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Zero Home Is The Most Energy Efficient House In America | EarthTechling ("who says it can't be done?")

Zero Home Is The Most Energy Efficient House In America | EarthTechling ("who says it can't be done?") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
For those who long for a carbon-neutral life, the Zero Home is a dream come true.

Efficient is better than not efficient. More efficiency is better than less. In case you’re wondering, there is a light at the end of this tunnel, and I’m pretty sure it looks like theZero Home. This single-family smart home is the very first to be certified as net-zeroenergy-efficient in Climate Zone 5, which means every single drop of energy consumed by the home is generated onsite via renewable source, despite the fact that it’s located in one of the coldest parts of the U.S.

... Designed through a collaboration of two Utah companies, the 4,300 sq. foot home proves that you can indeed have a modern, spacious home without any net consumption of fossil fuel-based energy.

Unsurprisingly, solar was a big part of the reason the Zero Home was able to achieve a net-zero rating AND a zero on the Home Efficiency Rating System (HERS).

“Vivint Solar provides a 10.29 kilowatt solar photovoltaic energy system, which decreases the Zero Home’s HERS rating from approximately a 28 to a 5,” explain the designers on the Zero Home website. “It also uses the newest microinverter technology to provide maximum production for the home—even in less than optimal weather conditions.”


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East Antarctica is Melting From Above and Below ("why should we worry with ice caps so far away?")

East Antarctica is Melting From Above and Below ("why should we worry with ice caps so far away?") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Warm water and air are both cutting into ice in a previously stable part of Antarctica.

East Antarctica is remote even by Antarctic standards. Harsh winds and ocean currents have largely cut off the region from the rest of the world. 

That’s left its massive stores of ice largely intact, especially compared to West Antarctica where a massive meltdown is underway that could raise seas by 10 or more feet in the coming centuries. But as carbon pollution warms the air and the ocean, there are signs that the region’s stability is under threat. Two new studies of different ice shelves — tongues of ice that essentially act as bathtub plugs — have seen major melting that could portend a less stable future for the region.

So first, about those ice shelves. They are indeed like bathtub plugs. Except instead of keeping water in a tub, they keep ice on the continent of Antarctica. That’s good because when it ends up melting into the ocean, it causes seas to rise. East Antarctica contains about two-thirds of all the ice in Antarctica so its stability is crucial for the world’s coastal areas. 

But strange things have been happening recently. During a 2014 flyover of the Roi Baudouin ice shelf, scientists noticed a curious depression more than a mile wide in the undulating ice. When they finally investigated it in January this year, they found walls that were about 10 feet high and meltwater pouring into moulins — features that funnel surface meltwater into the heart of the ice.

The moulins were just one sign of melt happening on the surface. When scientists drilled a hole in the ice and lowered a camera, they found an otherworldly blue lake stretching more than half a mile across.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Why should we in the Philippines be worried about the remote Antarctic ice situation?
Because we have one of the highest rates of sea level rise in the planet because of our location. Those living along the coasts should worry.

"East Antarctica contains about two-thirds of all the ice in Antarctica so its stability is crucial for the world’s coastal areas.
“Given the strong response of surface meltwater production and extent of meltwater processes on the shelf to summer temperature, we can expect that in a warmer climate, these ice shelves might be vulnerable to instability that is driven by meltwater hydrofracturing.”
This on its own would be distressing news for the planet’s coastal communities.
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China’s schools beat the smog with live-streaming ("actually, they still breathe dirty air at home")

China’s schools beat the smog with live-streaming ("actually, they still breathe dirty air at home") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

A total of 12 schools equipped with broadcasting facilities were giving lessons online on Tuesday, the first school day of 2017 and the third day of the city’s top level smog alert, said an official with the city’s educational bureau.

A total of 12 schools equipped with broadcasting facilities were giving lessons online on Tuesday, the first school day of 2017 and the third day of the city’s top level smog alert, said an official with the city’s educational bureau. 

At 18 minutes per session, classes include major teaching content of the current curriculum at various grades, said the official. 

All primary and high school students were encouraged to access the city teaching resource-sharing website. A local educational cable television has also been arranged for elite courses during the smoggy weather, he said. 

Xi’an City initiated the first level response for heavy air pollution at 6 p.m. on Sunday, requiring all schools and kindergartens to suspend classes.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Beijing is on its second day of red alert against air pollution. Schools send their students home and introduce learning online. 

But are the students getting cleaner air at home? Actually, there is no escaping dirty air; only minimizing the effects. 
This scenario may happen some day in the Philippines if we don't manage the problem seriously.
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How Climate Change Is Leading to an 'Ecological Recession' ("animals running out of habitats")

How Climate Change Is Leading to an 'Ecological Recession' ("animals running out of habitats") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Scientists have published a number of studies observing how plants and animals shift their range slightly toward cooler temperatures in response to global warming. The hope is that even as the global warms, wildlife may be able to adapt simply by moving. But new research published in the journal PLOS Biology suggests that nearly half of the species that attempt such a move wind up extinct in that area, unable to adapt fully to a new habitat. The results suggest that moving habitats may not be an effective adaptation method in the coming decades as the Earth continues to warm by several multiples of what has already occurred, researchers behind the study say.

The scientists found a pattern of extinction across a wide variety of climate and habitats, though the phenomenon harms some areas more than others. Tropical species are among the hardest hit with 55% facing local extinction following a move compared to just 39% of their counterparts in temperate environments, according the study.

Humans may be harming the ability of species to adjust beyond causing the planet to warm, the study says. Agriculture, man-made structures and other urban developments remove potential habitats and block potential paths to disperse. 

The study joins a growing list of research across the globe showing a decline in biodiversity, a measure of the different plant and animal species in a given area. A study published in the journal Science earlier this year found that biodiversity has fallen to unsustainable levels across more than half of the world’s surface.

Bert Guevara's insight:
There is a slow quiet disaster happening worldwide that is resulting in a massive extinction, especially in the tropics. Climate change is more than just typhoons, rains and drought.

“Decision-makers worry a lot about economic recessions,” said author Andy Purvis, a professor at the Natural History Museum in London, earlier this year. “But an ecological recession could have even worse consequences—and the biodiversity damage we’ve had means we’re at risk of that happening.”
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Arctic, Antarctic sea ice at record lows ("what happens in the Arctic DOES NOT stay in the Arctic.")

Arctic, Antarctic sea ice at record lows ("what happens in the Arctic DOES NOT stay in the Arctic.") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Temperatures in the Arctic have soared recently, and sea ice in both Antarctica and the Arctic are at record lows for the first time.

For what appears to be the first time since scientists began keeping track, sea ice in the Arctic and the Antarctic are at record lows this time of year. 

"It looks like, since the beginning of October, that for the first time we are seeing both the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice running at record low levels," said Walt Meier, a research scientist with the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, who has tracked sea ice data going back to 1979.

The decline of sea ice has been a key indicator that climate change is happening, but its loss, especially in the Arctic, can mean major changes for your weather, too.

Temperatures in the Arctic have soared recently, and scientists are struggling to explain exactly why, and what the consequences will be. Air temperatures have been running more than 35 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) above average.

At the same time, sea ice in the northern latitudes is at a lower level than ever observed for this time of the year. October and November are typically a time of rapid ice gain for the Arctic region, as daylight hours become shorter and shorter and eventually non-existent during what's referred to as the "polar night." Air temperatures plummet to below zero degrees Fahrenheit and parts of the Arctic Ocean not covered with ice quickly become covered. But this year, those air temperatures are staying much warmer, closer to the freezing mark of 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

To make matters worse, the water temperatures in the Arctic Ocean are several degrees above average, which is an expected result of having less sea ice. With less ice in the summer, more of the sun's rays can heat the darker water, as opposed to being deflected back into space by the white ice cover. The result is a feedback loop, and one that scientists have warned about for some time.

Bert Guevara's insight:
What happens in the Arctic DOES NOT stay in the Arctic. ... But what happens when the Antarctic behaves in the same way. Is the planet screwed?

"It's far too early to tell if what we are seeing in the Arctic, and now the Antarctic, is a sharp shift towards warmer poles with less ice. Scientists are quick to point out that weather in these regions can change quickly, but this is another expected result of climate change. And enough examples can become trends -- and trends can have consequences."
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Carbon Dioxide Emissions Close to Flat for Third Straight Year, Report Says ("mitigation succeeding?")

Carbon Dioxide Emissions Close to Flat for Third Straight Year, Report Says ("mitigation succeeding?") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels around the globe remained steady last year and will only rise slightly in 2016.

Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels around the globe remained steady last year and will only rise slightly in 2016, according to new research. Researchers behind the study, conducted at the Global Carbon Project and published in the journal Earth System Science Data, project that carbon dioxide emissions will rise 0.2% in 2016. That represents a small fraction of the average 2.3% annual growth in the decade prior to 2013. 

Countries around the globe have developed and implemented policies to slow emissions of carbon dioxide, the primary gas behind man-made climate change. The new research credits China’s efforts to decrease coal consumption as the primary cause of the emissions slowdown. The United States also continued to move away from coal power as natural gas and renewable generation comes online. 

Opponents on strong measures to address climate change have long-argued that emissions reductions would hurt the economy, but the slowdown reported in the new study comes despite global GDP growth that exceeds 3%.

“This is a great help for tackling climate change but it is not enough,” says study researcher Corinne Le Quéré of the University of East Anglia’s Global Carbon Project. “If climate negotiators in Marrakesh can build momentum for further cuts in emissions, we could be making a serious start to addressing climate change.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
The good news is that climate change mitigation efforts are gaining, at least for the last 3 years. But this is not enough to restore that which have been lost already. 
The damage to our oceans and polar caps will remain for decades.

"Countries around the globe have developed and implemented policies to slow emissions of carbon dioxide, the primary gas behind man-made climate change. The new research credits China’s efforts to decrease coal consumption as the primary cause of the emissions slowdown. The United States also continued to move away from coal power as natural gas and renewable generation comes online. 
"Opponents on strong measures to address climate change have long-argued that emissions reductions would hurt the economy, but the slowdown reported in the new study comes despite global GDP growth that exceeds 3%."
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World on track for 3C of warming under current global climate pledges, warns UN ("new pact needed?")

World on track for 3C of warming under current global climate pledges, warns UN ("new pact needed?") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Current climate commitments are insufficient to reduce emissions by the amounts needed to avoid dangerous levels of global warming, says Unep report.

The commitments made by governments on climate change will lead to dangerous levels of global warming because they are incommensurate with the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report. 

The United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) said that pledges put forward to cut emissions would see temperatures rise by 3C above pre-industrial levels, far above the the 2C of the Paris climate agreement, which comes into force on Friday. 

At least a quarter must be cut from emissions by the end of the next decade, compared with current trends, the UN said. 

The report found that emissions by 2030 were likely to reach about 54 to 56 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent a year, a long way astray of the 42 gigatonnes a year likely to be the level at which warming exceeds 2C.

Erik Solheim, chief of Unep, said the world was “moving in the right direction” on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and tackling climate change, but that measures should be taken urgently to avoid the need for much more drastic cuts in emissions in future. “If we don’t start taking additional action now, we will grieve over the avoidable human tragedy.” 

He warned in particular that people would start being displaced from their homes by the effects of climate change, suffering from drought, hunger, disease and conflicts arising from these afflictions. Mass migration as a result of climate change is hard to separate from other causes of migration, but is predicted to become a much greater problem.

Bert Guevara's insight:
All the good intentions of the world leaders, contained in the Paris Agreement, are not enough to keep us away from the feared 3C warming that we are all trying to escape from.
Do we need another strategy?

Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit thinktank, said: “Unep’s report confirms that there has been remarkable acceleration towards a global low-carbon economy over the past year, but considerably more action is required if governments are to meet the target they set under the Paris agreement.”
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Before the Flood - Full Movie | National Geographic ("4M views in 3 days, don't be the last to know")

Join Leonardo DiCaprio as he explores the topic of climate change, and discovers what must be done today to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet.


Bert Guevara's insight:
After 3 days of posting, this video-docu received 4M views. Find out what's the big fuzz about its message.

"Join Leonardo DiCaprio as he explores the topic of climate change, and discovers what must be done today to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet."
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Nano-spike catalysts convert carbon dioxide directly into ethanol ("needs development but promising")

In a new twist to waste-to-fuel technology, scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed an electrochemical process that uses tiny spikes of carbon and copper to turn carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into ethanol. Their finding, which involves nanofabrication and catalysis science, was serendipitous.

This process has several advantages when compared to other methods of converting CO2 into fuel. The reaction uses common materials like copper and carbon, and it converts the CO2 into ethanol, which is already widely used as a fuel. 

Perhaps most importantly, it works at room temperature, which means that it can be started and stopped easily and with little energy cost. This means that this conversion process could be used as temporary energy storage during a lull in renewable energy generation, smoothing out fluctuations in a renewable energy grid.

"A process like this would allow you to consume extra electricity when it's available to make and store as ethanol," said Rondinone. "This could help to balance a grid supplied by intermittent renewable sources." 

The researchers plan to further study this process and try and make it more efficient. If they're successful, we just might see large-scale carbon capture using this technique in the near future.

Bert Guevara's insight:
A possible climate mitigation tool ....
Scientists have discovered a chemical reaction to turn CO2 into ethanol, potentially creating a new technology to help avert climate change.

"The researchers were attempting to find a series of chemical reactions that could turn CO2 into a useful fuel, when they realized the first step in their process managed to do it all by itself. The reaction turns CO2 into ethanol, which could in turn be used to power generators and vehicles."
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Past our peak: plants and a burgeoning problem with CO2 ("too much co2? plants get fed up too!")

Past our peak: plants and a burgeoning problem with CO2 ("too much co2? plants get fed up too!") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Weatherwatch The growing season has lengthened across the northern hemisphere, helping keep a lid on global warming - but for how much longer?

In recent decades warmer temperatures have led to shorter winters, and in the UK the plant growing season is now a full month longer than it was in 1990. The same is true across much of the northern hemisphere, and this extra plant growth has helped to mop up atmospheric carbon dioxide and keep a lid on global warming. But no longer.

New measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide reveal that plants have reached saturation point, and that since 2006 the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by plants has been declining. “It’s the first evidence that we are tipping over the edge, potentially towards runaway or irreversible climate change,” says James Curran, former chief executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

Together with his son, Sam, he analysed the ups and downs in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii since 1958. During the northern hemisphere summer, carbon dioxide levels dip as fresh plant growth draws down carbon dioxide. But the Currans’ analysis shows that since 2006 the size of the dip has diminished and vegetation has become poorer at soaking up carbon dioxide, contributing another China’s-worth of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year. Previous estimates had suggested that Earth would not reach “peak-carbon” until at least 2030. “It suggests to me that we urgently need to get to grips with declining biodiversity across the globe, and consider radical new policies such as re-wilding large areas of landscape,” says Curran, whose findings are published in the journal Weather . Quite how our weather will respond to the extra carbon dioxide remains to be seen...

Bert Guevara's insight:
Start worrying!
New measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide reveal that plants have reached saturation point, and that since 2006 the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by plants has been declining. 

“It’s the first evidence that we are tipping over the edge, potentially towards runaway or irreversible climate change,” says James Curran, former chief executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
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Air-33 is a zippy, foldable e-bike that weighs just 33 pounds ("this is the only bike I ever wanted")

Air-33 is a zippy, foldable e-bike that weighs just 33 pounds ("this is the only bike I ever wanted") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

The Air-33 e-bike aims to offer a stylish ride for city trips. At just 33 pounds, it's also remarkably light, and even folds into a compact package for easy transportation.

There’s a lot to like about the Air-33 e-bike. Not only does it look like a stylish ride for city trips, it’s also impressively light and folds into a compact package for easy transportation. 

It’s brimming with features, too, including an LCD computer dashboard offering data on speed, battery level, and distance traveled; a lockable and removable battery that can charge to full power within three hours; and a 350-watt motor offering two riding modes – hybrid pedal assist and completely electric. If you fancy putting in some effort, pure pedal power can be managed using the bike’s seven gears. 

At just 33 pounds, the Air-33 is lighter than most e-bikes on the market, making it less of a challenge to carry. But if you don’t fancy lugging it around, in its folded state you can easily push it along on one wheel, using the seat as a handle. 

The Air-33, designed by San Diego-based ElectroBike, has a range of 25 miles, which increases to 35 miles in hybrid pedal assist mode.

Currently pulling in pledges on Kickstarter, the team is just $5,000 short of its $75,000 funding goal at the time of writing, with 16 days left to hit its target. There are still a few Air-33 e-bikes available for a super early bird pledge of $799, a significant saving on its expected retail price of $2,299. If the super early bird option closes, ElectroBike currently has plenty more available for $899. 

It ships to anywhere in the world, with an estimated delivery date of February, 2017. 

Bert Guevara's insight:
Watch the video and marvel at how e-bikes have changed. I want to have one for Metro Manila traffic. It's good to have it in your trunk and beat the number coding hassle.

"Founded by Eduardo Cymerman in 2012, and with eight other e-bikes already on the market, ElectroBike was created “to solve some of modern urban living’s most pressing problems with commuters, such as time wasted in traffic congestion, exorbitant fees for parking cars in dense metropolitan areas, skyrocketing gas prices, and the damage that fossil fuels cause our planet.”
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Fewer October Nights Below 40°F ("bcoz of CC, it's also getting warmer on this side of the Pacific")

Fewer October Nights Below 40°F ("bcoz of CC, it's also getting warmer on this side of the Pacific") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

The decrease in cool nights is one feature of an overall fall warming trend.

Meteorological fall begins in September, but the season really comes into its own in October. The leaves begin to change, the days get shorter and football season kicks into high gear. And after a long hiatus, sweaters and jackets return to wardrobes as the cooler nights become more common. But as the planet warms from the increase in greenhouse gases, the number of October nights with sweater weather is decreasing in most of the U.S.

In this analysis, we examine the number of cool October nights — defined as a temperature below a characteristic threshold for your city. If you feel like the frequency of those cooler October nights is decreasing, it’s probably not your imagination. 

The decrease in cool nights is one feature of an overall fall warming trend. Nationwide, fall is warming at a rate of 0.43°F per decade since 1970, with the fastest rates of warming in the Northeast and the West. Similarly, the growing season has lengthened the most in the Northeast and the West. Nationally, the growing season is already about 15 days longer than at the beginning of the 20th century. 

The decrease in cool nights can also delay the start of some of the traditional cold season activities, such as snow skiing, in northern states. With the number of nights below freezing decreasing, snow may start showing up later and insects can survive later into the year.

Bert Guevara's insight:
It's not only in the U.S., but also on this side of the Pacific, nights are still warm (even days are hot), even with the frequent typhoons passing through.
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Ilocos Norte, PH’s first coal-free province ("congrats to an LGU that exercises political will")

Ilocos Norte, PH’s first coal-free province ("congrats to an LGU that exercises political will") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Provincial officials approved recently a resolution declaring Ilocos Norte as the first coal-free province in the country. 
This development serves as a testament to the province’s support for the national government’s commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), through the Conference of Parties 21 (COP21), to reduce carbon emissions by 70% from expected levels by 2030. 
In its 7th regular session held last August 15, the Sangguniang Provincial Board unanimously approved Provincial Resolution No. 017-2016, authored by environment committee chairman Mariano Marcos III, declaring Ilocos Norte as a “clean, green and coal-free province.” 
The resolution, approved by Governor Imee Marcos on Aug. 22, 2016, also seeks the elimination of coal from the province’s power supply. 
“No office or instrumentality of the provincial government of Ilocos Norte shall issue any permit, authorization, endorsement or any expression of support to the development of coal projects in the province,” the resolution said. 
The board encouraged all 21 municipalities and the two cities of the province to refrain from issuing coal permits. 
The resolution was backed by environmental advocacy groups, as well as the province’s largest electric companies. It also makes Ilocos Norte the first province to phase out coal use and become a total renewable energy consumer. 
With its solar, wind and hydroelectric energy sources, Ilocos Norte is already generating about 50 percent of its power requirement from clean or renewable energy. 
With a 283-MW installed wind energy capacity as of 2015, Ilocos Norte is already dubbed the undisputed wind energy capital of the Philippines. Since 2010 local government initiatives have paved the way for Ilocos Norte to become home to the 150-megawatt (MW) wind-power project of Energy Development Corporation (EDC), a unit of First Gen Corp., in Burgos; the 81-MW Caparispisan wind station of Northern Luzon UPC Asia Corp.; and the 52-MW Bangui wind project of Northwind Power and Development Corporation. 
Bert Guevara's insight:
Congratulations to Ilocos Norte for showing the way in renewable energy in Southeast Asia.

"The province is also emerging as the country’s – if not Southeast Asia’s – renewable energy capital with the further development of the 5 MW Agua Grande hydroelectric power plant in Pagudpud and solar farms like the 20 MW solar power facility of Soleq Philippines, Inc. in Barangay Paguludan in Currimao, and the 4.1 MW and 2.6 MW solar farms in Burgos of EDC."
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Negros aiming for 100% renewable energy supply ("all it takes is political will and sound science")

Negros aiming for 100% renewable energy supply ("all it takes is political will and sound science") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
The Negros Island Region (NIR) is being pushed by advocates to become an entirely renewable energy region. The idea was discussed during the forum on Negros Clean Energy held at the Sangguniang Panlungsod session hall here Thursday. 
Reuben Muni, climate and energy campaigner of Greenpeace, said the NIR still has more opportunities in continuing the solar revolution by maximizing the use of solar rooftops. 
At present, Negros Occidental has solar generation capacity of 341.5 megawatts (MW) from five companies operating seven plants, the highest in the Philippines. 
San Carlos Sun Power, Inc. has a 59-MW solar facility in San Carlos City; Helios Solar Energy, 132.5-MW farm in Cadiz City, the largest in Southeast Asia; Citicor Power, 25-MW project in Silay City; Negros Island Solar Power, 48-MW and 32-MW farms in Manapla and La Carlota, respectively; and San Carlos Solar Energy, 45-MW facility also in San Carlos City. 
“We believe that Negros can eventually become an entirely renewable energy region. If not totally solar, at least a combination of various green energy sources like wind and hydro,” Muni said. 
Muni also commented on the Department of Energy statement that the influx of solar power farms in Negros has caused line congestion contributory to frequent interruptions. 
He pointed out that the problem in congestion is relative not only to the generation component. 
“We have to understand that the problem with brownouts in the province is not an issue of generation, but rather an issue of transmission because according to solar experts we lag behind in transmission rehabilitation,” he added. 
The Negros Clean Energy forum was attended by various sector-representatives in the province and renewable energy advocate groups in the country. 
It was initiated by Greenpeace along with the Climate Reality Project Philippines and the City of Bacolod in collaboration with various groups. 
Themed “Maximizing Solar Energy Potential of the Island,” the activity was part of promoting the Solar Rooftop Challenge campaign. 
Bert Guevara's insight:
This region is aiming high! If there's a will; there's a way! And soon enough, they may just hit their target!

“We believe that Negros can eventually become an entirely renewable energy region. If not totally solar, at least a combination of various green energy sources like wind and hydro,” Muni said.
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Plants appear to be trying to rescue us from climate change ("nature compensating for man's excess")

Plants appear to be trying to rescue us from climate change ("nature compensating for man's excess") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Carbon-hungry plants are sucking more man-made pollution out of the atmosphere than ever. But why? And will it last?

The experts were puzzled. Human activity was still polluting the air, but the amount of man-made carbon that lingered there appeared to be in decline. “That portion that stays in the atmosphere – that’s called the airborne fraction," said Trevor Keenan, co-author of the report, "and that has reduced by about 20% over the last 15 years.” The reduction is clearly visible in this next chart, where the airborne fraction thins out after 2002, breaking with the historical upward trend.

So what's going on? Humans haven't stopped emitting huge amounts of noxious gases, and carbon dioxide hasn't stopped accumulating in the atmosphere – it's just that lately, strangely, the rate at which it accumulates is slowing down, or at least holding steady. 

The reasons for this aren't yet quantified, say the team at Berkeley Lab. One thing we do know is that as global warming drove up levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past century, plants appear to have responded to the increase by photosynthesizing faster. 

And it's not just that they're working harder: the world's flora is also spreading further afield. Scientists at Boston University have reported a worldwide "fertilization" effect, after satellite surveillance showed that somewhere between a quarter and half of the world's vegetated areas were becoming significantly greener, most worryingly in hitherto ice-encrusted territories such as the Arctic.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Surprise! 
“That portion that stays in the atmosphere – that’s called the airborne fraction ... that has reduced by about 20% over the last 15 years.” ... the airborne fraction thins out after 2002, breaking with the historical upward trend.

"One thing we do know is that as global warming drove up levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past century, plants appear to have responded to the increase by photosynthesizing faster."
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Are You Ready to Drive on Solar Panel Roadways? ("the energy potential is simple awesome!")

Are You Ready to Drive on Solar Panel Roadways? ("the energy potential is simple awesome!") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Scott and Julie Brusaw are the founders of Idaho-based company Solar Roadways. They created a system of solar panels coated with bulletproof glass that can replace pavement. It's not an unprecedented idea: both the Netherlands and France are researching solar roadways. But they have not yet been tried in the U.S.

The Brusaws just installed their first pilot project in Sandpoint, Idaho. And they are working with the Missouri Department of Transportation on a project at a rest stop on Route 66. 

Brusaw: "We're hoping to be mass-manufacturing toward the end of next year and I expect to see them on residential roads probably in two to three years."

Skeptics worry about the durability of the panels and also the expense of producing and maintaining them. 

But the Brusaws said the roads will pay for themselves over time by generating clean energy that can be delivered and sold to consumers. 

Roads hold tremendous potential as sources of clean power. For example, the Brusaws said if every road in the U.S. was made of solar panels, we could produce three times more energy than we use as a country.

Bert Guevara's insight:
We should recognize a brilliant idea when we see one.

"Roads hold tremendous potential as sources of clean power. For example, the Brusaws said if every road in the U.S. was made of solar panels, we could produce three times more energy than we use as a country."
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Can Miami Beach Hold Its Ground vs King Tides? ("there is a limit to adaptation vs sea level rise")

Can Miami Beach Hold Its Ground vs King Tides? ("there is a limit to adaptation vs sea level rise") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

A city must decide whether to retreat or stand and fight when rising seas come crashing in.

Around this time last year, the Atlantic was gushing over Miami Beach’s seawalls and up through storm drains, turning low-lying Indian Creek Drive into a briny river. So-called king tides made headlines, and Al Gore famously said, “I was in Miami last fall during the supermoon, one of the highest high-tide days. And there were fish from the ocean swimming in some of the streets of Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale and Del Rey. And this happens regularly.” 

Located on a barrier island off the southeastern coast of Florida, Miami Beach is ground zero for sea-level rise. This year, though, as seasonal king tides return, the city is hoping to stay dry while it demonstrates climate adaptation is possible with bricks, mortar, and human ingenuity. One can admire that kind of grit, but any long-term solution is still untested, and legitimate questions are surfacing: For how long should we keep fortifying infrastructure, and at what point do we pack up and leave? 

Miami Beach has so far spent about $150 million of the $400 million the city says it needs to save itself from the sea. Stormwater fees have increased twice during the past three years to raise the first $200 million. The funds are being funneled into elevating major roads and constructing seawalls on the island’s vulnerable western coast, in addition to installing water pumps and check valves, which were lacking last year. 

The buildings in neighborhoods that have the improvements will remain dry, says Bruce Mowry, Miami Beach’s city engineer, who came to Florida from California three years ago to tackle the flooding. “As long as we have a good power source and the electric pumps are running, I believe the city is safe for the time being,” he says. “If we get a hurricane, all that drops.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
Nature has a superior way of showing who is boss. The crisis of seal level rise affords inhabitants few hard choices.

"Recent predictions by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact—a collaboration of government officials from Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties—indicate that by the end of the century, the sea could rise as high as six and a half feet above the 1992 mean level. That means up to 12 inches by 2030, and 34 inches by 2060. Even though those predictions fall on the conservative side, such changes would submerge the whole island."
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What’s good for the planet is good for health ("air we breathe is getting worse by 8%; not better")

What’s good for the planet is good for health ("air we breathe is getting worse by 8%; not better") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Stop and take a breath. No matter where you live in the world, the chances are great that the air filling your lungs is polluted. Worldwide, roughly 9 out of 10 people live in places where air quality levels exceed the World Health Organization’s safe limits.

Unfortunately, the air we breathe is getting worse not better. Between 2008 and 2013, air pollution levels increased by 8% among cities that monitored air pollution globally. Every year an estimated 6.5 million people die from lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke and heart disease associated with air pollution.

The devastating consequences of air pollution affect both the climate and health. They are seen everywhere from smog-encircled mega-cities to village dwellings filled with smoke from indoor cooking. Yet virtually all air pollution is man-made - and often excessive.

Climate change compromises the essential prerequisites for good health - safe water, secure shelter and food security. Without them tens of thousands of lives are needlessly lost each year. Between 2030 and 2050, WHO estimates climate change will cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, from undernutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress.

Fortunately, climate change is headed for a course correction. Last year, the Paris Agreement marked a turning point for climate change, when more than 190 countries agreed to keep the global average temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius. 

However, much remains to be done to make this a reality.

As the Paris Agreement enters into force and parties to the Agreement meet in Morocco, “the right to health” must remain central to the climate actions implemented by all countries. If we look at history, the health sector provides the best evidence and arguments to sound the alarm and compel countries to take action.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The global struggle for clean air goes on, but we are not yet winning.

"Worldwide, roughly 9 out of 10 people live in places where air quality levels exceed the World Health Organization’s safe limits.
"Unfortunately, the air we breathe is getting worse not better. Between 2008 and 2013, air pollution levels increased by 8% among cities that monitored air pollution globally. Every year an estimated 6.5 million people die from lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke and heart disease associated with air pollution.
"The devastating consequences of air pollution affect both the climate and health. ..."
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The Methane Riddle: What Is Causing the Rise in Emissions? ("microbes in wetlands, rice paddies")

The Methane Riddle: What Is Causing the Rise in Emissions? ("microbes in wetlands, rice paddies") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

The cause of the rapid increase in methane emissions since 2007 has puzzled scientists. But new research finds some surprising culprits in the methane surge and shows that fossil-fuel sources have played a much larger role over time than previously estimated.

Until now, the world has not had a definitive answer to these questions. But in recent months, researchers believe they have finally begun to crack the problem — and the results are surprising. 

The amount of methane in the atmosphere has more than doubled in the past 250 years. It has been responsible for about a fifth of global warming. But it has a confusing recent history. The steady rise of emissions stopped in the 1990s. Emissions were stable for almost a decade until 2007, but then abruptly resumed their rise. 

What has been going on? Fracking of natural gas in the U.S. and elsewhere has frequently been blamed for the resumed rise in emissions. But new studies are raising serious questions about that. 

Researchers are now saying say that, globally at least, the increase in recent years is due to the activities of microbes in wetlands, rice paddies, and the guts of ruminants. “Despite the large increase in natural gas production, there has not been an upward trend in industrial emissions,” says Stefan Schwietzke, of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Boulder, Colo., who is the lead author of one of the new studies. 

Yet that hardly exonerates gas fracking. It turns out that, all along, natural gas and other fossil fuels have been a bigger source of methane emissions than the industry has declared in submissions to governments and the UN. The companies may not have been deliberately lying; but the new studies prove that they were certainly and comprehensively wrong. 

Bert Guevara's insight:
Where is the spike in methane coming from?
Researchers are now saying say that, globally at least, the increase in recent years is due to the activities of microbes in wetlands, rice paddies, and the guts of ruminants.

"Methane lasts in the atmosphere only for about 12 years, much less than CO2; but while there, it packs a punch. Measured over a century, a molecule of methane warms the planet roughly 30 times more than CO2.
"For more than two centuries, rising methane emissions have resulted in steady increases in the concentration of the gas in the atmosphere. In fact, while CO2 concentrations have so far risen by only about 40 percent since pre-industrial times, methane levels have more than doubled, rising from 700 parts per billion to almost 1,800 ppb."
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UK gov't loses High Court case on air pollution ("another court victory for our lungs & clean air")

UK gov't loses High Court case on air pollution ("another court victory for our lungs & clean air") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

A judge rules in favor of the group's case, declaring that the government's Air Quality Plan was unlawful and 'must be quashed' and rewritten.

The ClientEarth non-governmental organisation (NGO) argued that Britain's environment minister had failed to take action to comply with European Union law on levels of nitrogen dioxide "as soon as possible". 

A judge ruled in favor of the group's case, declaring that the government's Air Quality Plan was unlawful and "must be quashed" and rewritten. 

The defeat is a blow for the government as it seeks to demonstrate its commitment to the global climate change deal struck in Paris last year. 

ClientEarth's case focused on claims that ministers prioritised costs over health implications when drawing up plans to cut emissions. 

The government's own data estimates that air pollution causes more than 40,000 premature deaths a year in Britain. 

In his ruling, judge Neil Garnham said the government's goal of complying with EU targets nationally by 2020 and in London by 2025 were too distant and its model for future emissions "too optimistic". 

Limits for nitrogen dioxide were introduced by EU law in 1999, and were to be achieved by 2010. 

ClientEarth says that 37 out of 43 zones across Britain remain in breach of legal limits.

This case is the second the British government has lost in two years on its failure to clean up air pollution. 

ClientEarth won a Supreme Court case on the same issue in April 2015, when ministers were ordered to draw up a plan to reduce air pollution. That plan has now been found to be legally flawed.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Citizens have new hope that the human right to clean air can be defended in court, based on this latest High Court victory in the U.K.

"Today's High Court ruling brings sharply into focus the scale of the country's air pollution crisis and lays the blame at the door of the government for its complacency in failing to tackle the problem quickly and credibly," he said. ClientEarth chief executive 
"James Thornton welcomed the ruling and urged May to "take immediate action now to deal with illegal levels of pollution and prevent tens of thousands of additional early deaths in the UK."
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Air pollution more deadly in Africa than malnutrition or dirty water ("the quiet unseen eliminator")

Air pollution more deadly in Africa than malnutrition or dirty water ("the quiet unseen eliminator") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Annual human and economic cost of tainted air runs to 712,000 lost lives and £364bn, finds Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Africa’s air pollution is causing more premature deaths than unsafe water or childhood malnutrition, and could develop into a health and climate crisis reminiscent of those seen in China and India, a study by a global policy forum has found. 

The first major attempt to calculate both the human and financial cost of the continent’s pollution suggests dirty air could be killing 712,000 people a year prematurely, compared with approximately 542,000 from unsafe water, 275,000 from malnutrition and 391,000 from unsafe sanitation.

While most major environmental hazards have been improving with development gains and industrialisation, outdoor (or “ambient particulate”) air pollution from traffic, power generation and industries is increasing rapidly, especially in fast-developing countries such as Egypt, South Africa, Ethiopia and Nigeria. 

“Annual deaths from ambient [outdoor] particulate matter pollution across the African continent increased by 36% from 1990 to 2013. Over the same period, deaths from household air pollution also continued to increase, but only by 18%”, said a researcher at the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development development centre. The OECD is funded by the world’s richest 35 countries.

For Africa as a whole, the estimated economic cost of premature air pollution deaths in 2013 was roughly $215bn (£175bn) a year for outdoor air pollution, and $232bn for household, or indoor, air pollution.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Dirty air from both indoors and outdoors poses a problem for Africans. Where can you go to breathe clean air?

“The ‘new’ problem of outdoor air pollution is too large to be ignored or deferred to tomorrow’s agenda. At the same time, Africa cannot afford to ignore the ‘old’ problem of household pollution or to consider it largely solved: it is only a few high-income countries – Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritius, Morocco, Seychelles and Tunisia – that can afford to view the problem of air pollution as being a problem of outdoor particulate pollution alone.”
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Cancer survivors urge LGUs to prepare for nationwide smoking ban ("cause of 10 deaths per hour")

Cancer survivors urge LGUs to prepare for nationwide smoking ban ("cause of 10 deaths per hour") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

An organization of laryngeal cancer survivors is urging local government units to get ready to implement a nationwide public smoking ban President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to declare.

An organization of laryngeal cancer survivors is urging local government units to get ready to implement a nationwide public smoking ban President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to declare. 

New Vois Association of the Philippines president Emer Rojas pointed out that the executive order Duterte will be signing leaves it up to local governments to impose the appropriate penalties for violations. 

€œ"As we anticipate the signing of the EO on nationwide smoking ban, we urge all LGU to prepare ordinances to further strengthen the order,"€ Rojas said. 

The impending smoking ban, an election promise of Duterte, was announced recently by Health Secretary Paulyn Ubal, whose department submitted the draft EO to the president. It generally follows the smoking ban in Davao City, where Duterte served as mayor, prohibiting smoking in public places including parks, bus stations and inside vehicles and does away with designated indoor smoking lounges. 

Rojas said the national policy comes at a time when it is important to safeguard the public health against the harmful effects of exposure to tobacco smoke. There are more than 80 million Filipinos who are not smokers but are exposed to tobacco smoke either in homes or in public places. "€œWe seek to mobilize the people to be our watchdog for the people'€™s health to support the government. The smoking ban intends to protect the non-smokers who may be exposed to secondhand smoke,"€ Rojas said. 

A youth group also threw its support for the ban, saying it would not only protect the health of young Filipinos but will also prevent them from engaging in other vices like drugs. 

"Cigarette smoking is a gateway to substance abuse and thus should be stopped as a preventive measure to wage an effective war on drugs,” said Sigaw ng Kabataan Coalition president Ellirie Aviles. 

There are an estimated 17.3 million adult Filipinos who consume tobacco at an average of 11 sticks per day. The vice is blamed for diseases such as stroke, heart disease and respiratory ailments.

It is also estimated that 10 Filipinos die from a smoking-related disease every hour.

Bert Guevara's insight:
I am a non-smoker. It's time for my right to clean air to be respected.

"Rojas said the national policy comes at a time when it is important to safeguard the public health against the harmful effects of exposure to tobacco smoke. There are more than 80 million Filipinos who are not smokers but are exposed to tobacco smoke either in homes or in public places."
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Nations agree to ban refrigerants that worsen climate change ("will reduce global temp by 0.5 deg C")

Nations agree to ban refrigerants that worsen climate change ("will reduce global temp by 0.5 deg C") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Use of heat-trapping hydrofluorocarbons to be cut sharply under ozone treaty.

Negotiators from 197 countries have reached an historic agreement to reduce emissions of chemical refrigerants that contribute to global warming. The deal, finalized on 15 October at a United Nations meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, could reduce projected emissions by as much as 88% over the course of the 21st century.

“It's a great deal for the climate,” says Guus Velders, an atmospheric scientist at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, Netherlands.

The pact represents a major expansion of the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which was intended to halt the destruction of the Earth’s protective ozone layer. That treaty successfully curbed use of ozone-depleting chemicals used as refrigerants and in other industrial processes, but many of their replacements — known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) — are potent greenhouse gases. Governments will now use the Montreal agreement to promote a new generation of chemicals that are safe for the climate as well as the ozone layer.

HFCs are a small but growing slice of world’s greenhouse-gas emissions. Scientists project that HFCs could contribute up to 0.5 °C of warming by the end of the century if left unchecked1, 2. Velders' calculations suggest that contribution could be slashed to just 0.06 °C, assuming that countries stick to the schedules laid out in the Kigali agreement.

The pact comes amid a flurry of international activity to address climate change. On October 6, the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization struck a deal intended to slow the growth in emissions from international aviation. A day earlier the European Union pushed the world across a critical threshold by joining the 2015 Paris climate agreement, ensuring that the pact would enter into force this year.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The pact comes amid a flurry of international activity to address climate change. ("Climate revolution is picking up!")
On October 6, the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization struck a deal intended to slow the growth in emissions from international aviation. 
A day earlier the European Union pushed the world across a critical threshold by joining the 2015 Paris climate agreement, ensuring that the pact would enter into force this year.

"HFCs are a small but growing slice of world’s greenhouse-gas emissions. Scientists project that HFCs could contribute up to 0.5 °C of warming by the end of the century if left unchecked1, 2. Velders' calculations suggest that contribution could be slashed to just 0.06 °C, assuming that countries stick to the schedules laid out in the Kigali agreement."
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US Pumps $30 Million More Into Hydrogen Economy ("there's a clean air future in hydrogen economy")

US Pumps $30 Million More Into Hydrogen Economy ("there's a clean air future in hydrogen economy") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

The US Energy Department is betting big on the sustainable hydrogen economy of the future, with a new round of $30 million in funding.

The U.S. has its sights set on a “deep decarbonization” goal for the national economy, and it looks like hydrogen will play a key role in getting there. That may seem like a bit of an oxymoron if the hydrogen comes from conventional fossil sources. 

However, wind and solar power are coming into play. A new round of $30 million in Energy Department funding indicates the U.S. is serious about getting on track for a sustainable hydrogen economy based on renewable energy.

For those of you new to the topic, fuel cells produce electricity by combining hydrogen with oxygen. Fuel cells could replace batteries as the go-to mode of power for the emerging zero-emissions electric vehicle market. They potentially offer longer range at a lower cost, but there are a number of major obstacles to hurdle before fuel cell technology catches up to the current crop of battery EVs. 

The $30 million in new funding will go to ramp up the Energy Department’s existing Energy Materials Network. 

The network was launched to support the domestic hydrogen and fuel cell industries with foundational research resources at the agency’s national laboratories. The areas of research include renewable hydrogen and advanced materials for less expensive, more efficienct fuel cells.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Hydrogen is an abundant fuel, but its relatively low energy density kept it in the shadows. That is beginning to change now that the technology is catching up. 

According to the Energy Department, the global market is booming: 
“… Hydrogen and fuel cells continue to grow at an unprecedented rate, with more than 60,000 fuel cells, totaling roughly 300 megawatts (MW), shipped worldwide in 2015. The number of MW shipped grew by more than 65 percent compared to 2014. 2015 also saw the world’s first fuel cell vehicles for sale.”
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As cities get warmer, their trees lose some of their ability to take carbon out of the atmosphere

As cities get warmer, their trees lose some of their ability to take carbon out of the atmosphere | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Urban warming reduces growth and photosynthesis in city trees by 12% per year. That’s independent of the fact that the extra heat in cities boosts the population of pest insects.

A recent study found that the total amount of carbon stored in urban trees in the U.S. is 643 million tons, and that city trees suck up an additional 25.6 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere each year. 

But their ability to perform this critical work may soon be hampered. New research suggests that as the planet and its cities get warmer, the ability of urban trees to take carbon out of the atmosphere is diminished. 

In a study published this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, scientists report that urban warming was associated with an estimated 12% loss of carbon sequestration, or the ability of trees to store carbon. 

To come to this conclusion, a research team led by Emily Meineke, a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University, followed 40 individual trees in 20 locations in Raleigh, N.C., over three years. 

Meineke predicted that the unsprayed trees in the warmer areas of Raleigh would grow more slowly than those in cooler areas (and therefore store less carbon), because trees in hotter areas would have a greater abundance of bugs living in them. 

Insects are exothermic, which means their body temperature varies with outdoor temperature. As the air heats up, their metabolic activities speed up too. Therefore, bugs living in hotter environments grow up faster, produce more eggs and have more young. 

“We expected to see more insects in the hotter areas because this is how insects respond to warming in general,” Meineke said. 

After three years of measurements, the researchers found that bugs were more abundant in unsprayed trees in the warmer regions than those in the cooler regions. They also found that trees in hotter areas grew more slowly and stored less carbon than those in cooler areas.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Nature has its way of coping and adapting to climate. Trees are smarter than we may think. But self-preservation is making urban trees lose some of their climate function that serves man.
At the same time, bugs living in hotter environments grow up faster, produce more eggs and have more young.

"So, what was causing growth to slow down in hotter areas? 
Meineke and her team think the culprit might be the urge to save water as temperatures climb. 
“We think the tree is essentially saying, ‘I need to conserve water, so I’m going to close my stomata now,’” she said. 
Although this choice is an effective way for a tree to protect its water, it also hampers its ability to photosynthesize, create energy, grow and sequester carbon."
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La Bièvre - SMBVB's curator insight, October 9, 2016 4:15 AM
Dans une ville qui se réchauffe, les arbres se ferment pour conserver l'eau et stockent moins de carbone, c'est ce qui ressort d'une étude aux Etats-Unis qui interroge sur les stratégies de plantation d'arbres dans la ville. On sait l'importance de la végétation en ville, particulièrement des arbres, pour son impact sur le climat local. Elle apporte un bien être réel en fonctionnant à l'échelle macro comme un climatiseur. Pourtant, cette étude montre que ce rôle est de moins en moins efficace à mesure que le climat urbain se réchauffe. La stratégie d'adaptation des individus expliquerait en grande partie ce fait : n'étant plus adapté au climat, les arbres se protègent. Alors que l'on est actuellement sur l'idée qu'il faut planter des espèces locales, mieux adaptées à notre environnement, cette étude arrive à rebrousse poil. N'est-il pas déjà trop tard pour les espèces locales, le changement climatique n'est pas une perspective, mais une réalité qu'il faut intégrer dès maintenant dans notre urbanisme pour l'atténuer ?
Ismail marboul's curator insight, October 10, 2016 3:05 PM

My insight is that trees are vital for the environment to sustain itself and its natural processes and due to the increasing temperatures causing things such as global warming and climate change they might vey well not just function probably but also recede creating habitat loss and death of many animals.however the main issue is that with less trees or less trees doing their jobs properly carbon emission will rise significantly giving way more air pollution especially in cities where the most carbon is being released.As a result of this the increase in the air pollution more harmful effects will take place such as harm to humans through damaging of lung,etc.

furkan catal's curator insight, October 10, 2016 4:37 PM

This article talks about how the earths getting warmer and the trees are loosing its ability to take in carbon from the air

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It's Official: Hydropower is Dirty Energy ("emit ghg as much or even more than coal-fired plants")

It's Official: Hydropower is Dirty Energy ("emit ghg as much or even more than coal-fired plants") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

The massive problem with methane emissions from hydropower dams and reservoirs is finally hitting mainstream media. "Hydropower Isn't Carbon Neutral After All"

The Seattle Times headline read, "Hydropower Isn't Carbon Neutral After All" and the Washington Post headline read, "Oh Great—Scientists Have Confirmed A Key New Source Of Greenhouse Gases" 

The scientific study featured in these news articles will appear next week in the journal Bioscience and is co-authored by 10 international researchers including scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As reported in the Seattle Times and Washington Post, key findings in the scientific study include: 

- Methane emissions from dams and reservoirs across the planet, including hydropower, are estimated to be significantly larger than previously thought, approximately equal to 1 gigaton per year. 

- The international boom in the construction of hydropower projects is rapidly accelerating this increase in methane emissions. 

- Reservoirs in mid-latitude areas of the planet, including in the U.S., can have as high of methane emissions as those in tropical countries which have been measured to emit as much greenhouse gases as coal-fired power plants. 

- The United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) should now better account for these massive methane emissions and include them in climate change scenarios.

Bert Guevara's insight:
This claim changes the ballgame on mega hydro-power dams.

"Hydropower dams and reservoirs emit methane, a greenhouse gas that is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. These emissions are caused by the decomposition of organic vegetation flowing into the water as the reservoir levels fluctuate, and as rivers and floodplains are flooded each year. Methane bubbles up from the surface of the reservoirs and methane is jetted out the turbines below the dam. In fact, in tropical environments, hydropower can emit as much or even more greenhouse gases than coal-fired power plants."
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