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Climate Change Watch
The latest on what's happening to the climate.
Curated by Bert Guevara
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Air Pollution Now Responsible for 1 in 8 Deaths Worldwide, Study Shows ("both indoor & outdoor air")

Air Pollution Now Responsible for 1 in 8 Deaths Worldwide, Study Shows ("both indoor & outdoor air") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Air pollution is now the world’s greatest environmental health risk, according to new findings that show poor air quality causes 7 million deaths a year.

It is already common knowledge that poor air quality can trigger and aggravate respiratory diseases like acute respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. But WHO reported that its new data also shows a stronger correlation between air pollution and cancer, as well as air quality and cardiovascular diseases, including strokes and heart disease.

“The risks from air pollution are now far greater than previously thought or understood, particularly for heart disease and strokes,” Dr. Maria Neira, director of WHO’s department for public health, said in a statement. “Few risks have a greater impact on global health today than air pollution; the evidence signals the need for concerted action to clean up the air we all breathe.”

WHO’s new data also revealed that cardiovascular diseases accounted for the vast majority of deaths linked to air pollution: 40 percent of deaths caused by outdoor air pollution were due to heart disease and another 40 percent were from strokes. Of deaths linked to indoor air pollution, strokes made up 34 percent of fatalities, while heart disease represented 26 percent. Lung cancer accounted for 6 percent of both outdoor and indoor air pollution-linked deaths.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Air pollution is becoming the lead killer in the world.

"Low- and middle-income countries in Southeast Asia and the western Pacific were the most affected by poor air quality, WHO reported, with a total of 3.3 million deaths due to indoor air pollution and 2.6 million deaths from outdoor air pollution."

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Climate Change Impacts in Pictures: 8 Stark IPCC Images | Climate Central ("for serious advocates")

Climate Change Impacts in Pictures: 8 Stark IPCC Images | Climate Central ("for serious advocates") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
The IPCC's latest report is chock full of images that starkly illustrate climate change's impacts. Here's eight of them.

100-year floods: More extreme precipitation, expected with climate change, means that major flood events could happen more often and thus more people are likely to be impacted. By 2100, hundreds of millions of people per year are projected to have to deal with the challenges flooding poses, the IPCC shows in the above graph. That graph even keeps population steady at 2005 levels, meaning even more people will be under threat with population rise.

Fisheries on the move: The best fisheries are likely to shift to mid-latitude oceans by the middle of the 21st century. However, the tropics and Southern Ocean fisheries will likely suffer over the period as oceans become too warm and net ocean productivity decreases. Not only will fisheries shift but the maximum weight of fish will change too. In some areas, such as the North Atlantic, the increase in catch potential will at least be partially offset by a decrease in fish body weight.

3.6°F means more risks: Climate impacts are already occurring, but so far they’ve caused relatively low levels of risk. However, future temperature increases will pose dramatically higher risks to both human and natural systems. Ecosystems as well as human systems that are highly specialized are most at risk to these impacts.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Warning: This link is only for the serious climate advocate. Are you serious enough to take time out and read this stuff?

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Jar of clean mountain air from France sells for $845 in smog-choked Beijing ("absurdity in chaos")

Jar of clean mountain air from France sells for $845 in smog-choked Beijing ("absurdity in chaos") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
If you can't breathe, what else matters? China is truly at the crossroads...

Sometimes, it takes an artist to perfectly make a point. Liang Kegang lives in Beijing, where the air is just horrible, and after spending a business trip in the south of France (a well-deserved period of respite for his lungs, no doubt), he came back with a small item to protest the smoggy conditions in his home country: A small sealed glass jar of clean Provence mountain air. To really drive his point home, he auctioned the jar before a group of about 100 Chinese artists and collectors and was paid 5,250 yuan for it ($845 at today's exchange rate).

"Air should be the most valueless commodity, free to breathe for any vagrant or beggar," Liang said in an interview. "This is my way to question China's foul air and express my dissatisfaction."

Things have gotten so bad that even the authorities can't bury their head in the sand anymore. Pollution is now one of the top causes of social unrest in China, and even Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has said that it is a "major problem" and he wants thegovernment to “‘declare war’’ on smog by removing high-emission cars from the road and closing coal-fired furnaces.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

In a frantic attempt to avert a "perceived" energy backlog in the Philippines, our government is allowing coal-powered plants all over the country. The justification is economics! Look where this has brought China!


Pollution is ‘‘nature’s red-light warning against the model of inefficient and blind development,’’ Li said at the start of this year’s National People’s Congress in Beijing. ‘‘Fostering a sound ecological environment is vital for people’s lives and the future of our nation.”

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How is energy used? More energy ends up rejected than used!

How is energy used? More energy ends up rejected than used! | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Bert Guevara's insight:

This is the U.S. model of energy use. At the end of the line, only 38.4% of energy is consumed, while 59% is rejected. 

I wonder what the Philippines energy diagram looks like. It may have another line at the end -- energy STOLEN!!!

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WHO: Pollution kills 7 million people a year ("it is now biggest environ health risk; 1 in 8 deaths")

WHO: Pollution kills 7 million people a year ("it is now biggest environ health risk; 1 in 8 deaths") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
World Health Organisation says air pollution now the cause of one in eight deaths, with indoor stoves the biggest risk.

The agency said air pollution is the cause of about one in eight deaths and has now become the single biggest environmental health risk.

"We all have to breathe, which makes pollution very hard to avoid," Frank Kelly, director of the environmental research group at King's College London, who was not part of the WHO report, told the Associated Press news agency.

WHO estimated that there were about 4.3 million deaths in 2012 caused by indoor air pollution, mostly people cooking inside using wood and coal stoves in Asia. WHO said there were about 3.7 million deaths from outdoor air pollution in 2012, of which nearly 90 percent were in developing countries.

The new estimates are more than double previous figures and based mostly on modelling. The increase is partly due to better information about the health effects of pollution and improved detection methods. Last year, WHO's cancer agency classified air pollution as a carcinogen, linking dirty air to lung and bladder cancer.

WHO's report noted women had higher levels of exposure than men in developing countries.


Bert Guevara's insight:

One in eight deaths caused by air pollution!!!

Surprise - most of it comes from indoor stoves. How is your air?

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Paris car ban stopped after one day ("see what a people's initiative can do in just a day")

Paris car ban stopped after one day ("see what a people's initiative can do in just a day") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
French ministers claim traffic experiment is a success after just 24 hours, saying pollution levels are within safe limit again

Martin said that 90% of Parisians had complied with the restrictions that disrupted their driving habits for the first time since 1997, after five straight days of dangerous smog over the capital. He insisted that there had been none of the chaos feared after the last such experiment 17 years ago.

Martin said the government decided against extending the restrictions because the weather conditions were improving and the pollution level would not breach the safe limit on Tuesday. But experts said it would take some time to determine the impact of the car ban on the pollution levels.

Minute particles of PM10 emitted by diesel exhausts, woodsmoke and industrial emissions are blamed for causing the smog. The level peaked last Friday at 180 microgrammes, more than double the safe limit of 80 microgrammes.

 


Bert Guevara's insight:

If man is the cause of our pollution problems, then man is also the solution.

This Paris experience is a fine example of what a one day abstinence from cars can do to mitigate terrible air pollution in the city.

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Sylvain Rotillon's curator insight, March 22, 3:31 AM

Un regard extérieur sur les effets de la circulation alternée dans Paris

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5 key issues in the fight for better fuel ("beyond higher octane -- let's focus on bigger picture")

5 key issues in the fight for better fuel ("beyond higher octane -- let's focus on bigger picture") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Commercial fleet operators, their value chain operators and policymakers can create change by paying attention to these big ideas.

The panelists raised five key ideas that need more attention from commercial fleet operators, their value chain partners and policymakers:

1. Climate impacts from transportation fuel are enormous.

2. Freight drives fuel impacts.

3. To conserve fuel, we need to bring the destination to the vehicle.

4. Practical challenges create barriers to the use of new fuels.

5. We need more creative commercial collaborations.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The solution lies beyond the Clean Air Act. Time to shift to 3rd gear!!!
"Given these challenges, corporate fleet owners need to find ways to work creatively with different value chain actors to create new commercial business models for fuels, and policymakers need to help them do so while promoting policies that improve the transportation system as a whole."

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Marius Engen's curator insight, March 20, 3:37 AM

Our most vital and efficient resources are being drained, should not we be taking better care of them? Fossil fuel is becoming more and more vulnerable and we need to look at the options.

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Climate action call as 'another angry summer' breaks 156 heat records ("it gets hotter every year")

Climate action call as 'another angry summer' breaks 156 heat records ("it gets hotter every year") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Climate Council says the summer was ‘another example of climate change tearing through the record books’

More than 150 temperature records were broken in Australia during “another angry summer” that highlighted the need for deep reductions in greenhouse gases, a new report has said.

The analysis, by the Climate Council, found that Sydney experienced its driest summer in 27 years, while Melbourne sweltered through its hottest ever 24-hour period, averaging 35.5C. The Victorian capital also had four days in a row above 41C.

Elsewhere, Adelaide had a record of 11 days at 42C or hotter during the summer, while Perth had its second hottest summer on record.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given that 79% of Queensland is now considered to be in drought, the Climate Council findings showed it was the driest summer on record for 45 locations in the state.

In New South Wales, where more than half of the state is in the grip of drought, 38 locations had their driest ever summer.

The highest temperature recorded in the summer was 49.2C in Emu Creek, Western Australia. Overall, 156 temperature records were broken in the 90 days of summer.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This kind of summer is just around the corner for the Philippines.

“The latest summer was an another example of climate change tearing through the record books. It’s not just about one summer but an overall trend to more extreme weather.

“Things are getting bad and if we want to stop them getting worse this is the critical decade for action. We need to cut the emission of greenhouse gases and we need to do it urgently.”

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New ozone-destroying chemicals found in atmosphere ("we're not finished yet; new compounds coming up")

New ozone-destroying chemicals found in atmosphere ("we're not finished yet; new compounds coming up") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it

(Mysterious compounds undermining recovery of giant ozone hole over Antarctica, scientists warn

The new research, published the journal Nature Geoscience, analysed air samples captured since the mid-1970s in several ways. Air bubbles trapped in snowpack in Greenland, samples taken by scientists in Tasmania and others collected by aircraft flying 13 miles above Europe were all analysed. The team found three new CFCs and one HCFC, none of which had been identified before. "I was surprised no-one had picked these up before," said Laube. At least 74,000 tonnes of the four newly discovered chemicals have been emitted, the scientists estimate, although in the 1980s one million tonnes of other CFCs were pumped into the atmosphere every year.

Despite the production of all CFCs having been banned since 2010, the concentration of one – CFC113a – is rising at an accelerating rate. The source of the chemicals is a mystery but Laube suggests that CFC113a may be being used as a feedstock chemical in the production of agricultural pesticides. "But we can't rule out illegal sources," he said.

"Although these new emissions [of the four chemicals] are small, for the Montreal protocol to continue to be successful it is necessary to understand whether it is being strictly complied with," said Prof William Collins, at the University of Reading, and not part of the research team. "This study provides useful new information on policing the protocol, tracing sources of new CFCs that are possibly arising as the by-products of manufacturing other chemicals."

Bert Guevara's insight:

The battle for the ozone is not yet over, it seems. After the successful Montreal Protocol, there are new findings of other compounds that were not included in the old list.

The ozone hole over Antarctica aggravates the global warming and ice melting in the region.

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Climate Change Science Academy Report | The Energy Collective ("CC for non-scientists; downloadable")

Climate Change Science Academy Report | The Energy Collective ("CC for non-scientists; downloadable") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
So you’ve been wondering what to recommend to your friends who want a readable but authoritative introduction to climate change, one which answers their key questions. The US National Academy of Sciences and the U.K. Royal Society have achieved this with their new report, “Climate Change: Evidence & Causes.”

So you’ve been wondering what to recommend to your open-minded friends who want a readable but authoritative introduction to climate change, one which answers their key questions. Look no further!

The US National Academy of Sciences and the U.K. Royal Society have achieved a breakthrough in readability with their new report, “Climate Change: Evidence & Causes.”

Group reports by leading climate scientists are notoriously hard to read, such as the opaque-as-squid-ink IPCC report from September. But the Academy and Society shrewdly break the mold for climate reports by starting with a Climate Change Q&A — and by beginning each answer with a short, non-technical response:

How do scientists know that recent climate change is largely caused by human activities?

Scientists know that recent climate change is largely caused by human activities from an understanding of basic physics, comparing observations with models, and fingerprinting the detailed patterns of climate change caused by different human and natural influences.

See, no biggie. Here’s another:

Climate is always changing. Why is climate change of concern now?

All major climate changes, including natural ones, are disruptive. Past climate changes led to extinction of many species, population migrations, and pronounced changes in the land surface and ocean circulation. The speed of the current climate change is faster than most of the past events, making it more difficult for human societies and the natural world to adapt.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Until now, many people do not understand Climate change because the language used may not be simple enough for the common people. Here is an attempt to simplify Climate Change for the non-scientist.

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Believe it or not, January was full of big, warm climate anomalies ("warming woes still coming")

Believe it or not, January was full of big, warm climate anomalies ("warming woes still coming") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Even though the East Coast has been experiencing unusually cold weather, the first month of 2014 actually saw record-breaking heat.

January's temperatures were the hottest for the month since 2007 and, with a combined global average of 54.8 degrees, this was the fourth warmest January since records began in 1880.

That's the word from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, which recently released an updated "State of the Climate" that includes the above map of temperature anomalies. Note cooler-than-normal patches in the eastern US, central Canada, Scandinavia, and a big hunk of Russia, which had country-scale temperatures 9 degrees below average. But the big story was heat, heat, heat, as NCDC explains:

During January 2014, most of the world's land areas experienced warmer-than-average temperatures, with the most notable departures from the 1981–2010 average across Alaska, western Canada, Greenland, Mongolia, southern Russia, and northern China, where the departure from average was +3°C (+5.4°F) or greater. Meanwhile, parts of southeastern Brazil and central and southern Africa experienced record warmth with temperature departures between 0.5°C to 1.5°C above the 1981–2010 average, contributing to the highest January Southern Hemisphere land temperature departure on record at 1.13°C (2.03°F) above the 20th century average. This was also the warmest month for the Southern Hemisphere land since September 2013 when temperatures were 1.23°C (2.21°F) above the 20th century average.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The 2 deg. C threshold set by the UN will soon be breached at the rate man is heating up the world. In the Philippines, we are looking forward to a possible El Niño phenomenon. Everyone should start thinking of how to cope with record temperatures this dry season.

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Beijing raises pollution alert to orange for first time as heavy smog blankets capital ("10x unsafe")

Beijing raises pollution alert to orange for first time as heavy smog blankets capital ("10x unsafe") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Beijing raised its four-tiered smog alert system to 'orange' for the first time on Friday as heavy smog was forecast to roll into the city for the next three days. Officials have urged people to stay indoors and use public transport.
When Beijing’s Air Quality Index (AQI) readings went above 300 micrograms per cubic meter on Friday – more than ten times the level considered safe by the World Health Organization (WHO) – the orange warning level was brought into effect. The category, which is the second-highest after 'red,' advises schools to cancel outside sports classes and states that children and elderly should stay indoors. Residents are also advised to leave their cars at home. The 'orange' alert falls short of ordering schools to close and prohibiting government vehicles from using the roads – those provisions come into force under the red alert. The tiered system has four levels – using blue, yellow, orange, and red to indicate the air pollution in order of increasing severity – and was introduced last October. An orange alert indicates heavy to serious pollution for three consecutive days, while a red alert indicates the most serious air pollution, also known as level 6, for three days in a row.
Bert Guevara's insight:
Our planet has only one blanket of air that goes around, according to wind patterns. Sooner or later, air pollution from China, India, HongKong and other severely polluted cities will share their air with us in the Philippines. Air pollution in foreign countries is as much our concern as it is theirs.
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India’s Air Pollution Emergency ("another country that has run-away air pollution in cities")

India’s Air Pollution Emergency ("another country that has run-away air pollution in cities") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Emissions have turned into severe health hazards and demand attention.

Last month, the Yale Environmental Performance Index ranked India 174th out of 178 countries on air pollution. According to India’s Central Pollution Control Board, in 2010, particulate matter in the air of 180 Indian cities was six times higher than World Health Organization standards. More people die of asthma in India than anywhere else in the world. Indoor air pollution, mostly from cooking fires, and outdoor air pollution are the third and fifth leading causes of death in India.

Automobile sales in India have boomed, and diesel is the fuel of choice. Many industries pollute with impunity, defying existing environmental laws and regulations. Pollution monitoring in India is a haphazard affair. Industries know that even if they are caught polluting, criminal prosecution will take years to go through India’s overburdened courts.

The best hope for reining in air pollution lies with India’s Supreme Court. It has handed down a series of landmark environmental decisions, including mandating the use of compressed natural gas in public-service vehicles in Delhi in 1985. Air quality in India’s capital improved, but the gains have since evaporated.


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Moringa Oleifera purifies water - YouTube ("Phil. national vegetable not only a health food")

As Moringa has been used for centuries in 3rd world countries as a means to purify water, science has now recognized its remarkable properties.... if Moringa...

Utilizing extracts from the Moringa oleifera tree, scientists were able to remove impurities from water without using aluminum or iron salts (both substances can have damaging effects on the human body, especially aluminum).

“It’s amazing to see that simple interactions between molecules can solve practical problems. Understanding this process can lead to further developments in water purification using naturally occurring and environmentally friendly materials,” says Adrian Rennie, Professor of Neutron Scattering at Uppsala University.

A study shows how extremely small amounts of protein from the seeds of the tree bind strongly to surfaces, a property that results in the aggregation of pollutant particles, which can then be separated from the water. This discovery grew out of a collaboration with the University of Botswana and scientists at The Scattering Center and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Ångström Laboratory.

Bert Guevara's insight:

"Purifying water can be expensive and cumbersome in many countries, and without access to clean water or sanitation, disease runs rampant, and many people die unnecessarily from water-borne illness. Fortunately, due to the collaboration of the University of Botswana and researchers from Uppsala University, a natural and inexpensive way to purify water has been uncovered - Moringa oleifera."

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Beijing experiences terrible air quality - YouTube ("level of PM2.5 reached 1000ppm; 300 was bad!")

Smog chokes the Chinese capital of Beijing over the weekend and into this week as CNN's Steven Jiang reports. For more CNN videos, check out http://www.youtu...
Bert Guevara's insight:

Residents of Beijing, although complaining through social media, seem to be resigned to the reality of having to hold their breath a little longer. This is also happening in many cities of the world.

To them, reaching the level of 1000ppm (where the danger level for PM2.5 is 300ppm) seems to be part of the daily grind.

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World 'needs Plan B' on climate - UN ("the chance for political united action looks dim")

World 'needs Plan B' on climate - UN ("the chance for political united action looks dim") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
The world needs a Plan B on climate change because politicians are failing to reduce carbon emissions, according to a UN report.

The final draft report to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) adopts a new tone of realism in the face of repeated failures by governments to meet their rhetoric on climate change with action.

It warns that governments are set to crash through the global CO2 safety threshold by 2030. Humans have tripled CO2 emissions since 1970, it says - and emissions have been accelerating rather than slowing.

The experts advise governments that it will be cheaper overall to cut the greenhouse gas before 2030 if they want to hold emissions at 430-480ppm CO2 - a level that's calculated to bring a 66% chance of staying within a desired 2C threshold of warming by the end of the century.

The report says emissions are running at the high end of projections. Concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are likely to break the 450ppm threshold by 2030. It adds that current pledges by governments made at climate summits in Copenhagen and Cancun currently exceed this cautionary limit.

The share of clean energy sources needs to triple or even quadruple by 2050, relative to 2010, the final draft explains. Delaying emissions reductions beyond 2030 will increase the challenge of bringing down CO2 to a safe level by the end of the century.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Hope is dimming through political means. I agree that a Plan B should be studied seriously.

 

"The current lack of action means that we may have to consider overshoot scenarios, which would be better than abandoning our temperature target threshold of 2 degrees. Some people think there's a degree of political dishonesty in allowing governments to claim they will keep to their targets in the short term."

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Climate impacts 'overwhelming' - UN

Climate impacts 'overwhelming' - UN | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Global warming is likely to have a "severe, pervasive and irreversible" impact, a major UN report warns.

Scientists and officials meeting in Japan say the document is the most comprehensive assessment to date of the impacts of climate change on the world.

Some impacts of climate change include a higher risk of flooding and changes to crop yields and water availability.

Humans may be able to adapt to some of these changes, but only within limits.

Be it the melting of glaciers or warming of permafrost, the summary highlights the fact that on all continents and across the oceans, changes in the climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems in recent decades.

In the words of the report, "increasing magnitudes of warming increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts".

"Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,'' IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri told journalists at a news conference in Yokohama.

Dr Saleemul Huq, a convening lead author on one of the chapters, commented: "Before this we thought we knew this was happening, but now we have overwhelming evidence that it is happening and it is real."

Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, said that, previously, people could have damaged the Earth's climate out of "ignorance".

"Now, ignorance is no longer a good excuse," he said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Our future should not be left in the hands of a few leaders. The rest of the population should be included in the solution.


The impacts of global warming are likely to be "severe, pervasive and irreversible", a major report by the UN has warned.

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Haze Replaces Winter Fog in California : Image of the Day ("we all have a right to clean air not smog")

Haze Replaces Winter Fog in California : Image of the Day ("we all have a right to clean air not smog") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Stagnant air and lack of rain has meant a winter of poor air quality in the Central Valley.

But January 17 was not one of those days. “Because of the drought, we have had a very limited fog season this year,” says Paul Iñiguez, a meteorologist at the San Joaquin Valley/Hanford office of the National Weather Service. “Poor to very poor air quality has been a problem this winter due to a lack of rain and stagnant air.”

Looking south across California, astronauts caught this oblique view of haze. Air quality levels ranged from unhealthy to very unhealthy throughout the day. Fine particulate pollution (PM 2.5) maxed out at 74 micrograms per cubic meter overnight, according to the Jan Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends a limit of 35 micrograms per cubic meter in a 24-hour period. In many parts of the United States, fine aerosol particles are the primary cause of poor visibility.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Poor air quality is now a common occurrence in major urban centers around the world. Citizens have a right to breathe clean air, but get smog instead.

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CO2 on Path to Cross 400 ppm Threshold for a Month | Climate Central ("will it ever return to 350ppm?")

CO2 on Path to Cross 400 ppm Threshold for a Month | Climate Central ("will it ever return to 350ppm?") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Last year atmospheric carbon dioxide passed the 400 ppm milestone. Now it's on track for another next month.

“We’re already seeing values over 400. Probably we’ll see values dwelling over 400 in April and May. It’s just a matter of time before it stays over 400 forever,” said Ralph Keeling in a blog post.

The graph of those concentrations is known as the Keeling Curve, one of the most iconic images in science. In addition to showing a steady rise in carbon dioxide, the graph also shows the seasonal variations in the curve. In Northern Hemisphere spring, plants burst to life and suck carbon dioxide out of the air until they die off in the fall.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide usually peaks in May. If levels continue to rise in the next few months — and there’s no reason to believe they won’t — April or May will likely be the first time the monthly atmospheric carbon dioxide average will be above 400 ppm. Estimates for when the atmosphere last contained this much carbon dioxide range from 800,000 years ago all the way to 15 million years.

While 400 ppm is mostly a symbolic number, the climate changes it could cause are not. Among other impacts, increased carbon dioxide contributes to heating the planet’s surface and ocean temperatures, which in turn melts ice and raises ocean levels.


Bert Guevara's insight:

The desired carbon level of 350 ppm looks like a distant possibility now as the carbon emissions have remained at 400 ppm. It is not a numeric exercise, but a climate reality that affects all nations of the world.

"The big difference between the current carbon dioxide levels and the last time they were this high is how fast they’ve increased in recent times. That rate shows little sign of slowing."

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Paris Makes Public Transport Free As Pollution Veils City Of Light ("this is a good but costly idea")

Paris Makes Public Transport Free As Pollution Veils City Of Light ("this is a good but costly idea") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it

"Paris authorities said Thursday they would make public transport free for three days to encourage drivers to leave their vehicles behind due to severe pollution.Jean-Paul Huchon, head of the organisation that oversees transport in Paris and neighbour...

Jean-Paul Huchon, head of the organisation that oversees transport in Paris and neighbouring areas, said transport would be free from Friday morning to Sunday evening due to the "significant risks to the health of residents."

Bert Guevara's insight:

Worsening air pollution problems bring out new ideas to fight it. Paris is enticing its citizens to leave their cars and use the FREE public transportation during the weekend to reduce transport emissions.

Do you think this is a good idea?

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Cheap batteries will revolutionise the renewable energy market - The Guardian ("50% cheaper by 2020?")

Cheap batteries will revolutionise the renewable energy market - The Guardian ("50% cheaper by 2020?") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
The Guardian Cheap batteries will revolutionise the renewable energy market The Guardian Renewables like solar and onshore wind are coming down dramatically in price – the industry forecasts they will be cheaper than grid electricity in most of the...

News this week, from opposite ends of the planet, that points to the convulsion of change about to hit the global economy. The first report came from Palo Alto, California, headquarters of the Tesla electric car company. Tesla's car produces no carbon emissions (so long as the electricity that charges its batteries is also low carbon). Tesla's chief executive, Elon Musk, announced it would invest in a $4bn-$5bn"gigafactory" doubling the world's production of lithium-ion batteries. These power your mobile phone, but also Tesla's high-end luxury electric cars. The objective is to cut battery prices by 30% in three years, and to halve them by 2020.

Since battery cost is the main obstacle to electric cars, this is potentially game-changing. It would allow electric cars with a 200-mile range to compete with the Ford Mondeo and not just the BMW 5-series (Tesla has already spurred the Bavarian luxury car-maker into an electric response).

Disruptive change is a constant feature of capitalism. Railways ran coaching inns out of business. Electricity did for gas lighting, which had replaced oil lights, which replaced whale oil. The economist Joseph Schumpeter called it "creative destruction". We are on the crest of another technological tsunami.

The good news is that this wave will make the planet safer, and our children's future more secure.

Bert Guevara's insight:

New technology developments will drive prices down in the long run. Do you remember how much analog cell phones cost 15 years ago?

Today, the battle for renewable energy is centered on battery price. If it is coming down soon, then fossil fuels will slowly phase out or our dependence on pollutive energy sources will diminish.

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China to 'declare war' on pollution - Telegraph.co.uk ("a world war vs pollution is timely")

China to 'declare war' on pollution - Telegraph.co.uk ("a world war vs pollution is timely") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Telegraph.co.uk
China to 'declare war' on pollution
Telegraph.co.uk
"We will resolutely declare war against pollution as we declared war against poverty," said Li Keqiang to nearly 3,000 delegates at the National People's Congress (NPC).

China's prime minister has vowed to tackle the country's environmental crisis, making a "war" on pollution one of his nine "major tasks" for 2014.

"We will resolutely declare war against pollution as we declared war against poverty," said Li Keqiang to nearly 3,000 delegates at the National People's Congress (NPC).

While there were blue skies over Beijing for the first day of the NPC's annual meetings, the capital has been blanketed with filthy air in recent weeks.

"Smog is affecting larger parts of China, and environmental pollution has become a major problem, which is nature's red-light warning against the model of inefficient and blind development," said Mr Li.

The industrial heartlands of northern China, where almost half the world's steel is smelted, have suffered terrible pollution for decades.

Mr Li promised that 50,000 "small coal-fired furnaces" would be shut down in the coming year and six million old, high-emission, vehicles would be taken off the roads. Coal-fired power plants will be upgraded and energy conservation would be encouraged.

Bert Guevara's insight:

In China, they are warring against coal-fired industries that cause pollution. In the Philippines, we are building new coal-fired mega-power plants in Mindanao.

"Greenpeace estimates that almost 60 per cent of the most harmful air pollution in Beijing comes from coal-fired power plants, or from burning coal to power steel plants or brick and cement factories."

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Cimate Change Mitigation and Preparation | The Energy Collective ("we are not ready to face the truth")

Cimate Change Mitigation and Preparation | The Energy Collective ("we are not ready to face the truth") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
The next big report from the world’s leading climate scientists is on impacts, it’s due the end of March, and it isn’t pretty. As the AP summarized, starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease are likely to worsen as the world warms from man-made climate change.

The latest IPCC climate change impacts report reinforces what we already knew: that climate change is already having a detrimental impact on us and our environment, whether we’re talking about food, water, land, national security, or the health of the ecosystems we so critically depend on. The report also makes clear that what we’ve seen is only the tip of the veritable iceberg. If we continue with business as usual fossil fuel emission in the decades ahead, the report shows, the resulting warming and change in climate will inflict far more dangerous and potentially irreversible impacts on us and the planet.

The good news is that a world in which humans slash carbon pollution ASAP has substantially lower impacts than one in which emissions remain high.

Field noted that, “There’s really a big, big difference between what those worlds look like,” said Field.

You can see that in the top figure, which is from the September IPCC report on “The Physical Science Basis.” The window for achieving the RCP2.6 scenario — which is am atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide of about 421 parts per million — is closing fast, but not yet shut. It has modest overall warming compared to the devastating RCP 8.5 scenario, about 936 ppm CO2, which is where we are headed on our current do-little path.

Bert Guevara's insight:

It's not going to look good --

"In November, Climate Progress reported on a leaked early draft of the report, which read in part, “Throughout the 21st century, climate change impacts will slow down economic growth and poverty reduction, further erode food security and trigger new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hotspots of hunger.” The report warns that climate change poses an extreme threat to food security and water security for billions of people by mid-century."

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Is El Niño, the 'bad boy' of weather, back? ("2014 may be the year of the comeback nobody wants")

Is El Niño, the 'bad boy' of weather, back? ("2014 may be the year of the comeback nobody wants") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
Global cocoa prices have rallied to 2-1/2-year highs on worries El Niño could return in 2014, while other agricultural commodity markets could also be hit by the specter of the weather anomaly. El ...

The Philippines’ weather bureau already expects rainfall to be “way below” normal by April in most parts of the country, including rice-growing provinces in the Central Luzon region and sugar plantations in the Visayas provinces. El Niño could worsen that.

Previous El Niño episodes caused severe dry spells in the archipelago affecting vast tracts of farmland. A rice shortfall due to typhoons and drought connected to El Niño in 2010 prompted record imports of the national staple.

An El Niño episode usually results in below-average rainfall in main palm oil producers Indonesia and Malaysia, cutting yields and pushing up global prices.

It could also hurt crops in Thailand, one of the world’s largest rice exporters, potentially worsening drought conditions usually seen in March-April.

El Niño would bring milder-than-normal temperatures to the major crop production areas of the U.S. Midwest. Iowa and Minnesota would benefit from the event’s tendency for wetter-than-normal summers as the western Corn Belt continues to recover from a drought. But excessive rains in the saturated soils of the eastern Corn Belt could be troublesome, particularly following this year’s overly snowy winter.

Drought-hit California, a major dairy and wine grape state, could see more rain than normal.

In China, El Niño could bring more rain to areas south of the Yellow River and cause flooding in the country’s major rice and cotton growing regions.

Lower-than-normal temperatures could also occur in the country’s top corn and soy areas in the northeast, leading to frost damage and lower grain output.

A strong El Niño in India would trigger lower production of summer crops such as rice, sugarcane and oilseeds. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

El Niño or La Niña, nobody wants it to return. Is 2014 the comeback year?

"The Philippines’ weather bureau already expects rainfall to be “way below” normal by April in most parts of the country, including rice-growing provinces in the Central Luzon region and sugar plantations in the Visayas provinces. El Niño could worsen that.

Previous El Niño episodes caused severe dry spells in the archipelago affecting vast tracts of farmland. A rice shortfall due to typhoons and drought connected to El Niño in 2010 prompted record imports of the national staple."

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U.S., China agree to work on climate change ("when top 2 polluters sit down, will they make progress?")

U.S., China agree to work on climate change ("when top 2 polluters sit down, will they make progress?") | Climate Change Watch | Scoop.it
BEIJING (Reuters) - China and the United States, the world's top emitters of greenhouse gases, pledged on Saturday to work together to attenuate the effects of global climate change.China and the United

"China and the United States will work together ... to collaborate through enhanced policy dialogue, including the sharing of information regarding their respective post-2020 plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions," according to a U.S.-China joint statement issued at the end of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's whirlwind Beijing visit.

The two sides "commit to devote significant effort and resources to secure concrete results" by the Sixth U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue later this year, the statement added.

"Both sides reaffirm their commitment to contribute significantly to successful 2015 global efforts to meet this challenge," the statement said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

It is frustrating to know that climate mitigation efforts from "small players" do not mean much when set side-by-side with the 2 giant polluters of the world - USA and China. This is why countries like the Philippines have shifted climate action to ADAPTATION measure (with mitigation effects).

With this joint statement, we hope that significant action happens right away.

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