Climate

Nasa climate expert makes personal appeal to Obama
January 12, 2009 08:38 AM - James Randerson, science correspondent,guardian.co.uk

One of the world's top climate scientists has written a personal new year appeal to Barack and Michelle Obama, warning of the "profound disconnect" between public policy on climate change and the magnitude of the problem. With less than three weeks to go until Obama's inauguration, ProfessorJames Hansen, who heads Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, asked the recently appointed White House science adviser Professor John Holdren to pass the missive directly to the president-elect.

State of the World 2009: Into A Warming World
January 10, 2009 10:20 AM - Worldwatch Institute

The Worldwatch Institute's State of the World reports have evolved into a remarkable source of intellectual wealth that provides understanding and insight not only on the physical state of this planet but on human systems as they are linked with ecosystems and natural resources around the world. It is especially heartening that the focus of State of the World 2009 is on climate change. The contents of this volume are of particular interest as they are based on the findings of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and provide a comprehensive overview of the policy imperatives facing humanity as we come to grips with this all-important challenge confronting the world today. The IPCC report provided the global community with up-to-date knowledge through an overall assessment of climate change that went substantially beyond its Third Assessment Report.

Harvard’s ”˜Hippo’ Jet Heads to Pole to Test CO2 Level
January 9, 2009 08:48 AM - Bloomberg.com

Harvard University is flying a specially equipped jet between the North Pole and South Pole to test the atmosphere for variations in global-warming gases, aiming to improve computer models for predicting climate change. A modified Gulfstream V took off today from Colorado bound for the Arctic as part of a three-year mission dubbed Hippo, said David Hosansky, a spokesman for the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a collaborator in the Harvard-led project based in Boulder, Colorado. The plane will later turn south via New Zealand toward Antarctica.

Markey to become chair of House environment panel
January 9, 2009 08:33 AM - Clean Air Watch

"It's time to create the clean-energy age. My goal is now to create an energy policy that creates millions of new jobs in the United States." - Representative Edward Markey A big development today, as Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) declares he intends to take over the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. This is a very significant development, and one that should enhance the prospects for good global warming legislation in this Congress.

UN Climate Conference: The countdown to Copenhagen
January 9, 2009 08:22 AM - The Independent

In 331 days' time, 15,000 officials from 200 countries will gather in the Danish capital with 1 goal: to find a solution to global warming. Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor, presents the first in a series of dispatches on the crucial summit Three hundred and thirty-one days, plus a final frantic fortnight: not very long, really, to put together the most complex and vital agreement the world has ever seen. But that's all the time there is: in 331 days from now, on 7 December, the UN Climate Conference will open in Copenhagen and the world community will try to agree a solution to the gravest threat it has ever faced: global warming.

Once reducers of CO2, Canada's trees now contribute to global warming
January 8, 2009 09:04 AM - World Business Council for Sustainable Development

In an alarming, yet little noticed series of recent studies, scientists have determined that Canada's 1.2 million square miles of forests have become so stressed from damage caused by global warming, insect infestations and persistent fires that they have crossed an ominous line and now pump out more carbon dioxide than they take in. The trees make up more than 7 percent of Earth's total forest lands and have been dubbed the "lungs of the planet" because they could always be depended upon to suck in vast quantities of carbon dioxide, naturally cleansing the world of some of the harmful heat-trapping gas.

Climate Road Trip: An Indian Movement for Change
January 7, 2009 08:26 AM - WorldWatch Institutue

Anna da Costa, co-director for the India Climate Solutions Project, reports on the launch of the Indian Climate Solutions Road Tour, aimed at catalyzing and inspiring climate change solutions across India. As clocks ticked past midnight on December 31, signaling the start of the new year, a group of seven passionate individuals from India and around the world gathered in the eastern city of Chennai to begin an epic climate journey.

The mystery of Antarctica's speeding glacier
January 6, 2009 09:13 AM - telegraph.co.uk/

With the possible exception of the ice that covers Greenland, the West Antarctic ice shelf is the most important body of water in the world. If it thaws, the results will be disastrous for millions, raising sea levels and flooding coastal cities such as London, New York, Tokyo and Calcutta. So it is understandable that scientists are alarmed as to why one particular section of it - Pine Island Glacier - is melting so much faster than the rest.

Earthtalk: Rising Seas and Buying a New Car Vs. Keeping a Well-Maintained Used Car
January 6, 2009 08:26 AM - Earth Talk

Dear EarthTalk: With all the talk of rising seas, what could happen to the rivers that flow into the oceans? Will they reverse flow? Will rising seas back up into fresh water lakes? And what happens to our groundwater should saltwater flow backwards into it? - Sandy Smith, concerned Michigander

EU seals historic climate and energy package
January 3, 2009 08:02 AM - World Business Council for Sustainable Development

MEPs formally approved an unprecedented package of six new climate and energy laws in Strasbourg on Wednesday. A year of intense negotiations was wrapped up in a mere twenty minutes of voting. Over 550 MEPs backed the package, while fewer than 100 voted against. The package is designed to cut EU greenhouse gas emissions by twenty per cent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels, as pledged by European leaders at their spring summit in 2007. The EU will aim for a 30 per cent cut if other industrialised countries take on equivalent commitments in a new international climate treaty to be agreed at UN talks in Copenhagen next December.

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