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Air Pollution Linked to Low IQ in Children

Air Pollution Linked to Low IQ in Children | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Air Pollution Linked to Low IQ in Children (Air Pollution Linked to Low IQ in Children: http://t.co/Lgw6Wjxm...)...

Researchers recently found that mothers who breathe in more polluted air during their pregnancy were more apt to have children with lower IQs.

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Farm Waste and Animal Fats Will Help Power a United Jet ("pioneering use of biofuels in airlines")

Farm Waste and Animal Fats Will Help Power a United Jet ("pioneering use of biofuels in airlines") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Later this summer, United Airlines will begin using fuel generated from farm waste and oil from animal fats to help power its commercial flights.

For years, biofuels have been seen as an important part of the solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And airlines, with their concentration around airports and use of the same kind of fuel, have been seen as a promising customer in a biofuels industry that has struggled to gain traction.

Now that relationship is showing signs of taking off.

On Tuesday, United plans to announce a $30 million investment in one of the largest producers of aviation biofuels, Fulcrum BioEnergy, the biggest investment so far by a domestic airline in the small but growing field of alternative fuels. 

But airlines are increasingly under pressure to reduce carbon emissions. The Obama administration proposed this month that new limits on aviation emissions be developed, and the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations agency, is expected to complete its own negotiations on limiting carbon pollution by February 2016.

Alaska Airlines aims to use biofuels at least at one of its airports by 2020. Southwest Airlines announced last year that it would purchase about three million gallons a year of jet fuel made from wood residues from Red Rock Biofuels. The first blend of this new fuel product, however, won’t be available until 2016.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Why is the attempt to use bio-fuel in the airline industry important?


"Behind the deals is pressure on airlines to reduce carbon pollution. Although they account for about 2 percent of global carbon emissions, airlines are one of the fastest-growing sources of carbon pollution around the world."

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G7 Carbon Goal May Come Too Late, Scientists Say ("severe effects will already take place very soon")

G7 Carbon Goal May Come Too Late, Scientists Say ("severe effects will already take place very soon") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Leading scientists say the G7's decarbonization goal may be too little too late considering the pace at which greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet.

“Decarbonization by the end of the century may well be too late because the magnitude of climate change long before then will exceed the bounds of many ecosystems and farms, and likely will be very disruptive,” Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., said.

The goal is a step in the right direction, but not very meaningful considering greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced dramatically within the next decade, well ahead of the G7’s timeline, Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, said.

“In my view, the science makes clear that 2050 or 2100 is way too far down the road,” he said. “We will need near-term limits if we are going to avoid dangerous warming of the planet.”

The leaders of the G7 nations met at an economic summit over the weekend and declared on Monday that in order to keep global warming to the world’s main climate goal of 2°C (3.6°F), the global economy must end its reliance on fossil fuels by the end of the century, with emissions from most of them disappearing within 35 years.

Without mapping out exactly how emissions can be cut so dramatically, the nations said they support the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recommendation that global greenhouse gas emissions be slashed to 40 to 70 percent below 2010 levels by mid-century, and the Paris climate talks, known as COP21, should set binding rules to track countries’ progress toward that goal.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The present targets and plans may be too slow, too late. A zero-emissions policy is needed now to have any significant impact, according to scientists, but that of course will almost be impossible.


“COP21 and all of its predecessors have set the agenda and raised awareness. That is valuable, but will not solve the problem or slow climate change,” he said. “I think the transition to a renewable resource-based economy will need to take place sooner than 2100, but it is useful to articulate a vision of a fossil fuel-free economy.”

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The latest global temperature data are breaking records | John Abraham ("old news but increased alarm")

The latest global temperature data are breaking records | John Abraham ("old news but increased alarm") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
John Abraham: Today’s global temperature data keep 2015 as hottest year to date

Just today, NASA released its global temperature data for the month of May 2015. It was a scorching 0.71°C (1.3°F) above the long-term average. It is also the hottest first five months of any year ever recorded. As we look at climate patterns over the next year or so, it is likely that this year will set a new all-time record. In fact, as of now, 2015 is a whopping 0.1°C (0.17°F) hotter than last year, which itself was the hottest year on record.

Below, NASA’s annual temperatures are shown. Each year’s results are shown as black dots. Some years are warmer, some are cooler and we never want to put too much emphasis on any single year’s temperature. I have added a star to show where 2015 is so far this year, simply off the chart. The last 12 months are at record levels as well. So far June has been very hot as well, likely to end up warmer than May. 

When we combine surface temperatures with ocean heat content, as seen below, a clear picture emerges. Warming is continuing at a rapid rate.

There is an emerging view that the so-called surface warming slowdown was caused from poor instrument coverage around the globe, volcanic eruptions, and a multi-year oscillation in the oceans. The issue of instrument coverage is being fixed as we speak.

But, any short term fluctuations can only temporarily influence the long term trend. In the ocean heat content image above, you might notice a slight change in the trend around 2005. The trend change has since disappeared; it was associated with the ocean oscillations I mentioned earlier.


Bert Guevara's insight:

How hot is Global Warming?


"It was a scorching 0.71°C (1.3°F) above the long-term average. It is also the hottest first five months of any year ever recorded. As we look at climate patterns over the next year or so, it is likely that this year will set a new all-time record. In fact, as of now, 2015 is a whopping 0.1°C (0.17°F) hotter than last year, which itself was the hottest year on record."

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El Niño in 90 Seconds | Climate Central

El Niño in 90 Seconds | Climate Central | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
In our new series called "Climate Indicators," Climate Central's own meteorologist, Bernadette Woods Placky, explains what you need to know about El Nino in just 90 seconds.
Bert Guevara's insight:

What is El Niño? Here is a 90-second explanation of what you may need to know.

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Air pollution is world’s top environmental health risk, WHO says - The Economic Times ("action needed")

Air pollution is world’s top environmental health risk, WHO says - The Economic Times ("action needed") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Air pollution is the worlds biggest environmental health risk, causing at least one in eight deaths around the globe, the World Health Organization has said.

Air pollution is the world's biggest environmental health risk, causing at least one in eight deaths around the globe, the World Health Organization has said. 

The new estimation significantly increases the threat posed by air pollution and has dire health implications for countries such as India, where pollution load is high and public health infrastructure underdeveloped.
WHO had last year ranked Delhi as the most polluted among 1,600 cities across the world, worse than Beijing which had previously held the dubious tag.

Of the 8 million deaths globally, 3.7 million are from outdoor or ambient air pollution, the data shows. Around 88% of premature deaths due to air pollution exposure occurred in low- and middle-income countries, and the greatest number in the western Pacific and south-east Asia regions.
Latest studies by WHO and other international agencies show that apart from development of respiratory diseases, exposure to air pollution leads to severe risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes ...

In rural areas, reducing outdoor emissions from household coal and biomass energy systems, agricultural waste incineration, forest fires and certain agro-forestry activities can lead to a potential reduction in air pollution. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

The WHO assessment says, "Reducing outdoor air pollution also reduces emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide) and short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon particles and methane, thus contributing to the near- and long-term mitigation of climate change."


"Experts say policies and investments supporting cleaner transport, energy-efficient housing, power generation, industry and better municipal waste management would reduce key sources of urban outdoor air pollution. 

"In rural areas, reducing outdoor emissions from household coal and biomass energy systems, agricultural waste incineration, forest fires and certain agro-forestry activities can lead to a potential reduction in air pollution."

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Burning Coal Is Hot; Its Warming Is Far Hotter | Climate Central (100,000 times hotter than burning")

Burning Coal Is Hot; Its Warming Is Far Hotter | Climate Central (100,000 times hotter than burning") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Burning fossil fuels has a much bigger effect on global warming than the heat produced while burning them, a new study says.

That’s the conclusion of a Carnegie Institution for Science study published Tuesday that shows two things: Emissions from burning a lump of coal or a gallon of gas has an effect on the climate 100,000 times greater than the heat given off by burning the fossil fuel itself. And, the heat trapped by those emissions can be felt within just a few months of the fuel being burned. Burning fossil fuels is the globe’s biggest source of human-caused greenhouse gases and the primary cause of climate change.

“If a power plant is burning continuously, within three to five months, depending on the type of power plant, the carbon dioxide from the power plant is doing more to heat the earth than the fires in its boiler,” Ken Caldeira, a climate scientists at the Carnegie Institute and the study’s co-author, said. “As time goes on, the rate of burning in the power plant stays the same, but the carbon accumulates, so by the end of the year, the greenhouse gases will be heating the earth much more than the direct emissions of the power plant.”

Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann called it “an interesting study from highly respected climate researchers” that highlights the need to reduce the use of fossil fuels quickly. There is uncertainty about how much the earth could warm between now and 2100 if the rate of greenhouse gas emissions remains unchanged, he said, but generally scientists agree that warming could fall somewhere between 3.5°F and 8°F.

“The real reason for concern is that we cannot rule out the upper end of that uncertainty range, i.e. around 9°F warming of the globe by the end of the century,” Mann said. “That alone conveys the urgency in dramatically reducing our burning of fossil fuels now.”


Bert Guevara's insight:

This is a radically mind-blowing research finding which, if confirmed, can change the way we use fossil fuel.


"Caldeira said the study’s most significant finding is that the carbon released from burning a gallon of gas — or any fossil fuel — heats the climate dramatically more than the heat given off during burning."

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Heat wave kills more than 1,100 in India - CNN.com ("toll doubles in just 2 days")

Heat wave kills more than 1,100 in India - CNN.com ("toll doubles in just 2 days") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
More than 1,100 people have lost their lives in a sustained and severe heat wave in India.

The worst-hit area is the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, where authorities say 852 people have died in the heat wave. Another 266 have died in the neighboring state of Telangana.

India recorded its highest maximum temperature of 47 degrees Celsius -- 117 degrees Fahrenheit -- at Angul in the state of Odisha on Monday, according to B.P. Yadav, director of the India Meteorological Department.

Hot, dry conditions are being made worse by winds blowing in from Pakistan's Sindh province across the northern and central plains of India. "This extreme, dry heat is being blown into India by westerly winds," Yadav said.

The high temperatures are expected to continue for another two days before any respite, the meteorological department warned Tuesday. However, the agency said that another hot spell would likely soon follow.

Among the worst-hit states are Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the south. The northern states of Rajasthan and Haryana are also reeling from the intense summer as is India's capital, New Delhi, Yadav said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The poor continue to be the victims of extreme warming.


"India recorded its highest maximum temperature of 47 degrees Celsius -- 117 degrees Fahrenheit -- at Angul in the state of Odisha on Monday, according to B.P. Yadav, director of the India Meteorological Department.

"The high temperatures are expected to continue for another two days before any respite, the meteorological department warned Tuesday. However, the agency said that another hot spell would likely soon follow."

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Heatwave claims 600 lives in India - CNN.com ("mostly poor people suffer the most")

Heatwave claims 600 lives in India - CNN.com ("mostly poor people suffer the most") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

More than 600 people have lost their lives in the past week in a sustained and severe heatwave in India.

The worst-off areas are the southeastern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in southern India, where state authorities say more than 400 people have died in the past few days. There are additional reports of some 200 people dying in the state of Delhi, toward the north.

Temperatures have been recorded as high as 48 degrees Celsius, or 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperatures have been at a sustained high over the past few days, with little respite at night, and are expected to remain this high for days, CNN meteorologist Tom Sater said.

India's monsoons will provide some relief, but the rains are projected to arrive in one more week. Once they hit India's southeastern coastline, they will likely take a few more weeks to hit the drier northern parts of India.

State authorities have been advising people to stay indoors and drink water.

Experts say that hot conditions should not normally lead to this many fatalities. But many of affected areas in India are humid, which worsens the level of stress caused by excessive heat.

The heatwave also underscores India's long-running battle with poverty and inadequate infrastructure.

Early reports from state governments indicate a majority of the fatalities so far are poor laborers and workers, or people without access to adequate shelter and water.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Extreme weather hits the poor people who have nowhere to go. They just suffer.


"Early reports from state governments indicate a majority of the fatalities so far are poor laborers and workers, or people without access to adequate shelter and water."

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How microbes acquire electricity in making methane ("using 'cultured' methane that is carbon neutral")

How microbes acquire electricity in making methane ("using 'cultured' methane that is carbon neutral") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

In a new study, the Stanford team demonstrates for the first time how methanogens obtain electrons from solid surfaces. The discovery could help scientists design electrodes for microbial "factories" that produce methane gas and other compounds sustainably.

"The overall goal is to create large bioreactors where microbes convert atmospheric carbon dioxide and clean electricity from solar, wind or nuclear power into renewable fuels and other valuable chemicals," said study co-author Alfred Spormann, a professor of chemical engineering and of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford. "Now that we understand how methanogens take up electricity, we can re-engineer conventional electrodes to deliver more electrons to more microbes at a faster rate."

The study also provided new insights on microbially influenced corrosion, a biological process that threatens the long-term stability of structures made of iron and steel.

Methane is an important fuel for heating, transportation, cooking and generating electricity. Most methane comes from natural gas, an abundant fossil fuel extracted from wells. However, burning natural gas emits carbon dioxide, which accelerates global warming.

Methanogens offer a promising alternative. These single-celled organisms resemble bacteria but belong to a genetically distinct domain called Archaea.

Commonly found in sediments and sewage treatment plants, methanogens thrive on carbon dioxide gas and electrons. The byproduct of this primordial meal is pure methane gas, which the microbes excrete into the air.


Bert Guevara's insight:

This is a fantastic "carbon-neutral" development -- using carbon dioxide (from energy emissions) to produce methane that becomes energy again.


"Scientists have solved a long-standing mystery about methanogens, unique microorganisms that transform electricity and carbon dioxide into methane. The results could pave the way for microbial 'factories' that produce renewable biofuels and chemicals."

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Philippines leads in renewable electricity share, accdg to Green Innovation Index ("a welcome info")

Philippines leads in renewable electricity share, accdg to Green Innovation Index ("a welcome info") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Got a tip? Send it to us at manila@coconuts.co. Who would have thunk? The Philippines has been cited as a worldwide leader in renewable electricity share and emissions per person in the Green Innovation Index (International Edition) of Next 10, a California-based non-partisan organization that advocates sustainable economic growth. Could it be because of Western Visayas' new selfie spot, the Guimaras Windmills? Renewable energy is any energy source generated form natural resources such as solar, wind, ocean, geothermal, hydro and biomass. According to one columnist familiar with this issue, the country souced around 26 per cent of its power consumption from hydropower and geothermal plants in 2013, while wind, solar and biomass contributed less than a per cent.

Next 10's report findings will be presented on Tuesday at the Unesco headquarters in Paris, on the eve of Business & Climate Summit, the main event at Climate Week Paris. Next 10’s GII charts country GDP, emissions, energy productivity, renewable energy generation, clean tech investments and other key metrics.

Other Southeast Asia nations ranked poorly for high carbon intensity and low energy productivity levels. Top findings for the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia are:

Philippines ranks #3 in the world for lowest emissions per capita and lowest electricity use per capita. The nation ranks #5 among top emitters worldwide for its share of electricity from renewables—it gets 15.1 percent from clean sources.

Indonesia ranks #4 in the world for lowest electricity use per capita. While Indonesia is the 15th largest emitter of total greenhouse gas emissions, it also ranks #6 for lowest emissions per capita.

Thailand ranks poorly (#41) in terms of energy productivity (GDP relative to energy consumption), but #13 and #14 in the world for low electricity use per capita and emissions per capita.

Singapore ranks poorly in a number of key indicators including emissions per capita (#47), carbon intensity (#38) (emissions relative to GDP), and total energy use per capita (#47).

Malaysia ranks poorly in terms of carbon intensity (#32) and energy productivity (#32), and in the middle of the top 50 emitters for energy and electricity use per capita (#20 and #23). Photo: John Jethro Alejano

Bert Guevara's insight:

Since we have a 100M population, our RE share and emissions per person is one of the lowest in the world. In fact, we are #3.


"The Philippines has been cited as a worldwide leader in renewable electricity share and emissions per person in the Green Innovation Index (International Edition) of Next 10, a California-based non-partisan organization that advocates sustainable economic growth."

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Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Just Hit A Disturbing New Threshold ("400 ppm just became new average")

Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Just Hit A Disturbing New Threshold ("400 ppm just became new average") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
New figures show that March was the first month ever to globally exceed 400 ppm in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels every day.

Four hundred: it’s a number that will go down in climate history while also continuing to rise.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 400.83 parts per million (ppm) was the average concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide in March. This news from NOAA marks the first time that the entire planet has surpassed the 400 ppm benchmark for an entire month.

With the rate of growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations steadily increasing — rising from about 0.75 ppm per year in 1959 to about 2.25 ppm per year in 2015 — this milestone will soon be surpassed. Still, the 400 ppm average has been a long time coming.

“It was only a matter of time that we would average 400 parts per million globally,” Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network, said in a statement. “Reaching 400 parts per million as a global average is a significant milestone.”

“This marks the fact that humans burning fossil fuels have caused global carbon dioxide concentrations to rise more than 120 parts per million since pre-industrial times,” he continued. “Half of that rise has occurred since 1980.”

As the climate change activist group 350.org — named after what they deem to be a safe level of atmospheric carbon dioxide — states, at the beginning of human civilization the atmosphere contained about 275 ppm of carbon dioxide. This concentration began to rise during the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, and the large-scale emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere remains a critical part of human societies across the world.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The (atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations) level at the beginning of human civilization was 275 ppm. The climate experts targeted 350 ppm as the tolerable level.

Now the planet's average is 400 ppm! Should we start to worry?


“Reaching 400 ppm doesn’t mean much in itself, but the steady increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases should serve as a stark reminder of the task facing politicians as they sit down in Paris later this year,...” 

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GOP Attacks Earth Science At NASA, Climate Change Research In Peril ("this is politics over science")

GOP Attacks Earth Science At NASA, Climate Change Research In Peril ("this is politics over science") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
The GOP made an attack on NASA’s climate change research on Thursday, voting for a $300 million to $500 million cut to the agency’s Earth science research. The

The GOP made an attack on NASA’s climate change research on Thursday, voting for a $300 million to $500 million cut to the agency’s Earth science research. The proposal has Democrats up in arms, but the proposal does attempt to protect some parts of the NASA budget from the White House.

The Democrats in the committee claim they were left out of the loop, allegedly to prevent a debate on climate change.

The committee’s ranking Democrat Eddie Bernice Johnson wrote in an op-ed for the Hill, “Democrats on the committee did not even know existed until late last Friday. Needless to say, there was no bipartisan negotiating. After we saw the bill, we understood why.”

The division is responsible for more than just climate change research.

According to the Los Angeles Times, after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, it tracked the oil spilling into the coastal regions from the Gulf of Mexico. It also works to better understand natural hazards like earthquakes and severe storms.

The American Geophysical Union pointed out before the vote that aside from climate change research, the division’s research “provide a basis for knowledge and understanding of natural hazards, weather forecasting, air quality, and water availability.”

Aside from the cuts pointed at climate science, the House Republicans’ budget isn’t entirely a slash to NASA, but instead gives different priorities than the White House.

Bert Guevara's insight:

As an outsider, I can only regret how democratic institutions are being used for political agenda over environmental protection. The implications are worrisome, to say the least.


“It’s hard to believe that in order to serve an ideological agenda, the majority is willing to slash the science that helps us have a better understanding of our planet.”

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UK Supreme Court orders Government to take “immediate action” on air pollution ("no time to waste")

UK Supreme Court orders Government to take “immediate action” on air pollution ("no time to waste") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
ClientEarth means Justice for the Planet. We are an organisation of activist environmental lawyers committed to securing a healthy planet. We work in Europe and beyond, bringing together law, science and policy to create pragmatic solutions to key environmental challenges.

The UK Supreme Court has quashed the Government’s ineffective plans to cut illegal levels of air pollution in Britain and ordered it to deliver new ones by the end of the year. 
The Supreme Court Justices were unanimous in their decision, handed down this morning, saying: “The new Government, whatever its political complexion, should be left in no doubt as to the need for immediate action to address this issue.”
The historic ruling is the culmination of a five year legal battle fought by ClientEarth for the right of British people to breathe clean air. 
The ruling will save thousands of lives a year by forcing the Government to urgently clean up pollution from diesel vehicles, the main source of the illegal levels of Nitrogen Dioxide found in many of the UK’s towns and cities.
ClientEarth Lawyer Alan Andrews said: “Air pollution kills tens of thousands of people in this country every year. We brought our case because we have a right to breathe clean air and today the Supreme Court has upheld that right.”  
“This ruling will benefit everyone’s health but particularly children, older people and those with existing health conditions like asthma and heart and lung conditions.
“The next Government, regardless of the political party or parties which take power, is now legally bound to take urgent action on this public health crisis. Before next week’s election all political parties need to make a clear commitment to policies which will deliver clean air and protect our health.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

If the Philippine Supreme Court has the Manila Bay Mandamus, in UK they have the Clean Air Mandamus!

This is a victory for the environment and the people!


"The Supreme Court ruling means the Government must start work on a comprehensive plan to meet pollution limits as soon as possible. Among the measures that that it must consider are low emission zones, congestion charging and other economic incentives.
"ClientEarth is calling for action to clean up the worst polluting diesel vehicles, including through a national network of low emission zones."

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Drought, dry spell likely till December; rainfall can drop by 60% - Pagasa ("rainwater harvesting!")

Drought, dry spell likely till December; rainfall can drop by 60% - Pagasa ("rainwater harvesting!") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
After experiencing scorching heat, the Philippines is likely to face up to six straight months of drought and a maximum four consecutive months of dry spell in the second half of the year, the state weather agency Pagasa said.

Data from Pagasa this week indicate neither drought nor dry spell will affect several provinces during the second semester of 2015.

Those provinces are Batanes in Luzon and Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Davao Oriental, Surigao del Sur, and Lanao del Sur all in Mindanao.

Citing results of its rainfall analysis, however, Pagasa said provinces facing six straight months of drought from July to December this year are the Leyte and Southern Leyte as well as South Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, Basilan, Maguindanao, and Sulu.

The agency also forecast five months of drought from August to December this year in Luzon's Isabela and Camarines Norte provinces as well as the Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Cebu, and Biliran.

Four months of drought from September to December is forecast for Aurora, Batangas, Quezon, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, and Romblon provinces and the Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Iloilo, Pagasa continued.

Pagasa also expects three-month drought from October to December in Metro Manila and Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Cavite, and Laguna.

Over 60 percent reduction from average rainfall can be expected in drought-stricken areas, said Pagasa.

Bert Guevara's insight:

It's time to seriously consider nationwide rainwater harvesting programs. While rains come before the drought, catching the rainwater for later use makes the most common sense.

 

"He said people must take advantage of the rainy season and save water as this wet period will prevail until around September only.

"We expect the country to experience a long, dry period afterwards," he said.

"Pagasa said occurrence of El Nino doesn't reduce number of TCs expected in the country.

"El Nino affects TCs' intensity and direction, however, Pagasa clarified."

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Study: Severe Ozone Depletion Avoided ("the problem peaked in 1993 and had been declining ever since")

Study: Severe Ozone Depletion Avoided ("the problem peaked in 1993 and had been declining ever since") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

We are already reaping the rewards of the Montreal Protocol, with the ozone layer in much better shape than it would have been without the UN treaty, according to a new study in Nature Communications.

Study lead author Professor Martyn Chipperfield, from the School of Earth & Environment at the University of Leeds, said: "Our research confirms the importance of the Montreal Protocol and shows that we have already had real benefits. We knew that it would save us from large ozone loss 'in the future', but in fact we are already past the point when things would have become noticeably worse."

Although the Montreal Protocol came into force in 1987 and restricted the use of ozone-depleting substances, atmospheric concentrations of these harmful substances continued to rise as they can survive in the atmosphere for many years. Concentrations peaked in 1993 and have subsequently declined.

In the new study, the researchers used a state-of-the-art 3D computer model of atmospheric chemistry to investigate what would have happened to the ozone layer if the Montreal Protocol had not been implemented.

In the new study, the researchers used a state-of-the-art 3D computer model of atmospheric chemistry to investigate what would have happened to the ozone layer if the Montreal Protocol had not been implemented.

Professor Chipperfield said: "Ozone depletion in the polar regions depends on meteorology, especially the occurrence of cold temperatures at about 20km altitude - colder temperatures cause more loss. Other studies which have assessed the importance of the Montreal Protocol have used models to predict atmospheric winds and temperatures and have looked a few decades into the future. The predictions of winds and temperatures in these models are uncertain, and probably underestimate the extent of cold winters.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The problem of the ozone hole would have been a serious climate problem has it not been for the Montreal Protocol. The concentration of ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere peaked in 1993 and has been declining ever since.

The monitoring continues but the momentum is on the side of the environment.

 

"We could see that previous models used to predict the impact of the Montreal Protocol in the future would not have predicted such extreme events and we wondered how much worse things could have been if the Montreal Protocol had not been in place," 

"The Montreal Protocol has been strengthened over time through amendments and adjustments, supported by ongoing research. The researchers behind the new study say that scientists must continue to monitor the situation to ensure all potential threats to the ozone layer are mitigated."

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The world is off course to prevent two degrees C of warming, says energy agency (too little, too late?)

The world is off course to prevent two degrees C of warming, says energy agency (too little, too late?) | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
The International Energy Agency says the world needs to peak its energy related greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020.

In a major report to be released Monday, the Paris-based International Energy Agency — which provides independent energy analysis and has 29 member countries, including the United States — will state that current national commitments to cut greenhouse gases are still insufficient to keep the world below two degrees Celsius of warming above preindustrial levels. At the same time, the agency will also offer a path forward, showing how the world, with a bit more ambition, could peak its emissions by the year 2020 and get onto a safer path.

Since 2010, the two-degree target has been a core feature of international attempts to stave off the worst consequences of global warming. It is central to a major December meeting in Paris organized under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, where it is hoped that countries will agree upon new global emissions reductions.

In advance of December’s Paris meeting, many nations have submittedIntended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs, detailing their plans to limit their emissions. The United States has pledged to reduce its emissions 26 to 28 percent below their 2005 levels by 2025. The European Union is widely regarded as having one of the most ambitious goals – a cut of 40 percent or more below 1990 levels, by the year 2030.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The world looks grim for our children, climate-wise. I cannot over-emphasize the urgency of a climate deal in the next UN talks. But even if the talks fail, we the inhabitants of this planet have to do our bit.


“If stronger action is not forthcoming after 2030, the path in the INDC Scenario would be consistent with an average temperature increase of around 2.6 °C by 2100 and 3.5 °C after 2200,” notes the report.

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The Weird Effect Climate Change Will Have On Plant Growth ("instead of CO2 capture, plants will emit")

The Weird Effect Climate Change Will Have On Plant Growth ("instead of CO2 capture, plants will emit") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Climate change could turn forests them into carbon emitters

Climate change affects a number of variables that determine how much plants can grow. A 7% decline in the average number of freezing days will actually aid plant growth, according to the study, which relied on an analysis of satellite data and weather projections. At the same time, extreme temperatures, a decrease in water availability and changes to soil conditions will actually make it more difficult for plants to thrive. Overall, climate change is expected to stunt plant growth.

Declining plant growth would destroy forests and dramatically change the habitats that are necessary for many species to survive. And, if conditions get bad enough, forests could actually produce carbon instead of removing it from the atmosphere, exacerbating the root cause of climate change.

“Those that think climate change will benefit plants need to see the light, literally and figuratively,” said lead study author Camilo Mora, a professor at the University of Hawaii, in a statement.

The effects of climate change on plant growth will likely vary by region, with northern areas in places like Russia, China and Canada gaining growing days. But already hot tropical regions could lose as many as 200 growing days per year. In total, 3.4 billion people would live in countries that lose nearly a third of their growing days. More than 2 billion of those people live in low-income countries, according to the study.

Bert Guevara's insight:

May God forbid such a scenario: that climate change may affect plants so much that they become net carbon emitters. This is an extreme scenario that may happen only if man does not act on climate change mitigation efforts immediately.

If this dire scenario happens, carbon emissions will increase drastically and we lose one of our major carbon sinks.


"The researchers’ findings sound pretty dire, but they acknowledge that these consequences would be the result of a worst-case scenario of sorts, one in which humans take minimal action to stem climate change. With strong or even moderate efforts, worldwide plant growth will fare much better, according to the study."

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The Climate Context for India’s Deadly Heat Wave | Climate Central ("likely more frequent repetition")

The Climate Context for India’s Deadly Heat Wave | Climate Central ("likely more frequent repetition") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Heat waves like the one that killed hundreds in India are likely to be more frequent in a warmer world.

Such oppressive heat waves are likely to become more common in a warming world. That is one of the more robust links in climate science, but teasing out such a connection with specific, local events can be difficult, as a new analysis from scientists working with Climate Central, as part of its World Weather Attribution program, shows. The program combines observational data, output from multiple models, peer-reviewed research, and on-the-ground reports to more quickly analyze extreme weather events. This analysis found some suggestions that extreme heat waves in this region are more common than they once were, but more research is needed to firm up such a link.

Beginning in mid-May, parts of the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana — home to about 80 million people — and other nearby areas saw temperatures soar up to about 120°F during the days and linger in the 80s and 90s during nights, leaving little chance for the millions of residents of the region to gain relief. Those who work primarily outdoors, such as construction workers, along with the very young and old, and the poorest are at particular peril during such events, having little recourse for relief from air conditioning or plentiful clean drinking water.

It is expected that extreme heat waves will become more common worldwide as a rising average global temperature, which has increased by 1.6°F since the beginning of the 20th century, tips the odds more in their favor.

Because this link is one of the most robust between climate change and extreme weather the budding field of extreme event attribution has focused much attention on trying to pinpoint what role warming may have played in particular events. One of the first attribution studies came in 2004, and found that warming made the heat wave that hit Europe in 2003 and killed some 70,000 people at least twice as likely. A study published just last year found that now such a heat wave is 10 times as likely to happen as it was just a decade ago.


Bert Guevara's insight:

I get shocked in hearing about 52-deg C "heat index" temperatures in Cabanatuan City in June this year. How hotter can it get?


"It is expected that extreme heat waves will become more common worldwide as a rising average global temperature, which has increased by 1.6°F since the beginning of the 20th century, tips the odds more in their favor."

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Global Warming ‘Hiatus’ Challenged by NOAA Research ("simple math correction shows otherwise")

Global Warming ‘Hiatus’ Challenged by NOAA Research ("simple math correction shows otherwise") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
The new findings try to correct for problems in the way global temperatures were measured and suggest there has not been a slowdown in global warming since 2000.
Now, new research suggests the whole thing may have been based on incorrect data. When adjustments are made to compensate for recently discovered problems in the way global temperatures were measured, the slowdown largely disappears, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared in a scientific paper published Thursday. And when the particularly warm temperatures of 2013 and 2014 are averaged in, the slowdown goes away entirely, the agency said. “The notion that there was a slowdown in global warming, or a hiatus, was based on the best information we had available at the time,” said Thomas R. Karl, director of the National Centers for Environmental Information, a NOAA unit in Asheville, N.C. “Science is always working to improve.” A leading hypothesis to explain the slowdown is that natural fluctuations in the Pacific Ocean may have temporarily pulled some heat out of the atmosphere, producing a brief flattening in the long-term increase of surface temperatures. NOAA is one of four agencies around the world that attempts to produce a complete record of global temperatures dating to 1880. They all get similar results, showing a long-term warming of the planet that scientists have linked primarily to the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests. A huge body of physical evidence — notably, that practically every large piece of land ice on the planet has started to melt — suggests the temperature finding is correct.
Bert Guevara's insight:
It's still a warming world after all. A little mathematical correction leads to the same conclusion. “If you just wanted to release to the American public our uncorrected data set, it would say that the world has warmed up about 2.071 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880,” Dr. Vose said. “Our corrected data set says things have warmed up about 1.65 degrees Fahrenheit. Our corrections lower the rate of warming on a global scale.” "Even if the warming slowdown in the early 21st century was real, there seems to be little question that it is ending. By a small margin, the global temperature hit a record in 2014, and developing weather patterns suggest that record will likely be broken by a larger margin in 2015."
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Beijing promises coal-free power by 2017 to fight pollution ("symbolic gesture but not enough")

Beijing promises coal-free power by 2017 to fight pollution ("symbolic gesture but not enough") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing will build four gas-fired power and heating plants by next year and shut the last of its coal-fired generators by 2017 as part of its campaign against hazardous air pollution,

However, while progress has been made in cutting major pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, China's sprawling capital will still need many years to bring smog down to acceptable levels as the authorities struggle to find alternative energy supplies.

"The level of small particulate matter or PM2.5 that we monitored is 1.5 times higher than the standard," Zhang Dawei, director of the monitoring center at the municipal environmental bureau, said late on Thursday during a media tour of facilities.

"It will still need two decades to clean up the smog."

Beijing is on the frontline of a "war on pollution" launched by central government last year, amid fears that public disquiet about the state of the country's sky, water and soil could spill over into political unrest.

The city authorities have already promised to relocate big polluting industries into neighboring Hebei province and slash total coal use to less than 10 million tonnes by 2017, a fall of 13 million tonnes in just four years.

Beijing will also invest 47.7 billion yuan ($7.70 billion) to build four natural-gas-fired cogeneration plants by this year to provide cleaner heat and power for its 20 million citizens.

The switch to gas for the generation of power will help Beijing meet 70 percent of its planned coal cuts.

Bert Guevara's insight:

It was a political move to clean the air, otherwise the people may not be able to take it anymore.

 

"It will still need two decades to clean up the smog."

"Beijing is on the frontline of a "war on pollution" launched by central government last year, amid fears that public disquiet about the state of the country's sky, water and soil could spill over into political unrest."

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Vital Signs: Land Ice ("134b tons of ice per year lost in the Antarctic & Greenland")

Vital Signs: Land Ice ("134b tons of ice per year lost in the Antarctic & Greenland") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Vital Signs of the Planet: Global Climate Change and Global Warming. Current news and data streams about global warming and climate change from NASA.

Data from NASA's Grace satellites show that the land ice sheets in both Antarctica and Greenland are losing mass. The continent of Antarctica has been losing about 134 billion tons of ice per year since 2002, while the Greenland ice sheet has been losing an estimated 287 billion tons per year. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

If it's getting too hot in the Philippines, check out how much ice melting is happening in the Antarctic and in Greenland. (Read graphs.) 


"Data from NASA's Grace satellites show that the land ice sheets in both Antarctica and Greenland are losing mass. The continent of Antarctica has been losing about 134 billion tons of ice per year since 2002, while the Greenland ice sheet has been losing an estimated 287 billion tons per year."

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Bayan ng Matalam, isinailalim sa state of calamity dahil sa tindi ng init | Video ("El Niño's havoc")

Bayan ng Matalam, isinailalim sa state of calamity dahil sa tindi ng init | Video ("El Niño's havoc") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Bayan ng Matalam, isinailalim sa state of calamity dahil sa tindi ng init. Home of GMA News Online listing top breaking Philippine and international headlines, videos and photos encompassing sections of current events, sports, economy and business, science & technology, pinoy abroad, showbiz entertainment, lifestyle, weather, traffic and local region stories. Also includes foreign exchange rates, lotto results, board exam results.
Bert Guevara's insight:

State of calamity now declared in Matalam, North Cotabato because of drought. El Niño is hitting them hard.

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'Substantial' El Nino event predicted - BBC News ("the mild prediction is now upgraded to severe")

'Substantial' El Nino event predicted - BBC News ("the mild prediction is now upgraded to severe") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
The El Nino event, which can drive droughts and flooding, is under way in the tropical Pacific, say scientists.

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology predicted that it could become a "substantial" event later in the year.

The phenomenon arises from variations in ocean temperatures.

The El Nino is still in its early stages, but has the potential to cause extreme weather around the world, according to forecasters.

US scientists announced in April that El Nino had arrived, but it was described then as "weak".

Australian scientists said models suggested it could strengthen from September onwards, but it was too early to determine with confidence how strong it could be.

"This is a proper El Nino effect, it's not a weak one," David Jones, manager of climate monitoring and prediction at the Bureau of Meteorology, told reporters.

"You know, there's always a little bit of doubt when it comes to intensity forecasts, but across the models as a whole we'd suggest that this will be quite a substantial El Nino event."

Prof Eric Guilyardi of the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading said it would become clear in the summer whether this year might be different.

"The likelihood of El Nino is high but its eventual strength in the winter when it has its major impacts worldwide is still unknown," he said.

"We will know in the summer how strong it is going to be."

Bert Guevara's insight:

We all thought it was going to be a "mild" El Niño, but indicators are revealing that it may become a "substantial" one -- resulting in droughts and flooding extremes.

Although the El Niño phenomenon happens in 5 to 7 year cycles, it is always a different one.

 

"The likelihood of El Nino is high but its eventual strength in the winter when it has its major impacts worldwide is still unknown," he said.

"We will know in the summer how strong it is going to be."

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Church Of England Divests From Coal And Tar Sands, Citing ‘Moral Responsibility’ ("get the point?")

Church Of England Divests From Coal And Tar Sands, Citing ‘Moral Responsibility’ ("get the point?") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
"Climate change is already a reality," a church leader said in a statement.

The mother church of the world’s Anglican Communion divested a total of $18.42 million in coal and tar sands investments from its holdings, a move that the church said is part of a larger goal of helping the globe make the transition to a lower-carbon economy. From now on, the church — which counts about 26 million baptized English residents as its members — will not invest in companies that generate more than 10 percent of their revenue from thermal coal or tar sands.

“Climate change is already a reality,” Reverend Canon Professor Richard Burridge, deputy chair of the church’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group, said in a statement. “The Church has a moral responsibility to speak and act on both environmental stewardship and justice for the world’s poor who are most vulnerable to climate change.”

The church’s investment portfolio totals about $12.1 billion. According to theGuardian, if the church divested its portfolio of all fossil fuel stock, including oil and gas companies, it would be the largest institution in the world to do so.

Bishop Nick Holtam, the Church of England’s lead Bishop on the environment, said in a statement that climate change “is the most pressing moral issue in our world.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

After Pope Francis' encyclical; now comes the Church of England preaching by way of declaring investment diversion.

Can't we get the point? The churches are reading the "writing on the wall."

 

"This isn’t the first strong statement the Church of England has made on climate change. In 2014, when the church was deliberating over whether or not to divest its holdings, it said that it would stop investing in companies that fail to fight the “great demon” of climate change. The church also made clear, however, that it believed divestment was a “final option,” and that ultimately, humans must examine their way of life, which relies on “plentiful, cheap energy,” if climate change is to be addressed."

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UN, Vatican team up for climate change agenda ("it's good that they are on the same side")

UN, Vatican team up for climate change agenda ("it's good that they are on the same side") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The United Nations and Vatican joined forces Tuesday to warn about the dire effects of climate change, gathering religious leaders, Nobel laureates and heads of state to present a united front ahead…

The United Nations and Vatican joined forces Tuesday to warn about the dire effects of climate change, gathering religious leaders, Nobel laureates and heads of state to present a united front ahead of make-or-break environment talks later this year in Paris.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised Pope Francis for framing the need to combat global warming as an urgent moral imperative, saying his upcoming encyclical provided an "unprecedented opportunity" to create a more sustainable future for the planet.

Ban opened a Vatican conference on the environment that is a key part of the Holy See's rollout of Francis' eagerly awaited encyclical, which is expected in June. While popes past have all taken strong stands in favor of environmental protection, Francis will be the first to address climate change in a pontiff's most authoritative teaching document.

The conference gathered Francis' key environmental advisers, the presidents of Italy and Ecuador, religious leaders from different faiths, Nobel laureates and respected climate change scientists. They were unanimous in agreeing that climate change is real, it's mostly human-induced, the poorest suffer the most from it and collective action is needed to stop it..

Bert Guevara's insight:

It's good that they are both on the same side of the climate divide.


"U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised Pope Francis for framing the need to combat global warming as an urgent moral imperative, saying his upcoming encyclical provided an "unprecedented opportunity" to create a more sustainable future for the planet."

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Laura Rathe's curator insight, May 3, 9:48 AM

El Papa Francisco y Ban Ki Moon, secretario general de la ONU concuerdan que el combate al cambio climático es un imperativo moral