are among 3,000 grass—roots rallies in 160 countries this weekend to call attention to global warming.
International participation in the Day of Climate Action has been promoted by the loosely organized 350.org — a group that takes its name from the recommended maximum of 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The organization, which claims the support of scientists, the governments of 89 countries and environmental and health-care groups, is a clearinghouse and information center.
The current level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 390 ppm.
"350.org just put the idea out there and invited others to follow," said Claire Ninde, who volunteered to coordinate publicity for the Durango events...(more)
NOW SEE THIS. Sign-holder accentuates the need to cool the coal-burning at Saturday’s rally in Boulder, part of worldwide "Climate Day of Action." At left of picture is Boulder Mayor Matt Appelbaum conversing with Council candidate Tim Plass. (Reporter photo)
Coincidentally, the crowd appeared to number about 350 Saturday as Boulder joined 4500 locations worldwide rallying in a "Climate Day of Action" organized by 350.org. The event included a bikeride by about 200 partipants to the Valmont Power Plant on Arapahoe Ave. calling for an end to coal-burning at the facility, which can also burn natural gas.
Then, downtown, speakers, including Rep. Jared Polis, called for strong action to resist further global climate change. ..(more)
Thousands of climate change activists have rallied at the Sydney Opera House and other iconic Australian locations to kick off a worldwide day of action billed as the largest ever.
The steps of the Opera House became the focal point for the national campaign as more than 2,000 activists formed the figures 350 with blue umbrellas in near perfect spring weather.
Thousands of similar events will be held in 170 countries worldwide in a bid to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere to a level of 350 parts per million...(more)
By ANDREW C. REVKIN
Campaigners against global warming have drawn on an arsenal of visually startling tactics over the years, from posing nude on a Swiss glacier to scaling smokestacks at coal—fired power plants.
On Saturday, they tried something new with the goal of prodding countries to get serious about reaching an international climate accord: a synchronized burst of more than 4,300 demonstrations, from the Himalayas to the Great Barrier Reef, all centered on the number 350.
For some prominent climate scientists, that is the upper limit for heat—trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, measured in parts per million. If the gas concentration exceeds that for long, they warn, the world can expect decades of disrupted climate patterns, rising sea levels, drought and famine. The current concentration is 387 parts per million...(more)
TAIPEI (AFP) — Global warming will cause the amount of heavy rain dumped on Taiwan to triple over the next 20 years, facing the government with the urgent need to beef up flood defences, a scientist warned Tuesday.
The projection is based on data showing the incidence of heavy rain has doubled in the past 45 years, coinciding with a global rise in temperatures, said Liu Shaw—chen of Taiwan's leading research institute Academia Sinica...(more)
SRINAGAR, India (AFP) — Rising winter temperatures are shrinking Himalayan glaciers in Indian Kashmir at "alarming" speeds, threatening water supplies to vast tracts of India and Pakistan, according to a new study.
The Kolahoi glacier, the largest in the region, has shrunk by 2.63 square kilometers (one square mile) in the past three decades to just over 11 square kilometers, said the study presented at a three—day international workshop on climate change that began Monday in the Kashmiri summer capital Srinagar...(more)
By Reenita Malhotra
HONG KONG, China (CNN) -- The last fifty years have borne witness to a spate of climate related disasters across the world causing over 800,000 fatalities and $1 trillion in economic loss.
Those stark facts come from the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) Working Group, a group of NGOs and corporations that has produced a report warning that if countries do not take active steps to build resilience to climate change soon, they are likely to suffer even larger economic losses in the coming decades.
According to the ECA report published on September 14, climate catastrophes have risen in direct proportion to global temperatures over the last several years. ..(more)
The Associated Press
Sunday, September 27, 2009; 10:03 AM
BANGKOK — The passage of a U.S. bill capping carbon emissions before a major U.N. climate conference in December would help the United States extract concessions from other countries, though time is running out, the chief U.S. negotiator at climate talks in Bangkok said Sunday.
"The more specific we can be, the easier it is to press others to be equally specific," Jonathan Pershing told The Associated Press. "We have a lot of things we want from countries. We want significant action from other developed and developing countries ... The less we can put on the table, the harder it is to achieve that outcome." ...(more)
updated 4:40 p.m. MT, Mon., Sept . 21, 2009
NEW YORK — A federal appeals court ruled Monday that states trying to combat global warming can sue six electric utilities to force them to cut the greenhouse gases emitted by their power plants in 20 states.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan reinstated the lawsuits after a lower court judge tossed out the actions brought in 2004 by eight states, New York City and three land trusts...(more)
NEW YORK, New York, September 16, 2009 (ENS) — The world's largest global investors today issued a joint call for strong action this year from U.S. and international policy makers to control global warming. Signed by 181 investors, who collectively manage more than $13 trillion in assets worldwide, the statement on the "urgent need for global agreement on climate change" was released at the International Investor Forum on Climate Change in New York.
Hosted by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and keynoted by British economist Lord Nicholas Stern, the forum comes in advance of key negotiations in Copenhagen this December to finalize a new international climate change treaty to take effect after the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012.
"Unmitigated climate change poses a threat to the global economy," said Stern. "But building a low carbon economy creates opportunities for investment in new technologies that promise to transform our society in the same way as the introduction of electricity or railways did in the past."...(more)
SINGAPORE (Reuters) — A team of scientists studying rock samples in Africa has shown a strong link between falling carbon dioxide levels and the formation of Antarctic ice sheets 34 million years ago.
The results are the first to make the link, underpinning computer climate models that predict both the creation of ice sheets when CO2 levels fall and the melting of ice caps when CO2 levels rise...(more)
WASHINGTON &mdssh; The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that 79 applications for surface coal-mine permits in Kentucky , West Virginia , Ohio and Tennessee might violate the nation's Clean Water Act and require closer scrutiny.
Many of the 79 applications would remove mountaintops and dump debris in valley streams.
The EPA´s action was an abrupt shift from the last big batch of surface mining permits that it's considered during the Obama administration. In May, the agency said it had no concerns with 42 of 48 permits, and blocked six...(more)
GENEVA, Switzerland, September 4, 2009 (ENS) — Continued warming of the Arctic could lead to global weather changes and flooding that affects one-quarter of the world's people, finds a new report by the global conservation organization WWF.
The report was released in Geneva at the World Climate Conference-3, hosted by the World Meteorological Organization. Some 2,000 delegates are meeting to lay the groundwork for a global system of climate change forecasting.
Arctic air temperatures have risen by almost twice the global average over the past several decades, according to the peer-reviewed scientific report, which warns that further warming could release more greenhouse gases now trapped in the Arctic's frozen soil.
"What this report says is that a warming Arctic is much more than a local problem, it's a global problem," said Martin Sommerkorn, senior climate change advisor with the WWF's Arctic Programme. "Simply put, if we do not keep the Arctic cold enough, people across the world will suffer the effects." ..(more)
By CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent Charles J. Hanley, Ap Special Correspondent — Mon Sep 7, 4:53 pm ET
TUKTOYAKTUK, Northwest Territories — Caught between rising seas and land melting beneath their mukluk-shod feet, the villagers of Tuktoyaktuk are doing what anyone would do on this windy Arctic coastline. They're building windmills.
That's wind-power turbines, to be exact — a token first try at "getting rid of this fossil fuel we're using," said Mayor Merven Gruben.
It's a token of irony, too: People little to blame, but feeling it most, are doing more to stop global warming than many of "you people in the south," as Gruben calls the rest of us who fill the skies with greenhouse gases...(more)
(CNN) — Arctic temperatures in the 1990s reached their warmest level of any decade in at least 2,000 years, new research indicates.
The study presents new evidence that the Arctic would be cooling if not for greenhouse gas emissions overpowering natural climate patterns.
The report published in Science magazine found that thousands of years of gradual Arctic cooling, related to natural changes in Earth´s orbit, would continue today if not for emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
"This result is particularly important because the Arctic, perhaps more than any other region on Earth, is facing dramatic impacts from climate change," NCAR scientist David Schneider, one of the co—authors, said in a statement...(more)
In this Aug. 10, 2009 photo, pure methane, gas bubbles up from underwater vents from a lake, in the Mackenzie River Delta in the Northwest Territories, Canada. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)(AP) On continent's boggy Arctic fringe, scientists search for signs of future climate calamity
By CHARLES J. HANLEY AP Special Correspondent
MACKENZIE RIVER DELTA, Northwest Territories August 30, 2009 (AP)
Only a squawk from a sandhill crane broke the Arctic silence — and a low gurgle of bubbles, a watery whisper of trouble repeated in countless spots around the polar world.
"On a calm day, you can see 20 or more ´seeps´ out across this lake," said Canadian researcher Rob Bowen, sidling his small rubber boat up beside one of them. A tossed match would have set it ablaze.
"It´s essentially pure methane."
Pure methane, gas bubbling up from underwater vents, escaping into northern skies, adds to the global—warming gases accumulating in the atmosphere. And pure methane escaping in the massive amounts known to be locked in the Arctic permafrost and seabed would spell a climate catastrophe...(more)
Nitrous oxide has now become the largest ozone—depleting substance emitted through human activities, and is expected to remain the largest throughout the 21st century, NOAA scientists say in a new study.
For the first time, this study has evaluated nitrous oxide emissions from human activities in terms of their potential impact on Earth's ozone layer. As chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which have been phased out by international agreement, ebb in the atmosphere, nitrous oxide will remain a significant ozone—destroyer, the study found. Today, nitrous oxide emissions from human activities are more than twice as high as the next leading ozone-—depleting gas...(more)
KODIAK ISLAND, Alaska, August 24, 2009 (ENS) — Billions of tons of carbon are buried in the frozen Arctic tundra, now heating up because of human—caused climate change. To measure which greenhouse gases are being released and in what quantities, government scientists are flying instrument—laden planes over the tundra from now through November.
They say recent observations indicate that the air above Alaska "may already hold the first signs of a regional increase in greenhouse gas emissions" that could contribute to global climate change...more
Drought—hit Australia has endured an exceptionally hot winter, with abnormal temperatures shattering records that had in some places stood since World War II, official figures show.
In a special climate statement released late Wednesday, the weather bureau said maximum temperatures in August were broadly three degrees Celsius (37 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the long-term average.
"August 2009 is almost certain to be Australias warmest August on record," the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said...(more)
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — Bouts of extreme muggy heat lasting for days, once rare in California, are becoming more frequent and intense due to ocean patterns altered by climate change, scientists said in a study released on Tuesday.
Research meteorologists at the University of California´s Scripps Institution of Oceanography reached the conclusion after examining a severe 2006 summer heat wave that was blamed for the deaths of 600 people and 25,000 cattle in California...(more)
HAINES JUNCTION, Yukon Territory — A veil of smoke settled over the forest in the shadow of the St. Elias Mountains, in a wilderness whose spruce trees stood tall and gray, a deathly gray even in the greenest heart of a Yukon summer.
"As far as the eye can see, it´s all infested," forester Rob Legare said, looking out over the thick woods of the Alsek River valley.
Beetles and fire, twin plagues, are consuming northern forests in what scientists say is a preview of the future, in a century growing warmer, as the land grows drier, trees grow weaker and pests, abetted by milder winters, grow stronger...(more)
Ocean surface temperatures around the world were the warmest on record for the month of June, according to federal scientists, though they caution that one month doesn't necessarily imply global warming.
The warmer temperatures do confirm that an ocean phenomenon known as El Nino is building in the Pacific Ocean...(more)
The Associated Press
Sunday, July 26, 2009; 1:50 AM
DALLAS — Off—duty police officers are patrolling streets, looking for people illegally watering their lawns and gardens. Residents are encouraged to stealthily rat out water scofflaws on a 24—hour hot line. One Texas lake has dipped so low that stolen cars dumped years ago are peeking up through the waterline.
The nation´s most drought—stricken state is deep—frying under relentless 100—degree days and waterways are drying up, especially in the hardest—hit area covering about 350 miles across south—central Texas. That´s making folks worried about the water supply — and how long it might last. ..(more)
The combined average global land and ocean surface temperature for June was second-warmest since global recordkeeping began. ..(more)
Crops and rangeland are scorched from lack of rainfall and record triple-digit temperatures throughout parts of Texas — the nation's second—largest agriculture state behind California. Much of the central and southern parts of the state have been in the two most severe stages of drought for months.
"I can't remember it getting so bad so fast because of extreme heat," said Jim McAdams, a fourth—generation rancher in central Texas and past president of the National Cattleman's Beef Association. "This is one of the worst hot spells I've ever been through."..(more)
It was a "big step" for leaders of over one dozen developed nations attending the Major Economies Forum (MEF) — including the Group of Eight (G8) nations and others — on 9 July meeting in L´Aquila, Italy, to recognize that the global average temperature should not increase by more than 2 degrees centigrade, Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told reporters in New York today.
But they have disregarded the IPCC´’s findings that emissions will have to reach their pinnacle in 2015 and rapidly decline thereafter, he said...(more)
by David Kestenbaum
Morning Edition, July 17, 2009 — New research suggests that higher temperatures can have a damaging effect on the economies of poor countries. The study, by economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, found that in years with higher temperatures, poor countries experienced significantly slower economic growth.
The research adds to an economic puzzle that dates back hundreds of years: Why do the poorer economies of the world tend to be in hot places, while the more successful economies are found in cooler climates?..(more)
Trip Van Noppen
Let's Defend The Climate Change Bill
The Senate, perhaps inadvertently, has given the American public a chance to help counter a massive assault by the fossil fuel industry on our nation's best hope to fight climate change and forge a clean energy future—the American Climate and Energy Security Act.
But, though well intentioned, the legislation suffered at the hands of fossil fuel lobbyists in its passage through the House of Representatives, and even its champions acknowledge that some of the concessions in the bill may hamper its effectiveness. Now, in the Senate, it faces even more attacks on its integrity from lobbyists led by coal...(more)
From the June 2009 Special Edition
(posted here July 17)
...The woman shivered in her worn, blue down jacket and glanced up at the overcast sky. After one more cautious step, she spotted her quarry: a cluster of platter-size bubbles frozen into the ice. Those pockets of gas, which had risen from thawing permafrost—formerly frozen soil—at the lake´s bottom, were the aim of her doctoral research. Long elusive, they suddenly stood out like white stars against a night sky, though less serenely. With a small pick she cracked the icy skin of one of the bubbles and remained unfazed when it hissed back like a punctured gas pipe. Leaning forward, she apprehensively struck a match just above the broken bubble and flames as high as her head burst skyward. The flammable substance was methane, a greenhouse gas that could cause more global warming than carbon dioxide (CO2)...(more)
PARIS (AFP) — A runaway spurt of global warming 55 million years ago turned Earth into a hothouse but how this happened remains worryingly unclear, scientists said on Monday.
Previous research into this period, called the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM, estimates the planet's surface temperature blasted upwards by between five and nine degrees Celsius (nine and 16.2 degrees Fahrenheit) in just a few thousand years...(more)
WASHINGTON (AFP) — US scientists on Thursday said that the El Nino warming trend of the Pacific Ocean waters has returned, bringing with it almost certain changes in weather patterns around the world.
But the weather system also often brings damaging winter storms in California and turbulent weather across the southern United States...(more)
BAGHDAD — Shamal. Accented on the second syllable, that means the ill wind that blows in summer across Iraq , and other countries in the region, stirring sandstorms in its wake.
Vice President Joe Biden found out late last week what 25 million Iraqis have known for a long time-everybody talks about them, but nobody can do anything about them. His chopper flight from a U.S. base to the International Zone was canceled when a shamal turned the skies over Baghdad and beyond the same color as Biden's khaki desert boots...(more)
ILULISSAT, Greenland (AFP) — One of the world´s largest glaciers, on the west coast of Greenland, is shrinking at an alarming rate as a result of global warming — with potentially dire consequences.
Ilulissat, a UNESCO—listed glacier, is shedding ice into the sea faster than ever before, according to one of Denmark´s top experts on glaciology.
Andreas Peter Ahlstroem, a researcher with the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland institute, told AFP that the glacier has receded by more than 15 kilometres (10 miles) since 2001...(more)
Recent warming in the Southwest has been among the most rapid in the nation. This is driving declines in spring snowpack and Colorado River flow. Projections of future climate change indicate continued strong warming in the region, with much larger increases under higher emissions scenarios compared to lower. Projected summertime temperature increases are greater than the annual average increases in parts of the region and are likely to be exacerbated by expanding urban heat island effects. Further water cycle changes are projected, which combined with increasing temperatures signal a serious water supply challenge in the decades and centuries ahead. The prospect of future droughts becoming more severe due to warming is a significant concern, especially because the Southwest continues to lead the nation in population growth...(more)
Posted 06.17.2009 at 12:57 pm
This December, when representatives from 170 countries meet at the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen to replace the expiring Kyoto climate treaty, the smart money predicts unprecedented collaboration. American political change coupled with spiking carbon dioxide levels could inspire a communal project on a scale not seen since World War II. A consensus, backed by science, is emerging among the international community that by 2050 we need to reduce emissions of C02, methane and other greenhouse gases to approximately 80 percent lower than they were in 1990...(more)
This is a pdf format slide presentation best viewed with whole pages showing. After opening, click the icon with up/down arrows indicating each page shown top to bottom. ...(more)
Engineering our climate to stop global warming may seem like science fiction, but at a recent National Academy of Sciences meeting, scientists discussed some potential geoengineering experiments in earnest.
Climate researcher Ken Caldeira was skeptical when he first heard about the idea of shading the Earth a decade ago in a talk by nuclear weapons scientist Lowell Wood...(more)
GENEVA (AFP) – The United Nations on Tuesday raised the prospect of "megadisasters" affecting millions of people in some of the world's biggest cities unless more is done to heed the threat of climate change.
"We are going to see more disasters and more intense disasters as a result of climate change," UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes said at the opening of a four-day conference on reducing disaster risks...(more)
BEIJING (AFP) — Climate change hits China's poor the hardest and also forces some of those lifted out of hardship back into it, activist groups Greenpeace and Oxfam said Wednesday.
The two urged the Chinese government to review its existing poverty alleviation policy to take climate change into account, in a report compiled with experts from the nation's Academy of Agricultural Sciences...(more)
change or face a future in which devastating weather extremes affect everything from water supplies to food production, a US government report said Tuesday.
Global warming, which the report blames largely on human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases, has already brought weather and environmental changes including higher temperatures and sea levels, retreating glaciers, and earlier snowmelt, says the report by the US Global Change Research Program, a grouping of government agencies and the White House...(more)
WASHINGTON — Harmful effects from global warming are already here and worsening, warns the first climate report from Barack Obama's presidency in the strongest language on climate change ever to come out of the White House.
Global warming has already caused more heavy downpours, the rise of temperatures and sea levels, rapidly retreating glaciers and altered river flows, according to the document released Tuesday by the White House science adviser and other top officials...(more)
WASHINGTON — In Washington state , oysters in some areas haven't reproduced for four years, and preliminary evidence suggests that the increasing acidity of the ocean could be the cause. In the Gulf of Mexico , falling oxygen levels in the water have forced shrimp to migrate elsewhere.
Though two marine-derived drugs, one for treating cancer and the other for pain control, are on the market and 25 others are under development, the fungus growing on seaweed, bacteria in deep sea mud and sea fans that could produce life-saving medicines are under assault from changing the ocean conditions...(more)
LONDON, England (CNN) -- The first comprehensive report into the human cost of climate change warns the world is in the throes of a "silent crisis" that is killing 300,000 people each year.
More than 300 million people are already seriously affected by the gradual warming of the earth and that number is set to double by 2030, the report from the Global Humanitarian Forum warns.
"Climate change is the greatest emerging humanitarian challenge of our time, causing suffering to hundreds of millions of people worldwide," said the forum´s president, former U.N. Secretary—General Kofi Annan...(more)
DRESDEN, Germany (AFP) – President Barack Obama said Friday he was increasingly hopeful that the United States can lead the way on climate change, six months before crunch global talks in Copenhagen.
"I'm actually more optimistic than I was about America being able to take leadership on this issue, joining Europe, which over the last several years has been ahead of us on this issue," Obama said after talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany...(more)
By LESLIE KAUFMAN
Published: June 4, 2009
HIGHGATE, Vt. — Chewing her cud on a recent sunny morning, Libby, a 1,400-pound Holstein, paused to do her part in the battle against global warming, emitting a fragrant burp.
Libby, age 6, and the 74 other dairy cows on Guy Choiniere’s farm here are at the heart of an experiment to determine whether a change in diet will help them belch less methane, a potent heat-trapping gas that has been linked to climate change. ..(more)
MSI is addressing pressing air quality issues concerns with a combination of research, monitoring, outreach, and collaboration.
The San Juan Mountains are perceived as having crystal clean air due to the remoteness from large cities. These mountains are in close proximity to an industrialized area, however. The Four Corners is a center for coal-fired energy and methane (natural gas) production. For example, San Juan County in northwestern New Mexico is one of the largest emitters of power plant mercury among all counties in the nation. An additional coal-fired power plant and about 12,000 more natural gas wells are proposed for the Four Corners. ..(more)
OSLO (Reuters) – A rise in concentrations of a powerful greenhouse gas over the Arctic after a decade of stability is stirring worries about a possible thaw of vast stores trapped in permafrost, experts said.
Levels of methane in the atmosphere rose 0.6 percent in 2008, according to preliminary data from the Zeppelin station on a remote island in the Norwegian Arctic, after a similar 0.6 percent gain in 2007, Norwegian officials said.
The 2007 rise outpaced a global rise in methane of 0.34 percent to a new record high after levels had been stable for about a decade. World data for 2008 are not yet available...(more)
By CORNELIA DEAN
Published: May 17, 2009
JUNEAU, Alaska — Global warming conjures images of rising seas that threaten coastal areas. But in Juneau, as almost nowhere else in the world, climate change is having the opposite effect: As the glaciers here melt, the land is rising, causing the sea to retreat.
Morgan DeBoer, a property owner, opened a nine-hole golf course at the mouth of Glacier Bay in 1998, on land that was underwater when his family first settled here 50 years ago. Mr. DeBoer figures he has picked up enough additional land since then to build nine more holes...(more)
As well as the loss of one of the world's most diverse underwater ecosystems, the knock on effect would be the collapse of coastal economies that supports around 100 million people, according to the WWF— commissioned study outlined at the World Ocean Conference this week. ..(more)
WASHINGTON — As Congress began work Tuesday on groundbreaking climate legislation, Washington lawmakers were unusually optimistic on Earth Day 2009 about getting at least some climate-change legislation passed this year.
Lawmakers were talking Tuesday about finding common ground on energy efficiency measures. The tougher part will be putting mandatory curbs on the emissions from burning fossil fuels that scientists say are making the Earth's temperature rise...(more)
April 21, 2009
Washington, DC -- The federal government is proposing, for the first time, to reduce airborne mercury pollution from cement kilns with new rules issued today. The new standards will cut mercury pollution from the nation's more than 150 cement kilns between 11,600 and 16,250 pounds (or a reduction of 81 to 93 percent), according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Led by Lisa Jackson, the EPA Administrator newly appointed by President Obama, EPA is proposing first time standards for cement kilns of mercury, hydrochloric acid, and toxic organic pollutants such as benzene. In addition, the agency is strengthening the outdated standards for particulate matter to better control kilns' emissions of lead, arsenic, and other toxic metals...(more)
BANGKOK – Southeast Asia will be hit particularly hard by climate change, causing the region's agriculture-dependent economies to contract by as much as 6.7 percent annually by the end of the century, according to a study released Monday.
The Asian Development Bank study focused on Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Those countries are especially vulnerable because they have large coastal populations facing rising sea levels and rely heavily on rice and other agriculture products which could suffer from water shortages as well as floods. Vietnam was found to be the most vulnerable...(more)
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – To drill or not drill for new oil and gas.
That was the issue that drove a wedge Friday between young people and many of the older delegates at the United Nations-affiliated Indigenous Peoples' Global Summit on Climate Change.
The five-day summit ended Friday with Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, president of the United Nations General Assembly, describing it as "a rather successful gathering."..(more)
PARIS (AFP) – A breakthrough study of fluctuations in sea levels the last time Earth was between ice ages, as it is now, shows that oceans rose some three meters in only decades due to collapsing ice sheets.
The findings suggest that such an scenario —— which would redraw coastlines worldwide and unleash colossal human misery —— is "now a distinct possibility within the next 100 years," said lead researcher Paul Blanchon, a geoscientist at Mexico's National University...(more)
Here's rare good news about an environmental crisis: We dodged disaster with the ozone layer.
A NASA study about ozone-munching chemicals from aerosol sprays and refrigeration used a computer model to play a game of what-if. What if the world 22 years ago didn't agree to cut back on chlorofluorocarbons which cause a seasonal ozone hole to form near the South Pole?
NASA atmospheric scientist Paul Newman said the answer is a "bizarre world."..(more)
LiveScience Senior Editor
Cleaner air, cleaner water and cleaner-burning gasoline — which means less brain—toxic lead in our blood — are the major achievements of the modern environmental movement, but global climate change looms as the elephant in the living room, experts say.
Let's start with the good news on this anniversary of Earth Day.
"After almost 40 years, the environment is significantly improved in many ways from the condition it was in on the first Earth Day in 1970," said Eric Goldstein, a lawyer with the National Resources Defense Council..(more)
But "we can no longer avoid significant warming during this century," lead scientist warns.
By Douglas Fischer
Daily Climate editor
BOULDER – Drastic, economy-changing cuts to greenhouse gas emissions will spare the planet only half the trauma expected over the next century as the Earth warms.
And that’s the good news.
Because a failure to significantly curb these planet-warming gases will truly transform our world in less than 100 years...(more)
April 3, 2009
...Had global warming suddenly pressed the gas pedal to the floor? If so, the world was in for quite a climate ride – dramatic, jarring changes in climate much sooner than expected. Climate scientists were deeply worried.
"It really caught the scientific community by surprise," Professor James Ford, a McGill University geographer and Arctic expert recalled. "The Arctic system is close to crossing the threshold beyond which we will get dramatic changes in climate."...(more)
International experts are warning that potentially lethal air pollution has boomed in fast-growing big cities in Asia and South America in recent decades...(more)
1:46 PM CDT, March 18, 2009
...In a report published on the cover of the research journal Nature, the researchers found that during the Pliocene epoch 3 to 5 million years ago--a time when conditions in Antarctica are similar to today's--the ice in Antarctica collapsed and melted on a regular basis, raising world sea levels.
Polar ice began melting on a massive scale when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were up to around 400 parts per million in the Pliocene, said Northern Illinois University geologist Ross Powell, one of the chief ANDRILL scientists. "Today and we are now at 386 parts per million and rising," he said, and it grows by one part per million every year, thanks to carbon dioxide that human activity is putting into the atmosphere...(more)
Temperatures, sea levels, acid levels in oceans and ice sheets were already moving "beyond the patterns of natural variability within which our society and economy have developed and thrived," scientists said in a report released Thursday.
The findings came at the end of a three-day conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, where nearly 2,000 researchers gathered to discuss climate change. ..(more)
The concept of delaying global warming by adding particles into the upper atmosphere to cool the climate could unintentionally reduce peak electricity generated by large solar power plants by as much as one—fifth, according to a new NOAA study. The findings appear in this week´s issue of Environmental Science and Technology.
"Injecting particles into the stratosphere could have unintended consequences for one alternative energy source expected to play a role in the transition away from fossil fuels," said author Daniel Murphy, a scientist at NOAA´s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo...(more)
PARIS (AFP) – Ocean acidification driven by climate change is stripping away the protective shell of tiny yet vital organisms that absorb huge amounts of carbon pollution from the atmosphere, a new study has revealed.
Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, the calcium carapace of microscopic animals called foraminifera living in the Southern Ocean have fallen in weight by a third, the study found...(more)
Published: March 7, 2009
...Let´s today step out of the normal boundaries of analysis of our economic crisis and ask a radical question: What if the crisis of 2008 represents something much more fundamental than a deep recession? What if it´s telling us that the whole growth model we created over the last 50 years is simply unsustainable economically and ecologically and that 2008 was when we hit the wall — when Mother Nature and the market both said: "No more."...
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The Amazon's lush vegetation in a typical year absorbs nearly two billion tons of carbon dioxide, one of the chief culprits causing climate change.
But a 30-year study published by the journal Science found that the world's largest tropical rain forest is surprisingly sensitive to drought, and that the resulting loss of vegetation will have a greater-than-anticipated effect in causing a sharp spike in greenhouse gases...(more)
WASHINGTON — Until now, most discussion of climate change has been about what scientific evidence shows is likely to happen between now and 2100. However, scientific research shows that the carbon dioxide gas released from burning fossil fuels lasts in the atmosphere much longer than mere decades...(more)
WASHINGTON – The Earth won't have to warm up as much as had been thought to cause serious consequences of global warming, including more extreme weather and increasing threats to plants and animals, says an international team of climate experts.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated that the risk of increased severe weather would rise with a global average temperature increase of between 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit and 3.6 degrees above 1990 levels. The National Climatic Data Center currently reports that global temperatures have risen 0.22 degree since 1990.
Now, researchers report that "increases in drought, heat waves and floods are projected in many regions and would have adverse impacts, including increased water stress, wildfire frequency and flood risks starting at less than (1.8 degrees) of additional warming above 1990 levels."..(more)
Bad Economy Gives Antarctica a Breather
A More Fuel Efficient Paint Job
...Recently, researchers had a chance to look back at the IPCC's early predictions, and it turns out that the panel had indeed made some mistakes — it had significantly underestimated the rate of increase in global carbon emissions. Scientists at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Feb. 14 reported that worldwide CO2 emission rates had risen more precipitously between 2000 and 2008 than the IPCC's worst-case scenario, thanks largely to an unexpected increase in coal-burning in developing countries like China. ..(more)
By Fred Guterl | NEWSWEEK
Published Feb 21, 2009
From the magazine issue dated Mar 2, 2009
There is something compelling, in a ghoulish sort of way, about the notion that earth's climate may be headed toward a tipping point. The idea gained broad currency in 2007, when a panel of scientists, including Harvard environmental expert John Holdren—now the White House science adviser—warned that the planet is approaching a threshold beyond which damage to the environment would be irreversible. As policymakers work toward a climate treaty in Copenhagen in December that will include new limits on emissions, the question in the back of everyone's mind is whether an agreement can halt the warming trend, or at least stave off the worst consequences. Or is it already too late? A definitive answer isn't forthcoming, but the signs in recent months have been gloomy...(more)
Users can view pollution levels from factories, power plants and residential and commercial areas in their state or county. They can also compare emission levels in their county with those of other counties in the U.S. The mapping system, called the Vulcan project, is based on 2002 data...(more)
According to a top climate scientist, warnings about global warming have not been severe enough.
Just over a year ago, the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report warning of expanding deserts, intense storms, rising sea levels, and an extinction of up to 30 percent of animals and plants due to global warming.
A recent study suggests that the report underestimated the severity of climate change over the next century, says a senior member of the IPCC...(more)
WASHINGTON — Ron Ace says that his breakthrough moments have come at unexpected times — while he lay in bed, eased his aging Cadillac across the Chesapeake Bay bridge or steered a tractor around his rustic, five-acre property.
In the seclusion of his Maryland home, Ace has spent three years glued to the Internet, studying the Earth's climate cycles and careening from one epiphany to another — a 69-year-old loner with the moxie to try to solve one of the greatest threats to mankind.
Now, backed by a computer model, the little-known inventor is making public a U.S. patent petition for what he calls the most "practical, nontoxic, affordable, rapidly achievable" and beneficial way to curb global warming and a resulting catastrophic ocean rise....(more)
By MIKE STARK , Associated Press Writer, Space & Earth science / Environment
(AP) — Seven Western states will face more water shortages in the years ahead as climate change exacerbates the strains drought and a growing population have put on the Colorado River, scientists say.
"Clearly we're on a collision course between supply and demand," said Brad Udall, director of the Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado. ..(more)
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A rock found mostly in Oman can be harnessed to soak up the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide at a rate that could help slow global warming, scientists say.
When carbon dioxide comes in contact with the rock, peridotite, the gas is converted into solid minerals such as calcite.
Geologist Peter Kelemen and geochemist Juerg Matter said the naturally occurring process can be supercharged 1 million times to grow underground minerals that can permanently store 2 billion or more of the 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide emitted by human activity every year.
Their study will appear in the November 11 edition of the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences....(more)
CARPINTERIA, California, December 9, 2008 (ENS) - More than 70 people from federal, state and private sector organizations worked today to clean up an undetermined amount of oil that spilled from a platform off the coast of Santa Barbara County on Sunday.
The California Department of Fish and Game Office of Spill Prevention and Response, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Minerals Management Service, and personnel from the responsible party, Dcor LLC, are continuing their coordinated response. ..(more)
In the Wuwei Oasis, a small agricultural enclave in northern China that supports around 300,000 people, water levels are so low that the region is now merging with nearby deserts...(more)
BOGOR, Indonesia, November 28, 2008 (ENS) - Without immediate concerted action by governments, climate change could have a devastating effect on the world's forests and the nearly one billion people who depend on them for their livelihoods, warned forest scientists in a report to be released next week at the UN climate conference in Poland.
Scientists from the Center for International Forestry Research, CIFOR, in Bogor say adaptation measures to reduce the vulnerability of forests and forest-dependent communities are urgently needed. Forests will experience an unprecedented combination of flooding, drought, wildfire, and other effects of a warming climate over at least the next 100 years. ..(more)
Fri Nov 28, 3:21 pm ET
RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) – Brazil´s Amazon jungles, known as the lungs of the world, lost almost 12,000 square kilometres (4,800 sq. miles) in just 12 months, a rise of almost 4.0 percent, new figures showed Friday.
The National Institute for Space Research (INPE) said the deforestation of the vast jungles due to encroaching farm exploitation, was 3.8 percent higher from August 2007 to July 2008 than in the previous 12 months...(more)
Thu Nov 27, 8:46 am ET
GENEVA (AFP) — A less than two degree Celsius rise in global temperatures might be sufficient to spark a meltdown of the Greenland Ice Sheet and Arctic sea ice, the WWF warned in a new study released Thursday.
"Scientists now suggest that even warming of less than 2 degree Celsius might be enough to trigger the loss of Arctic sea ice and the meltdown of the Greeland Ice Sheet," the WWF said in a statement to accompany the findings.
"As a result, global sea levels would rise by several metres, threatening tens of millions of people worldwide."...(more)
By Matthew Knight
LONDON, England (CNN) -- A team of international scientists led by Dr James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, say that carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are already in the danger zone.
Concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere currently stand at 385 parts per million (ppm) and are rising at a rate of two ppm per year. This is enough, say the scientists, to encourage dangerous changes to the Earth's climate.
As a result we risk expanding desertification, food shortages, increased storm intensities, loss of coral reefs and the disappearance of mountain glaciers that supply water to hundreds of millions of people.
...It is a departure from the previous climate estimates which predict that perilous CO2 levels will be reached later in the century....(more)