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The air inside your homes is not fit to breathe: study - Hindustan Times

The air inside your homes is not fit to breathe: study - Hindustan Times | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
The air inside your homes is not fit to breathe: studyHindustan TimesBut the air you breathe at home may not be as clean and safe as you think either.

Akala ng marami na higit na malinis ang hangin sa loob ng bahay kaysa sa kalye. Hindi ito palaging totoo. Madaming tahanan sa masisikip na lungsod ang kasin-dumi din ng hangin sa labas, at masama sa tao.

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Climate & Clean Air Watch
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Scary New Proof That We Have Seriously Screwed Up the Planet’s Oceans ("the day after tomorrow model")

Scary New Proof That We Have Seriously Screwed Up the Planet’s Oceans ("the day after tomorrow model") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Scientists confirm that climate change is stalling a major Atlantic Ocean current, and that could lead to flooding and food shortages.

The powerful ocean current that carries tropical warmth from the South Atlantic to northern countries has slowed down to a degree “unprecedented in the past millennium,” according to newly published research. The phenomenon has created an unusual pocket of cooling temperatures in the far North Atlantic, even as global warming heats the world overall. 

Yes, it’s the exact climate catastrophe envisioned in The Day After Tomorrow, the 2004 movie about how a slowing current triggers a new ice age and deep-freezes New York City. In real life, the current could cause severe coastal flooding between New York and Boston and affect the distribution of marine wildlife, putting coastal fishing industries at risk. ADVERTISEMENT 

If the slowdown persists or intensifies, weather could significantly change in parts of the Northern Hemisphere that have traditionally been warmed by this current, affecting everything from agriculture to urban transportation. 

“These are the kinds of things that scare me,” said oceanographer Scott Rutherford of Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, who coauthored the new study. “How much is this going to change temperature, sea level, marine ecosystems? We’re starting to mess with big things now.”

“Can we stop this? Yes,” he said. “We’re already locked into a little bit of warming. I would say that we ought to be concerned with minimizing it as much as we can.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
If you watched "The Day After Tomorrow," this is the climate model they are talking about. Though the movie is exaggerated, of course, there is scientific truth to the model that should warn our scientists.

"Scientifically, “it’s a bit of stretch right now” to link this winter’s record low temperatures and snowfall on much of the East Coast to the slowed ocean current, he said. “But it’s the kind of thing that we might expect to see” based on climate change modeling. 
“As a scientist, this is just one more data point to add to our records,” said climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University. “As a human, though, it’s a stark reminder that our choices have consequences, and the door is rapidly closing on our opportunities to choose a different future.”
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These Photos Show How Hard Climate Change Has Hit Greenland ("where have all the glaciers gone?")

These Photos Show How Hard Climate Change Has Hit Greenland ("where have all the glaciers gone?") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Nowhere has climate change been more devastating than in the Arctic, where temperatures are rising more than twice as fast as average ...

Year after year of record heat largely due to man-made global warming has hit hard across the globe. And nowhere have the impacts been more devastating than in the Arctic where temperatures are rising more than twice as fast as the global average and ice is quickly disappearing. 

Photos taken by a research team from Denmark capture how warming has hit glaciers in Greenland, where ice melt has been occurring at a faster rate than ever in recorded history. Researchers captured the images, published in the book The Greenland Ice Sheet, in the exact location their predecessor had taken photos eight decades prior as temperatures had just begun to warm. Side by side, the images offer a stark comparison showing vast areas once covered in ice now empty land.

“Climate change is particularly evident here and its consequences for people and nature are considerable,” said Ralf Hemmingsen, rector of the University of Copenhagen in the book’s foreword, “both for Greenland and the rest of the world.”

Scientists have understood for sometime how climate change is causing ice melt in Greenland. Satellite measurements taken since 1979 have shown a 12% decline in sea ice per decade, according to a Nature report. But a lack of earlier record keeping and satellite measurements has presented a challenge for scientists who hope to understand how ice levels have changed over time in Greenland. Now, scientists who study glaciers are using the photo comparison to improve their understanding of how ice levels have changed over time, according to a news article in the journal Nature.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Do you want to see photo evidences of climate change? Check out Greenland.

“Climate change is particularly evident here and its consequences for people and nature are considerable,” said Ralf Hemmingsen, rector of the University of Copenhagen in the book’s foreword, “both for Greenland and the rest of the world.”
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Scientists warn world will miss key climate target ("the likelihood of failure is imminent; need to reset")

Scientists warn world will miss key climate target ("the likelihood of failure is imminent; need to reset") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Grim backdrop to vital global emissions talks as new analysis shows 1.5C limit on warming is close to being broken ...

Leading climate scientists have warned that the Earth is perilously close to breaking through a 1.5C upper limit for global warming, only eight months after the target was set. 

The decision to try to limit warming to 1.5C, measured in relation to pre-industrial temperatures, was the headline outcome of the Paris climate negotiations last December. The talks were hailed as a major success by scientists and campaigners, who claimed that, by setting the target, desertification, heatwaves, widespread flooding and other global warming impacts could be avoided. 

However, figures – based on Met Office data – prepared by meteorologist Ed Hawkins of Reading University show that average global temperatures were already more than 1C above pre-industrial levels for every month except one over the past year and peaked at +1.38C in February and March. Keeping within the 1.5C limit will be extremely difficult, say scientists, given these rises. 

These alarming figures will form the backdrop to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change talks in Geneva this month, when scientists will start to outline ways to implement the climate goals set in Paris. Dates for abandoning all coal-burning power stations and halting the use of combustion engines across the globe – possibly within 15 years – are likely to be set.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The world cannot relax after the mere signing of the Paris Agreement eight months ago.

"Leading climate scientists have warned that the Earth is perilously close to breaking through a 1.5C upper limit for global warming, only eight months after the target was set. 
"The decision to try to limit warming to 1.5C, measured in relation to pre-industrial temperatures, was the headline outcome of the Paris climate negotiations last December. The talks were hailed as a major success by scientists and campaigners, who claimed that, by setting the target, desertification, heatwaves, widespread flooding and other global warming impacts could be avoided."
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Climate models have underestimated Earth’s sensitivity to CO2 changes ("more alarm bells on new find")

Climate models have underestimated Earth’s sensitivity to CO2 changes ("more alarm bells on new find") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

A Yale University study says global climate models have significantly underestimated how much the Earth’s surface temperature will rise if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase as expected.

A Yale University study says global climate models have significantly underestimated how much the Earth’s surface temperature will rise if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase as expected. 

Yale scientists looked at a number of global climate projections and found that they misjudged the ratio of ice crystals and super-cooled water droplets in “mixed-phase” clouds — resulting in a significant under-reporting of climate sensitivity. The findings appear April 7 in the journal Science. 

Equilibrium climate sensitivity is a measure used to estimate how Earth’s surface temperature ultimately responds to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Specifically, it reflects how much the Earth’s average surface temperature would rise if CO2 doubled its preindustrial level. In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated climate sensitivity to be within a range of 2 to 4.7 degrees Celsius. 

The Yale team’s estimate is much higher: between 5 and 5.3 degrees Celsius. Such an increase could have dramatic implications for climate change worldwide, note the scientists. 

“It goes to everything from sea level rise to more frequent and extreme droughts and floods,” said Ivy Tan, a Yale graduate student and lead author of the study. 

A key part of the research has to do with the makeup of mixed-phase clouds, which consist of water vapor, liquid droplets, and ice particles, in the upper atmosphere. A larger amount of ice in those clouds leads to a lower climate sensitivity — something known as a negative climate feedback mechanism. The more ice you have in the upper atmosphere, the less warming there will be on the Earth’s surface. 

Bert Guevara's insight:
New and better climate science shows us that we have underestimated global warming. Oh no!

"A key part of the research has to do with the makeup of mixed-phase clouds, which consist of water vapor, liquid droplets, and ice particles, in the upper atmosphere. A larger amount of ice in those clouds leads to a lower climate sensitivity — something known as a negative climate feedback mechanism. The more ice you have in the upper atmosphere, the less warming there will be on the Earth’s surface. 
“We saw that all of the models started with far too much ice,” said Storelvmo, an assistant professor of geology and geophysics. “When we ran our own simulations, which were designed to better match what we found in satellite observations, we came up with more warming.”
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Nuclear Power Is Losing Money At An Astonishing Rate ("nuclear may have lost the pricing game")

Nuclear Power Is Losing Money At An Astonishing Rate ("nuclear may have lost the pricing game") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Half of existing nuclear power plants are no longer profitable. Should we bail out this heavily subsidized industry because it helps reduce carbon pollution? And is New York's recent bailout way too high?

The point of blaming renewables, which currently receive significant government subsidies, is apparently to argue that existing nukes deserve some sort of additional subsidy to keep running — beyond the staggering $100+ billion in subsidies the nuclear industry has received over the decades. But a major reason solar and wind energy receive federal subsidies — which are being phased out over the next few years — is because they are emerging technologies whose prices are still rapidly coming down the learning curve, whereas nuclear is an incumbent technology with a negative learning curve.

As you can imagine, if existing nuclear power plants have become unprofitable, then new nuclear power plants make no economic sense whatsoever. Perhaps no surprise, then, that a Reuters headline blared last month, “New Nuclear Reactor Builds Fall To Zero In First Half Of 2016 — Report.” 

The utility consultancy Brattle Group came to a similar view on existing nukes in a 2014 analysis, concluding that 51 percent of the merchant (deregulated) nuclear fleet, some 23 Gigawatts, could be unprofitable by 2015. In researching this post, I spoke at length with economist Peter Fox-Penner, one of the country’s leading experts on both the electric grid and decarbonization, the author of Smart Power: Climate Change, the Smart Grid, and the Future of Electric Utilities. Fox-Penner is the former chair of the Brattle Group.

The primary reason existing nuclear power plants are in trouble is because of cheap natural gas. This is widely understood. In fact, the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC) staff itself, in its July proposal to bail out ailing nukes, explained: 

Staff’s analysis shows that due to low natural gas prices, forecasted wholesale market prices are significantly lower than the average operating costs of the upstate nuclear units.

Bert Guevara's insight:
With so many problems plaguing the nuclear power industry, we might as well relegate it to the "archive" for future reference!
I do not think the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant will make economic sense at this time.
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Cleaner air may be driving water quality in Chesapeake Bay ("clean air means better water condition")

Cleaner air may be driving water quality in Chesapeake Bay ("clean air means better water condition") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
A new study suggests that improvements in air quality over the Potomac watershed, including the Washington, D.C., metro area, may be responsible for recent progress on water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. Scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science have linked improving water quality in streams and rivers of the Upper Potomac River Basin to reductions in nitrogen pollution onto the land and streams due to enforcement of the Clean Air Act. 
"The recent water quality successes in the Chesapeake Bay restoration are apparently driven more by air quality regulation rather than by water quality control efforts," said study author Keith Eshleman, professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Appalachian Laboratory. "These air quality regulations were intended to address human health issues and acid sensitive streams. No one thought you would have this positive impact on water quality. It was totally unanticipated." 
The Chesapeake Bay -- the nation's largest estuary -- has suffered from excessive nutrient pollution and widespread hypoxic (low oxygen) conditions for decades. While land-based best management practices and improvements to wastewater treatment plants have been credited with beginning to turn the tide against nutrient pollution, researchers have found that improvement in air quality -- specifically reductions in atmospheric nitrogen deposition -- have been the primary driver of improvements in water quality in the Upper Potomac River Basin, which covers nearly 12,000 square miles in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. These unanticipated region-wide water quality benefits were brought about by reductions in harmful emissions of nitrogen dioxides following implementation of the Clean Air Act of 1990.
Bert Guevara's insight:
Levels of air pollution are significantly related to levels of water pollution. Check the findings in this study.
This gives us more reason to clean the air.

"Nitrogen deposition occurs when nitrogen in the atmosphere -- emitted mostly by fossil fuel combustion -- falls to the ground or water surface. When the amount of nitrogen falling exceeds what trees and plants need to grow, nitrogen saturation may result. When excess nitrogen enters streams and waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay, it can cause algae blooms that significantly impact marine life."
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This is where air pollution kills the most people ("air in China, India and Africa are deadliest")

This is where air pollution kills the most people ("air in China, India and Africa are deadliest") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

A report from the International Energy Agency shows the massive cost of air pollution in both lives lost and money in many developing countries.

Around the world, 18,000 people die every day because of air pollution. 

The World Health Organization says the number of deaths attributed to air pollution is 6.5 million a year. That’s more than the number of people killed by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and road injuries combined. 

In fact, air pollution is the fourth-largest threat to human health, behind high blood pressure, dietary risks and smoking. It is caused by power generation, industry and transport as well as cooking fuels used inside the home. It is a problem around the world, but some countries are much more affected than others.

Premature deaths caused by air pollution have declined in Europe, the United States and a number of other areas, while they have increased in many countries in Asia and Africa in particular. 

The countries with the largest number of premature deaths caused by air pollution are mostly in Asia and Africa. However, when adjusted to take account of the size of a country’s population (i.e. deaths per 100,000 people), the highest rates of mortality from air pollution also span across other parts of the world, such as Eastern Europe. 

Georgia tops the International Energy Agency’s table, with nearly 300 deaths per 100,000 in 2012 due to air pollution. Bulgaria is fourth while China ranks sixth with over 150 deaths per 100,000 people.

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Bert Guevara's curator insight, July 28, 9:24 PM
Around the world, 18,000 people die every day because of air pollution. Many of them are poor.

"The World Health Organization says the number of deaths attributed to air pollution is 6.5 million a year. That’s more than the number of people killed by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and road injuries combined. 
"In fact, air pollution is the fourth-largest threat to human health, behind high blood pressure, dietary risks and smoking. It is caused by power generation, industry and transport as well as cooking fuels used inside the home. It is a problem around the world, but some countries are much more affected than others."
Eric Larson's curator insight, August 2, 7:07 PM
Where do the most people die from air pollution?
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The Archimedes windmill movie ENG high quality ("more efficient design that's better for households")

History of The Archimedes HQ

Liam F1’s logarithmic spiral, the company claims, make it the most efficient urban wind turbine in existence, able to operate at approximately 80% of the Betz Limit, or 47.4% overall efficiency, which states that the theoretical maximum efficiency of any wind turbine is only 59.3%. Commercial wind turbines max out at 50% of the Betz Limit, or just 29.7% efficiency.

Liam F1 Urban Wind Turbine’s unique design is not only efficient, but far more compact and quieter than traditional wind turbine designs, making it a far better candidate for residential installation.

A single unit, according to The Archimedes, is capable of generating “an average of 1,500 kilowatt-hours of energy [per year] at a wind-speed of 5 m/s [16.4 ft/s], which resembles half of the power consumption of a common household.” Officially-available July 1, the unique wind turbine will go sale for €3,999 (≈$5,450).

Bert Guevara's insight:
Check out this smaller, more efficient, logarithmic spiral which can serve as a household windmill.

"Scaling down wind turbines doesn’t help a whole lot with these problems, so residential systems remain an oddity. 
"A small company, The Archimedes, may change all of that with an entirely new small-scale wind turbine design. As the company name suggests, the Liam F1 Urban Wind Turbine’s unique turbine shape is inspired, partly by the Green mathematician Archimedes, and by the natural spiral design of the nautilus shell."
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Last month was hottest June on record – US scientists ("14th straight month; 137-year record streak")

Last month was hottest June on record – US scientists ("14th straight month; 137-year record streak") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

(UPDATED) NOAA: 'This marks the 14th consecutive month the monthly global temperature record has been broken, the longest such streak in the 137-year record'

Last month was the hottest June in modern history, marking the 14th consecutive month that global heat records have been broken, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Tuesday, July 19. 

"The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for June 2016 was the highest for the month of June in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880," the agency said in a statement. 

"This marks the 14th consecutive month the monthly global temperature record has been broken, the longest such streak in the 137-year record."

The report, issued each month by NOAA, also said the global temperature for the first 6 months of 2016 was the hottest on record. 

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for June was 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average of 59.9 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 Celsius). 

"June 2016 marks the 40th consecutive June with temperatures at least nominally above the 20th century average," NOAA said. 

NOAA also spoke about what it calls the "monthly temperature departure" or record spikes in heat. It said 14 of 15 of these spikes have occurred since February 2015, signaling that global warming is accelerating. 

The planet's average land temperature in June was 2.23 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the 20th century monthly average, tied at an all-time record for June that was struck last year. 

The land temperature also hit a record high for the first 6 months of the year. 

The average sea surface temperature was 1.39 degrees Fahrenheit above last century's monthly average. That marked the hottest June and the hottest January-June period on record.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Did you feel the heat?

Last month was the hottest June in modern history, marking the 14th consecutive month that global heat records have been broken, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Tuesday, July 19. 
"The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for June 2016 was the highest for the month of June in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880," the agency said in a statement. 
"This marks the 14th consecutive month the monthly global temperature record has been broken, the longest such streak in the 137-year record."
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In former ‘Dirtiest City in America,’ clean transportation is thriving ("from mediocre to leader")

In former ‘Dirtiest City in America,’ clean transportation is thriving ("from mediocre to leader") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

A small Tennessee city is emerging as a national leader in clean transportation, with electric buses, a bike share system and a soon-to-launch electric car sharing program.

In October of 1969, Walter Cronkite announced to America that Chattanooga, Tennessee had been anointed the “Dirtiest City in America” by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Today, the mid-sized city nestled at the foot of the Appalachian mountains is known as “gig city” for its lightning fast fiberoptic network, and this year was rated number one among mid-size cities in innovation economy by the National League of Cities. 

Through private and public initiatives, including both state and federal funding, it has also become a national leader in the transition to clean transportation – with an electric bus, bike-sharing and a soon-to-launch electric car sharing service. In 2015, the city was ranked 12th among the top 15 metro areas seeing the most improvement in air quality—with 66 percent of days having good air quality in 2014.

The transition began 26 years ago, when the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) began operating an emission-free electric shuttle bus service in the polluted downtown area, which was undergoing revitalization. The shuttle costs nothing to residents to ride. Funding from the Federal Transit Administration ($15.7 million), Tennessee Valley Authority ($2 million), and Tennessee Department of Transportation ($2 million) covered the initial startup costs. 

“That electric shuttle bus now has a million passengers a year,” says Scott Allen Fiedler of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). “It is popular with tourists and residents alike. It has been a driving force in the transformation in Chattanooga transportation for a quarter century.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
See how the correct investment in clean energy provides returns beyond the numbers.

“I tend to be a fiscal conservative and generally respect this process,” says Pugliese. “But I believe these investments in transportation have a huge return on investment in terms of promoting freedom of choice, mobility, healthy living, and overall quality of life.
“We’ve gone from being called the dirtiest and least inviting city in the nation to now being ranked one of the best places to live in America. We are working hard to transform transportation choice in the city.”
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Short Answers to Hard Questions About Clean Coal Technology ("still unreachable & uneconomical")

Short Answers to Hard Questions About Clean Coal Technology ("still unreachable & uneconomical") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

A primer on carbon capture and storage, and why it has an uncertain future as a force for fighting climate change.

Technology holds the promise of enabling coal power plants, which produce much of the world’s electricity, to run more cleanly, emitting far less of the pollution that causes climate change. But these projects have been difficult to make a reality because they are complicated and expensive. Here is a quick primer.

... Since the early 2000s, there has been a wave of optimism that this technology could play a vital role in slowing climate change by cleaning up some of the biggest emitters of carbon pollution. Now there is significant skepticism that the technology can be scaled up affordably, reliably and soon enough to make a difference.

​How is the CO2 captured? 

A power plant can trap carbon dioxide in one of three ways. After combustion, the carbon dioxide is captured from the exhaust of a power plant by absorbing it in a liquid, which is later heated to release the gas for storage. CO2 can also be captured before combustion. In this case, a controlled amount of oxygen is used to turn coal or natural gas into “syngas,” a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Before it is burned to generate power, the syngas is treated with steam, producing carbon dioxide. A third method involves burning fossil fuels in oxygen. That results in an exhaust stream of water vapor and CO2, which are then separated by cooling and compressing the gas stream.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Clean coal is still a THEORY! Even if it is reached, it is not economical.

"Coal plants that capture carbon are expensive partly because they are so complex. As the New York Times reporter Henry Fountain explained, “removing carbon dioxide from the swirl of gases unleashed at a power plant is challenging, akin to plucking just a few colored Ping-Pong balls out of the air from a swarm of mostly white ones.” That price rises further because capturing and compressing the carbon requires so much energy, sometimes sapping more than 20 percent of the electricity that the plant is supposed to produce for consumers."
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Sweden Opens World's First Electric Highway ("another step closer to zero-emission transport")

Sweden Opens World's First Electric Highway ("another step closer to zero-emission transport") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

A 22 kilometer stretch of the E16 road in Sweden is fitted with power lines overhead, developed by Siemens, providing electricity to hybrid trucks.

A 22 kilometer (or roughly 13 miles) stretch of the E16 road—which connects Oslo, Norway, to Gävle, Sweden—is fitted with power lines overhead, developed by Siemens, providing electricity to hybrid trucks. The system works like a tram system. A current collector on the trucks will transfer energy from the power lines to the trucks’ hybrid electric motors, Sputnik News reported. The electric lines help trucks operate longer between recharges. 

“Electric roads will bring us one step closer to fossil fuel-free transports, and has the potential to achieve zero carbon dioxide emissions,” Lena Erixon, director general of transport authority Trafikverket, said. “This is one way of developing environmentally smart transports in the existing road network. It could be a good supplement to todays road and rail network.”

When the trucks, provided by Scania, are not on the electric stretch of road, they will operate as hybrid vehicles running on biofuel. Electric-powered trucks are expected to cut 80 to 90 percent of fossil fuel emissions. The opening of this stretch of road is another step toward Sweden’s goal of operating a fossil fuel-free fleet by 2030, Inhabitat reported. 

“Electric roads are one more piece of the puzzle in the transport system of the future, especially for making the heavy transport section fossil fuel-free over the long term,” Erik Brandsma, director general of the Swedish Energy Agency, said. “This project also shows the importance of all the actors in the field cooperating.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
Another novel approach to emission-free transport, but I wonder if this is practical for the Philippines.

"The system works like a tram system. A current collector on the trucks will transfer energy from the power lines to the trucks’ hybrid electric motors, Sputnik News reported. The electric lines help trucks operate longer between recharges.
“Electric roads will bring us one step closer to fossil fuel-free transports, and has the potential to achieve zero carbon dioxide emissions,” Lena Erixon, director general of transport authority Trafikverket, said. “This is one way of developing environmentally smart transports in the existing road network. It could be a good supplement to todays road and rail network.”
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Seven climate records set so far in 2016 ("we can no longer ignore the obvious warming of planet")

Seven climate records set so far in 2016 ("we can no longer ignore the obvious warming of planet") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

From soaring temperatures in Alaska and India to Arctic sea ice melting and CO2 concentrations rising, this year is smashing records around the world

1) Arctic sea ice is melting at a rate that by September could see it beat the record low set in 2012. The maximum extent of sea ice in winter was at a record low, and the extent in May was the lowest for that month ever, by more than 500,000 sq km.

2) Every month this year has been the hottest on record globally for that month. May, data published this week by Nasa revealed, was no exception. Nasa’s dataset, one of three main global surface temperature records, shows February recorded the highest anomaly against long term average temperatures.

3) India recorded its hottest day ever on 19 May. The mercury in Phalodi, in the desert state of Rajasthan, rose to 51C, as a nationwide drought that has affected more than 300 million people marched on, leaving armed guards at dams, and reservoirs well below their usual levels.

4) Alaska, along with the rest of the Arctic, has experienced record-breaking heat. Spring was the warmest on record in the state, with an average temperature of 0C, and the average year-to-date temperature has been 5.5C above the long term average.

5) Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been breaking records every year for decades, but the size of the margin by which the record is forecast to break the annual record in 2016 is striking and itself a record. The increase for 2016 is expected to be 3.1 parts per million, up from an annual average of 2.1.

6) Australia, no stranger to record-breaking heat, just clocked up its hottest autumn yet.

7) The Great Barrier Reef, a natural wonder and world heritage site, experienced its worst ever coral bleaching event, as a blob of warm water made its way around the world.

Bert Guevara's insight:
From soaring temperatures in Alaska and India to Arctic sea ice melting and CO2 concentrations rising, this year is smashing records around the world.
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Tom Schueneman's curator insight, June 24, 8:59 PM
If we don't begin to feel the required sense of urgency now, we never wlll
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Climate Scientists' New Hurdle: Overcoming Climate Change Apathy - Eos ("rise of the neoskeptics")

Climate Scientists' New Hurdle: Overcoming Climate Change Apathy - Eos ("rise of the neoskeptics") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

It's not just about deniers anymore. Scientists now have to convince a new group: those who believe humans have altered the climate but don't think anything can or should change.

Chuck Nobles of Portland, Ore., believes that climate change is real and that humans are causing it. “I think the evidence is clear,” he said.

He’s just not sure what, if anything, should be done about it. “The planet will survive. Humans will just need to adapt to live under different environmental conditions,” he said. For the 60-year-old Nobles, who works as a senior lecturer in marketing and management at a university in Portland, the issue is a matter of scope. “If you take some of the dramatic actions that the extreme climate people believe in, it may hurt the economy. We must work hard to understand the trade-offs and be rational.”

Nobles represents a growing fraction of people who accept that anthropogenic climate change is a real, currently occurring phenomenon but aren’t sure that anything can or should be done about it. In a new policy forum paper published today in Science, Paul Stern of the National Research Council and colleagues call this “neoskepticism.” 

Neoskeptics aren’t just random venting bloggers; policy makers and even academics are joining in. They may argue that climate scientists “overblow” the risks or insist that because scientists are still hammering out the details on climate change’s effects on the globe, immediate mitigation is too costly. 

How can scientists and educators, many of whom have their hands full combating outright deniers of human-caused climate change, address neoskeptics? It’s all about communicating risk, argue Stern and his colleagues.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Many scientists agree that if extreme action isn’t taken now, there’s no turning back from the consequences of climate change. However, a growing portion of the general public is neoskeptics—they believe mitigation efforts just aren’t worth it.

Unfortunately, in climate science, “there’s been a long history that says that scientific uncertainty is a reason for not taking action,” Stern said. Such delay of action feeds back to fuel neoskepticism. 
For example, Nobles believes that there’s somewhere in the middle where societies could arrest the increase of carbon dioxide “a little bit.” But he added that if he were in charge of deciding what needs to be done about climate change, he would stress caution. 
“I think you just need to maybe understand ranges of impact a little bit more,” he said. “I think we need to be rational about the range of possible results.”
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France to pave 1000km of roads with solar panels ("imagine driving directly on top of solar panels")

France to pave 1000km of roads with solar panels ("imagine driving directly on top of solar panels") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Over the next five years, France will install some 621 miles (1,000km) of solar roadway using Colas' Wattway solar pavement.

Solar freakin' roadways! No, this is not the crowdfunded solar road project that blew up the internet a few years ago, but is a collaboration between Colas, a transport infrastructure company, and INES (France's National Institute for Solar Energy), and sanctioned by France's Agency of Environment and Energy Management, which promises to bring solar power to hundreds of miles of roads in the country over the next five years. 

One major difference between this solar freakin' roadway and that other solar freakin' roadway is that the new Wattway system doesn't replace the road itself or require removal of road surfaces, but instead is designed to be glued onto the top of existing pavement. The Wattway system is also built in layers of materials "that ensure resistance and tire grip," and is just 7 mm thick, which is radically different from that other design that uses thick glass panels (and which is also claimed to include LED lights and 'smart' technology, which increases the complexity and cost of the moose-friendly solar tiles).

According to Colas, the material is strong enough to stand up to regular traffic, even heavy trucks, and 20 m² of Wattway panels is said to provide enough electricity to power a single average home in France, with a 1-kilometer stretch of Wattway road able to "provide the electricity to power public lighting in a city of 5,000 inhabitants."

Bert Guevara's insight:
1000 km of solar-panel paved roads!!! This is revolutionary! One advantage will be the free cost of land, since it is on top of the public road.

"One major difference between this solar freakin' roadway and that other solar freakin' roadway is that the new Wattway system doesn't replace the road itself or require removal of road surfaces, but instead is designed to be glued onto the top of existing pavement. The Wattway system is also built in layers of materials "that ensure resistance and tire grip," and is just 7 mm thick ..."
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This is what Earth will look like in 100 years — if we're lucky ("dangerously close to warming limit")

This is what Earth will look like in 100 years — if we're lucky ("dangerously close to warming limit") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

The best we can hope for is pretty alarming.

At this point, you're probably fully aware of how hot it is. But in case you're unaware: It's really, really hot. 

In fact, 2016 is likely to be the hottest year on record, increasing 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.3 degrees Celsius) above preindustrial averages. 

That brings us dangerously close to the 2.7-degree-Fahrenheit (1.5-degree-Celsius) limit set by international policymakers for global warming. 

"There's no stopping global warming," Gavin Schmidt, a climate scientist who is the director of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies, told Business Insider. "Everything that's happened so far is baked into the system." 

That means that even if carbon emissions dropped to zero tomorrow, we'd still be watching human-driven climate change play out for centuries. And, as we all know, emissions aren't going to stop tomorrow. So the key thing now, Schmidt said, is slowing climate change down enough to make sure we can adapt to it as painlessly as possible. 

This is what the Earth could look like within 100 years if we do, barring huge leaps in renewable energy or carbon-capture technology.

Bert Guevara's insight:
"I think the 1.5-degree [2.7-degree F] target is out of reach as a long-term goal," Schmidt said. He estimated that we will blow past that by about 2030.

"That means that even if carbon emissions dropped to zero tomorrow, we'd still be watching human-driven climate change play out for centuries. And, as we all know, emissions aren't going to stop tomorrow. So the key thing now, Schmidt said, is slowing climate change down enough to make sure we can adapt to it as painlessly as possible."
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We flew over 8,000 oil and gas wells. Here's what we found. ("well-kept secret emissions revealed")

We flew over 8,000 oil and gas wells. Here's what we found. ("well-kept secret emissions revealed") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Methane pollution is widespread, pouring out from hundreds of "super emitting" production facilities nationwide. That's why we need strong, federal pollution rules.

For a different and more eye-opening view, fly over one of these industrial sites with an infrared camera. Chances are you’ll now see dark plumes of methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, pouring from the facility or piece of equipment. 

We did exactly that for a new study to determine how common so-called “super emitter” sites are. 

These large and evasive sources of methane pollution make up the lion’s share of the roughly 9 million tons the oil and gas industry wastefully spews into the atmosphere every year. And they provide an urgent reminder why stronger methane pollution laws are needed now.

We hired one of America’s most experienced leak detection companies to fly a helicopter over 8,000 well pads in seven states across the country for our study, using infrared technology to capture photos and videos of methane and other pollutants. It was the largest-ever study of its kind in the United States. 

A grim picture emerged from those helicopter trips over Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wyoming: Methane pollution is widespread, pouring out from hundreds of these super emitter sites. 

Worse, these leaks sit largely undetected.

But our research also confirmed what other studies have shown, namely that super emitters are nearly impossible to predict. They can happen anywhere, anytime, when malfunctioning equipment goes unattended and sloppy mistakes are made. 

This is why we can no longer continue to rely on industry policing itself. We need strong rules that require all operators to keep their facilities from polluting the atmosphere.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Large methane emissions from oil and gas wells worldwide are hardly detected. (See video.)
Since methane is a major GHG contributor to climate change, this compounds our problem with the oil and gas industry.

"But our research also confirmed what other studies have shown, namely that super emitters are nearly impossible to predict. They can happen anywhere, anytime, when malfunctioning equipment goes unattended and sloppy mistakes are made. 
"This is why we can no longer continue to rely on industry policing itself. We need strong rules that require all operators to keep their facilities from polluting the atmosphere."
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First Half of 2016 Blows Away Temp Records ("the heat records are way off the charts! alarming!")

First Half of 2016 Blows Away Temp Records ("the heat records are way off the charts! alarming!") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

2016 is looking more and more likely to be the hottest year on record, after a record warm June extended this year's streak.

The monthly numbers from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration puts the planet on track to surpass 2015 as the hottest on record. 

“2016 has really blown that out of the water,” Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said. 

While 2016 has gotten a boost from an exceptionally strong El Niño, the record temps are mostly the result of the excess heat that has built up in Earth’s atmosphere due to accumulating greenhouse gases. That heat is raising global sea levels, disrupting ecosystems and leading to more extreme weather events. 

Every month this year has been record warm globally. Several months early in the year were among the first ever recorded to exceed 1°C (1.8°F) above average according to both NASA and NOAA. All six months of the year so far exceeded that remarkable benchmark when compared to preindustrial temperatures.

With the demise of El Niño, those temperature departures have dropped slightly, but are still at record-high levels. June was 1.62°F (0.90°C) above the 20th century average according to NOAA and 1.42°F (0.79°C) above the 1951-1980 average, according to NASA. (June was also record warm for the contiguous U.S., in part because of an intense, record-breaking heat wave that swept the Southwest.) 

In NOAA’s records, that makes an unprecedented 14 consecutive record-hot months. While that streak will eventually end, Deke Arndt, the head of the climate monitoring division at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, said that the long-term warming trend is stll clear.

Bert Guevara's insight:
We are treading on new climate territory, which may spiral out of control if we just treat it as a minor "bump". Check the charts!

"2016 will be one of the warmest on record. Whether it slips to nominally above or nominally below 2015, that may depend on some climate variability factors like the strength of the La Niña," Arndt said. "But it will share with 2015 the distinction of being, comfortably, the two warmest years on record and warmer, comfortably than any year we've measured in modern times."
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EPA Finding Clears Way for Limit on Aircraft Emissions ("they emit big CO2 that warms the planet")

EPA Finding Clears Way for Limit on Aircraft Emissions ("they emit big CO2 that warms the planet") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

The EPA has declared jet engine exhaust a contributor to climate change that endangers public health — the first step toward regulating jet emissions.

Large commercial jets account for 11 percent of all emissions from the global transportation sector. Aircraft emissions are expected to grow by 50 percent by 2050 as demand for air travel increases.

Regulating aircraft emissions is part of the Obama administration’s goal under the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. The international pact aims to to keep global warming from exceeding 2°C (3.6°F). 

“Addressing pollution from aircraft is an important element of U.S. efforts to address climate change,” Janet McCabe, the EPA’s acting assistant administrator for air and radiation, said in a statement. “EPA has already set effective GHG standards for cars and trucks and any future aircraft engine standards will also provide important climate and public health benefits.”

Both the EPA and the International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO, are developing regulations that will cut carbon emissions from commercial aircraft. The ICAO is expected to finalize its emissions standards in 2017, but the EPA could not proceed with developing its own standards in the U.S. until it concluded that jet engine exhaust poses a public health threat.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The airline industry almost got away with murder. They are now equally responsible as the transport emitters on the ground and in the oceans.

"Jet engine exhaust emits carbon dioxide, which drives climate change by warming the atmosphere, leading to increasing global temperatures, rising seas and extreme weather. Public health will suffer as heat waves become more frequent and intense, rising seas inundate coastal cities, extreme storms lead to more deaths and catastrophic wildfires burn more forests and reduce air quality. 
“The endangerment finding is key because it obligates the EPA to take regulatory action to cut carbon dioxide emissions from aircraft — it triggers a legal mandate,” said Drew Kodjak, executive director of the International Council on Clean Transportation."
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Which Is Worse for the Planet: Beef or Cars? ("you'll be surprised at answer; your diet makes a diff")

Which Is Worse for the Planet: Beef or Cars? ("you'll be surprised at answer; your diet makes a diff") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

By Jordyn CormierCars are often used as the golden standard of environmental destruction. We know that our driving is hurtful to the environment. But, what about a burger? We don't instinctually associate meat consumption with climate change, but does the dark side of the meat industry give cars

Livestock emissions make up anywhere between 14.5 and 18 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Comparably, the transportation sector is responsible for around 14 percent of emissions. By those numbers alone, our current system of meat production is extremely damaging. Perhaps more looming, however, is that while transportation creates CO2, livestock farming is hugely responsible for producing methane. As you may know, methane is 23 times more potent when it comes to warming the planet.

Yes, driving cars is no good, but meat production is unexpectedly worse for the environment. Besides all of the fertilizer and cow waste products that release methane, meat unfortunately has to be transported in refrigerated trucks from feedlots to slaughterhouses to processing centers to your local grocery store. In this way, factory farming combines all of the harmful effects of driving an 18 wheeler, plus some.

The issue is that meat does not appear as harmful upon cursory glance. You can see emissions coming out of your old car and seeping into the atmosphere. You can't see emissions coming out of your hamburger. (Although, if you could see cow farts, that'd be a different story, as they shouldn't be underestimated in their profound environmental impact. Buying grass-fed beef reduces entropic emissions (methane gas flatulence) in cows simply because their stomachs are designed to digest grass, not grains. So, small changes do make a difference).

Bert Guevara's insight:
Would you believe that livestock emissions are worse to the environment than car emissions? Check out the facts and discover how climate change mitigation can be doable for the ordinary person.

"If everyone enjoyed one meatless day a week—a simple and easily accomplished request, livestock emissions could be greatly reduced. Unfortunately, a rise in sustainable farming, while more humane and necessary, will not greatly alter the skyrocketing emissions caused by livestock. This is especially true since meat consumption is growing across the globe and projected to increase by around 70 percent by 2050. The only way to clean up our act is to change how we produce, consume and think about meat. We need to become less meat-centric as a whole."
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Clouds of Denial Clear as Rising Storm Tops, Middle Latitude Drying Found to Speed Global Warming

Clouds of Denial Clear as Rising Storm Tops, Middle Latitude Drying Found to Speed Global Warming | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

"The data shows major reorganization of the cloud system... I consider this as the most singular of all the things that we have found, because many of us had been thinking the cloud changes might help us out, by having a strong feedback which is going the other way instead of amplifying it.” -- climate…

“The data shows major reorganization of the cloud system… I consider this as the most singular of all the things that we have found, because many of us had been thinking the cloud changes might help us out, by having a strong feedback which is going the other way instead of amplifying it.” — climate scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan 

“Our results suggest that radiative forcing by a combination of anthropogenic greenhouse gases and volcanic aerosol has produced observed cloud changes during the past several decades that exert positive feedbacks on the climate system. We expect that increasing greenhouse gases will cause these cloud trends to continue in the future, unless offset by unpredictable large volcanic eruptions.” — Evidence for Climate Change in the Cloud Satellite Record (emphasis added). 

Scientists now have a satellite record of cloud behavior over the past few decades. What they’ve found is that, in response to Earth warming, cloud tops are rising even as clouds are forming at higher altitudes. This traps even more heat at the Earth’s surface. In addition, storms are moving north toward the poles, which means more sunlight hits the temperate regions near 40 degrees latitude both in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. This northward movement of storms also causes the Earth to warm more rapidly. In the past, scientists had hoped that changes in clouds would shelter the Earth from some of the greenhouse gas warming caused by fossil fuel emissions. What we are finding now is that the opposite is true. The way clouds change as the Earth warms appears to be increasing the intensity of greenhouse gas warming.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Are clouds working for us or against us (on climate change)?
Maybe not.

"Scientists now have a satellite record of cloud behavior over the past few decades. What they’ve found is that, in response to Earth warming, cloud tops are rising even as clouds are forming at higher altitudes. This traps even more heat at the Earth’s surface. In addition, storms are moving north toward the poles, which means more sunlight hits the temperate regions near 40 degrees latitude both in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. This northward movement of storms also causes the Earth to warm more rapidly. In the past, scientists had hoped that changes in clouds would shelter the Earth from some of the greenhouse gas warming caused by fossil fuel emissions. What we are finding now is that the opposite is true. The way clouds change as the Earth warms appears to be increasing the intensity of greenhouse gas warming."
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You’ll Never Believe How Cheap New Solar Power Is ("that's US 2.99 cents/KWH - unsubsidized")

You’ll Never Believe How Cheap New Solar Power Is ("that's US 2.99 cents/KWH - unsubsidized") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

If it surprises you that U.S. solar has jumped 100-fold in the last decade -- and prices are now under 4 cents per kilowatt-hour -- you should read this.

Solar energy has grown 100-fold in this country in the past decade. Globally, solar has doubled seven times since 2000, and Dubai received a bid recently for 800 megawatts of solar at a stunning “US 2.99 cents per kilowatt hour” — unsubsidized! For context, the average residential price for electricity in the United States is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. 

Solar energy has been advancing considerably faster than anyone expected just a few years ago thanks to aggressive market-based deployment efforts around the globe. Since it’s hard to keep up with the speed-of-light changes, and this is the fuel that will power more and more of the global economy in the near future, here are all the latest charts and facts to understand it. 

If you are looking for one chart to sum up the whole solar energy miracle, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) Chairman Michael Liebreich has one from his keynote address at BNEF’s annual conference in April titled “In Search of the Miraculous”:

The bids seen around the world this year without subsidies or incentives are even more stunning. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) received a bid this year for 800 megawatts at a jaw-dropping “US 2.99 cents per kilowatt hour.” Two other bids were below US 4 cents/kWh, and the last two bids were both below 4.5 cents/kWh — again all of these bids were without subsidies! 

That 2.99 cents bid is way down from a 2015 deal Dubai signed for more than 1000 megawatts at 5.84 cents over 25 years. So Dubai has seen a 50 percent price drop in solar in just 18 months. 

And these prices aren’t unique to the Middle East. As Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported in April, Enel Green power signed a contract for $.036/kWh in in Mexico — 3.6 cents. 

With prices dropping so fast, sales of solar PV systems have been soaring, as you can imagine. Here is the recent growth in this country:

Bert Guevara's insight:
This is one of the more complete reports on solar energy. It is amazing how far the use of the technology has gone, and eventually how low its price has gone.

"Given how fast solar PV has been coming down in price — and given the world’s commitment in Paris last December to keep ratcheting down carbon pollution in the coming decades to keep total global warming “well below 2°C” — it seems entirely possible if not likely that solar power will outperform the IEA’s scenario."
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Arctic News: 2016 Arctic Sea Ice Headed To Zero ("accelerated global warming seen")

Arctic News: 2016 Arctic Sea Ice Headed To Zero ("accelerated global warming seen") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
The image below shows that Arctic sea ice extent on July 3, 2016, was 8,707,651 square km, i.e. less than the 8.75 million square km that extent was on July 3, 2012.
In September 2012, Arctic sea ice extent reached a record low. Given that extent now is only slightly lower than it was in 2012 at the same time of year, can extent this year be expected to reach an even lower minimum, possibly as low as zero ice in September 2016? 
The ice this year is certainly headed in that direction, given that the sea ice now is much thinner than it was in 2012. The image below shows sea ice thickness on July 7, 2012, in the left-hand panel, and adds a forecast for July 7, 2016 in the right-hand panel.
Besides being thinner, sea ice now is also much more slushy and fractured into small pieces. The animation below shows that the sea ice close to the North Pole on July 4, 2016, was heavily fractured into pieces that are mostly smaller in size than 10 x 10 km or 6.2 x 6.2 miles. By comparison, sea ice in the same area did develop large cracks in 2012, but even in September 13, 2012, it was not broken up into small pieces.
One big reason behind the dire state the sea ice is in now is ocean heat. On July 2, 2016, sea surface near Svalbard (at the location marker by the green circle) was as warm as 16.7°C or 62.1°F, i.e. 13.5°C or 24.3°F warmer than 1981-2011. This gives an indication how much warmer the water is that is entering the Arctic Ocean.
As the sea ice disappears, less sunlight gets reflected back into space, resulting in additional warming of the Arctic Ocean. In October 2016, the sea ice will return, sealing off the Arctic Ocean, resulting in less heat being able to escape, at the very time the warmest water is entering the Arctic Ocean from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The danger of this situation is that a large amount of heat will reach the seafloor and destabilize hydrates, resulting in huge abrupt methane releases that will further contribute to warming. When adding in further factors such as discussed e.g. at this earlier post, this adds up to a potential temperature rise of more than 10°C or 18°F compared to pre-industrial times in less than ten years time from now.
Bert Guevara's insight:
Ocean warming is reaching the Poles. What will this mean for us? How does this affect global warming?

"As the sea ice disappears, less sunlight gets reflected back into space, resulting in additional warming of the Arctic Ocean. In October 2016, the sea ice will return, sealing off the Arctic Ocean, resulting in less heat being able to escape, at the very time the warmest water is entering the Arctic Ocean from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The danger of this situation is that a large amount of heat will reach the seafloor and destabilize hydrates, resulting in huge abrupt methane releases that will further contribute to warming. When adding in further factors such as discussed e.g. at this earlier post, this adds up to a potential temperature rise of more than 10°C or 18°F compared to pre-industrial times in less than ten years time from now."
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A Model for ‘Clean Coal’ Runs Off the Tracks ("model plant is between a failure and a fraud")

A Model for ‘Clean Coal’ Runs Off the Tracks ("model plant is between a failure and a fraud") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

A Mississippi project, a centerpiece of President Obama’s climate plan, has been plagued by problems that managers tried to conceal, and by cost overruns and questions of who will pay.

The fortress of steel and concrete towering above the pine forest here is a first-of-its-kind power plant that was supposed to prove that “clean coal” was not an oxymoron — that it was possible to produce electricity from coal in a way that emits far less pollution, and to turn a profit while doing so. 

The plant was not only a central piece of the Obama administration’s climate plan, it was also supposed to be a model for future power plants to help slow the dangerous effects of global warming. The project was hailed as a way to bring thousands of jobs to Mississippi, the nation’s poorest state, and to extend a lifeline to the dying coal industry. 

The sense of hope is fading fast, however. The Kemper coal plant is more than two years behind schedule and more than $4 billion over its initial budget, $2.4 billion, and it is still not operational.

Many problems plaguing the project were broadly known and had been occurring for years. But a review by The New York Times of thousands of pages of public records, previously undisclosed internal documents and emails, and 200 hours of secretly though legally recorded conversations among more than a dozen colleagues at the plant offers a detailed look at what went wrong and why.

In their recorded conversations with Mr. Wingo, at least six senior engineers from the plant said that they believed that the delays and cost overruns, as well as safety violations and shoddy work, were partly the result of mismanagement or fraud.

Bert Guevara's insight:
In trying to prove that "clean coal" is possible and feasible, the US model plant is overpriced, behind schedule and unfinished. Trying to prove a myth is really expensive.

“The big question with clean coal has always been whether it’s a moonshot or a money pit,” said Charles Grayson, the director of the Bigger Pie Forum, which advocates fiscal conservatism in Mississippi and has been critical of the Kemper project for years. “The Obama administration and my state made a really bad wager in trying to use Kemper to make the economic argument for this technology.”
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A major climate landmark has been crossed – for the first time in 4 million years ("can't be a cycle")

A major climate landmark has been crossed – for the first time in 4 million years ("can't be a cycle") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

An observatory at the South Pole has recorded a reading for carbon dioxide of 400 parts per million – the last station to do so.

Carbon dioxide levels in the Antarctic just hit 400 parts per million (ppm) – making the polar region the final place on Earth to cross this climate threshold. 

The South Pole Observatory breached 400 ppm for the first time on 23rd May, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The organization says this is the first time in 4 million years this level has been reached. 

“The far southern hemisphere was the last place on Earth where CO2 had not yet reached this mark,” explained Pieter Tans, lead scientist at NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network. “Global CO2 levels will not return to values below 400 ppm in our lifetimes, and almost certainly for much longer.”

The remote location of the Antarctic observatory means it was the last place on Earth to register a 400ppm reading. As this chart from the NOAA shows, levels have been increasing year on year. Indeed, since observations began in 1958, there has been an increase every year in the global yearly average.

2015 was also the fourth consecutive year that the NOAA have recorded a rise of above 2ppm – with the global average reaching 399ppm last year, it looks set to be over 400ppm this year. 

“Since emissions from fossil fuel burning have been at a record high during the last several years, the rate of CO2 increase has also been at a record high,” said Tans. “We know some of it will remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
CO2 stays in the atmosphere for thousands of years. Once released, it won't just blow away tomorrow, or next week, or next year!

"2015 was also the fourth consecutive year that the NOAA have recorded a rise of above 2ppm – with the global average reaching 399ppm last year, it looks set to be over 400ppm this year. 
“Since emissions from fossil fuel burning have been at a record high during the last several years, the rate of CO2 increase has also been at a record high,” said Tans. “We know some of it will remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years.”
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