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Climate Change Watch
The latest on what's happening to the climate.
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Guangzhou Moves to Limit New Cars

Guangzhou Moves to Limit New Cars | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Guangzhou wants to improve quality of life through license plate auctions and lotteries expected to halve the number of new cars on the streets.

The crackdown by China’s third-largest city is the most restrictive in a series of moves by big Chinese cities that are putting quality-of-life issues ahead of short-term economic growth, something the central government has struggled to do on a national scale.

The measures have the potential to help clean up China’s notoriously dirty air and water, reduce long-term health care costs and improve the long-term quality of Chinese growth. But they are also imposing short-term costs, economists say, at a time when policy makers in Beijing and around the world are already concerned about a sharp economic slowdown in China.

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New Power Source To Help Cut Global Warming

New Power Source To Help Cut Global Warming | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
(PRWEB) June 23, 2002 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Power Source To Help Cut Global Warming
ATHOL, Mass. ­ June 24, 2002. Stirling Advantage, Inc.
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BOEM to Consider Floating Wind Turbine Proposal

BOEM to Consider Floating Wind Turbine Proposal | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Both wind farms and offshore turbines have their detractors. However, as a source of domestically produced energy that does not pollute, turbines are projected to represent growing sector of electricity generation.
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Antarctic Methane: A New Factor in the Climate Equation - Huffington Post

Antarctic Methane: A New Factor in the Climate Equation - Huffington Post | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Belfast TelegraphAntarctic Methane: A New Factor in the Climate EquationHuffington PostClimate scientists have long fretted about the hundreds of billions of tons of methane frozen under the floor of the Arctic Ocean.

Climate scientists have long fretted about the hundreds of billions of tons of methane frozen under the floor of the Arctic Ocean. If the water warms enough, some of that methane could escape. Nobody knows how soon or how quickly such a release might happen, but since methane is a far more potent heat-trapping gas than the more familiar carbon dioxide, it could add to the temperature increase already under way thanks largely to human emissions from fossil fuel burning.

But frozen Arctic methane turns out to be just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. According to a paper released Wednesday in Nature, there could be just as much methane trapped on the opposite side of the planet, under Antarctica’s vast ice sheets.

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With drought intensifying worldwide, UN calls for integrated climate policies

With drought intensifying worldwide, UN calls for integrated climate policies | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
More consolidated efforts to combat the threat of climate change and counter its ripple effects on global food security are needed amid an intensifying global drought and increasing temperatures worldwide, the United Nations declared today.

According to the news release, the WMO and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), along with other UN agencies, are intensifying efforts to establish a more coordinated and proactive strategy for managing drought risk to fill existing policy vacuums in countries around the world. As a result, a High Level Meeting on National Drought Policy has been scheduled from 11 to 15 March 2013.

Speaking at a press conference in Geneva earlier today, Dr. Mannava Sivakumar, Director of the WMO Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch underlined the severity and reach of the current drought and its potential impact on global food prices.

 

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Climate Change: Mega-Drought or Mega-Rain - Global Economic Intersection

Climate Change: Mega-Drought or Mega-Rain - Global Economic Intersection | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Climate Change: Mega-Drought or Mega-RainGlobal Economic IntersectionIf you take a group of climate cycles with different wave lengths and amplitudes and superimpose them, you get a pattern with large variations over time.

On a worldwide basis, it can be dry in some places and wet in other places. Ocean evaporation does not stop. When air temperatures are warmer, you get more ocean evaporation and it can’t all just “stay up there”. If you read the IPCC reports you will notice that they project a wetter planet. I think the formula is one degree Centigrade translates into a 7% increase in the intensity of extreme precipitation events and a 2% increase in average precipitation. That does not tell us about the distribution of precipitation over a year or the distribution of distribution over the planet; But there will be more precipitation on a global basis – and more evaporation. So net water availability is a big issue.

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Powerful Storms, Climate Change Linked to Ozone Layer Depletion ...

Powerful Storms, Climate Change Linked to Ozone Layer Depletion ... | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
It turns out that more powerful storms inject water vapor high into the atmosphere, causing a chemical change that can result in ozone loss.
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New England Is 85 Percent Rainier Than It Was in 1948

New England Is 85 Percent Rainier Than It Was in 1948 | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
A new report highlights climate's influence on extreme precipitation events. (RT @MotherJones: When it rains, it pours.

The reason is pretty simple: "Warmer temperatures cause more evaporation, and warmer air holds more water, intensifying the water cycle," they write.

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Coal & Nuclear Power Have Over 15x the Water Footprint of Renewable Energy Sources

Coal & Nuclear Power Have Over 15x the Water Footprint of Renewable Energy Sources | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
A new report from the River Network looks at the water footprint of various energy sources, striking another black mark on coal and nuclear's green credentials.

The huge carbon emissions and environmental destruction of coal is well known. As are the catastrophic risks with nuclear power should something go wrong. But what's less known with both is the huge water footprint of both, in comparison to renewable energy sources and even in comparison to natural gas—as you can see clearly in the chart below (h/t Climate Progress).

It's based off a new report from the River Network, and highlights a big concern for many places considering the projected effects of climate change, population growth and resource consumption on water supply.

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Odds of Record-Breaking Summer Heat Happening Without Climate Change? Try 1 in 1.6 Million.

Odds of Record-Breaking Summer Heat Happening Without Climate Change? Try 1 in 1.6 Million. | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
So maybe all these heat waves in the US are just a coincidence? Fat chance, say scientists. (RT @TomDispatch: Odds of a heat wave like this occurring randomly?

Sure it's summer, and summer is supposed to be hot. But not this hot—not without global warming at least. NOAA's National Climatic Data Center says that the odds of this heat wave occurring randomly would be 1 in 1,594,323. Pretty low odds. Even critics of that figure say the chances of this summer happening without global warming would be extremely low at 1 in 100,000.

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Sewage as energy: An essentially unlimited renewable resource | International District Energy Association

Sewage as energy: An essentially unlimited renewable resource | International District Energy Association | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Sewage as energy: An essentially unlimited renewable resource http://t.co/afzeuBmG...

“We are seeing a 74-per-cent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions in the first four months of 2012, compared to what they would have been otherwise.”

There’s also one enormous advantage to sewage as an energy source: it never stops. “The sewage just keeps on coming. It’s essentially an unlimited resource,” said Homenuke. The firm is now working on potential projects for Metro Vancouver and the Capital Regional District on Vancouver Island.

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Energy News: Germany Sets New Solar Power Record; UK Approves 1GW+ Offshore Wind Power

Energy News: Germany Sets New Solar Power Record; UK Approves 1GW+ Offshore Wind Power | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Plus, falling solar prices halt the US's largest solar power factory; and, India's National Solar Mission may require domestic content.
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A Stunning Visualization of China's Air Pollution

A Stunning Visualization of China's Air Pollution | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
This slider shows the dramatic difference between a clear day and a smoggy one in Beijing, a reminder of how bad the air pollution can get.
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Germany proves renewable energy reliability - Dan Cass and Company

Germany proves renewable energy reliability - Dan Cass and Company | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
That's from a great grid story from Germany vs Australia's coal failure.

Germany has set another record that shows how we can build a safe energy future. The German electricity grid was more reliable in 2011 and also had a greater proportion of solar and wind energy than ever before.

The Network Agency announced yesterday that the German grid only had a downtime of 15.31 minutes in 2011.

It is crucial that we accelerate the development of intelligent grid management technology. The ‘smart’ grid model means that we can have 100% renewable energy systems which balance the output of hundreds of thousands of local solar, wind and other generators.

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Worldwide Effects of Global Warming | Free Classified Ads

Worldwide Effects of Global Warming | Free Classified Ads | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it

Hardly any person realizes it, but the debate about climate change is over. Scientists about the planet have now amassed an unassailable physique of evidence to help the conclusion that a warming of our planet-caused principally by greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuel-is below way.
The dwindling band of climate “sceptics”, a rag-tag bunch of oil and coal market frontmen, retired professors and semi-deranged obsessives, is now on the defensive. Although names such as Fred Singer, Philip Stott and Bjorn Lomborg nevertheless seem from time to time in the popular press [in England] and within the Usa, their views are notable by their absence from the professional literature.

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Daily Kos: CCSOS: Take it from Yale: What we really need to communicate about climate change

Daily Kos: CCSOS: Take it from Yale: What we really need to communicate about climate change | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it

"The opportunity: Based on extensive research done by the Yale Project over the years, here are the five most important things that need to be communicated to the public about climate change:

1)    Climate change is happening
2)    We're causing it this time
3)    There are serious consequences to humans and nature
4)    Experts agree on the first 3 points
5)    There are lots of options to solve this problem and to make our lives better.

Among these, number four is perhaps the most critical. Leiserowitz characterizes this as a “gateway belief.” Those who understand that scientists are in agreement on climate change and its causes are likely to accept the first three points. Those who accept the first three points are likely to be concerned or alarmed about the situation and expect their government to do something about it. This is where that elusive phenomenon called political will kicks in, and we inch closer to the tipping point for pricing carbon."

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Compressed Air Vehicle - Has the Electric Car Met its Match?

Compressed Air Vehicle - Has the Electric Car Met its Match? | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Tata Motors of India is developing a car that runs on compressed air. It will hold three people, travel at 40 mph, be good for 125 miles, and cost just €1 to fill up. They have completed.

 

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Climate Commission: global climate action gathers momentum

Climate Commission: global climate action gathers momentum | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Ninety countries representing 90% of the global economy are committed to reducing their greenhouse emissions and are taking action to do so.This is one of the take-home messages from the Climate Commission… (RT @ClimateComm: Will Steffen: "This report...

Many of the world’s wealthiest countries have been taking effective action on climate change for more than a decade. Over that period 12 of the world’s wealthy countries – Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Japan, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Sweden and the United States – have all reduced their emissions of carbon dioxide while their economies have continued to grow.

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Heatwaves are proof of global warming, says Nasa scientist

Heatwaves are proof of global warming, says Nasa scientist | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
The relentless, weather-gone-crazy heat that has blistered the United States and other parts of the world in recent years is so rare it cannot be anything but man-made global warming, a top Nasa scientist says.

The analysis was written before the current drought and record-breaking temperatures that have seared much of the United States this year. But Prof Hansen believes this too is another prime example of global warming at its worst.

The new research makes the case for the severity of global warming in a different way than most scientific studies and uses simple maths instead of relying on complex climate models or an understanding of atmospheric physics.

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Green Plants Reduce City Street Pollution Up to Eight Times More Than Previously Believed | Disinformation

Green Plants Reduce City Street Pollution Up to Eight Times More Than Previously Believed | Disinformation | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Via ScienceDaily: Trees, bushes and other greenery growing in the concrete-and-glass canyons of cities can reduce levels of two of the most worrisome air (Green Plants Reduce City Street Pollution Up to Eight Times More Than Previously Believed

Trees, bushes and other greenery growing in the concrete-and-glass canyons of cities can reduce levels of two of the most worrisome air pollutants by eight times more than previously believed, a new study has found.

The study concluded that judicious placement of grass, climbing ivy and other plants in urban canyons can reduce the concentration at street level of NO2 by as much as 40 percent and PM by 60 percent, much more than previously believed.

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This is What Global Warming Looks Like - 2012 Edition | Dan Lashof's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

This is What Global Warming Looks Like - 2012 Edition | Dan Lashof's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
NRDC produced its first “this is what global warming looks like” video back in 2010, featuring the Russian heat wave and the Pakistani flood. This year the extreme weather chickens have come home to roost in the United States.

Here’s a sample of what 2012 has brought so far:

The hottest January to June ever recorded in the continental United States. Tragically, excessive heat has killed at least 74, including fourteen children left in cars unattended.
The largest drought declaration in over 50 years, covering about 1,300 counties in 29 states, driving up food prices.
One of the most destructive freak derecho storms in history, leaving millions without power and at least 23 dead.
Fires in Colorado which have destroyed more than 700 homes and killed at least six.

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Storage, not generation, is the challenge to renewable energy

Storage, not generation, is the challenge to renewable energy | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Guest Post
If you read newspapers, blogs and other popular reports on renewable energy, you are very likely hearing almost exclusively about power generation advances in solar cell or wind turbine ...

What we urgently need is a means of storing energy at large scale and low cost that can be adapted anywhere. And it’s important not to confuse lightweight mobile energy storage with large scale stationary storage. I recently watched some very smart students at an excellent unnamed university (whose initials are MIT) as they found themselves trapped by the Silicon Valley product mindset that all consumer products should be small and lightweight in the design style of iPods. They tried to force a household energy storage system to be a refrigerator-sized appliance. In doing so, they lost track of the most essential characteristic of a large-scale energy storage system: It must be cheap.

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Morrow Royal Pavilion: Worlds Largest Building Made of Recycled Beer Bottles Opens in Las Vegas! | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

Morrow Royal Pavilion: Worlds Largest Building Made of Recycled Beer Bottles Opens in Las Vegas! | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Las Vegas Entrepreneur Scott McCombs has built the world's largest building made using recycled bottles in Las Vegas.

The Morrow Royal Pavilion in Las Vegas just claimed the title of the world’s largest building made from recycled bottles! Created by Las Vegas Entrepreneur Scott McCombs, the 30,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is made from more than 500,000 beer bottles that were crushed and formed into a composite material called GreenStone that was used to build the structure. The project diverted thousands of pounds of material from the junk yard, saving an estimated 400,000 cubic yards of landfill space – that’s equal to 8 football fields piled to the top of the goal post.

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Texas Judge Rules Atmosphere, Air Is Public Trust - ABC News

Texas Judge Rules Atmosphere, Air Is Public Trust - ABC News | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
abc13.comTexas Judge Rules Atmosphere, Air Is Public TrustABC NewsTexas Judge Rules Atmosphere, Air Is Public Trust.Texas judge rules atmosphere, air to be protected like water, may aid climate ...Washington Postall 173 news articles »...

The lawsuit was brought by the Texas Environmental Law Center, and is part of a court campaign in a dozen states by an Oregon-based nonprofit, Our Children's Trust. The group is using children and young adults as plaintiffs in the lawsuits — some state and some federal — filed in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

By relying on "common law" theories, the group hopes to have the atmosphere declared a public trust for the first time, granting it special protection. The doctrine has been used to clean up rivers and coastlines, but many legal experts have been unsure if it could be used successfully to combat climate change....

"I think it's huge that we got a judge to acknowledge that the atmosphere is a public trust asset and the air is a public trust asset," Abrams said. "It's the first time we've had verbage like this come out of one of these cases."

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Air Pollution Found to Cause Anxiety And Depression In Children - Greener Ideal

Air Pollution Found to Cause Anxiety And Depression In Children - Greener Ideal | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
When one thinks of air pollution their minds immediately race to the damaging side effects it has on our environment, but rarely does one think of human psychological well being.

The study collected data between 1999 and 2006 from 253 non smoking inner-city women living in New York City and their children. The mothers wore air-pollution-monitering devices while pregnant and provided samples of their own blood and the blood from their babies’ umbilical cords after birth. Once the children were six to eight years old, they took psychological tests. What did they find? Mothers who had higher levels of exposure to PAH had children who exhibited more symptoms of anxiety and depression by the time they were six or seven. The researchers who conducted the study pointed out that the mom’s with high PAH exposure levels lived in areas with a typical level for anyone living in a large urban area.

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