Climate & Clean Air Watch
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Climate & Clean Air Watch
The latest on what's happening to the climate and the issue of air pollution.
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China, US Agree To Save Planet From Climate Change - Forbes ("yeah, look who's talking")

China, US Agree To Save Planet From Climate Change - Forbes ("yeah, look who's talking") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
China, US Agree To Save Planet From Climate Change
Forbes
John Kerry and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing in April.
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Recycling absorbent hygiene waste ("this is needed in the Phil.")

Recycling absorbent hygiene waste ("this is needed in the Phil.") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Relivit is an Australian firm developing a plant in Sydney using the US Knowaste technology for recycling disposable nappies, adult incontinence aids and female hygiene products. The plant will open in 2014.

 

The technology first sterilises the items with an autoclave, and then separates the products into softwood pulp fibre and plastics. Both can then be onsold for further manufacturing.

 

Relevant site:

Knowaste: http://www.knowaste.com/


Via Adam Johnson
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Fish Migration Reveals Ocean Warming - Truthdig ("bad news for equatorial countries like the Phil.")

Fish Migration Reveals Ocean Warming - Truthdig ("bad news for equatorial countries like the Phil.") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Truthdig Fish Migration Reveals Ocean Warming Truthdig Although oceans are warming, and the chemistry of the seas gradually changing, William Cheung and colleagues at the University of British Columbia report in Nature that it has not been easy so...
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Coal Pollution in North Omaha, Nebraska: "Kids Deserve Better Than This" - Treehugger (blog)

Coal Pollution in North Omaha, Nebraska: "Kids Deserve Better Than This" - Treehugger (blog) | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Treehugger (blog)
Coal Pollution in North Omaha, Nebraska: "Kids Deserve Better Than This"
Treehugger (blog)
They are tired of the health effects that air pollution is having on their neighborhoods.

 According to the Clean Air Task Force, pollution from burning coal at OPPD’s North Omaha coal-fired power plant is linked to 240 asthma attacks, 22 heart attacks, and 14 premature deaths annually, as well as more than $100 million each year in health and environmental related costs, which are then passed on to taxpayers. North Omaha is largely an African American population, with an average household income of $17,000 The asthma rate in this community is nearly 20 percent -- more than twice the national average.

Cynthia, Krystal, and many North Omaha residents want clean energy for their neighborhood -- and for all of Nebraska. Not only do they know it won't pollute the air or water, but they also recognize the potential clean energy has for generating jobs and boosting the local economy. It's no coincidence that companies like Facebook are choosing Iowa over Nebraska for siting new facilities -- it's at least in part because of Iowa's aggressive wind power development. Just across the river from Omaha in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Google has announced plans to expand an existing data center.

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These Crazy Maps Show The Unequal Cause And Effect Of Climate ...

These Crazy Maps Show The Unequal Cause And Effect Of Climate ... | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Climate change is a fundamentally unfair phenomenon. For one thing, the countries that have contributed most to atmospheric build-ups of CO2 won't bear the brunt of the consequences. For another, the people who are least ...

"We wanted to show that responsibility for climate change isn’t just about current national emissions," says Clark. "It’s also about the extraction and export of fossil fuels, the consumption of imported goods made using those fuels, and emissions from previous centuries that are still in the air. Each of those metrics gives a different but valid view on how responsible each nation is for causing the problem."

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China, Japan, S. Korea to cooperate on air pollution (air quality over politics!) | Capital News

China, Japan, S. Korea to cooperate on air pollution (air quality over politics!) | Capital News | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
TOKYO, May 6 – Japan, China and South Korea agreed Monday to continue cooperating in the fight against cross-border air pollution, despite strained relations between the neighbours because of territorial disputes.


“Apart from domestic countermeasures, it is indispensable for China, South Korea and other countries to cooperate in solving them.” ...
Li Ganjie, China’s vice minister for environmental protection, who attended in his place, said that there was “strong concern” in China about environmental pollution.
“We wish to create a more beautiful environment in Asia by continuing cooperation with Japan and China,” he said.
South Korea’s Environment Minister Yoon Seong-Kyu told the meeting that the three-way cooperation on environmental issues had reached a “new turning point” with new governments in all three countries.
Relations between Tokyo and South Korea have also been strained by a separate territorial row over a Seoul-controlled chain of islets in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

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Global carbon dioxide levels on pace to hit 'sobering milestone' of ...

Global carbon dioxide levels on pace to hit 'sobering milestone' of ... | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached 399.72 parts per million (ppm) and is likely to pass the symbolically important 400ppm level for the first time in the next few days. Readings at the US ...
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Carbon bubble will plunge the world into another financial crisis – report - Observer

Carbon bubble will plunge the world into another financial crisis – report - Observer | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Carbon bubble will plunge the world into another financial crisis – report
Observer
"They only believe environmental regulation when they see it," said James Leaton, from Carbon Tracker and a former PwC consultant.

The so-called "carbon bubble" is the result of an over-valuation of oil,coal and gas reserves held by fossil fuel companies. According to a report published on Friday, at least two-thirds of these reserves will have to remain underground if the world is to meet existing internationally agreed targets to avoid the threshold for "dangerous" climate change. If the agreements hold, these reserves will be in effect unburnable and so worthless – leading to massive market losses. But the stock markets are betting on countries' inaction on climate change.

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Corporations Can't Ignore Climate Change - Forbes

Corporations Can't Ignore Climate Change - Forbes | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Corporations Can't Ignore Climate Change
Forbes
When a strong storm can bring the world's largest financial institutions to a standstill, it is crystal clear that the challenges of climate change are inextricably linked to our economy.

When it comes to climate-related challenges, it’s in the long-term interest of corporations, investors and other major economic players to adjust business-as-usual models in favor of new, more sustainable models that ensure future prosperity. Getting them to see their own long-term self-interest can be a daunting challenge, however, but we’re making progress.

Ford acknowledges quite publicly that fuel-efficient cars and trucks are the wave of the future – it’s what customers want, it’s where the company wants to be ‘best of class.’ What a refreshing change from a decade ago when ‘gas guzzling’ cars and trucks is all they could talk about.

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A Solution For Clean Energy On A 24/7 Basis

A Solution For Clean Energy On A 24/7 Basis | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Critics of renewables have always claimed that sun and wind are only intermittent producers of electricity and need fossil fuel plants as back-up to make them viable. But German engineers have proved this is not so.
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Climate change will threaten wine production, study shows

Climate change will threaten wine production, study shows | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Global warming will make it difficult to raise grapes in traditional wine country, but will shift production to other regions (RT @ClimateReality: First chocolate & coffee, now wine?

"The fact is that climate change will lead to a huge shakeup in the geographic distribution of wine production," said Lee Hannah, a senior scientist at Conservation International and an author of the study.

Researchers expect big changes in regions enjoying the cool winters and hot dry summers that produce good grapes. "It will be harder and harder to grow those varieties that are currently growing in places in Europe," Hannah said. "It doesn't necessarily mean that [they] can't be grown there, but it will require irrigation and special inputs to make it work, and that will make it more and more expensive."

Wine grapes are known to be one of the most finicky of crops, sensitive to subtle shifts in temperature, rain and sunshine. The industry has been forward-looking when it comes to anticipating the effects of climate change.

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How Ontario Is Putting an End To Coal-Burning Power Plants by Keith Schneider: Yale Environment 360

How Ontario Is Putting an End To Coal-Burning Power Plants by Keith Schneider: Yale Environment 360 | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Ontario is on the verge of becoming the first industrial region in North America to eliminate all coal-fired electrical generation. Here’s how Canada’s most populous province did it — and what the U.S.
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Missing heat found in oceans, global warming has accelerated in past 15 years

Missing heat found in oceans, global warming has accelerated in past 15 years | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Some people would like you to believe that global warming has been slowing down in the past 15 years, but it has actually accelerated.
Completely contrary to the popular contrarian myth, global warming has accelerated, with more overall global warming in the past 15 years than the prior 15 years.  This is because about 90% of overall global warming goes into heating the oceans, and the oceans have been warming dramatically.As suspected, much of the 'missing heat' Kevin Trenberth previously talked about has been found in the deep oceans.  Consistent with the results of Nuccitelli et al. (2012), this study finds that 30% of the ocean warming over the past decade has occurred in the deeper oceans below 700 meters, which they note is unprecedented over at least the past half century.
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Climate Envoys Urged to Draft Plan B on Failure of Global Target ("panic button?")

Climate Envoys Urged to Draft Plan B on Failure of Global Target ("panic button?") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Climate policy makers must come up with a new global target to cap temperature gains because the current goal is no longer feasible, according to a German study.
The study jars with the aim of United Nations negotiations, which have focused on reducing emissions quickly enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change. That ambition was thrown into doubt in May when scientific data showed carbon dioxide in the air passed a level not seen for millions of years. UN analysis shows current targets won’t keep temperature gains to 2 degrees. European Union leaders will have to develop “clear ideas” on a way forward because the temperature goal, pushed mainly by the 27-member bloc, has failed to trigger successful policies, according to the Berlin-based institute, which advises Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government. “The EU will not be able to avoid this question much longer,” Geden said. The study recommends that world leaders either allow the 2-degree goal to become a benchmark that can be temporarily overshot, accept a higher target, or give up on such an objective altogether.
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IBM Solar Collector Harnesses the Power of 2,000 Suns ("another mind-blowing technology")

IBM Solar Collector Harnesses the Power of 2,000 Suns ("another mind-blowing technology") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
IBM's High Concentration Photovoltaic Thermal system will be able to concentrate light to the power of 2,000 suns while also providing fresh water and cool air.

IBM claims that it would require only two percent of the Sahara’s total area to supply the world’s energy needs. The HCPVT system is designed around a huge parabolic dish covered in mirror facets. The dish is supported and controlled by a tracking system that moves along with the sun. Sun rays reflect off of the mirror into receivers containing triple junction photovoltaic chips, each able to convert 200-250 watts over eight hours. Combined hundred of the chips provide 25 kilowatts of electricity.

The entire dish is cooled with liquids that are 10 times more effective than passive air methods, keeping the HCPVT safe to operate at a concentration of 2,000 times on average, and up to 5,000 times the power of the sun. The direct cooling technique is inspired by the branched blood supply system of the human body and has already been used to cool high performance computers like the Aquasar. The system will also be able to create fresh water by passing 90 degree Celsius liquid through a distillation system that vaporizes and desalinates up to 40 liters each day while still generating electricity. It will also be able to amazingly offer air conditioning by a thermal drive absorption chiller that converts heat through silica gel. ...

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Mindanao seeks more renewable energy to balance power supply mix - GMA News

Mindanao seeks more renewable energy to balance power supply mix - GMA News | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Mindanao seeks more renewable energy to balance power supply mix GMA News Mindanao is seeking more investments in renewable energy for a more balanced energy mix—after new power plants come online in 2016 to 2018—to induce effective delivery of...
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97 out of 100 climate scientists agree: Humans are responsible for warming

97 out of 100 climate scientists agree: Humans are responsible for warming | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Say it again: Another exhaustive study confirms that there's virtually no disagreement among climate scientists about the cause of climate change.

An international team of scientists analyzed the abstracts of 11,944 peer-reviewed papers published between 1991 and 2011 dealing with climate change and global warming. That’s right — we’re talking about 20 years of papers, many published long before Superstorm Sandy, last year’s epic Greenland melt, or Australia’s “angry summer.”

About two-thirds of the authors of those studies refrained from stating in their abstracts whether human activity was responsible for climate change. But in those papers where a position on the claim was staked out, 97.1 percent endorsed the consensus position that humans are, indeed, cooking the planet.

The scientists involved with the new study also asked the authors of the peer-reviewed papers for their personal reflections on the causes of global warming. A little more than one-third expressed no opinion. Of those who did share a view, 97.2 percent endorsed the consensus that humans are to blame. Out of the 1,189 authors who responded to the survey, just 39 rejected the idea that humans are causing global warming.

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Kidney problems linked to traffic fumes - BBC News

Kidney problems linked to traffic fumes - BBC News | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
BBC News
Kidney problems linked to traffic fumes
BBC News
The US investigators who discovered a link in 1,100 patients believe traffic pollution could harm the arteries that supply the kidneys.

"Since we know traffic pollution increases the risk of heart disease, the message of this study - that traffic pollution might damage the kidneys - is perhaps to be expected.

"The responsibility to reduce traffic pollution falls on everyone, and this study is yet another reason - as if we needed one - to travel on foot or bike where possible."

But he cautioned that the current study only showed a link - it does not prove living next to a road definitely affects kidney function.

The researchers were unable to control for all socio-economic factors and all of the patients in the study had recently suffered a stroke.

They say more studies looking at different groups of people are needed to confirm the findings.

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Climate change: When rain, rain won't go away - USA Today - USA TODAY

Climate change: When rain, rain won't go away - USA Today - USA TODAY | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Climate change: When rain, rain won't go away - USA Today
USA TODAY
Such storms have become the signature of climate change across the Northeast, afflicting older cities and towns built at a time of more modest rainfall.

This wasn't just another 1-in-500-years event happening, a freak occurrence, a one-off event. Rather, experts see it as the new normal across the Northeast, the latest in a series of calamitous weather events occurring because of, or amplified by, climate change.

What's causing the additional rain? It's simple. Warmer air causes more evaporation from streams, lakes and seas. Warmer air also holds more moisture. So, when it falls, it really unloads — thus, more extreme storms.

"Increased extreme precipitation in the Northeast is one of the clearest signals of climate change that we can see nationwide," says climate expert Donald Wuebbles of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. "It's not just more rain, but more rain falling in buckets over long periods of time."


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Mini(mize) Carbon Olympics - Metro students battle carbon emissions - EDNPI

Mini(mize) Carbon Olympics - Metro students battle carbon emissions - EDNPI | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

To highlight this year’s theme: “Earth day everyday, everywhere for everyone,” the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Earth Day Network Philippines Inc. (EDNPI) kicked off Monday (April 22) a different kind of competition among Metro Manila high schools and colleges.

Celebrating Earth Day at the Quezon Memorial Circle, the Mini(mize) Carbon Olympics was launched to pit students of 47 secondary and tertiary private and public schools against pollution.

“If they would be competing against each other, it would only be for bragging rights,” EDNPI executive director Voltaire Alferez told the Inquirer.

He said the olympics would tap schools in Metro Manila, the pilot area, to educate them in ways to reduce carbon emission through energy-saving measures and efficient solid waste management.

“They (schools) would basically be competing with themselves on improving their existing environmentally sound practices as a way of addressing climate change,” he said, adding that during the activity, the schools would be taught how to “audit” greenhouse gas emissions and their energy consumption.

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Think the Planet Isn't Warming? Check the Ocean - Discovery News

Think the Planet Isn't Warming? Check the Ocean - Discovery News | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Politico
Think the Planet Isn't Warming?

First, the smaller the temporal time scale, the more the short-term fluctuations, forcings and feedbacks — from aerosol emissions to La Niña events — can distort the bigger picture. Over a longer scale, the evidence is increasing that the rate of warming is probably unprecedented in over 11,000 years.

Second, The Economist article, and the skeptic narrative that has absorbed it, focuses on what is known as “climate sensitivity,” which is how much surface warming the planet will experience in response to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations relative to pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

Third, the data referred to by The Economist suggest that climate sensitivity may be at the very low end of projected estimates of between 2 degrees Celsius and 4.5 degrees Celsius. If that indeed does prove to be the case, then that’s obviously good news. But, as Zeke Hausfather pointed out in a post at the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media: “A world with a relatively low climate sensitivity — say in the range of 2 °C — but with high emissions and with atmospheric concentrations three to four times those of pre-industrial levels is still probably a far different planet than the one we humans have become accustomed to. And it’s likely not one we would find nearly so hospitable.”

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Pollution Crisis Sparks Mass Popular Protests - Radio Free Asia

Pollution Crisis Sparks Mass Popular Protests - Radio Free Asia | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Pollution Crisis Sparks Mass Popular Protests Radio Free Asia Worsening levels of air and water pollution, as well as disputes over the effects of heavy metals from mining and industry, have forced ordinary Chinese to become increasingly involved...

"Most people know this is not a trivial matter," Cui said. "We can't wait for government ... departments to [announce things]. It's too urgent."
"We are going to start using our own eyes and our own figures to get to the truth," he said.
Liu Jianqiang, editor-in-chief of the rights website JusticeNet, said that environmental protests had grown larger and more widespread during 2012, and were more high-profile than in previous years, often resulting in a positive response from the authorities.
"There has been a huge increase in public debate and in the self-testing of air quality and water pollution," Liu said. "This shows that the general public isn't going to let pollution go unchallenged."

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WB: environmental pollution costs Vietnam 5.5 pct of GDP

WB: environmental pollution costs Vietnam 5.5 pct of GDP | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
2 billion USD in 2008, said the bank, adding that the country also has to spend another 780 million USD each year on public health treatment due to environmental pollution (RT @PamMcElwee: WB: environmental pollution costs #Vietnam 5.5 pct of GDP ...
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Ice That Took 1,600 Years to Form in Peru’s Andes Melted in Only 25, Scientists Say

Ice That Took 1,600 Years to Form in Peru’s Andes Melted in Only 25, Scientists Say | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
Scientists say the rapid melting of the Quelccaya ice cap, the world’s largest tropical ice sheet, is the latest sign of global warming. (RT @350: 1,600 years of glacial ice, gone in just 25 years.

he evidence comes from a remarkable find at the margins of theQuelccaya ice cap in Peru, the world’s largest tropical ice sheet. Rapid melting there in the modern era is uncovering plants that were locked in a deep freeze when the glacier advanced many thousands of years ago.

Dating of those plants, using a radioactive form of carbon in the plant tissues that decays at a known rate, has given scientists an unusually precise method of determining the history of the ice sheet’s margins.

In the new research, a thousand feet of additional melting has exposed plants that laboratory analysis shows to be about 6,300 years old. The simplest interpretation, Dr. Thompson said, is that ice that accumulated over approximately 1,600 years melted back in no more than 25 years.

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V. C. Bestor's curator insight, April 6, 2013 10:43 AM

The ice in your drink is melting also.

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China Launches $16 Billion Rectification Of Beijing’s Pollution Crisis - "the cost of envi disregard"

China Launches $16 Billion Rectification Of Beijing’s Pollution Crisis - "the cost of envi disregard" | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
20 million people live in Beijing, a literally breathtaking city that has been contending with air quality so bad and

Behind the attention to the theme finally on the forefront of Chinese politics are the mounting public unrest, criticism, and widespread anger at environmental degradation. In response, Beijing’s government has pledged to improve sewage disposal, garbage treatment, and air quality, as well as crack down on illegal construction, China Daily wrote, citing a three-year plan released on Thursday. In the next three years, China will spend 100 billion Yuan ($16 billion) to rectify, clear, and deal with Beijing’s pollution.

Beijing’s plan includes lying or upgrading 1,290 km (800 miles) of sewage pipeline, building five garbage incineration plants, setting up 47 water recycling plants, and upgrading 20 sewage disposal plants, wrote China Daily. Beijing Mayor Wang Anshan requested that the private sector participate in these investments.

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knowledgEnabler's curator insight, April 2, 2013 3:54 PM
China Launches $16 Billion Rectification Of Beijing’s Pollution Crisis - "the cost of envi disregard"