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The Best Green Idea in Obama?s Climate Change Speech - Daily Beast

The Best Green Idea in Obama?s Climate Change Speech - Daily Beast | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Daily Beast
The Best Green Idea in Obama?


Buried in there was a call for new efficiency standards for appliances. And to me, this idea—the notion of improving environmental performance by imposing higher standards on consumer products—is the most powerful and doable of the bunch. The U.S. is a consumer-driven economy. We won’t make a serious dent in energy consumption until Americans become much more careful with their use of energy. But appealing to a desire for savings is a non-starter. I, like most Americans, prefer the comfort of air conditioning to lower electricity bills. Only a small minority of us are willing to change their behavior for the sake of the planet’s future.
But you can get to consumers through those who make money serving them. In other words, if the government sets higher standards on the people who produce the big-ticket items they sell to American consumers, that can have a big impact. And in recent years, both the Bush and Obama administrations have been clear with companies: if you want to participate in the world’s largest and most wealthy consumer market, you’ve got to up your energy-efficiency game.
Indeed, contrary to the arguments of the pessimists, companies generally manage to meet higher energy-efficiency standards while improving the consumer experience. The government has been regulating the performance of air conditioners and refrigerators for decades. And it’s rare to hear anybody complain that cheap, high-peforming air conditioners and refrigerators are not available in the marketplace.

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India launches air quality index to warn over dangerous pollution events - The Guardian ("hide alert")

India launches air quality index to warn over dangerous pollution events - The Guardian ("hide alert") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Index will track eight major pollutants, after World Health Organisation said New Delhi was world’s most-polluted city

Like the Chinese capital, New Delhi has gone through rapid economic development, raising living standards but also spewing out pollution.

Decades of policies that favoured economic decisions over environmental concerns have taken their toll. The numbers of cars on the roads of New Delhi have doubled in the last decade and years of booming construction has kicked up countless clouds of dust.

Javadekar said it wouldn’t be “business as usual anymore” and the government was committed to improving air quality as part of a cleanliness drive launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month.

There are various ways to measure pollution, but comparisons have generally focused on the microscopic particulate matter, sometimes called black carbon or soot, which can lodge in a person’s lungs and fester over time.

In New Delhi, levels of PM10 — particulate matter that is 10 micrometers in size — touched 400 micrograms per cubic meter last winter. That’s four times the city’s legal limit of 100, and well above the World Health Organisation’s recommended limit of 20.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

What else can you do when your air pollution (PM10) reaches 400 level, when the WHO limit is only 40 (micrograms per cubic meter)? I guess it's indoor hiding time for everyone!


"The index will measure levels of PM10 and the even tinier PM2.5 as well six other indicators, including lead, ammonia, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, and then calculate overall pollution. The warning levels would be colour-coded and come with specific health warnings that could be easily understood by lay people, Javadekar said."

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South Australia Achieves 100% Renewable Energy For A Whole Working Day ("wind & solar combined did it")

South Australia Achieves 100% Renewable Energy For A Whole Working Day ("wind & solar combined did it") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
RenewEconomy.

There have been several instances in recent months when wind energy has accounted for all, or nearly all, electricity demand in South Australia. Last Tuesday, however, set a new benchmark – the combination of wind energy and rooftop solar provided more than 100 per cent of the state’s electricity needs, for a whole working day

Interestingly, the South Australia government has already exceeded its target of generating 33 per cent of the state’s electricity needs from renewables (over a full year), and has now set a 50 per cent target by 2025. In reality, it will likely reach that mark well before that, particularly if the Ceres wind farm and the Hornsdale wind farm are built. It could even be the first mainland state towards 100 per cent renewables over the whole year.

Considerable volumes of electricity were exported to Victoria. “In simple arithmetic terms, though not of course in how the grid actually operated, the state’s electricity supply was 100 per cent renewable while coal and gas-fired electricity was exported,” he says.

Bert Guevara's insight:

One megawatt at a time, this state is moving forward with wind and solar. While they have more than enough for themselves, they export their coal and gas-fired electricity to the national grid.

 

"It occurred briefly on Saturday afternoon, for much of Sunday, and again, most strikingly, between about 9.30am and 6.00pm on Tuesday, September 30, a normal working day.

"In reality, renewables contributed well over 100 per cent because they were generating and consuming their own electricity from rooftop solar – the state has 550MW of rooftop solar, with nearly one in four houses with rooftop modules."

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Plants 'absorb more CO2 than thought' (accounts for missing 17%; small contribution but can help")

Plants 'absorb more CO2 than thought' (accounts for missing 17%; small contribution but can help") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it

Global climate models under play the amount of CO2 being absorbed by plants according to new research.

The researchers believe that Earth systems models have over estimated the amount of carbon in the atmosphere by about 17%, and think their new evaluation of plant absorption explains the gap.

"The atmospheric CO2 concentration only started to accelerate rapidly after 1950," said Dr Gu.

"So the 17% bias was achieved during a period of about 50 years. If we are going to predict future CO2 concentration increases for hundreds of years, how big would that bias be?"

"The paper provides great new insights into how the very intricacies of leaf structure and function can have a planetary scale impact," said Dr Pep Canadell from the Global Carbon Project at CSIRO Australia.

"It provides a potential explanation for why global earth system models cannot fully reproduce the observed atmospheric CO2 growth over the past 100 years and suggests that vegetation might be able to uptake more carbon dioxide in the future than is currently modelled.

"Having more carbon taken up by plants would slow down climate change but there are many other processes which lay in between this work and the ultimate capacity of terrestrial ecosystems to remove carbon dioxide and store it for long enough to make a difference to atmospheric CO2 trends."

Bert Guevara's insight:

We need all the help available - especially from the common plants. Greening of cities using small-scale vegetation also helps absorb some of the carbon that can delay "slightly" our trip to 2 degree global warming.

"This new research implies it will be slightly easier to fulfil the target of keeping global warming below two degrees - but with a big emphasis on 'slightly'," said Dr Chris Huntingford, a climate modeller at the UK's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

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Global biodiversity protection targets still unmet, UN warns ("no significant progress made until now")

Global biodiversity protection targets still unmet, UN warns ("no significant progress made until now") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
A UN conference on preserving the earth's dwindling resources opened Monday with grim warnings that the depletion of natural habitats and species was outpacing efforts to protect them.
The opening of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) conference saw the release of a comprehensive report showing those targets were not being met, with natural habitats still disappearing at an alarming rate, and animals facing increased extinction threats. "It is a document that should make the whole world sit up. It is about all of life on earth," said the executive director of the UN Environment Programme Achim Steiner. "We need to do more — and do it fast — to protect the very fabric of the natural world," Steiner said."Encouraging steps have been taken around the world to tackle biodiversity loss at many levels," the CBD said in its Global Biodiversity Outlook report. "Nevertheless, it is clear from this mid-term review that, on their current trajectory, they will not be sufficient to meet most of the targets by the deadlines committed to.""All indicators suggest the status of biodiversity continues its decline and requires urgent attention," said CBD executive secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias. In a study published last week in the journal Science, an international team of more than 30 scientists also concluded that the Aichi Targets were unlikely to be met.
Bert Guevara's insight:

I feel that the ordinary person doesn't even know what biodiversity is all about, which is why destruction of our biodiversity goes unabated.


"There is a collective failure to address the loss of biodiversity, which is arguably one of the greatest crises facing humanity,"

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Past measurements may have missed massive ocean warming ("momentary respite not good for long term")

Past measurements may have missed massive ocean warming ("momentary respite not good for long term") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
New analysis suggests global heat sink underestimated

Earth’s oceans have absorbed more than 90% of the warming caused by greenhouse gases, researchers estimate, with the stored heat showing up as warmer seawater. But a new analysis suggests scientists may have underestimated the size of the heat sink in the upper ocean—which could have implications for researchers trying to understand the pace and scale of past warming.

Seas pose a formidable challenge to climate scientists. On one hand, they are as big a player in the global climate system as the atmosphere. As a result, “global warming is ocean warming," oceanographer Gregory Johnson writes in a commentary on the new study, appearing today in Nature Climate Change. But vast swaths of the ocean are poorly measured, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere.

That uncertainty illustrates why better measurements of the ocean are required, Johnson says. And help may be coming: This year, researchers began testing new drifting research buoys, dubbed Deep Argo, that are capable of descending to 6000 meters to take temperatures and other measurements.

Bert Guevara's insight:

New warming measurements only delay the inevitable. By the time the oceans have absorbed too much, reality of global warming will again creep in.

"The results suggest that previous estimates of the heat stored in the upper 700 meters of the ocean since 1970 have been too low. In the Southern Ocean in particular, they estimate past heat tallies were 48% to 152% too low. Globally, past estimates could be as much as 25% off."

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Koh Kek Wen's curator insight, October 7, 6:51 PM

Global warming has now become a world wide issue which happens everywhere in the world. For instance, the melting of glacier ice in the north pole has brought a high awareness to all that the global temperature is rising. The mammals living at the north pole are now facing difficulties in living because there may be difficulties of searching of food and they are gradually losing their habitual areas. Another condition that show the global warming is that the country that does not have four seasons before actually snow that happens in South East Asia. This shows that there may be a huge drop or rise in temperature in different countries which is a huge turning point. Global warming which influences the rise of sea level caused by temperature rising of the sea water will result in many natural disasters such as hurricanes. Other than that, production of plant and food may decrease due to the inconsistencies of produces. The way to prevent this situation to continue is preserve and conserve the various supplies on Earth such as recycle and reuse the items to prevent wastage. Global warming is not good for long term as situation will become worse and worse if action is not taken.

 

(202 Words)

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Climate Change: The Cost of Inaction - YouTube (it's the same way all over the planet")

NOTE: If you need captions, please click the CC button on the player to turn them on. The Earth's climate is changing at an unprecedented rate. Climate chang...
Bert Guevara's insight:

Climate Change 101.

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Everything you need to know about climate change - interactive ("climate change 101; push the buttons")

Everything you need to know about climate change - interactive ("climate change 101; push the buttons") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Our one-stop guide to the facts of global warming, from the science and politics to economics and technology

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Click on the small hexagons to see the questions and answers.

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How Cities Can Battle Climate Change with Resiliency Planning ("from vulnerable to resilient")

How Cities Can Battle Climate Change with Resiliency Planning ("from vulnerable to resilient") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Cities must adopt resilient strategies to deal with climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in its findings on the implications of climate change for cities: “Urban centers account for more than half of the world’s population, most of its economic activity and the majority of energy-related emissions. The role of cities in reducing emissions and protecting their inhabitants is therefore central to effective climate policies,” IPCC concluded.

Many emerging climate change risks are concentrated in urban areas, and climate change impacts on cities are increasing, IPCC continued. Key issues include rising temperatures, heat stress, water security and pollution, sea-level rise and storm surges, extreme weather events, heavy rainfall and strong winds, inland flooding, food security, and ocean acidification.

Due to the growth in urban populations, the number of people exposed to climate change risk is increasing: “Rapid urbanization in low- and middle income countries has already increased the number of highly vulnerable urban communities living in informal settlements, many of which are at high risk from extreme weather events.”

On the flip side, rapidly developing cities in industrializing countries may also have the “greatest potential for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.” The problem is that many rapidly developing cities “lack the financial, technological, institutional and governance capacity required for effective mitigation,” IPCC said. That’s where the notion of resilience comes in big time, because “steps that build resilience and enable sustainable development in urban areas can accelerate successful climate change adaptation globally.” Resilient cities may be the solution. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

A new team of city planners, architects, engineers, doctors, agriculturists, etc. needed to retool cities for resiliency.

"It’s no longer a matter of picking and choosing what piece of crumbling infrastructure to repair with scarce funds this year or next — the entire urban organism has to deal with rising waters, super storms, health and food security, air and surface pollution, and increasing numbers of residents.

"The stakes are even higher as populations worldwide increasingly cluster around urban areas. “The world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history,” says the United Nations Population Fund. In 2008, for the first time, more than half of the world’s population lived in towns and cities."

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Tiny Spanish Island Nears Its Goal: 100 Percent Renewable Energy ("wind and water combination = 24/7")

El Hierro, the most remote of Spain's Canary Islands, used to import thousands of tons of diesel each year. Now a new power plant will let the island run entirely on renewable energy.

The plant consists of five big industrial windmills and two lakes. On windy days — and there are plenty — the windmills harness the Canary Islands' Atlantic gusts. When production exceeds demand, such as at night, excess energy is used to pump water from a sea-level lake up into a natural volcanic crater half a mile uphill.

When the wind dies down, the water is released down through a pipe connecting the two lakes. On its way, it passes through turbines, which generate hydro-power.

Everything is connected with sensors so that within five seconds of the wind dying down, the hydro portion of the plant kicks in. For island residents, the lights don't even flicker.

The technology used in both the wind and water portions of the plant is simple, but El Hierro is the first to combine the two components, says Juan Manuel Quintero, an engineer who serves on the board of the Gorona del Viento plant.

Bert Guevara's insight:

A lot of common sense used for this formula, but no rocket science.

"The wind machines, we basically ordered out of catalog; we didn't invent the technology. Same with the water turbines," Quintero says. "The innovation we made is hooking up the two systems together."

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Flooding Risk From Climate Change, Country by Country ("check out the flood scenario in your country")

Flooding Risk From Climate Change, Country by Country ("check out the flood scenario in your country") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
A new analysis of sea levels and flood risk around the world offers more evidence that the brunt of climate change will not be borne equally.

These figures are the result of a new analysis of sea levels and flood risk around the world, conducted by Climate Central and based on more detailed sea-level data than has previously been available. The analysis offers country-by-country estimates for populations at risk of regular flooding, accounting for a range of potential emissions reductions and for variations of sea level sensitivity to climate change.

Globally, eight of the 10 large countries most at risk are in Asia. The Netherlands would be the most exposed, with more than 40 percent of its country at risk, but it also has the world’s most advanced levee system, which means in practice its risk is much lower.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Flooding as a worldwide disaster.

"Climate Central, a news organization and research group, has released the new analysis as the United Nations gathers this week for a summit on climate change. Climate scientists expect flooding to increase as global warming melts snow and ice and expands the volume of oceans. The analysis defines regular flooding as a flood at least once every three years."

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Judit Urquijo's curator insight, September 25, 2:04 PM

El pasado 24/09/2014, el diario El País publicaba un artículo sobre esta misma cuestión, centrando su análisis en las consecuencias que el cambio climático tendrá sobre España.


Basándose en un estudio elaborado por el Instituto de Hidráulica Ambiental de Cantabria, en el caso de que no se acometan medidas drásticas tendentes orientadas a frenar o aminorar el cambio climático, el mar crecerá en la Península entre 60 y 72 cm. Aún si se adoptan acciones para paliar los efectos, el aumento va a ser irremediable, solo que el mismo se limitará a unos 40 cm.


Asimismo, se estima que los peores efectos los sufrirán los deltas del Ebro, Guadalquivir y Guadiana.


Enlace para leer la noticias de El País: http://sociedad.elpais.com/sociedad/2014/09/24/actualidad/1411585542_946724.html


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Coal Divestment and Alternate Fuels and Impacts | The Energy Collective ("urgent call to phase out")

Coal Divestment and Alternate Fuels and Impacts | The Energy Collective ("urgent call to phase out") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Recently, the high powered Global Commission on the Climate and Economy released its flagship report on global coal use and the economy: The New Climate Economy. The report pulls no punches when it comes to coal, including a call for a global coal phaseout.

The report pulls no punches when it comes to coal, including a call for a global coal phaseout involving an immediate end to investments in new unabated coal-fired power plants globally and the retirement of existing unabated coal-fired power plants in high income countries. 
Perhaps most importantly, the report calls for governments to shift the "burden of proof" away from assuming that coal is the only solution to the world's growing energy demands and instead takes into consideration the devastating social, environmental and economic costs of coal. 
In short, the Commission is demanding public policymakers move beyond coal. 

In addition to calling on high income countries to stop building new, unabated coal-fired power plants immediately and accelerate the retirement of their existing plants, the report also calls on middle income countries to limit new coal-fired power plants and begin retiring their existing fleet by 2025. Ultimately, the Commission is seeking a global phase-out of unabated fossil fuel power generation by 2050. 
And it's pretty clear why: in addition to driving dangerous climate disruption, these coal plants are having enormous effects on human health. In fact, recent reports estimate up to 100,000 people in India and 250,000 people in China die each year as a result of coal pollution. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

The big guns are speaking against coal! Time to move on.


"With this cost to human life in mind, along with instability in the international coal markets and the looming threat of climate disaster, the Commission has come out with a series of recommendations to move away from coal while simultaneously supporting strong economic growth and promoting energy access for developing countries."

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Climate change is turning my sport upside down ("vanishing ice turning snow skiing an obsolete sport")

Climate change is turning my sport upside down ("vanishing ice turning snow skiing an obsolete sport") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it

Freestyle skier and devoted WWF supporter, Luke McCarthy got in touch with me back in 2013 with a simple but urgent question: “I’m worried about the future of my sport. How can I help you to spread the word about climate change?”

Today, he’s channeling his energy, enthusiasm and talent into creating a film about the impacts of global warming on snow sport. This is his story…

The mountains have been a huge part of my life since learning to ski at the age of five. My love for the sport has taken me down many different routes, firstly as an international ski racer and more recently as a sponsored freestyle skier. One thing that has never changed over my many years as a skier is my love for the mountains and a passion for everyone to be able to enjoy them in all their glory. This is a passion that is under threat by ever rising global temperatures.

Skiing to me is not just a sport. It is a lifestyle – and one worth fighting to protect. Having spent much time emphasising the importance of global warming to my peers and the effects it is having on the mountains, I feel I must act. So I’m going to be using what I do best – freestyle skiing tricks – to create a film that can help reach out to the UK’s 1 million skiers about the threat of climate change.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Even skiing in the snow can become an obsolete sport because of global warming. This freestyle skier has seen the transformation of the climate and is now an advocate for climate action.

"Luke is currently editing his film for release in the autumn. Luke is a keen supporter of our ‘For the love of’ campaign which is urging politicians to take immediate action on climate change in the name of all the things we hold dear."

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Stronger Local and Trans-border Policies Needed to Tackle Air Pollution

Stronger Local and Trans-border Policies Needed to Tackle Air Pollution | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Tougher treaties that penalize polluters while also providing incentives to stop, as well as new tech solutions, are vital for improving global air quality.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently sounded the alarm about global air quality. In the 1,600 cities it monitors, only 12 percent of people breathe air that falls within its quality guidelines. In February of this year, the concentration of pollutants in the air in Beijing and Shanghai was more than 20 times WHO limits. But Delhi was the city found to have the world’s highest annual average concentration of PM2.5 – fine particulate matter measuring less than 2.5 microns, and considered the most harmful form of air pollution to human health, the WHO reported in May.

These are just the statistics we know about: The WHO recently told the Guardian some of the worst cities for air pollution “are not collecting data regularly.”

The good news is that the policies and technologies that are needed to address the two main causes of all this air pollution – heavy industry and vehicles – have been tried and tested for decades now. “Effective policies restrict the amount [of pollutants] that various polluters can emit, and then companies have options about how they choose to do it,” says Deborah Seligsohn, an environmental policy analyst specializing in China and India, based at the University of California, San Diego.

Tom Morton, director of ClimateCare, makes the point that “companies that wish to take action to improve air quality should seriously consider offsetting their carbon emissions through innovative climate and development projects, which make a measurable and immediate difference on the ground, improving air quality and saving lives.” Such projects, he says, can help to dramatically reduce air pollution at a local, household level – as in the case of ClimateCare’s Clean Cookstoves initiative, which aims to reduce the 2 million deaths caused each year by household air pollution from inefficient coal and biomass stoves.

Bert Guevara's insight:

In the 1,600 cities it monitors, only 12 percent of people breathe air that falls within its quality guidelines.

"Part of the problem with air is that we don’t see it. We breathe over 20,000 times a day, on average, but pay little attention to the steady rise and fall of our lungs – unless we are struggling to inhale, of course.

"More research is needed into the economic impacts of poor air quality on health and productivity. Meanwhile, policy-makers need to pre-empt incidents of smog, not just react to them."

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Pentagon: global warming will change how US military trains and goes to war ("rewrite the battle plan")

Pentagon: global warming will change how US military trains and goes to war ("rewrite the battle plan") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
 Climate change to become immediate factor for all strategic, operational and planning decisions

“A changing climate will have real impacts on our military and the way it executes its missions,” Hagel wrote in his introduction to a Pentagon report out today. “We are considering the impacts of climate change in our war games and defence planning scenarios.”

The Pentagon’s strategic planners have for years viewed climate change as a “threat multiplier”– worsening old conflicts and potentially provoking new clashes over migration and shortages of food and water in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and opening up new military challenges in a melting Arctic.

But with Monday’s report, climate change moved from potential threat to an immediate factor in a wide range of operational and budgeting decisions.

Those decisions could include war games, training exercises, and purchasing decisions – which could all be affected by conditions such as sea-level rise, heat waves, and drought.

War games scenarios would now factor in floods or storms instead of assuming optimal conditions, said Goodman. “You could make the game more complex with sea-level rise, and extreme weather events.”

She said the navy would have to test sonar and other systems under the changing ocean chemistry. The military will have to adapt to hotter temperatures.

Bert Guevara's insight:

There is no denying that climate impacts are part of the "new givens" in all battle plans of the Pentagon. This attitude should be reflected in the rest of society. Hazard maps should govern the zoning regulations to make development disaster-resilient and climate-adapted.

"Meanwhile, military bases in the south-west are coping with water and electricity shortages, under recurring droughts. Arctic land-based installations are shifting because of melting permafrost, while retreating sea ice is changing naval requirements.

"The Pentagon is not planning a wholesale relocation of bases, the officials told the call. But they said the military was already bringing in sandbags and moving generators out of basements in low-lying areas. It was also shelving ideas for new construction on flood plains."

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"CHASING ICE" captures largest glacier calving ever filmed - OFFICIAL VIDEO - YouTube ("amazing!!!")

On May 28, 2008, Adam LeWinter and Director Jeff Orlowski filmed a historic breakup at the Ilulissat Glacier in Western Greenland. The calving event lasted f...

The calving event lasted for 75 minutes and the glacier retreated a full mile across a calving face three miles wide. The height of the ice is about 3,000 feet, 300-400 feet above water and the rest below water.

Bert Guevara's insight:

In over an hour, a glacier movement the size of Manhattan Island, happens on real video. Watch how nature is moving in big leaps in response to a changing climate.

Yes, this is part of a natural glacial event, but in the last part of the video, it shows the unnatural speed by which glaciers are receding.

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NASA: Missing climate heat not in deep ocean - 89.3 KPCC ("can El Nino & La Nina cycles blunt warming?)

NASA: Missing climate heat not in deep ocean - 89.3 KPCC ("can El Nino & La Nina cycles blunt warming?) | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Member-supported public radio for Southern California. Award-winning local news and cultural programming alongside the best of NPR.

Human-caused greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere, but in the last decade, scientists say average surface temperatures have not risen as much as that accumulation was expected to generate.

A new study from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena discovered that this so-called "missing heat" is not hiding in the deep ocean.

JPL climate scientist Josh Willis co-authored the study and said if the deep-sea were the repository of the missing heat, the water would be expanding as it warmed. That in turn would lead to an increase in global sea levels.

Willis said there are other theories about why average surface temperatures over the past ten years haven't risen as much as scientists thought they would.

He said it could be due to natural El Niño and La Niña cycles temporarily blunting the increases.

Or it could be related to the dimmer solar cycle the sun is currently experiencing, something it does every decade or so.

But Willlis is quick to point out, just because researcher can’t account for all the heat doesn’t mean global warming isn’t a very real threat to the planet.

Bert Guevara's insight:

While scientists are debating where all the heat went, global warming and sea level rise continues.

"But Willlis is quick to point out, just because researcher can’t account for all the heat doesn’t mean global warming isn’t a very real threat to the planet.

"We're talking about the nitty gritty details of what's going on with global warming," he said. "But global warming is still happening. The earth is still heating up, people are still causing it, and sea levels are still rising."

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Air pollution: There is no 'safe' level - Summit County Citizens Voice ("all levels are bad to health")

Air pollution: There is no 'safe' level - Summit County Citizens Voice ("all levels are bad to health") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Outdoor air pollution causes 3.7 million deaths each year Staff Report FRISCO — A new study by an Australian researcher underscores the fact that, when it comes to air pollution, there are no safe ...

“It’s understandable that the public could misinterpret the NEPM standards to mean anything below those levels is safe – but it’s inexcusable for authorities to use this safe-or-dangerous interpretation,” he added. “I have lost count of the number of government-commissioned environmental reports that have used this fallacy. This practice should have ended years ago.”

“Locals concerned about the potential health effects have found it difficult to get past the argument that the increases are below the standards and therefore everything is fine,” he said. “But any new project that increases air pollution will always mean an increase in illness.”

“Such cost-benefit analyses are not difficult to do and they will allow policy makers to make better-informed decisions based on the merits and costs of the project,” Professor Barnett said.

“Changes also need to be made to the National Environment Protection Measures (NEPM) documentation and web site to prominently state that the standards should not be used to judge whether individual projects are safe or dangerous.”


Bert Guevara's insight:

No air pollution level is tolerable.

“Locals concerned about the potential health effects have found it difficult to get past the argument that the increases are below the standards and therefore everything is fine,” he said. “But any new project that increases air pollution will always mean an increase in illness.”

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Israeli air pollution drops 70-99% on car-free Yom Kippur - National ("unmasking the obvious culprit")

Israeli air pollution drops 70-99% on car-free Yom Kippur - National ("unmasking the obvious culprit") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Pollutant levels in major cities gradually decreasing as more stringent bylaws are enacted.

Air pollution levels this past Yom Kippur, when Israelis customarily stay off the roads, proved once again the decisive role that motor vehicles play in the air pollution problem in Israel’s urban areas. According to data from the Environmental Protection Ministry’s air monitoring stations published Sunday, air pollution in large cities decreased over the holiday by between 70 percent and 99 percent.

Concentrations of nitrogen oxide, the pollutant that was measured, decreased in Greater Tel Aviv over the holiday by 99 percent and by a similar amount in Jerusalem. It was reduced by 77 percent in Haifa.

Air quality in several cities has improved in recent years, and this time the decrease over Yom Kippur came from a lower pollution level to begin with. According to statistics released by the Tel Aviv municipality’s Environmental Protection Authority, the concentration of nitrogen oxides in the city’s air does not exceed half the level permitted by environmental-protection bylaws. The reasons for this improvement include the transition to less polluting vehicles and removal of the wholesale market from the city, along with the many exhaust-spewing trucks that used to go there.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Like the lessons learned from France's car ban every other day to reduce urban smog, this Israeli experience shows how much improvement can be achieved by a single car-less day.

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Walrus mass in vast numbers on Alaska beach as sea ice retreats ("it's OCCUPY ALASKA walrus protest")

Walrus mass in vast numbers on Alaska beach as sea ice retreats ("it's OCCUPY ALASKA walrus protest") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Concern that warming climate is responsible for gathering of about 35,000 walrus in north-west Alaska

The gathering of walrus on shore is a phenomenon that has accompanied the loss of summer sea ice as the climate has warmed.

Pacific walrus spend winters in the Bering Sea. Females give birth on sea ice and use ice as a diving platform to reach snails, clams and worms on the shallow continental shelf.

Unlike seals, walrus cannot swim indefinitely and must rest. They use their tusks to “haul out”, or pull themselves onto ice or rocks.

As temperatures warm in summer, the edge of the sea ice recedes north. Females and their young ride the edge of the sea ice into the Chukchi Sea, the body of water north of the Bering Strait.

In recent years, sea ice has receded north beyond shallow continental shelf waters and into Arctic Ocean water, where depths exceed two miles and walrus cannot dive to the bottom.

“The walruses are telling us what the polar bears have told us and what many indigenous people have told us in the high Arctic, and that is that the Arctic environment is changing extremely rapidly and it is time for the rest of the world to take notice and also to take action to address the root causes of climate change.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

It's not only in Wall Street and HongKong, the protest is now in Alaska, but by walruses!

“The walruses are telling us what the polar bears have told us and what many indigenous people have told us in the high Arctic, and that is that the Arctic environment is changing extremely rapidly and it is time for the rest of the world to take notice and also to take action to address the root causes of climate change.”

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Ice sheets will be melting, and raising seas, for centuries to come ("1 mt sea level rise by 2100?")

Ice sheets will be melting, and raising seas, for centuries to come ("1 mt sea level rise by 2100?") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
A study of 120 ice sheet collapses shows that 68% went from initial change to maximum retreat within 400 years - and that once triggered, the process and the associated sea level rise kept accelerating for hundreds of years. We may face a 1m sea level rise by 2100, writes Eelco Rohling - and much more in centuries to come.

Ice sheets respond slowly to changes in climate, because they are so massive that they themselves dominate the climate conditions over and around them.

But once they start flowing faster towards the shore and melting into the ocean the process takes centuries to reverse. Ice sheets are nature's freight trains: tough to start moving, even harder to stop.

The drivers of longer-term sea level rise, over decades or centuries, are the continental ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.

On the fringes of these ice sheets are 'ice shelves' stretching far out into the ocean. Ice shelves can be hundreds of meters thick and, because 90% of ice in water floats below the surface, they remain 'grounded' on the sea floor as long as the sea is less deep than 90% of the ice shelf thickness.

Where the sea floor is deeper or the ice shelf gets thinner, there will be an area of floating land ice; here, warming ocean water can get underneath and melt the ice. Once sufficiently destabilised, an ice shelf can break up catastrophically.

Bert Guevara's insight:

A minimum 1 mt. sea level rise by 2100 is a realistic prediction and the Philippines will be in the middle of it all.

"... after 150 years of increasing (man made) warming, the ice sheets would only recently be reaching the point where they start making a noticeable contribution to sea level rise.

"But that time has come and, once ice sheets start to melt, the freight train is in motion. It will then keep moving for many centuries to come, no matter how hard we stamp on the brakes."

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DENR answer to pollution: Advance clean fuel schedule, junk old cars ("switching to fast forward mode")

DENR answer to pollution: Advance clean fuel schedule, junk old cars ("switching to fast forward mode") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Criticized for lagging behind in adopting cleaner fuel standards, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has proposed advancing the implementation of the Euro 4 fuel standards for new passenger and light duty vehicles.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje Jr. proposed to the Department of Energy the earlier implementation of the new emission limits, from the original January 2016 to June 2015, or six months ahead of schedule.

Paje stressed that there was an “urgent need to improve Metro Manila’s air quality.”

He noted that vehicle emissions were the main source of air pollution in the metropolis.

Clean-fuel advocates wanted the new vehicle emission standards implemented earlier than 2016, saying that it would take about 15 years to completely replace all the vehicles currently in use with cleaner ones.

Around 70 to 80 percent of the air pollution in Metro Manila comes from vehicle emissions, while the rest come from stationary sources such as industrial emissions and area sources like open burning, the DENR said.

As a measure of air pollution, the average recorded level of total suspended particulates (TSP) in Metro Manila last year was at 118 micrograms per cubic meter, which was higher than the acceptable or national annual guideline value of 90 micrograms per cubic meter.

Bert Guevara's insight:

“Clearly, the key to improving Metro Manila’s air quality is by addressing the biggest source of pollution, which is motor vehicles,” Paje said.

“We are therefore proposing an early implementation of the Euro 4 standards for automobile fuels and the scrapping of older high polluting vehicles,”

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To watch Jon Stewart burn House climate deniers is to fall in love all over again ("funny but serious")

To watch Jon Stewart burn House climate deniers is to fall in love all over again ("funny but serious") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Truth: Getting the GOP to act on climate as like "pushing a million pounds of idiot up a mountain."

Oh, Jon Stewart: Will you marry us? Even in the Age of Oliver and Colbert, Stewart reminded us on Monday that The Daily Show pioneered the televised art of calling out climate obstructionists and tearing them a new one with the power of ha. In this clip, he artfully bounces from shredding the mass media’s bungling coverage of the People’s Climate March to giving the climate-denying House GOP the high-school science lessons they never got. In the process, he shows us all why we need a climate march (or 12) in the first place.

Really, we could waste pixels talking all day about how Jon Stewart remains a national treasure. But just watch, seriously, and try not to fall in love all over again.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Watch the video to hear the punch lines on climate change issues.

 

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Obama makes impassioned climate plea ("the biggest climate gathering of leaders sets the tone")

Obama makes impassioned climate plea ("the biggest climate gathering of leaders sets the tone") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
US President Barack Obama tells a UN climate change meeting in New York that the problem is growing faster than the world's efforts to address it.

The world's children in the world should not be subjected to a future beyond their capacity to fix, he said.

It is the biggest high-level gathering to discuss climate change since 2009.

The aim of the meeting is to galvanise 120 member states to sign up to a comprehensive new global climate agreement at talks in Paris next year.

"There should be no question that the United States of America is stepping up to the plate," Mr Obama said.

"We recognise our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to combat it.

"We will do our part and we will help developing nations do theirs; but we can only succeed in combating climate change if we are joined in this effort by every nation - developed and developing alike."

His goal was to underline that carbon dioxide is damaging to humans in the same way as air pollution, and in the US it should be regulated by executive power rather than by through legislation in a very divided Congress.

The president also acknowledged the scale of opposition to his attempts to cut carbon, but said he was determined to push through. The most substantial pledge he made was an announcement that early next year he would publish a post-2020 plan to cut emissions.

Bert Guevara's insight:

US President Barack Obama has told a UN meeting in New York that the problem of climate change is growing faster than the world's efforts to address it.

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With Summer's Unequalled Warmth, 2014 is Likely to Finish as the Warmest Year on Record for the Home Planet - ImaGeo | DiscoverMagazine.com

With Summer's Unequalled Warmth, 2014 is Likely to Finish as the Warmest Year on Record for the Home Planet - ImaGeo | DiscoverMagazine.com | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
This past summer was warmer than any other since 1880. If the heat keeps up, as seems likely, then 2014 will finish as the warmest year on record.
And with a warmth-bringing El Niño probably emerging, the odds are very good that the rest of the year will be warmer than the long-term average — which means we’re likely on track for 2014 being declared the warmest year on record. This map from NOAA shows how temperatures over land and sea varied from the long-term average during the June through August period. Among other things, it suggests why Midwesterners might be scratching their heads over the news that the summer was the warmest on record — and it serves as a useful reminder that just because it may have been cool where you live doesn’t mean that people elsewhere in the world were donning sweaters in mid-July. To make this more concrete, consider that on July 10, Tromsø, Norway experienced a high temperature of 84.5° F (29.7° C) — a record breaker for this lovely city, which markets itself as the capital the Arctic. To put that temperature in perspective, also consider that during the hottest day of the year, which typically occurs in late July, the average high has been no more than 60°F. But again, YMV depending on where you live. Overall, the average surface temperature of the land and sea for the June–August period was 0.71°C (1.28°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F). This beat the previous record high for the period set in 1998 — a year that went down in the books as the warmest up until that point, thanks in part to a super duper El Niño.
Bert Guevara's insight:
If 2014 maintains this temperature departure from average for the remainder of the year, it will be the warmest year on record. Anything can happen, so we’ll have to wait and see. But even a weak El Niño, which is forecast to emerge starting this month, would make this a likely outcome. That’s because El Niño conditions tend to boost global average temperature.
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Climate Summit: What to Expect on Pollution Control ("besides carbon, attention needed on other GHG")

Climate Summit: What to Expect on Pollution Control ("besides carbon, attention needed on other GHG") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
At the UN Climate Summit in New York, the issue of short-lived climate pollutants will be high on the agenda.
New partnerships announced at the Summit are expected to provide valuable impetus to international climate action.
The short lived climate pollutants methane, hydrofluorocarbons and black carbon (or soot) are greenhouse gases with relatively short lifetimes in the atmosphere of a few days to a few decades and highly damaging to human health, agriculture and ecosystems.
Initiatives expect…
Bert Guevara's insight:

Why action on short-termed climate pollutants is important

Methane, for example from coal mines, natural gas and oil systems and landfills, has 86 times stronger global warming potential than heat-trapping carbon dioxide.

Hydrofluorocarbons – man-made greenhouse gases used in air conditioning, refrigeration, solvents, foam blowing agents, and aerosols – are also highly dangerous. If left unchecked, they could account for nearly 20 percent of climate pollution by 2050.

And black carbon or soot, produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass impacts, not only impact the climate but human health. Black soot is estimated to have caused almost 7 million premature deaths in 2010 alone.

Fast action to reduce short lived climate pollutants can immediately improve health, and slow down the average global temperature rise expected by 2050 by as much as 0.5 Celsius degrees.

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