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

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

The amendment, from ...

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

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


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

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Bert Guevara's curator insight, May 24, 2014 11:54 PM

Climate concerns have become mere political issues in the US. 

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

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Scary New Proof That We Have Seriously Screwed Up the Planet’s Oceans ("the day after tomorrow model")

Scary New Proof That We Have Seriously Screwed Up the Planet’s Oceans ("the day after tomorrow model") | Climate Change | Scoop.it

Scientists confirm that climate change is stalling a major Atlantic Ocean current, and that could lead to flooding and food shortages.

The powerful ocean current that carries tropical warmth from the South Atlantic to northern countries has slowed down to a degree “unprecedented in the past millennium,” according to newly published research. The phenomenon has created an unusual pocket of cooling temperatures in the far North Atlantic, even as global warming heats the world overall. 

Yes, it’s the exact climate catastrophe envisioned in The Day After Tomorrow, the 2004 movie about how a slowing current triggers a new ice age and deep-freezes New York City. In real life, the current could cause severe coastal flooding between New York and Boston and affect the distribution of marine wildlife, putting coastal fishing industries at risk. ADVERTISEMENT 

If the slowdown persists or intensifies, weather could significantly change in parts of the Northern Hemisphere that have traditionally been warmed by this current, affecting everything from agriculture to urban transportation. 

“These are the kinds of things that scare me,” said oceanographer Scott Rutherford of Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, who coauthored the new study. “How much is this going to change temperature, sea level, marine ecosystems? We’re starting to mess with big things now.”

“Can we stop this? Yes,” he said. “We’re already locked into a little bit of warming. I would say that we ought to be concerned with minimizing it as much as we can.”


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Bert Guevara's curator insight, August 23, 12:18 AM
If you watched "The Day After Tomorrow," this is the climate model they are talking about. Though the movie is exaggerated, of course, there is scientific truth to the model that should warn our scientists.

"Scientifically, “it’s a bit of stretch right now” to link this winter’s record low temperatures and snowfall on much of the East Coast to the slowed ocean current, he said. “But it’s the kind of thing that we might expect to see” based on climate change modeling. 
“As a scientist, this is just one more data point to add to our records,” said climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University. “As a human, though, it’s a stark reminder that our choices have consequences, and the door is rapidly closing on our opportunities to choose a different future.”
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Climate Scientists' New Hurdle: Overcoming Climate Change Apathy - Eos ("rise of the neoskeptics")

Climate Scientists' New Hurdle: Overcoming Climate Change Apathy - Eos ("rise of the neoskeptics") | Climate Change | Scoop.it

It's not just about deniers anymore. Scientists now have to convince a new group: those who believe humans have altered the climate but don't think anything can or should change.

Chuck Nobles of Portland, Ore., believes that climate change is real and that humans are causing it. “I think the evidence is clear,” he said.

He’s just not sure what, if anything, should be done about it. “The planet will survive. Humans will just need to adapt to live under different environmental conditions,” he said. For the 60-year-old Nobles, who works as a senior lecturer in marketing and management at a university in Portland, the issue is a matter of scope. “If you take some of the dramatic actions that the extreme climate people believe in, it may hurt the economy. We must work hard to understand the trade-offs and be rational.”

Nobles represents a growing fraction of people who accept that anthropogenic climate change is a real, currently occurring phenomenon but aren’t sure that anything can or should be done about it. In a new policy forum paper published today in Science, Paul Stern of the National Research Council and colleagues call this “neoskepticism.” 

Neoskeptics aren’t just random venting bloggers; policy makers and even academics are joining in. They may argue that climate scientists “overblow” the risks or insist that because scientists are still hammering out the details on climate change’s effects on the globe, immediate mitigation is too costly. 

How can scientists and educators, many of whom have their hands full combating outright deniers of human-caused climate change, address neoskeptics? It’s all about communicating risk, argue Stern and his colleagues.


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Bert Guevara's curator insight, August 17, 8:48 PM
Many scientists agree that if extreme action isn’t taken now, there’s no turning back from the consequences of climate change. However, a growing portion of the general public is neoskeptics—they believe mitigation efforts just aren’t worth it.

Unfortunately, in climate science, “there’s been a long history that says that scientific uncertainty is a reason for not taking action,” Stern said. Such delay of action feeds back to fuel neoskepticism. 
For example, Nobles believes that there’s somewhere in the middle where societies could arrest the increase of carbon dioxide “a little bit.” But he added that if he were in charge of deciding what needs to be done about climate change, he would stress caution. 
“I think you just need to maybe understand ranges of impact a little bit more,” he said. “I think we need to be rational about the range of possible results.”
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Scientists warn world will miss key climate target ("the likelihood of failure is imminent; need to reset")

Scientists warn world will miss key climate target ("the likelihood of failure is imminent; need to reset") | Climate Change | Scoop.it

Grim backdrop to vital global emissions talks as new analysis shows 1.5C limit on warming is close to being broken ...

Leading climate scientists have warned that the Earth is perilously close to breaking through a 1.5C upper limit for global warming, only eight months after the target was set. 

The decision to try to limit warming to 1.5C, measured in relation to pre-industrial temperatures, was the headline outcome of the Paris climate negotiations last December. The talks were hailed as a major success by scientists and campaigners, who claimed that, by setting the target, desertification, heatwaves, widespread flooding and other global warming impacts could be avoided. 

However, figures – based on Met Office data – prepared by meteorologist Ed Hawkins of Reading University show that average global temperatures were already more than 1C above pre-industrial levels for every month except one over the past year and peaked at +1.38C in February and March. Keeping within the 1.5C limit will be extremely difficult, say scientists, given these rises. 

These alarming figures will form the backdrop to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change talks in Geneva this month, when scientists will start to outline ways to implement the climate goals set in Paris. Dates for abandoning all coal-burning power stations and halting the use of combustion engines across the globe – possibly within 15 years – are likely to be set.


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Bert Guevara's curator insight, August 13, 1:18 AM
The world cannot relax after the mere signing of the Paris Agreement eight months ago.

"Leading climate scientists have warned that the Earth is perilously close to breaking through a 1.5C upper limit for global warming, only eight months after the target was set. 
"The decision to try to limit warming to 1.5C, measured in relation to pre-industrial temperatures, was the headline outcome of the Paris climate negotiations last December. The talks were hailed as a major success by scientists and campaigners, who claimed that, by setting the target, desertification, heatwaves, widespread flooding and other global warming impacts could be avoided."
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We flew over 8,000 oil and gas wells. Here's what we found. ("well-kept secret emissions revealed")

We flew over 8,000 oil and gas wells. Here's what we found. ("well-kept secret emissions revealed") | Climate Change | Scoop.it

Methane pollution is widespread, pouring out from hundreds of "super emitting" production facilities nationwide. That's why we need strong, federal pollution rules.

For a different and more eye-opening view, fly over one of these industrial sites with an infrared camera. Chances are you’ll now see dark plumes of methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, pouring from the facility or piece of equipment. 

We did exactly that for a new study to determine how common so-called “super emitter” sites are. 

These large and evasive sources of methane pollution make up the lion’s share of the roughly 9 million tons the oil and gas industry wastefully spews into the atmosphere every year. And they provide an urgent reminder why stronger methane pollution laws are needed now.

We hired one of America’s most experienced leak detection companies to fly a helicopter over 8,000 well pads in seven states across the country for our study, using infrared technology to capture photos and videos of methane and other pollutants. It was the largest-ever study of its kind in the United States. 

A grim picture emerged from those helicopter trips over Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wyoming: Methane pollution is widespread, pouring out from hundreds of these super emitter sites. 

Worse, these leaks sit largely undetected.

But our research also confirmed what other studies have shown, namely that super emitters are nearly impossible to predict. They can happen anywhere, anytime, when malfunctioning equipment goes unattended and sloppy mistakes are made. 

This is why we can no longer continue to rely on industry policing itself. We need strong rules that require all operators to keep their facilities from polluting the atmosphere.


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Bert Guevara's curator insight, August 7, 11:26 PM
Large methane emissions from oil and gas wells worldwide are hardly detected. (See video.)
Since methane is a major GHG contributor to climate change, this compounds our problem with the oil and gas industry.

"But our research also confirmed what other studies have shown, namely that super emitters are nearly impossible to predict. They can happen anywhere, anytime, when malfunctioning equipment goes unattended and sloppy mistakes are made. 
"This is why we can no longer continue to rely on industry policing itself. We need strong rules that require all operators to keep their facilities from polluting the atmosphere."
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Cleaner air may be driving water quality in Chesapeake Bay ("clean air means better water condition")

Cleaner air may be driving water quality in Chesapeake Bay ("clean air means better water condition") | Climate Change | Scoop.it
A new study suggests that improvements in air quality over the Potomac watershed, including the Washington, D.C., metro area, may be responsible for recent progress on water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. Scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science have linked improving water quality in streams and rivers of the Upper Potomac River Basin to reductions in nitrogen pollution onto the land and streams due to enforcement of the Clean Air Act. 
"The recent water quality successes in the Chesapeake Bay restoration are apparently driven more by air quality regulation rather than by water quality control efforts," said study author Keith Eshleman, professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Appalachian Laboratory. "These air quality regulations were intended to address human health issues and acid sensitive streams. No one thought you would have this positive impact on water quality. It was totally unanticipated." 
The Chesapeake Bay -- the nation's largest estuary -- has suffered from excessive nutrient pollution and widespread hypoxic (low oxygen) conditions for decades. While land-based best management practices and improvements to wastewater treatment plants have been credited with beginning to turn the tide against nutrient pollution, researchers have found that improvement in air quality -- specifically reductions in atmospheric nitrogen deposition -- have been the primary driver of improvements in water quality in the Upper Potomac River Basin, which covers nearly 12,000 square miles in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. These unanticipated region-wide water quality benefits were brought about by reductions in harmful emissions of nitrogen dioxides following implementation of the Clean Air Act of 1990.

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Bert Guevara's curator insight, August 2, 9:19 PM
Levels of air pollution are significantly related to levels of water pollution. Check the findings in this study.
This gives us more reason to clean the air.

"Nitrogen deposition occurs when nitrogen in the atmosphere -- emitted mostly by fossil fuel combustion -- falls to the ground or water surface. When the amount of nitrogen falling exceeds what trees and plants need to grow, nitrogen saturation may result. When excess nitrogen enters streams and waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay, it can cause algae blooms that significantly impact marine life."
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Consultation on draft international standards to the IPPC Community

Consultation on draft international standards to the IPPC Community | Climate Change | Scoop.it
Starting on 1 July 2016 the IPPC Community will be using the new Online Comment System (OCS) to provide comments on draft standards, thus enhancing the transparency and inclusiveness of the standard setting process. With that said, the IPPC Secretariat is delighted to highlight an unprecedented total of 17 drafts going for simultaneous consultation further emphasizing the importance and significance of each country’s comments.

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Muriel Suffert's curator insight, July 5, 4:07 AM
In addition to Diagnostic Protocols, several draft ISPMs to address pest risk are under consultation: 
International movement of Seeds
International movement of vehicles, machinery and equipment
International movement of wood 
International movement of growing media in association with plants for planting
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Future summers could regularly be hotter than the hottest on record ("warmer for the next 50 years")

Future summers could regularly be hotter than the hottest on record ("warmer for the next 50 years") | Climate Change | Scoop.it
In 50 years, summers across most of the globe could regularly be hotter than any summer experienced so far by people alive today, according to a study by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). 
If climate change continues on its current trajectory, the probability that any summer between 2061 and 2080 will be warmer than the hottest on record is 80 percent across the world's land areas, excluding Antarctica, which was not studied. 
If greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, however, that probability drops to 41 percent, according to the study. 
"Extremely hot summers always pose a challenge to society," said NCAR scientist Flavio Lehner, lead author of the study. "They can increase the risk for health issues, but can also damage crops and deepen droughts. Such summers are a true test of our adaptability to rising temperatures." 
The study, which is available online, is part of an upcoming special issue of the journal Climatic Change that will focus on quantifying the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The research was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Swiss National Science Foundation.

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Bert Guevara's curator insight, June 15, 10:47 AM
Do you want unbearably warm summers?

"If climate change continues on its current trajectory, the probability that any summer between 2061 and 2080 will be warmer than the hottest on record is 80 percent across the world's land areas, according to a new study. If greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, however, that probability drops to 41 percent, according to the study."
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The world is about to install 700 million air conditioners. Here’s what that means for the climate

The world is about to install 700 million air conditioners. Here’s what that means for the climate | Climate Change | Scoop.it

In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, it could be like adding several countries to the planet.

“We expect that the demand for cooling as economies improve, particularly in hot climates, is going to be an incredible driver of electricity requirements,” U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in an interview. 

In most ways, of course, this is a very good thing: Protecting people from intense heat — a town in India this month saw temperatures exceed 123 degrees Fahrenheit — is essential for their health and well-being. It’s just that it’s going to come with a huge energy demand, and potentially huge carbon emissions to boot. 

Overall, the Berkeley report projects that the world is poised to install 700 million air conditioners by 2030, and 1.6 billion of them by 2050. In terms of electricity use and greenhouse gas emissions, that’s like adding several new countries to the world.

Zaelke and Moniz said that the real impact for the planetary greenhouse will be if the world can combine a restriction on emissions of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol, the global treaty originally adopted in 1987 to address ozone depleting substances like CFCs, with greater air conditioner efficiency overall. The Protocol “has never failed to do its job once it has gotten its assignment,” Zaelke said. 

The Berkeley Laboratory study found that if the world can shift toward 30 percent more efficient air conditioners, and phase out HFCs at the same time, that could effectively offset the construction of as many as 1,550 peak power plants.


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Indicative of the general issue of sustainable development
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Bert Guevara's curator insight, June 2, 1:16 PM
Global warming? Turn on the air conditioners!

“We expect that the demand for cooling as economies improve, particularly in hot climates, is going to be an incredible driver of electricity requirements,” U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in an interview.
"Overall, the Berkeley report projects that the world is poised to install 700 million air conditioners by 2030, and 1.6 billion of them by 2050. In terms of electricity use and greenhouse gas emissions, that’s like adding several new countries to the world."
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Air pollution rising at an 'alarming rate' in world's cities ("small victories, but global failure")

Air pollution rising at an 'alarming rate' in world's cities ("small victories, but global failure") | Climate Change | Scoop.it

Outdoor pollution has risen 8% in five years with fast-growing cities in the developing world worst affected, WHO data shows

According to the new WHO database, levels of ultra-fine particles of less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5s) are highest in India, which has 16 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities. China, which has been plagued by air pollution, has improved its air quality since 2011 and now has only five cities in the top 30. Nine other countries, including Pakistan and Iran, have one city each in the worst 30.

For the larger, but slightly less dangerous PM10 particles, India has eight cities in the world’s top 30. Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan each have two cities in the top 10. The true figure for the growth in global air pollution is likely to be worse because only a handful of African cities monitor their levels. 

The most polluted city in the world, according to the WHO data, is Onitsha, a fast-growing port and transit city in south-eastern Nigeria that recorded levels of nearly 600 micrograms per cubic metre of PM10s - around 30 times the WHO recommended level of 20 micrograms per cubic metre.

“We have a public health emergency in many countries. Urban air pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate, wreaking havoc on human health. It’s dramatic, one of the biggest problems we are facing globally, with terrible future costs to society,” said Dr Maria Neira, director of public health at the WHO in Geneva. 

“The cost for countries is enormous. Air pollution affects economies and people’s quality of life. It leads to major chronic diseases and to people ultimately dying,” she said.



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Bert Guevara's curator insight, May 12, 11:42 PM
This air pollution development concerns us in the Philippines. Our people are being "killed slowly."

"While all regions are affected, fast-growing cities in the Middle East, south-east Asia and the western Pacific are the most impacted with many showing pollution levels at five to 10 times above WHO recommended levels.
“We have a public health emergency in many countries. Urban air pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate, wreaking havoc on human health. It’s dramatic, one of the biggest problems we are facing globally, with terrible future costs to society,” said Dr Maria Neira, director of public health at the WHO in Geneva. 
“The cost for countries is enormous. Air pollution affects economies and people’s quality of life. It leads to major chronic diseases and to people ultimately dying,” she said.
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Exxon's Climate Denial History: A Timeline ("more than 40 years of climate denial funded by big oil")

Exxon's Climate Denial History: A Timeline ("more than 40 years of climate denial funded by big oil") | Climate Change | Scoop.it

A timeline of Exxon's climate research and campaign to deny climate science.

Exxon made the news in September and October of 2015 when research produced by InsideClimate News, the Los Angeles Times, and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism revealed that Exxon had know since the 70s about the causes of climate change and the dangers climate disruption poses. The articles spurred a wave of action against Exxon. In November 2015, the New York state attorney general announced an investigation into Exxon for disclosure violations. Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders called for a federal investigation into the company. And more than 350,000 Americans joined that call, petitioning the Department of Justice to investigate. The news has changed the game on fossil fuel companies and their role in climate denial. But the track record of Exxon’s climate science denial and climate double talk has been growing for some time. Check the timeline below for a rundown.


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Tom Schueneman's insight:
Follow the 40-year timeline of climate change denial by Big Oil. This shows how long the truth had been kept from the public, in the interest of the oil industry, to the detriment of the planet.

"1978 James Black, working under Exxon’s Products Research Division, writes an internal briefing paper called “The Greenhouse Effect” following from a 1977 presentation to Exxon’s management committee. The paper warns that human-caused emissions could raise global temperatures and result in serious consequences. “Present thinking holds that man has a time window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical,” Black writes in his summary of the presentation. (Source: InsideClimate News) 
"1979 At the urging of a Exxon scientist Henry Shaw, Exxon begins analyzing the absorption rate of carbon dioxide in the oceans, considered one of the key questions of climate science at the time. “Exxon must develop a credible scientific team that can critically evaluate the information generated on the subject and be able to carry bad news, if any, to the corporation,”Shaw wrote in a letter to Exxon research executives. (Source: InsideClimate News)"
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Bert Guevara's curator insight, March 23, 11:13 AM
Follow the 40-year timeline of climate change denial by Big Oil. This shows how long the truth had been kept from the public, in the interest of the oil industry, to the detriment of the planet.

"1978 James Black, working under Exxon’s Products Research Division, writes an internal briefing paper called “The Greenhouse Effect” following from a 1977 presentation to Exxon’s management committee. The paper warns that human-caused emissions could raise global temperatures and result in serious consequences. “Present thinking holds that man has a time window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical,” Black writes in his summary of the presentation. (Source: InsideClimate News) 
"1979 At the urging of a Exxon scientist Henry Shaw, Exxon begins analyzing the absorption rate of carbon dioxide in the oceans, considered one of the key questions of climate science at the time. “Exxon must develop a credible scientific team that can critically evaluate the information generated on the subject and be able to carry bad news, if any, to the corporation,”Shaw wrote in a letter to Exxon research executives. (Source: InsideClimate News)"
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World will pass crucial 2C global warming limit, experts warn

World will pass crucial 2C global warming limit, experts warn | Climate Change | Scoop.it
Carbon pledges from 147 nations to Paris climate summit ‘are not enough to stop temperature rise’, experts conclude

Via Cathryn Wellner
Tom Schueneman's insight:

Too much time wasted...

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General Mills: Water Stewardship and the Evolution of Business Imperatives

General Mills: Water Stewardship and the Evolution of Business Imperatives | Climate Change | Scoop.it
For a food giant like General Mills, water stewardship and resource management isn't an option. It's a business imperative.
Tom Schueneman's insight:

My contribution to the "ROI of Sustainability" series on TriplePundit

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Opposition to Science Invites a Climate Catastrophe

Opposition to Science Invites a Climate Catastrophe | Climate Change | Scoop.it
The growing opposition to science and a culture of intellectualism in America and elsewhere bodes poorly for a sustainable future
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France to pave 1000km of roads with solar panels ("imagine driving directly on top of solar panels")

France to pave 1000km of roads with solar panels ("imagine driving directly on top of solar panels") | Climate Change | Scoop.it

Over the next five years, France will install some 621 miles (1,000km) of solar roadway using Colas' Wattway solar pavement.

Solar freakin' roadways! No, this is not the crowdfunded solar road project that blew up the internet a few years ago, but is a collaboration between Colas, a transport infrastructure company, and INES (France's National Institute for Solar Energy), and sanctioned by France's Agency of Environment and Energy Management, which promises to bring solar power to hundreds of miles of roads in the country over the next five years. 

One major difference between this solar freakin' roadway and that other solar freakin' roadway is that the new Wattway system doesn't replace the road itself or require removal of road surfaces, but instead is designed to be glued onto the top of existing pavement. The Wattway system is also built in layers of materials "that ensure resistance and tire grip," and is just 7 mm thick, which is radically different from that other design that uses thick glass panels (and which is also claimed to include LED lights and 'smart' technology, which increases the complexity and cost of the moose-friendly solar tiles).

According to Colas, the material is strong enough to stand up to regular traffic, even heavy trucks, and 20 m² of Wattway panels is said to provide enough electricity to power a single average home in France, with a 1-kilometer stretch of Wattway road able to "provide the electricity to power public lighting in a city of 5,000 inhabitants."


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Bert Guevara's curator insight, August 15, 2:41 AM
1000 km of solar-panel paved roads!!! This is revolutionary! One advantage will be the free cost of land, since it is on top of the public road.

"One major difference between this solar freakin' roadway and that other solar freakin' roadway is that the new Wattway system doesn't replace the road itself or require removal of road surfaces, but instead is designed to be glued onto the top of existing pavement. The Wattway system is also built in layers of materials "that ensure resistance and tire grip," and is just 7 mm thick ..."
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These Photos Show How Hard Climate Change Has Hit Greenland ("where have all the glaciers gone?")

These Photos Show How Hard Climate Change Has Hit Greenland ("where have all the glaciers gone?") | Climate Change | Scoop.it

Nowhere has climate change been more devastating than in the Arctic, where temperatures are rising more than twice as fast as average ...

Year after year of record heat largely due to man-made global warming has hit hard across the globe. And nowhere have the impacts been more devastating than in the Arctic where temperatures are rising more than twice as fast as the global average and ice is quickly disappearing. 

Photos taken by a research team from Denmark capture how warming has hit glaciers in Greenland, where ice melt has been occurring at a faster rate than ever in recorded history. Researchers captured the images, published in the book The Greenland Ice Sheet, in the exact location their predecessor had taken photos eight decades prior as temperatures had just begun to warm. Side by side, the images offer a stark comparison showing vast areas once covered in ice now empty land.

“Climate change is particularly evident here and its consequences for people and nature are considerable,” said Ralf Hemmingsen, rector of the University of Copenhagen in the book’s foreword, “both for Greenland and the rest of the world.”

Scientists have understood for sometime how climate change is causing ice melt in Greenland. Satellite measurements taken since 1979 have shown a 12% decline in sea ice per decade, according to a Nature report. But a lack of earlier record keeping and satellite measurements has presented a challenge for scientists who hope to understand how ice levels have changed over time in Greenland. Now, scientists who study glaciers are using the photo comparison to improve their understanding of how ice levels have changed over time, according to a news article in the journal Nature.


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Bert Guevara's curator insight, August 16, 10:29 PM
Do you want to see photo evidences of climate change? Check out Greenland.

“Climate change is particularly evident here and its consequences for people and nature are considerable,” said Ralf Hemmingsen, rector of the University of Copenhagen in the book’s foreword, “both for Greenland and the rest of the world.”
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Climate models have underestimated Earth’s sensitivity to CO2 changes ("more alarm bells on new find")

Climate models have underestimated Earth’s sensitivity to CO2 changes ("more alarm bells on new find") | Climate Change | Scoop.it

A Yale University study says global climate models have significantly underestimated how much the Earth’s surface temperature will rise if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase as expected.

A Yale University study says global climate models have significantly underestimated how much the Earth’s surface temperature will rise if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase as expected. 

Yale scientists looked at a number of global climate projections and found that they misjudged the ratio of ice crystals and super-cooled water droplets in “mixed-phase” clouds — resulting in a significant under-reporting of climate sensitivity. The findings appear April 7 in the journal Science. 

Equilibrium climate sensitivity is a measure used to estimate how Earth’s surface temperature ultimately responds to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Specifically, it reflects how much the Earth’s average surface temperature would rise if CO2 doubled its preindustrial level. In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated climate sensitivity to be within a range of 2 to 4.7 degrees Celsius. 

The Yale team’s estimate is much higher: between 5 and 5.3 degrees Celsius. Such an increase could have dramatic implications for climate change worldwide, note the scientists. 

“It goes to everything from sea level rise to more frequent and extreme droughts and floods,” said Ivy Tan, a Yale graduate student and lead author of the study. 

A key part of the research has to do with the makeup of mixed-phase clouds, which consist of water vapor, liquid droplets, and ice particles, in the upper atmosphere. A larger amount of ice in those clouds leads to a lower climate sensitivity — something known as a negative climate feedback mechanism. The more ice you have in the upper atmosphere, the less warming there will be on the Earth’s surface. 


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Bert Guevara's curator insight, August 10, 10:16 PM
New and better climate science shows us that we have underestimated global warming. Oh no!

"A key part of the research has to do with the makeup of mixed-phase clouds, which consist of water vapor, liquid droplets, and ice particles, in the upper atmosphere. A larger amount of ice in those clouds leads to a lower climate sensitivity — something known as a negative climate feedback mechanism. The more ice you have in the upper atmosphere, the less warming there will be on the Earth’s surface. 
“We saw that all of the models started with far too much ice,” said Storelvmo, an assistant professor of geology and geophysics. “When we ran our own simulations, which were designed to better match what we found in satellite observations, we came up with more warming.”
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EPA Finding Clears Way for Limit on Aircraft Emissions ("they emit big CO2 that warms the planet")

EPA Finding Clears Way for Limit on Aircraft Emissions ("they emit big CO2 that warms the planet") | Climate Change | Scoop.it

The EPA has declared jet engine exhaust a contributor to climate change that endangers public health — the first step toward regulating jet emissions.

Large commercial jets account for 11 percent of all emissions from the global transportation sector. Aircraft emissions are expected to grow by 50 percent by 2050 as demand for air travel increases.

Regulating aircraft emissions is part of the Obama administration’s goal under the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. The international pact aims to to keep global warming from exceeding 2°C (3.6°F). 

“Addressing pollution from aircraft is an important element of U.S. efforts to address climate change,” Janet McCabe, the EPA’s acting assistant administrator for air and radiation, said in a statement. “EPA has already set effective GHG standards for cars and trucks and any future aircraft engine standards will also provide important climate and public health benefits.”

Both the EPA and the International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO, are developing regulations that will cut carbon emissions from commercial aircraft. The ICAO is expected to finalize its emissions standards in 2017, but the EPA could not proceed with developing its own standards in the U.S. until it concluded that jet engine exhaust poses a public health threat.


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Bert Guevara's curator insight, August 1, 11:56 AM
The airline industry almost got away with murder. They are now equally responsible as the transport emitters on the ground and in the oceans.

"Jet engine exhaust emits carbon dioxide, which drives climate change by warming the atmosphere, leading to increasing global temperatures, rising seas and extreme weather. Public health will suffer as heat waves become more frequent and intense, rising seas inundate coastal cities, extreme storms lead to more deaths and catastrophic wildfires burn more forests and reduce air quality. 
“The endangerment finding is key because it obligates the EPA to take regulatory action to cut carbon dioxide emissions from aircraft — it triggers a legal mandate,” said Drew Kodjak, executive director of the International Council on Clean Transportation."
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Short Answers to Hard Questions About Clean Coal Technology ("still unreachable & uneconomical")

Short Answers to Hard Questions About Clean Coal Technology ("still unreachable & uneconomical") | Climate Change | Scoop.it

A primer on carbon capture and storage, and why it has an uncertain future as a force for fighting climate change.

Technology holds the promise of enabling coal power plants, which produce much of the world’s electricity, to run more cleanly, emitting far less of the pollution that causes climate change. But these projects have been difficult to make a reality because they are complicated and expensive. Here is a quick primer.

... Since the early 2000s, there has been a wave of optimism that this technology could play a vital role in slowing climate change by cleaning up some of the biggest emitters of carbon pollution. Now there is significant skepticism that the technology can be scaled up affordably, reliably and soon enough to make a difference.

​How is the CO2 captured? 

A power plant can trap carbon dioxide in one of three ways. After combustion, the carbon dioxide is captured from the exhaust of a power plant by absorbing it in a liquid, which is later heated to release the gas for storage. CO2 can also be captured before combustion. In this case, a controlled amount of oxygen is used to turn coal or natural gas into “syngas,” a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Before it is burned to generate power, the syngas is treated with steam, producing carbon dioxide. A third method involves burning fossil fuels in oxygen. That results in an exhaust stream of water vapor and CO2, which are then separated by cooling and compressing the gas stream.


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Bert Guevara's curator insight, July 10, 11:50 AM
Clean coal is still a THEORY! Even if it is reached, it is not economical.

"Coal plants that capture carbon are expensive partly because they are so complex. As the New York Times reporter Henry Fountain explained, “removing carbon dioxide from the swirl of gases unleashed at a power plant is challenging, akin to plucking just a few colored Ping-Pong balls out of the air from a swarm of mostly white ones.” That price rises further because capturing and compressing the carbon requires so much energy, sometimes sapping more than 20 percent of the electricity that the plant is supposed to produce for consumers."
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A Model for ‘Clean Coal’ Runs Off the Tracks ("model plant is between a failure and a fraud")

A Model for ‘Clean Coal’ Runs Off the Tracks ("model plant is between a failure and a fraud") | Climate Change | Scoop.it

A Mississippi project, a centerpiece of President Obama’s climate plan, has been plagued by problems that managers tried to conceal, and by cost overruns and questions of who will pay.

The fortress of steel and concrete towering above the pine forest here is a first-of-its-kind power plant that was supposed to prove that “clean coal” was not an oxymoron — that it was possible to produce electricity from coal in a way that emits far less pollution, and to turn a profit while doing so. 

The plant was not only a central piece of the Obama administration’s climate plan, it was also supposed to be a model for future power plants to help slow the dangerous effects of global warming. The project was hailed as a way to bring thousands of jobs to Mississippi, the nation’s poorest state, and to extend a lifeline to the dying coal industry. 

The sense of hope is fading fast, however. The Kemper coal plant is more than two years behind schedule and more than $4 billion over its initial budget, $2.4 billion, and it is still not operational.

Many problems plaguing the project were broadly known and had been occurring for years. But a review by The New York Times of thousands of pages of public records, previously undisclosed internal documents and emails, and 200 hours of secretly though legally recorded conversations among more than a dozen colleagues at the plant offers a detailed look at what went wrong and why.

In their recorded conversations with Mr. Wingo, at least six senior engineers from the plant said that they believed that the delays and cost overruns, as well as safety violations and shoddy work, were partly the result of mismanagement or fraud.


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Bert Guevara's curator insight, July 5, 8:49 AM
In trying to prove that "clean coal" is possible and feasible, the US model plant is overpriced, behind schedule and unfinished. Trying to prove a myth is really expensive.

“The big question with clean coal has always been whether it’s a moonshot or a money pit,” said Charles Grayson, the director of the Bigger Pie Forum, which advocates fiscal conservatism in Mississippi and has been critical of the Kemper project for years. “The Obama administration and my state made a really bad wager in trying to use Kemper to make the economic argument for this technology.”
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Scientists Seek a New Measure for Methane. Here’s Why.

Scientists Seek a New Measure for Methane. Here’s Why. | Climate Change | Scoop.it

An Oxford University study suggests there is a problem with the way scientists account for methane's effect on the climate.

Methane and carbon dioxide have two things in common: They’re both composed of carbon, and they both heat the atmosphere. The difference? Carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere and stays there indefinitely. Methane does not. 

Emitting methane into the atmosphere is something like throwing kerosene on a fire. It warms the atmosphere a lot over a very short period of time — years to decades — but then it dissipates and its ability to heat the atmosphere dies down. 

That’s why methane, along with black carbon and a few other chemicals, are called “short-lived climate pollutants.” They don’t stay in the atmosphere very long, but they may do a lot of damage in the near future, such as speeding the melting of ice sheets, which contributes to sea level rise, and polluting the air with ozone. 

Carbon dioxide, by contrast, accumulates over centuries, warming the earth more and more as it mounts up. That means cutting carbon dioxide has a much greater effect on long-term climate change than cutting methane pollution.


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Finding better ways to account for the climate impacts of Methane, a more potent than CO2 but relatively short-lived in the atmosphere (years to decades)
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Bert Guevara's curator insight, June 9, 11:33 AM
Although short-lived compared to carbon dioxide, methane nonetheless increases global warming. The correct appreciation of methane will compel mitigation efforts.

"Scientists say that methane over the span of 20 years is 86 times more potent as carbon dioxide to warm the atmosphere, and 35 times as potent as carbon dioxide over the span of a century.
"Steffen Kallbekken, research director at the Center for International Climate and Energy Policy in Norway, said comparing methane and carbon dioxide masks how long it will take emissions cuts to make a difference in the climate. 
"Scientists worry that a strong focus on cutting methane could be used to justify less focus on cutting carbon dioxide, which will keep the atmosphere baking indefinitely, he said."
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Why the Pop-up Hype Isn’t Going to Save Our Cities

Why the Pop-up Hype Isn’t Going to Save Our Cities | Climate Change | Scoop.it
These days there is a strong belief among spatial professionals in a certain type of spatial intervention, often described using terms such as ‘bottom-up’, ‘tactical’, ‘guerilla’ or ‘pop-up’ urbanism. These interventions are modest in size, focus on one specific locality and are generally implemented by freelancing spatial practitioners, small companies or collectives, often given a bit of subsidy, but hardly ever structurally supported. This type of ‘urbanism’ is also often temporary, to some extent characterised by the flexible (re-)use of structures and materials and organised the DIY-way.

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Methane Leaks Are the Environmental Crisis No One's Talking About ("costly plugging needed")

Methane Leaks Are the Environmental Crisis No One's Talking About ("costly plugging needed") | Climate Change | Scoop.it

The oil and natural gas industry is producing more methane than previously thought, according to a report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA's new numbers push cow farts out of first place as the top source of methane. The new data also shows an emissions increase of 1.6% between 2013-14 and an 11% increase between 2010-14, released mainly from natural gas production. While cleaner than coal when burned, the contained natural gas can leak methane throughout production and transportation. Luckily, energy experts claim there is an easy fix.

Plugging gas leaks is simple, but time consuming. New technologies to help find and more accurately assess methane leaks from underground natural gas lines and other infrastructures are also being developed, but stronger regulations are needed for real change. In one meaningful step, President Obama has proposed cutting methane emissions from U.S. oil and gas production up to 45% by 2025.



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Bert Guevara's curator insight, May 5, 11:54 PM
Natural gas production is now #1 methane emitter. Did you know?

"The EPA's new numbers push cow farts out of first place as the top source of methane. The new data also shows an emissions increase of 1.6% between 2013-14 and an 11% increase between 2010-14, released mainly from natural gas production. While cleaner than coal when burned, the contained natural gas can leak methane throughout production and transportation. Luckily, energy experts claim there is an easy fix."
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Chinese Restaurant Charged Customers a 'Clean-Air Fee' ("signs of the times; clean air not free")

Chinese Restaurant Charged Customers a 'Clean-Air Fee' ("signs of the times; clean air not free") | Climate Change | Scoop.it
A restaurant in the polluted Chinese city of Zhangjiagang charged customers a fee to breathe clean air after installing a filtration system

The owner decided to place the burden of the cost on customers by charging them 1 yuan ($0.15) on top of their bill, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reports.

Local authorities say that charging customers for breathing is illegal, and the charges have stopped. However, the BBC reports that many users of Weibo, a popular microblogging service, have since expressed support for the fee because of the country’s notoriously bad air.

China’s pollution regularly garners world headlines. The nation’s capitalBeijing issued its first red alert for smog in early December. Breathing Beijing’s air, the Economist reports, could cause as much damage as smoking around 40 cigarettes per day.


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clean air - the next commodity 

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Bert Guevara's curator insight, December 17, 2015 9:46 AM

We used to react when Manila waiters won't serve water in restos unless requested.

Now, clean air has become scarce and China customers will buy it, based on supply and demand rates.

Signs of the times?

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Japan pledges climate change aid to Pacific island nations - US News

Japan pledges climate change aid to Pacific island nations - US News | Climate Change | Scoop.it
TOKYO (AP) — Japan pledged Saturday 55 billion yen ($450 million) in climate change and disaster aid to Pacific island nations that are battling rising sea levels and natural calamities as a result of global warming.
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The Corporate Risk of Climate Change

The Corporate Risk of Climate Change | Climate Change | Scoop.it
“While public companies are required to disclose risk in their financial reporting, there is little incentive for them to actually mention climate change.”
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