Ninety companies, including BP, Shell and Exxon Mobil, have been blamed for causing the climate change crisis in a new study carried out by the US-based Climate Accountability Institute.The study, published in journal Climatic Change, says these...
What isn't highlighted in the report is the climate change chain, so to speak. Fossil fuel companies - whether investor or state-owned - work on a supply demand principle, so the responsibility should really be shared between consumers and governments.
The fact that half of the greenhouse gases analysed were said to be produced in the past 25 years shows that although governments and decision makers have known about climate change for decades, they have failed to reduce fossil fuel consumption and demand, something that is perhaps unsurprising considering the growth rate of the global population, which is exacerbated by the slow uptake of other forms of clean energy.
The companies mentioned in the report include 31 state-owned ones and some nation-states themselves.
In fact, according to the report's calculations, as laid out in The Guardian, government-run companies have been some of the biggest offenders.
The boom in solar energy in the US in recent years? You haven’t seen anything yet.
The boom in solar energy in the US in recent years? You haven’t seen anything yet. The pipeline of photovoltaic projects has grown 7% over the past 12 months andnow stands at 2,400 solar installations that would generate 43,000 megawatts(MW), according to a report released today by market research firm NPD Solarbuzz. If all these projects are built, their peak electricity output would be equivalent to that of 43 big nuclear power plants, and enough to keep the lights on in six million American homes.
Only 8.5% of the pipeline is currently being installed, with most of it still in the planning stages. Some projects will inevitably get canceled or fail to raise financing.
All those projects will make the US the third largest solar market, behind China and Japan. The building boom could have another beneficial effect: The race to score subsidies could help make them unnecessary. The pell-mell growth of photovoltaic power should push prices down, to make solar electricity increasingly competitive with fossil fuels.
RedOrbit Putting A Cap On CO2 Emissions Won't End Global Warming: Study RedOrbit The carbon dioxide content already present in the Earth's atmosphere would continue to cause warming for hundreds of years, even if the emissions were to suddenly stop...
As part of their research, the investigators created a simulation of Earth upon which carbon dioxide emissionssuddenly ceased after 1,800 billion tons of the greenhouse gas had entered the atmosphere. Within a millennium of this sudden CO2 shutoff, the carbon itself began to fade. Within 20 years, 40 percent of it had been absorbed by the planet’s oceans and landmasses, and 80 percent of it had been soaked up after 1,000 years.
“By itself, such a decrease of atmospheric carbon dioxide should lead to cooling. But the heat trapped by the carbon dioxide took a divergent track,” the university said. “After a century of cooling, the planet warmed by 0.37 degrees Celsius (0.66 Fahrenheit) during the next 400 years as the ocean absorbed less and less heat.”
“While the resulting temperature spike seems slight, a little heat goes a long way here. Earth has warmed by only 0.85 degrees Celsius (1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial times,” it added. “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that global temperatures a mere 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than pre-industrial levels would dangerously interfere with the climate system.”
The Guardian Weatherwatch: Carbon released in the Philippines might never be recovered The Guardian Millions of uprooted trees will bump up global warming, by adding carbon to the atmosphere.
Meanwhile, Haiyan has brought environmental disaster too. Millions of uprooted trees will bump up global warming, by adding carbon to the atmosphere. It is too early to say how much carbon, but calculations for previous tropical cyclones show the figures can be huge. In 2005Hurricane Katrina released an estimated 105 teragrams of carbon (well over half the amount absorbed annually by forests in the US), by tearing up around 320m trees. Haiyan's tally may be even higher, as the Philippines has greater average tree cover than the eastern US.
But longer term forest regrowth may recapture the lost carbon. A recent study published in Environmental Research Letters shows that hurricane activity caused a net release of carbon in the eastern United Statesduring the latter half of the 19th century (due to a string of large storms and the existence of larger forests), but became a carbon sink by the 20th century (as regrowth outweighed hurricane damage).
Climate projections suggest tropical cyclones may become stronger and more frequent over coming decades. If that is the case then the carbon released by Haiyan and subsequent cyclones may never be recovered.
With recent reports of schools closing due to smog, an 8-year-old diagnosed with lung cancer and an ever-darkening sky throughout its most polluted areas, present-day China is paying for prioritizing economics over the environment.
A frenzy over declining sperm counts broke out this week after the China Business Review published "Smog Can Impact Humans’ Reproductive Ability and Immune System." The article referred to a report released by the China Meteorological Administration and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, which outlined growing climate change and measures for reducing China's unsustainable carbon footprint. The paper made only a passing reference to fertility, but enough to raise alarm.
Even if the report's findings were exaggerated for the sake of a headline, fertility is just one of myriad health concerns posed by poor air and water quality -- concerns that include lung cancer, immunodeficiency, cardiovascular disease and increased mortality.
In recent years, China has seen its pollution index grow exponentially. Thus far,setting limits to reduce coal use and the number of vehicles on the road has not worked. The Chinese government has even resorted to offering cash payouts to municipalities to reduce local pollution levels, but to little avail.
Washington Post (blog) How the world is failing at its climate goals, in one giant chart Washington Post (blog) Every time world leaders get together and talk about climate change, they tend to agree on one big thing: We shouldn't let global...
The 2°C goal: If the world wants to limit global warming to below 2°C this century, the report notes, then the world's annual greenhouse-gas emissions will likely need to peak soon and decline roughly 14 percent by 2020 (and then, crucially, keep falling for decades thereafter). That's the shaded blue area.
Now look at the line in the big chart above marked "Case 4." This is a scenario in which the world's nations actually follow through on their most ambitious pledges and obey strict greenhouse-gas accounting rules — in other words, no cheating with gimmicky offsets. Even then, the world wouldn't be on pace to meet its 2°C target by 2020.
"Failure to invest today in best available technologies and options not only represents a lost opportunity to reduce emissions," the report argues, "it also curtails our ability to reduce them in the near future as high energy use and emission patterns are locked-in for several decades."
Rappler Palawan aims for a 100% renewable energy future Rappler GOING FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY. Palaweños gather to lend their support to the Palawan provincial government's 100% renewable energy plan. All photos by Pia Ranada/Rappler.
It was the eve before the start of consultations for the province's master energy plan. The goal is for the province to be 100%-powered by renewable energy and reduce electricity costs for the entire province.
The plan is long overdue. Palawan, an emerging tourist destination known for its natural wonders, is besieged daily by brown-outs and black-outs that sometimes last as long as 10 hours. The island is not connected to the national grid and is dependent on bunker or diesel fuel shipped in from other countries.
Around 60% of barangays in the province have no power, said Ventura, while those who do pay a high price, literally. Electricity here costs P12 per kilowatt/hour (kW/h) compared to the Metro Manila rate of P6/kW/h.
But Palawan's exclusion from the national grid may be a blessing in disguise: it means Palawan can restart from scratch and isn't bound to follow the fossil-fuel-dependent energy models used in other parts of the Philippines.
This, combined with Palawan's pristine ecosystems, makes the province the perfect experimental ground for renewable energy in the Philippines.
"Palawan is so much better off than the rest of the Philippines. Palawan is the last ecological frontier. It can prove if we can live sustainably. It can be a model to follow," said World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines CEO Lory Tan.
The world's only carbon-negative power source (pictures) CNET BERKELEY, Calif. -- All Power Labs, a startup in this city across the Bay from San Francisco, makes what it says is the world's only carbon-negative power system.
Its PowerPallet systems come in 10- and 20-kilowatt configurations and produce a fuel using a process called gasification that will work in most engines by feeding in dense biomass. The company says that its system can produce power for about $1.50 per watt, and is being used in many developing nations to produce power for about a third of the cost of existing systems. Most buyers purchase the $27,000 20kW system.
In addition to producing carbon-neutral electricity, the machines also produce a carbon-rich charcoal that can be used as a very effective fertilizer. Because it pulls more carbon out of the sky than it puts back in, the company says the system is carbon-negative.
The database contains results of urban outdoor air pollution monitoring from almost 1100 cities in 91 countries.
The map above was created by the WHO to show particulate matter (PM) pollution around the world, measuring specifically PM10, or particulates with a diameter of 10 micrometers.
The database covers the period from 2003 to 2010, with the majority of values for the years 2008 and 2009. The primary sources of data include publicly available national/subnational reports and web sites, regional networks such as the Asian Clean Air Initiative and the European Airbase, and selected publications. The database aims to be representative for human exposure, and therefore primarily captures measurements from monitoring stations located in urban background, urban traffic, residential, commercial and mixed areas.
The world's average PM10 levels by region range from 21 to 142 ug/m3, with a world's average of 71 ug/m3. (source)
Washington Post Global panel seeks economic solutions to climate change USA TODAY Energy efficiency has more potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than any other single current option, the World Bank's former chief economist Lord Nicholas...
Boosting efficiency could provide 30% to 40% of needed carbon reductions while also lowering energy bills for businesses, governments and homes, Stern told reporters. He said there's also plenty of new energy technologies, including tidal power and smaller nuclear power plants, that have emerged since his landmark 2006 "Stern Report," which warned that rising temperatures could cost the world up to 20% of its economic output.
Stern joined Mexico's former president Felipe Calderon at a press briefing in Washington, D.C., to describe their effort to develop a win-win road map for curbing heat-trapping emissions while promoting economic growth. Their Global Commission on the Economy and Climate plans to put its best ideas forward in a September 2014 report — prior to the next major United Nations climate change conference in Paris in 2015.
"Now it's time for the economists to make their case," said Calderon, former chairman of state oil producer Petroleos Mexicanos. He said many policymakers assume that reducing emissions will erode economic growth but said that's not the case, adding the panel will analyze the costs and financial savings of fighting climate change.
A new paper based on top climate models says that by about 2047, average temperatures across the globe will be higher than any highs recorded previously, with tropics hit earlier.
The models show that unprecedented temperatures could be delayed by 20 to 25 years if there is a vigorous global effort to bring emissions under control. While that may not sound like many years, the scientists said the emissions cuts would buy critical time for nature and for human society to adapt, as well as for development of technologies that might help further reduce emissions.
Other scientists not involved in the research said that slowing emissions would have a bigger effect in the long run, lowering the risk that the climate would reach a point that triggers catastrophic changes. They praised the paper as a fresh way of presenting information that is known to specialists in the field, but not by the larger public.
The results suggest that if emissions of greenhouse gases remain high, then after 2047, more than half the earth’s surface will experience annual climates hotter than anything that occurred between 1860 and 2005, the years for which historical temperature data and reconstructions are available. If assiduous efforts were made to bring emissions down, that date could be pushed back to 2069, the analysis found.
Beijing destroys barbecues in order to fight pollution Inquirer.net BEIJING, China—Beijing is waging a war against air pollution and it is doing so one barbecue at a time.
Authorities in the capital have destroyed more than 500 open-air barbecues “to cut PM2.5″—the tiny particulate matter in the air that can enter deep into the lungs.
Photos carried by state media showed workers on Tuesday cutting pieces of metal with sparks flying as city wardens looked on.
Citizens online ridiculed the exercise, suggesting authorities should focus on bigger sources of pollution.
A media officer at Beijing’s Xicheng district administration bureau said the hundreds of barbecue grills were confiscated over a three-month campaign and cut up so they couldn’t be used again. She refused to give her name, as is common with Chinese officials.
National Geographic Rich-vs.-poor nations' clash stalls work toward 2015 climate pact Los Angeles Times The issue that has prevented a major advance in the battle against global warming for two decades has scuttled progress at the latest U.N.
After a 30-hour marathon of closed-door negotiations that concluded Saturday, the two-week Warsaw conference fizzled to an inconclusive end, with drafters of the final document substituting the word "contributions" in the place of "commitments," according to news agency reports. That allowed both sides to claim victory, with the U.S. and Europe having secured their "deadlines" and the developing nations bloc able to define for themselves what "contribution" each is prepared to make to reduce emissions.
A rich-versus-poor nations dispute also hampered progress on a proposed "loss and damage mechanism" to provide aid to countries hit by major disasters thought to be related to climate change, such as the typhoon in the Philippines this month that has left more than 5,000 dead. The United States and the European Union, although willing to help poorer countries fight the effects of climate change, objected to taking on legal obligations for severe-weather events.
The Warsaw gathering did make notable progress in pledging greater protection of the forests in developing nations. Trees mitigate harmful emissions by absorbing carbon dioxide, and deforestation is said to account for 20% of the greenhouse gas accumulation.
Times of India World Bank releases new report on climate change, global warming Times of India LUCKNOW: World Bank has released a new report -- On Thin Ice: How Cutting Pollution can Slow Warming and Save Lives.
The report that talks about ways to mitigate the effects ofclimate change says fast action to cut common pollutants like soot (also known as black carbon) and methane will not only slow global warming, but save millions of lives.
Reductions of these so-called short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) would slow rapid melting in mountain regions with glaciers, like the Himalayas and the Arctic. More than one million premature deaths could be avoided annually in the Himalayan region from reducing emissions of black carbon and methane. It would also bring multiple health, crop and ecosystem benefits, and decrease risks to development from flooding and water shortages says a new scientific study. According to the study measures to reduce these emissions in the Himalayan region could increase crop yields for staples such as rice and wheat by over 15 million tons annually. The health of people around the world will improve greatly if we reduce emissions of black carbon and methane. Limiting these emissions also will be an important contributor to the fight against climate change,"said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group.
Rappler Green groups to DOE: What happened to renewable energy? Rappler STANDING UP FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY. Environmentalists say the government should invest in renewable energy instead of add more coal plants in the country.
Despite the government's Renewable Energy Plan, the country's energy outlook remains very much coal-oriented.
This was the major grievance expressed by environmentalists during the National Conference on People's Energy held from November 4 to 6 in Quezon City.
"In spite of the stated goal of increasing renewable energy in the Philippines, in its actual content, it's still very focused on scaling up fossil fuel energy, in particular coal," Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) Convenor Lidy Nacpil told Rappler.
As of August, there were 31 coal operating contracts at the development and production stage, she said. An additional 17 coal plant projects using a total of 26 boiler facilities are in the pipeline.
But even without these coal plants being built, 84% of Philippine energy is already derived from fossil fuels, a non-renewable source of energy responsible for 35% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate change boosts wine production in Vermont CBS News Play CBS News Video. While no one wants to promote climate change, a group of Vermont winemakers can thank the state's rising temperatures for an economic boost.
While no one wants to promote climate change, a group of Vermont winemakers can thank the state's rising temperatures for an economic boost. They have been able to add warmer-weather varieties, like pinot noir, to their selection. ...
The National Weather Service says temperatures in the area have warmed by two and a half degrees since 1970. Last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said it is "extremely likely" that climate change is man-made.
The temperature increase may not feel like much to humans, but to plants, a couple of degrees is a huge change, said meteorologist Andy Nash.
The warmer weather also comes at a price for the local wine industry: Vermont is one of the only states where winemakers produce ice wine, a dessert wine crafted from frozen grapes. Without a freeze, the trademark could become a thing of the past.
TechnoBuffalo World Health Organization Concerned About Air Pollution Guardian Express The World Health Organization has made recent discoveries that have caused them concern about air pollution.
The World Health Organization has determined that air pollution is now known to be the leading cause of lung cancer and cited that air pollution “caused at least 223,000 deaths in the year 2010, alone.”
This discovery has caused the organization to press the need to reduce air pollution from emissions such as transportation, industrial, agricultural emissions, and more.
While the World Health Organization is concerned with air pollution causing lung cancer many other organizations are working to prove that air pollution also causes increased allergies, as well as, the increase of infectious diseases.
The Environmental Defense Fund shows that tick-borne Lyme disease is easier to spread with warmer climates. They also believe that rising water temperatures increase the spread of Cholera.
The Government Accountability Office is to release a report indicating that the supply of lithium used in most United States nuclear reactors is drying up.
The Government Accountability Office said the looming shortage of a material critical to the operation of 65 out of 100 American nuclear reactors “places their ability to continue to provide electricity at some risk,” a conclusion echoed by outside experts. The problem reflects the withering away of the American industrial infrastructure of all things nuclear, and the nation’s dependence on distant places for “energy-critical materials,” including “rare earth” materials used in high-efficiency motors, and other materials used in solar cells. Producing these generally involves environmentally damaging processes, one reason that production has moved abroad.
The material in potentially short supply is specifically lithium-7, which is what is left over when it is separated from another form, lithium-6, which can be used to make tritium, the hydrogen in the hydrogen bomb. The two forms, called isotopes, are chemically identical, although lithium-7 has one additional neutron.
The equipment needed to separate lithium-6 from lithium-7 is mostly a cold war leftover. The United States shut down almost all of its machinery in 1963, when it had a huge surplus, now mostly consumed. It has not had to make much tritium in the last few years because its nuclear weapons inventory is shrinking.
The Hindu It's time to plant more trees to ensure less pollution The Hindu Navigating Madurai's peak hour traffic is a daily nightmare. Apart from the vehicles, there are the dust and the fumes to contend with.
“The increased presence of PM 10 and PM 2.5 indicates higher levels of pollution and pose a higher risk to the public since this can cause a host of respiratory problems,” says Rajmohan S, Managing Director of the organisation.
While vehicles are a direct cause of the unclean air with their emission of particulates, the dust and sand on the roadside add to the pollution as they carry the particulate matter which are suspended in the air. ...
The best way to keep the air in residential and commercial areas clean is to plant more trees.
“People should take to planting trees and this should be enforced along highways and places which record high levels of particulate matter,” Dr Muthuchelian points out.
“Trees absorb pollutants, and when planted strategically, act like a protective curtain around houses and institutions, as well as highways which witness increased vehicular movement and dust,” he adds.
Echoing his point, Dr Velraj emphasises the need to increase and implement afforestation measures. “While the increase in vehicles is a part of urbanisation and can’t be prevented, we should seek to redress this by increasing the green cover rather than curbing lifestyle choices,” he says.
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report says the world's hotter, the sea's rising and it's unlikely they're naturally occurring phenomena.
Climate scientists are 95% confident -- that is to say, surer than ever -- that humans are responsible for at least "half of the observed increase in global average surface temperatures since the 1950s."
This is the major headline from the report, as it marks a stark spike in confidence over the last 12 years, as scientists were 90% confident in 2007 and 66% confident in 2001 of the same conclusion.
An increase in carbon dioxide concentrations that is "unprecedented" in the last 20,000 years, along with increases in other emissions, have driven up average temperatures by about 0.6 degrees Celsius (1 degree Fahrenheit) since 1950, the report states.
Worst-case predictions are that by 2100, temperatures could increase by as much as 3.7 degrees Celsius (6.6 Fahrenheit), the report says.
Scientists have a 95-100 percent certainty that the planet is warming, and humans are the main cause.
During a briefing on the report Friday morning organized by The Climate Group, three of the lead authors offered blunt summaries of their work:
“Warming is unequivocal.” — Dennis Hartmann, one of the report’s coordinating lead authors, focusing on observations
“From all of these lines of evidence, we conclude that humans are the dominant cause of changes in the climate system.” — Nathaniel Bindoff, a coordinating lead author, focusing on attribution of climate change
“The oceans are still taking up heat,” even though warming has recently hit a speed bump at the surface — Jochem Marotzke a coordinating author, focusing on evaluating climate models"