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Clean Air & Climate News
The latest on what's happening to the air we breathe and to the climate.
Curated by Bert Guevara
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Welcome to London – the most toxic town on the planet - The Guardian ("city lifestyle did this")

Welcome to London – the most toxic town on the planet - The Guardian ("city lifestyle did this") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
The Independent Welcome to London – the most toxic town on the planet The Guardian Emissions research from King's College London has found nitrogen dioxide concentrations on Oxford Street to be worse than they are anywhere else on Earth, in the...

Emissions research from King's College London has found nitrogen dioxide concentrations on Oxford Street to be worse than they are anywhere else on Earth, in the history of air pollution. David Carslaw, who led the research, said: "To my knowledge this is the highest in the world in terms of both hourly and annual mean." That's higher than Beijing and Dhaka, higher than anywhere where face masks are the norm and the streets seem to throng with lost medics, and more than 11 times the EU limit.

A spokesman for the mayor of London called the figures "misleading", and said that the capital's air pollution was lower than that in many world cities. The fact is, there is too much stop-start traffic, too many tall buildings, too much nitrogen dioxide. But if you were more interested in winning a debate than you are in the air your fellow Londoners were breathing, you could see this as room for manoeuvre.

We've become so accustomed to the mantra that businesses and developers are king that we've ceased to even make the demand for some kind of equity between their interests and ours.

We're pre-empting the inevitable derision. And that's fair enough: nobody likes to be told no, especially if the refusal is couched in terms that insist upon the pathetic naivety of the request. But these explanations need to be drawn out.

The more we get a Boris Johnson exposition on why the cornflake box must be vigorously shaken for the benefit of the uppermost cornflakes, and how the natural superiority of rich people must be preserved by putting them first at all times, the more widely evident its ridiculousness will be.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Our planet has one air cover. We can't escape it.

"The problem with air is that you can't privatize it, so it doesn't deliver a natural political win – either by flogging or protecting it – for anyone but the Greens. But it does tell you quite a lot about the ambient political atmosphere, which right now is pretty toxic."

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Climate change makes criteria used to predict weather obsolete, UN says - Al Jazeera America

Climate change makes criteria used to predict weather obsolete, UN says - Al Jazeera America | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
Sydney Morning Herald Climate change makes criteria used to predict weather obsolete, UN says Al Jazeera America The criteria used by everyone from farmers to governments to predict normal weather patterns need to be updated more frequently to...

The criteria used by everyone from farmers to governments to predict normal weather patterns need to be updated more frequently to account for significant changes caused by climate change, the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization said Wednesday.

The WMO's Commission for Climatology believes that rising temperatures and more frequent heat waves and heavy rains mean that existing criteria, based on climate averages from 1961 to 1990, are out of date.

The commission’s report highlighted growing concern among governments and businesses that climate change will disrupt not only the environment but also entire economies and nations. It comes just two months after a report from the Obama administration warned of dire consequences for every business sector and every region of the U.S. if climate change is not slowed.

"For water resources, agriculture and energy, the old averages no longer reflect the current realities," Omar Baddour, head of data management applications at the WMO, told Reuters.

Some weather services have already adopted new baselines, which just causes confusion, the WMO said.

"Different researchers and weather services are using different baselines, which results in inconsistent comparisons," it said.

Last year, the U.N.'s panel of climate scientists raised the probability that human activities, led by the use of fossil fuels, are the main cause of global warming to at least 95 percent from 90 in a previous assessment in 2007, and this year said the effects of climate change are "worse than we predicted."

Bert Guevara's insight:

I said this many times before - we have to update or rewrite our textbooks in economics & business, agriculture, architecture, engineering, medicine, etc. The accelerated effects of climate change were not even mentioned before. Today's data and trends and principles have become inadequate to cope with many of the present realities.

Even the U.N. is now acknowledging this.

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Smog-Reducing Buildings Aim to Combat Pollution Levels - AccuWeather.com ("way to go!")

Smog-Reducing Buildings Aim to Combat Pollution Levels - AccuWeather.com ("way to go!") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
Smog-Reducing Buildings Aim to Combat Pollution Levels
AccuWeather.com
Air pollution is currently the world's largest single environmental health risk, according to the World Health Organization and a recent news release.

In 2013, the Manuel Gea González Hospital in Mexico City unveiled a façade made out of titanium dioxide coating designed specifically to reduce smog. The façade is made of modules called prosolve370e and designed by the Berlin-based Elegant Embellishments. The titanium dioxide is a pollution-fighting technology that is activated by ambient daylight as described on the product's website.

Hugo Destaillats, staff scientist with the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab in Berkeley, California, has done similar research on a laboratory scale and verified that titanium dioxide is effective in removing pollution.

"There are many studies by numerous groups around the world that also showed the same positive performance," Destaillats said.

In 2015, another building designed to fight pollution will be unveiled, this time in Milan, Italy, as part of the 2015 Milan Expo. Designed by the Italian architectural firm Nemesi & Partners, the "Palazzo Italia" encompasses 13,275 square meters (142,890 square feet) and six floors.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Clean air is everybody's concern, including buildings.

"However, new technologies are coming to the forefront allowing for greater opportunities to reduce pollution. One of them comes in the form of new building materials."

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Hydrogen breakthrough could be a game-changer for the future of car fuels ("cheap fuel in horizon?")

Hydrogen breakthrough could be a game-changer for the future of car fuels ("cheap fuel in horizon?") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
UK researchers today announced what they believe to be a game changer in the use of hydrogen as a 'green' fuel.

When the components of ammonia are separated (a technique known as cracking) they form one part nitrogen and three parts hydrogen. Many catalysts can effectively crack ammonia to release the hydrogen, but the best ones are very expensive precious metals. This new method is different and involves two simultaneous chemical processes rather than using a catalyst, and can achieve the same result at a fraction of the cost.

Ammonia can be stored on-board in vehicles at low pressures in conformable plastic tanks. Meanwhile on the forecourts, the infrastructure technology for ammonia is as straightforward as that for liquid petroleum gas (LPG).

Professor Bill David, who led the STFC research team at the ISIS Neutron Source, said "Our approach is as effective as the best current catalysts but the active material, sodium amide, costs pennies to produce. We can produce hydrogen from ammonia 'on demand' effectively and affordably.
Few people think of ammonia as a fuel but we believe that it is the natural alternative to fossil fuels. For cars, we don't even need to go to the complications of a fuel-cell vehicle. A small amount of hydrogen mixed with ammonia is sufficient to provide combustion in a conventional car engine. While our process is not yet optimised, we estimate that an ammonia decomposition reactor no bigger than a 2-litre bottle will provide enough hydrogen to run a mid-range family car."

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Extracting hydrogen fuel from ammonia using a cheap process to produce fuel is near completion. Indeed, cheap fuel from air will change the economics of the world and result in cleaner air.

"A new discovery by scientists at the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), offers a viable solution to the challenges of storage and cost by using ammonia as a clean and secure hydrogen-containing energy source to produce hydrogen on-demand in situ."

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Air quality to suffer with global warming ("less circulation will cause more stagnant dirty air")

Air quality to suffer with global warming ("less circulation will cause more stagnant dirty air") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
Study suggests effects of climate change will slow air circulation around the world.

Climate change is poised to worsen air quality in many parts of the globe, according to a study published today in Nature Climate Change1. By the end of the century, more than half of the world’s population will be exposed to increasingly stagnant atmospheric conditions, with the tropics and subtropics bearing the brunt of the poor air quality.

A team led by Daniel Horton, a climate modeller at Stanford University in California, used 15 global climate models to track changes in the number and duration of atmospheric stagnation events, in which stationary air masses develop and allow soot, dust and ozone to build up in the lower atmosphere. “Much of the air-quality community focuses on pollutants,” says Horton. “This study takes a step back and looks at the weather or climate component that can lead to the formation of hazardous air quality.”

Air stagnation arises from three meteorological ingredients: light winds, a stable lower atmosphere and a day with little or no precipitation to wash away pollution.

In a high greenhouse gas emissions scenario, Horton and his colleagues calculate that 55% of the global population will experience more air stagnation by 2099. Large swathes of India, Mexico and the Amazon could see up to 40 more stagnant air days per year compared to the average annual tally from 1986 to 2005, representing increases of 40%, 19% and 28% respectively.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Climate change is poised to worsen air quality in many parts of the globe ... By the end of the century, more than half of the world’s population will be exposed to increasingly stagnant atmospheric conditions, with the tropics and subtropics bearing the brunt of the poor air quality.


”Combine these stagnant air masses with extreme heat and a great number of people may end up sitting in emergency rooms,” 

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In Developing World, Pollution Kills More Than Disease - Truth-Out ("dirty air & water kill more")

In Developing World, Pollution Kills More Than Disease - Truth-Out ("dirty air & water kill more") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
In Developing World, Pollution Kills More Than Disease
Truth-Out
Uxbridge, Canada - Pollution, not disease, is the biggest killer in the developing world, taking the lives of more than 8.4 million people each year, a new analysis shows.

“Toxic sites along with air and water pollution impose a tremendous burden on the health systems of developing countries,” said Richard Fuller, president of the Pure Earth/Blacksmith Institute, which prepared the analysis as part of The Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP). GAHP is a collaborative body of bilateral, multilateral, and international agencies, national governments, academia and civil society.

Air and chemical pollution is growing rapidly in these regions and when the total impact on the health of people is also considered, “the consequences are dire,” Fuller told IPS.

This future is entirely preventable as most developed countries have largely solved their pollution problems. The rest of the world needs assistance, but pollution has dropped off the radar in the current draft of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he said.

The SDGs are the U.N.’s new plan for development assistance for the next 15 years. Countries, aid agencies and international donors are expected to align their funding and aid with these goals when they are announced in September 2015.

Bert Guevara's insight:

We know this but the truth has to be repeated often enough.

“Pollution is sometimes called the invisible killer…its impact is difficult to track because health statistics measure disease, not pollution,” Fuller said.

As a result, pollution is often misrepresented as a minor issue, when it actually needs serious action now, he said.

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Obama Talks Climate Change at UC Commencement

Obama focused on the battle against climate change during a commencement speech he delivered at the University of California at Irvine Saturday, announcing a new $1 billion initiative. (June...
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Another big EPA court victory -- this time on soot pollution ("no permit to asthma & heart attacks")

Another big EPA court victory -- this time on soot pollution ("no permit to asthma & heart attacks") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
It's the third notable environmental court win in a month, upholding the EPA's right to clamp down on particulates that cause heart attacks and asthma.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the EPA acted properly in 2012 when it further restricted allowable soot emissions. It was the Obama administration’s third big environmental legal victory in a month. And experts say that bodes well for the administration’s efforts to clamp down on climate-changing emissions from power plants. The L.A. Times explains:

 

The 11-page decision rejected industry complaints and found that the EPA had acted reasonably and within its bounds when it adopted stricter nationwide standards for fine particulate matter. The tiny, chemical-laden particles and liquid droplets are emitted by power plants, diesel trucks, refineries and factories. They lodge deep in the lungs when inhaled and are linked to heart and lung disease, respiratory illnesses and premature deaths. …

Based on scientific studies, the EPA tightened annual limits on fine particle pollution from 15 micrograms per cubic meter to 12 micrograms per cubic meter and set new requirements for dozens of major cities to install air quality monitors to test for the pollutants near busy roadways.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Obama administration's 3rd big environmental legal victory!

"The National Association of Manufacturers was told on Friday by a federal court that, no, it does not have the right to manufacture as many asthma attacks, heart attacks, and strokes as it would like."

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‘Climate Change Is Here’: Australia Experiences Hottest Two Years Ever Recorded (1.11C more than avg")

‘Climate Change Is Here’: Australia Experiences Hottest Two Years Ever Recorded (1.11C more than avg") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
And there’s no sign that the heat wave is going to stop any time soon.

Using data from the Australian government’s Bureau of Meteorology, the Climate Council’s seasonal update — dubbed “Abnormal Autumn” — noted that average temperatures across Australia in April were 1.11°C above the long-term average, with average minimum temperatures 1.31°C above normal. Extreme high temperatures haven’t been confined to the summer months, either, the report said, noting September 2013 saw a mean temperature 2.75°C higher than the average, setting a new monthly record by more than a degree. Temperatures in October were also 1.43°C above average, priming conditions for an early and destructive bushfire season.

The exceptional heat has now continued into Australia’s current autumn, the report said, delaying the onset of winter conditions across the southern portion of the country.

“The climate system as a whole is heating up, and emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly from fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, are the primary cause,” the report said. “Temperatures are projected to continue to increase, with more extremely hot days and fewer extremely cool days. A further increase in the number of extreme fire-weather days is expected in southern and eastern Australia, with a longer fire season in these regions.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

Warming goes on ... hitting new records.

"According to data compiled by Australia’s biggest crowd-funding campaign, the independent Climate Council, the period from May 2012 to April 2014 was the hottest 24-month period ever recorded in Australia. Next month, when the two-year period spans from June 2012 to May 2014, those above-average temperatures are expected to be even greater, the report said."

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Onshore wind now cheapest energy source in Europe, says utility ("it's time to wean-off from fossils")

Onshore wind now cheapest energy source in Europe, says utility ("it's time to wean-off from fossils") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
Onshore wind has become the cheapest form of energy in Europe according to a major continental utility, giving fossil fuels a run for their money. Despite the

A third of EDP’s energy is generated by wind and in a recent presentation to analysts by Joao Manso Neto, the firm’s head of renewables, figures showed that the levellised cost of electricity of onshore wind in Europe is 20 per cent cheaper than gas and one third cheaper than coal, assuming a 25 per cent wind capacity factor.

Neto told the analysts that wind energy is also cheaper than gas in key emerging markets such as Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, and major Asian markets, according to the Renewable Economywebsite.

He said: “It is clear, more and more, that our product (wind energy) is good, not just because it is green, but because it is cheaper.”

Yesterday, Lord Deben, chairman of the UK’s independent committee on climate change, said that there is enough onshore wind already in planning to meet the EU’s 2020 targets, echoing the comments of Britain’s Energy Minister, Michael Fallon, who said that onshore wind farms which had not been granted planning permission before next year’s general election would not be subsidised.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The downward trend of the price for renewable energy (especially on-shore wind) has made it very competitive vs. fossil fuels, according to the Europeans.

Let the challenge begin!!!

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Wow, This Video PROVES That Solar Roadways Are The Future! My Mind Is Blown!

Wow, This Video PROVES That Solar Roadways Are The Future! My Mind Is Blown! | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
Woah, didn't know all these facts about solar roadways! Crazy cool!
Bert Guevara's insight:

This solar concept is awesome! Can you imagine the possibilites if whole roadways became "programmable" solar panels?

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House Directs Pentagon To Ignore Climate Change ("because it is a political ideology ... aw c'mon!")

House Directs Pentagon To Ignore Climate Change ("because it is a political ideology ... aw c'mon!") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON -- The House passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization bill on Thursday that would bar the Department of Defense from using funds to assess climate change and its implications for national security.

The amendment, from ...

None of the funds authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to implement the U.S. Global Change Research Program National Climate Assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report, the United Nation's Agenda 21 sustainable development plan, or the May 2013 Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12866.

"This amendment will prohibit the costs of the President's climate change policies being forced on the Department of Defense by the Obama Administration," wrote McKinley in a memo to House colleagues on Thursday that was obtained by The Huffington Post. "The climate is obviously changing; it has always been changing. With all the unrest around the [world], why should Congress divert funds from the mission of our military and national security to support a political ideology?"

Bert Guevara's insight:

Climate concerns have become mere political issues in the US. 

"... Nor is climate change a threat that the Obama administration dreamed up to distract the DOD. A National Intelligence Assessment issued during the George W. Bush administration concluded that climate change poses a significant threat to national security. And just this week, Tom Ridge, who served as homeland security secretary under Bush, said that climate change is "a real serious problem," one that "would bring destruction and economic damage" if we ignore it."

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Tom Schueneman's curator insight, May 25, 4:39 PM

The  Pentagon has been far ahead of Congress  on climate change  since at least the Bush years

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China's Tianjin to restrict vehicle use to curb pollution - Yahoo News ("number-coding for clean air")

China's Tianjin to restrict vehicle use to curb pollution - Yahoo News ("number-coding for clean air") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
Chinatopix China's Tianjin to restrict vehicle use to curb pollution Yahoo News BEIJING (Reuters) - The government of the industrial city of Tianjin in northern China will limit the number of vehicles allowed on roads during heavy smog, state media...

On days of severe pollution, Tianjin will halve the number of vehicles allowed on roads by restricting licence plate numbers, as well as halt construction and manufacturing activity, close schools for the day, and halt large-scale outdoor activities, the official Xinhua news agency said.

China has vowed to reverse the damage done to its environment by decades of untrammeled economic growth, and has identified the region of Beijing, Hebei and Tianjin as one of the key targets of a programme to curb big industries like steel, thermal power and cement, all major sources of smog.

About one third of the pollution in Beijing, whose often choking smog has been dubbed the "airpocalypse", comes from outside the city, a pollution watchdog said last month.


Bert Guevara's insight:

If this number-coding system for transport worked for France in reducing air pollution in a short time, then China is hoping it will work for them too.

In the Philippines, number-coding of vehicles is for traffic alleviation, but it can also be used for clean air campaigns.

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Govt rejects study report on pollution level in India - Times of India ("worst in air pollution?")

Govt rejects study report on pollution level in India - Times of India ("worst in air pollution?") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
Times of India Govt rejects study report on pollution level in India Times of India NEW DELHI: On Wednesday, government rejected studies of WHO and Yale University which talked about India and its cities being among the most polluted, asserting...

On Wednesday, government rejected studies of WHO and Yale University which talked about India and its cities being among the most polluted, asserting that the parameters for determining air pollution were not considered by them. 
Environment minister Prakash Javadekar said pollution is caused by many factors and the survey took cognizance of only air pollution and that is why India's ranking in Yale University report has come down. 
"Actually, there are 20 indicators to judge pollution like access to drinking water, access to sanitation, waste water treatment, agricultural subsidies, pesticides regulation, change in forest cover, coastal shelf forest pressure, fish stalks, etc. 

"So, this ranking which you are citing is not based on all these parameters ...The survey of Yale University was also done from the satellite and there was no ground proof," he said, replying a question of BJD member Bhartruhari Mahtab. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Just a wake up call for India. Instead of complaining of the criteria, I think the government should look deeper into what is really happening.

I remember an article which was citing the lack of toilet facilities and people doing "it" at the railroad tracks.

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US EPA Plan to Tighten Landfill Methane Emission Regulations - Waste Management World ("global issue")

US EPA Plan to Tighten Landfill Methane Emission Regulations - Waste Management World ("global issue") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
Waste Management World
US EPA Plan to Tighten Landfill Methane Emission Regulations
Waste Management World
As part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions, the U.S.

“Reducing methane emissions is a powerful way to take action on climate change,” commented EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy.

The proposal would require new MSW landfills subject to the rule to begin controlling landfill gas at a lower emissions threshold than currently required. Under the proposal, landfills would capture two thirds of their methane and air toxics emissions by 2023 – 13% more than required under current rules.

Currently methane is said to account for nearly 9% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., with landfills the third-largest source of human-related methane in the country, accounting for 18% of methane emissions in 2012.

The agency noted however, that regulatory and voluntary programs, including its own Landfill Methane Outreach Program, have helped reduce emissions from landfills by 30% from 1990 to 2012. However, without additional actions, methane emissions are projected to increase through 2030.

Bert Guevara's insight:

In spite of all modern technological advances, the landfill continues to spread its methane menace very quietly in hidden corners of the world. Serious attempts to reduce carbon emissions should include methane from landfills.

Methane is 23x more destructive than carbon in Climate Change computations.

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Are Butterflies Getting Lost Because Of The Fumes From Your Car? ("insects' can't smell through smog")

Are Butterflies Getting Lost Because Of The Fumes From Your Car? ("insects' can't smell  through smog") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
New research shows that fumes from car exhaust can mess with a pollinator's ability to find flowers.

“Pollinators like bees, butterflies and moths use their sense of smell to locate flowers from long distances, but we found that scent from neighboring vegetation, and even pollutants given off from vehicle exhaust, can disrupt the moth’s behavior,” one of the study’s authors, University of Washington biology professor Jeffrey Riffell, said in a press release.

Pollinators across the U.S. are in trouble. While the plight of honeybees poisoned by pesticides has dominated the news recently, many key pollinator species are in decline. Bats are in trouble around the country as the mysterious and deadly fungal infection known as white-nose syndrome continues to spread from cave to cave. Many species of butterflies are also being adversely affected by climate change, which is throwing off the timing of migration, leaving them exposed to severe weather along their flight path. Certain types of butterflies and pollinating birds like hummingbirds are also affected by climate change, as a warming world has caused flowers to bloom earlier in the season, leading to a situation known as resource asynchrony, where birds and butterflies aren’t in the right place at the right time for the flowers they depend on.

On June 20, President Obama announced plans to create a special task force dedicated to helping the nation’s ailing pollinators. The team, led by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, will have 180 days to investigate current and future threats to birds, bees, butterflies and bats, and create a National Pollinator Health Strategy. According to the USDA, one-third of all food and beverages consumed in the U.S. are dependent on pollination.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Air pollution caused by car fumes are messing up our tiny pollinators' sense of smell used in finding the flowers they are supposed to pollinate.

"The vehicle exhaust decreased the moths’ ability to find flowers, and changed how the flower’s scent was processed by the moth’s brain."

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PH nearing total phase out of ozone-depleting substances ("good news for the ozone, on paper at least")

PH nearing total phase out of ozone-depleting substances ("good news for the ozone, on paper at least") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
Coron, Palawan – Soon, the imperilled ozone layer will be all smiles on the Philippines — that is, if figures from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are to be the basis. La...

“All [substances] have been phased out according to the commitment period,” DENR-EMB-POD Program Manager Ella Deocadiz said in her presentation during the recent three-day Media Workshop on Ozone and Climate Linkages spearheaded by DENR here.“Currently, the only remaining substance for phase-out in the Philippines is hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC).”

Substances that have been phased out as of January 1, 2010 — mostly ahead of target schedule — are chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachlorides (CTCs), methyl chloroforms (MCs), non-quarantine and pre-shipment methyl bromides (MBs). These substances are chlorinated, fluorinated or brominated hydrocarbons, which can react with ozone molecules in the stratosphere and deplete the protective layer. They are thus called ozone-depleting substances (ODS).

By “commitment period,” Deocadiz was referring to the target date of phase out of the said substances, as committed by the Philippines to the Montreal Protocol (MP), where the country is one of the “developing country” signatories. MP identified and started to regulate these substances when the global agreement was drawn up in September 1987.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Based on records of the DENR, the Philippines has reached its commitment to get rid of ozone-depleting substances ahead of its schedule in the Montreal Protocol. The ozone is safe for the moment.

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May Was Hottest on Record ("1.38 deg F above global avg; El Nino isn't even here yet!")

May Was Hottest on Record ("1.38 deg F above global avg; El Nino isn't even here yet!") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
Average temperature rose 1.38 degrees.

According to NASA, the average global temperature for May was 1.38 degrees Fahrenheit above average, making it the hottest on record. And, these record highs come before El Niño, which is expected to hit this summer. The global average does not mean it was scorching everywhere—for instance, Texas had a colder-than-average May—but it is significant in terms of long-term temperatures. In addition to NASA, the Japan Meteorological Agency said that March, April, and May of 2014 were the warmest on record, dating back to 1891.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Hottest on record!!!

Wow, we are resetting all warmest records since 1891.

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Chinese Public Anger About Air Pollution Is Surging - Business Insider

Chinese Public Anger About Air Pollution Is Surging - Business Insider | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
Business Insider Chinese Public Anger About Air Pollution Is Surging Business Insider BEIJING (Reuters) - Complaints about air pollution in the Chinese capital of Beijing more than doubled in the first five months of 2014, the city environment...
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This map explains why climate change is so unfair ("the poor get hit harder than the guilty rich")

This map explains why climate change is so unfair ("the poor get hit harder than the guilty rich") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
The world's poorest countries are also the ones most likely to get hammered by the earth's warming. Can the new EPA regulations do anything about that?

They also might be Obama's greatest contribution to the fight against global poverty. Climate change is bad for everyone. But it's particularly bad for the world's poorest.

Standard and Poor's, the credit rating company, recently published a report assessing the risk each country faces from climate change. You'll notice the more vulnerable (redder) countries cluster in Asia and Africa, while the better off (greener) countries are almost all in North America or Europe:

The cost to the developing world of unmitigated climate change will be staggering. Assume the globe warms by about four degrees celsius, which is easily possible absent major emissions reductions. Those notorious hippies at the World Bank suggest that this could lead to massive increases in disease, extreme storms, droughts, and flooding. The effects will be so massive, according to the bank's President Jim Kim, that they could roll back "decades of development gains and force tens of more millions of people to live in poverty."

Bert Guevara's insight:

Climate Injustice! The impact of climate change is not fair to the world. The "guilty" rich will mostly be spared from the immediate onslaught, while the "Innocent" poor will get hit hard.

The Philippines belongs to the Top 10 most vulnerable countries to the adverse impacts of climate change.

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EPA Aims To Slash Power Plant CO2 by 30 Percent | Climate Central ("congrats for the guts, Mr. Pres")

EPA Aims To Slash Power Plant CO2 by 30 Percent | Climate Central ("congrats for the guts, Mr. Pres") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
Obama aims to slash CO2 pollution from the electric power sector by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The proposed new rule, scheduled to go into effect in June 2015 after a period of public comment, would apply to about 3,000 electricity generating units at 1,000 power plants nationwide and aims to reduce pollutants that contribute to soot and smog by 25 percent by 2030. 

The rule is the second of two climate change-related rules affecting the coal industry and the electric power sector. The first, which the EPA proposed last fall, aims to cap emissions from unbuilt coal-fired power plants. But the rule the agency proposed Monday is more controversial because it would require existing coal-fired power plants to cut their carbon emissions.

Specifically, the rule proposes a unique carbon emissions reduction guideline for each state, and each state would have to create its own plan to achieve that goal by the end of June 2016. For nearly each state, the EPA is requiring two sets of emissions reductions goals for power plants: one goal allowing for the final emissions reduction goal to be phased in during the 2020s and then a final reduction goal for 2030.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is a big step for the environment, coming from a country that has many law makers believing that climate change is a "political ideology."

I wonder what the opposition will do.

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Solar plane makes inaugural flight ("cleaning the air industry by reinventing the airplane - go solar")

Solar plane makes inaugural flight ("cleaning the air industry by reinventing the airplane - go solar") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
Solar Impulse 2, a solar-powered plane that will attempt a global flight in 2015, takes to the skies above Switzerland for the first time.

"It's a great day for all the team of Solar Impulse," Mr Piccard told BBC News.

"An aeroplane like this is absolutely unique. And for the first time in history, we have an aeroplane that is flying with no fuel day and night, showing the incredible potential of the clean technologies - all these technologies that the world can also use in order to reduce the dependency to fossil fuel and to be cleaner and solve a lot of problems of pollution."

The carbon-fibre aircraft has a huge wingspan, which at 72m is wider than a Boeing 747 jet. And yet, the vehicle weighs only 2.3 tonnes.

The tops of the wings are covered by 17,000 solar cells, which drive four brushless electric motors at speeds of up to 140km/h (90mph).

During the day, the solar cells will recharge lithium batteries, which can then be used to keep the plane’s propellers turning through the night.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The airline industry has been criticized for polluting the atmosphere because of fuel emissions that are hardly monitored. 

Going solar is a revolutionary way to go. This solar plane will debut in 2015 and many are watching with eagerness for its success.

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Organic Farming ‘Could Sequester All Carbon Emissions’ · Environmental Management & Energy News · Environmental Leader

Organic Farming ‘Could Sequester All Carbon Emissions’ · Environmental Management & Energy News · Environmental Leader | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
Environmental Leader

Achieving these goals would require the wholesale adoption of the practice of  “regenerative farming,” an organic farming technique that the study, Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change, describes as “widely available and inexpensive.”

In 2012, total annual global emissions of greenhouse gases were approximately 52 GtCO2e. These emissions must soon drop to a net of 41 GtCO2e a year if we are to have a feasible chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C, according to the study.

If management of all current cropland shifted to reflect the regenerative model outlined in the study, it would potentially sequester more than 40 percent of annual emissions (an estimated 21 GtCO2 each year). If, at the same time, all global pasture was managed to a regenerative model, an additional 71 percent (~37 GtCO2) might be sequestered, bringing the world into an annual negative emissions scenario “rapidly,” the study says.

Adopting regenerative organic agriculture practices on just half of cropland and pasture would sequester enough emissions to meet the 41 GtCO2e a year threshold, the study says.

... Crucially, organically grown crops can produce greater yields during droughts than traditionally grown crops. Organic corn yields, for example, are around 31 percent higher in drought than non-organic corn yields, the study says.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Check the numbers!!! -- "regenerative farming" (a form of organic farming) can potentially sequester 40% of annual global emissions that accelerate climate change. If you include pasture land, this may sequester an additional 71%. This can bring the world to an annual negative emissions scenario.

This is a fantastic proposal, which can also increase food production. This initiative should be pursued on a larger scale.

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Governor Wants To Wean Utilities Off Coal ("the citizens of Washington want to be coal-free")

Governor Wants To Wean Utilities Off Coal ("the citizens of Washington want to be coal-free") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
SEATTLE (AP) — With an abundant supply of hydroelectric power, Washington state currently gets less than 14 percent of its electricity from coal.

Gov. Jay Inslee wants to take that down to zero over time....

Saying the state has a moral responsibility to act on climate change, Inslee signed an executive order last month directing state agencies to negotiate with utilities to phase out electricity produced from coal.

"It's not a trivial activity by any means, but I think it can be done," said Tony Usibelli, director of Washington's energy office, on eliminating coal-fired electricity from the state's fuel mix.

The state's only coal-fired power plant, the TransAlta facility in Centralia, is slated to shut down by 2025. Most of the state's coal-fired electricity, or coal by wire, is imported from the Colstrip power plant in eastern Montana and the Jim Bridger plant in Wyoming.

One elected official in Montana recently criticized Inslee's proposal as job-killing, while environmentalists cheered it as a big step toward making Washington coal-free.

... "We're going to look at the data, look at the information, look at modeling," Danner said. "But utilities themselves are aware of what their customers want. The people in Washington want to be coal-free."

Bert Guevara's insight:

Why not ask the people what they want re their source of power? In this state, the voice of the people is clear.

"We're going to look at the data, look at the information, look at modeling," Danner said. "But utilities themselves are aware of what their customers want. The people in Washington want to be coal-free."

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Southeast Australia Endures Fall Heat Wave After Another Record-Breaking Summer ("new warm normal?")

Southeast Australia Endures Fall Heat Wave After Another Record-Breaking Summer ("new warm normal?") | Clean Air & Climate News | Scoop.it
The warm fall does come one the heels of another “angry summer” in Australia.

These temperatures aren’t high enough to cause major problems in the cities, besidesprompting Sydney officials to keep swimming pools open longer than they usually do. But the warm fall does come on the heels of another “angry summer” in Australia, one that broke156 temperature records in the country. In 2014, Sydney suffered through its driest summer in 27 years, Perth had its second-hottest summer on record, and Adelaide sweltered through a record 11 days at or above 107.6°F. Officials were also forced to halt the 2014 Australian Open after temperatures reached 110°F.

A report from Australia’s Climate Council, the privately-funded group that issues reports on the effects climate change is having in Australia, found that eight of the country’s hottest summers have occurred in the past 15 years. That intense heat and dryness has made bushfire season more dangerous — last year, for instance, New South Wales declared a state of emergency after bushfires destroyed 200 homes, with fires raging in conditions officials said were the most dangerous in 40 years.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

An example of global warming extreme gone awry in fall! What happens in summer?

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