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Environmental writer Tom Schueneman, a contributor to numerous environmental and sustainability-focused blogs and websites, publishes his flagship blog GlobalWarmingisReal as a resource of news, commentary, and information on climate change, energy, and sustainability. \
Climate change and sustainability are the issues of our generation. Meeting the challenge is a three-legged stool requiring action from individuals, business, and government. GlobalWarmingisReal addresses those three aspects of change (or lack thereof) through essays, research, and news reporting. Our aim is to help the concerned citizen understand the importance and urgency of the issues we face in the 21st century.
The Importance of Aircraft Emission in Climate Change
March 21, 2013 06:50 AM - EarthTalk, Global Warming is Real
While air travel today accounts for just three percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, the carbon dioxide (CO2) and other pollutants that come out of jet exhaust contribute disproportionately to increasing surface temperatures below because the warming effect is amplified in the upper atmosphere. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a scientific intergovernmental body set up by the United Nations (UN) to provide comprehensive scientific assessments of the risk of human-induced climate change, reports that CO2 emitted by jets can survive in the atmosphere for upwards of 100 years, and that its combination with other gas and particulate emissions could have double or four times the warming effect as CO2 emissions alone.Modern jet engines are not that different from automobile engines—both involve internal combustion and burn fossil fuels. But instead of gasoline or diesel, jet fuel is primarily kerosene, a common home heating fuel used around the world. Just like car engines, jets emit CO2, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and soot.
Renewable Sources Provide All New Generating Capacity in January — Three-Fold Increase From Same Period Last Year
The latest Energy Infrastructure Update released yesterday by the Office of Energy Projects at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reports that the US had 1,231 megawatts (MW) of new in-service generating capacity come online in January of 2013 — all of it from renewable sources including wind, solar and biomass. The new capacity for January represents a three-fold increase from the 431 MW of new renewable generating capacity that came online in January of 2012.
The Growth of Efficient Buildings
February 25, 2013 08:47 AM - Richard Matthews, Global Warming is Real
The area of building efficiency affords tremendous opportunities for both economic growth and reduced environmental impacts. Buildings are the single largest emitters of greenhouse gases. According to a UNEP study titled "Towards a Green Economy," homes and businesses are responsible for 40 percent of the climate change causing carbon pollution. There is significant room for improvement in new construction and retrofits in homes, businesses, schools and other organization.
Renewable Energy Capacity Fuels Power Growth in January
February 21, 2013 06:02 AM - THOMAS SCHUENEMAN, Global Warming is Real
The latest Energy Infrastructure Update released yesterday by the Office of Energy Projects at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reports that the US had 1,231 megawatts (MW) of new in-service generating capacity come online in January of 2013 — all of it from renewable sources including wind, solar and biomass. The new capacity for January represents a three-fold increase from the 431 MW of new renewable generating capacity that came online in January of 2012. Wind energy led the pack with six new units providing 958 MW, followed by 16 new solar units generating 267 MW of electricity and six new biomass units for 6 MW of new generation. Nuclear, hydro and all fossil fuel sources, including coal, oil, and natural gas offered no new electrical generating capacity last month.
Climate Change Adaptation for Agriculture, Forests
February 20, 2013 10:01 AM - Andrew Burger, Global Warming is Real
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on February 5 released "two comprehensive reports that synthesize the scientific literature on climate change effects and adaptation strategies for U.S. agriculture and forests." The effects of climate change will be profound and far-reaching, according to the two reports, which drew on more than 1,000 peer-reviewed studies carried out by scientists in federal service, universities, non-governmental organizations, industry, tribal lands and the private sector.
NASA Develops Aircraft Design that Uses 50 Percent Less Fuel
February 13, 2013 01:15 PM - Cyrus Patten, Global Warming is Real
It seems like new, innovative technologies to reduce our carbon footprint are always 10 years away. It's hard to imagine there won't be another amazing technology just around the corner. In this case, NASA has developed a manufacturing method for wing-shaped aircraft. When combined with an uber-efficient jet engine called an "ultra-high bypass ratio engine", this new design promises to cut fuel consumptions by half.
Dominating vistas around Italy’s Bay of Naples, Mount Vesuvius erupted on August 24 in the year 79 AD, a cataclysm that brought an end to the Roman cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae and its denizens, preserving their remains in volcanic ash. The looming presence of Vesuvius is a stark reminder of the destructive power of volcanoes for residents of Naples, as well as the vulnerability of populations around the world who reside in their presence. Today, however, the city of Naples is looking to tap into and harness Vesuvius’ energy to improve lives, the environment and living conditions.
Reports Reiterate Link Between Environment and Economy
January 18, 2013 08:46 AM - Richard Matthews, Global Warming is Real
Two new reports reiterate the scientific veracity of anthropogenic climate change while reinforcing the interconnectedness of the economy and the environment. The World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risks Report 2013 clearly points to the interrelationship between the environment and the economy. A draft of the third National Climate Assessment Report indicates that climate change is both an environmental and economic issue.
US Military Takes Part in Reducing Ecological Footprint
November 16, 2012 09:51 AM - Richard Matthews, Global Warming is Real
In an effort to enhance American security and address climate change, the U.S. military is diminishing its footprint. The military is producing cleaner power, reducing energy consumption, managing water and minimizing waste. Their efforts encompass vast numbers of vehicles, ships, planes, buildings, lands, and other facilities. A major impetus for these efforts is Executive Order 13514, "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance," which President Obama signed on October 5, 2009. It mandates a 30 percent reduction in energy usage by federal agencies.
Survey Shows Business Community Moving Toward Sustainability
October 26, 2012 06:18 AM - RICHARD MATTHEWS, Global Warming is Real
Initially, corporate sustainability was a tertiary practice that focused on reporting; increasingly, it is influencing core strategic business decisions. A proactive stance on sustainability is becoming a competitive necessity to attract investors, source talent, meet the requirements of supply chain partners, and address growing consumer demand. Companies are seeing the value of operating in ways that address environmental concerns, health and safety issues and operational risks. They increasingly understand that good product stewardship, responsible energy consumption, and low carbon practices are necessary components of a competitive business. Although a sustainability strategy can be onerous, it is an increasingly essential aspect of a viable business. Engaging sustainability requires that companies are innovative and that they know consumers. Obviously, they must avoid greenwashing and they must tie sustainability to their core business. Some of the contemporary realities that are emerging around the issue of sustainability involve collaborative approaches and securing appropriate external certification.