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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.
Global Conference Discusses Biodiversity Loss
October 10, 2012 05:40 AM - Andrew Burger, Global Warming is Real
Representatives from more than 170 countries are meeting in Hyderabad, India this week to discuss progress, problems and challenges in implementing the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), one of three historic international environmental agreements produced at the UN Earth Summit on environment and development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. All 193 UN member governments have signed and ratified the CBD, meaning they're a party to it. As stated in the convention, the objectives of the CBD "are the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding."
Mysterious Rise in Ocean Salinity
September 13, 2012 06:13 AM - RICHARD MATTHEWS, Global Warming is Real
Scientists have observed unexpected changes in the seawater salinity and they are increasingly concerned about the potential impact on ocean currents. The salinity of seawater can accelerate the water cycle which can cause extreme weather events like floods and drought. To investigate the issue of ocean salinity scientists have boarded the research vessel Knorr, which set sail on September 6, 2012. NASA’s Aquarius instrument is part of a separate research project that has been measuring seawater salinity from space since August 2011. In addition to ocean salinity, researchers are exploring the water cycle which involves the ways that water circulates between the Earth’s oceans, atmosphere, and land. This process involves precipitation and return to the atmosphere by evaporation and transpiration.
Why you really DO need to properly recycle or dispose of your printer cartridges!
July 13, 2012 03:36 PM - Guest Post by Ben Randall, Global Warming is Real
We live in a wasteful society. After buying products, many people are all too used to throwing them away, and haven't quite grasped the concept of recycling yet. But we are getting there slowly. To work towards a greener future we must look at specific ways to be more economical, which will allow us to stop pumping so much hazardous gas into the atmosphere. It probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind, but one way we can significantly reduce our carbon waste output is through making a worldwide effort to recycle ink cartridges. Chuck a printer cartridge into a landfill heap and it will take 450 years to decompose. Ink cartridges have a huge negative impact on our environment; here is a breakdown of why this is so. It is evident that some of us, ranging from the little guy to huge corporations, make the effort to recycle ink cartridges.
Arctic Sea Ice Continues its Summer Retreat
July 7, 2012 08:28 AM - THOMAS SCHUENEMAN, Global Warming is Real
A rapid decline for Arctic sea ice extent briefly hit daily record lows in June, led by extensive ice loss in the Bering, Kara, and Beaufort Seas, as well as Hudson and Baffin Bay. Snow extent was unusually low for both May and June, reinforcing the continuing pattern of rapid spring snow melt of the past six years. Average Arctic sea ice extent for June was 4.24 million square miles (10.97 million square kilometers), 456,000 square miles below the 1970-2000 average sea ice extent. Sea ice extent for June 2010, 2011, and 2012 has been the lowest in the satellite record.
Findings and Solutions in the Living Planet Report 2012
June 18, 2012 08:26 AM - Richard Matthews, Global Warming is Real
The WWF's Living Planet Report (LPR) is the world's leading science-based analysis on the health of the Earth and the impact of human activity. The ninth biennial publication released in May, reviews the cumulative pressures humans are putting on the planet and the consequent decline in the health of the forests, rivers and oceans. Its key finding is that humanity's demands are exceeding the planet's capacity to sustain us.
40 Eco-Apps that Put Technology to Work for the Environment
June 8, 2012 10:41 AM - Richard Matthews, Global Warming is Real
Technology may not be a panacea to solve the climate crisis, but green applications (eco-apps) are helping to drive awareness and foster responsible action. There was a time when eco-apps did little more than provide lists of so-called "green" products and services. Now green-themed apps have turned mobile devices into portals for environmental education and sustainable action. The smartphone market share is now estimated to be more than 40 percent in the U.S. Around the world, smartphones are proliferating and green apps are growing along with them. Eco-apps can help people be more efficient and reduce their energy consumption. There are a wide variety of energy apps including those that monitor efficiency and consumption. Apps help with things like recycling and other aspects of green living. Mobile and tablet based smart energy applications help consumers to optimize their energy and water consumption, monitor their appliances, water heater and other electronics. These apps can also monitor and operate HVAC, grey water (from rain), automated windows (shutters and blinds) and lighting systems. They can even provide information about renewable energy conversion and variable price grid management.
Arctic Monitoring Stations Report CO2 Levels of 400 parts per million
June 2, 2012 09:10 AM - Thomas Schueneman, Global Warming is Real
The Arctic region continues to serve as the global climate "canary in a coal" mine. Now, as with average temperature rise, the region is leading into a new troubling milestone as monitoring stations near a remote outpost near Barrow, Alaska are among several such stations to report that average concentrations of CO2 have reached an average of 400 parts per million (PPM) this spring. "The northern sites in our monitoring network tell us what is coming soon to the globe as a whole," reports atmospheric scientist Pieter Tans with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). "We will likely see global average CO2 concentrations reach 400 ppm about 2016."
Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Wine
May 29, 2012 07:21 AM - Guest Post, Global Warming is Real
Do you love wine, but are also concerned about its carbon footprint? The carbon footprint of wine includes production, packaging, and transportation. Wine is grown using energy intensive petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides, processed through heavy machinery and packaged using glass, corks, glue and labels. That heavy bottle then needs to travel thousands of miles before it ends up in your glass. Best case scenario, you recycle the bottle again, and it is melted down and reused through another round of energy intensive production and transportation. Although some experts argue that grapes do not require extensive amounts of fertilizer like many other crops, the amount involved in wine production is definitely not negligible given the size of the industry. Increasingly, wine producers understand these negative effects and are choosing organic methods for their wine production.
Solar Paint Technology May Revolutionize the Renewable Energy Industry
May 17, 2012 08:10 AM - Matthew Speer, Global Warming is Real
Lowering your carbon footprint and reducing greenhouse gasses may become as simple as painting your home or office, thanks to breakthrough research from the University of Notre Dame. The researchers, led by Professor Prashant Kamat, have created a new solar paint dubbed Sun-believable, which is laced with power producing nanoparticles capable of producing electricity. With the ability to generate renewable energy from this new, less invasive method, bulky solar panels as we know them today may soon become relics destined for the museum.
Wind, Solar...Coconuts: Small Island Developing States Commit to Renewable, Sustainable Energy for All
May 15, 2012 03:20 PM - Andrew Burger, Global Warming is Real
Typically heavily reliant on the cost of high and volatile diesel and fossil fuel imports, small island developing states are also on the front line when it comes to having to cope with climate change. Now they're realizing there's a lot in the way of cleaner, more efficient and less costly power and fuel resources right at home. They're increasingly, if belatedly, establishing ambitious renewable energy programs and setting aggressive targets to employ local renewable energy resources to reduce CO2 and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, working with a range of international development agencies, public and private sector partners domestic and foreign, in doing so.