Climate

Strange and Curious Clouds
June 15, 2010 02:47 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

It is always nice to lie back and look up into the sky and watch the drifting patterns of clouds. However, some clouds are odder or weirder than others. Some were made by nature and some were made accidentally by the actions of man. As turboprop and jet aircraft climb or descend under certain atmospheric conditions, they can inadvertently seed mid-level clouds and cause narrow bands of snow or rain to develop and fall to the ground, new research finds. Through this seeding process, they leave behind odd shaped holes or channels in the clouds, which tend to be fascinating to see.

Indonesia's plan to save its rainforests
June 15, 2010 12:40 PM - Rhett A. Butler

Late last year Indonesia made global headlines with a bold pledge to reduce deforestation, which claimed nearly 28 million hectares (108,000 square miles) of forest between 1990 and 2005 and is the source of about 80 percent of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Indonesia would voluntarily cut emissions 26 percent — and up to 41 percent with sufficient international support — from a projected baseline by 2020.

Painting a Wild Picture of North America
June 14, 2010 06:55 PM - Theodora Lamb, TheBigWild.org

"Do something small to save something big". That's The Big Wild's motto. In the world of wilderness conservation, connecting people to their ecological footprint is a big, wild challenge. The Big Wild is a conservation organization founded by Canada’s Mountain Equipment Co-op and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. We represent conservation campaigns across the country that have reached their tipping point and need public input to help call on political representatives to protect Canada’s wilderness. We connect communities to conservation efforts across the country. What better way to measure how “wild” North America is than with an infographic?

Sunny with Some Spots
June 14, 2010 02:38 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

When observing the Sun, the most obvious visible features are usually its sunspots, which are well defined surface areas that appear darker than their surroundings because of lower temperatures. Sunspots are regions of intense magnetic activity where convection is inhibited by strong magnetic fields, reducing energy transport from the hot interior to the surface. The magnetic field causes strong heating in the corona, forming active regions that are the source of intense solar flares and coronal mass ejections. the number of such spots varies over time generally in a 11 year cycle. Right now the spots are mostly gone for about 2 years which is highly unusual and may portend dramatic solar events to come which will affect the whole earth.

New UN climate text under fire as talks end
June 12, 2010 08:04 AM - Alister Doyle, Reuters

Rich and poor nations alike criticized a new blueprint for a U.N. climate treaty on Friday as two weeks of talks among 185 countries ended with small steps toward an elusive deal. A streamlined climate draft, meant to help talks on a new pact, cut out some of the most draconian options for greenhouse gas and dropped all references to "Copenhagen" -- where a U.N. summit in December fell short of agreeing a treaty. "The group is dismayed that the ... text is unbalanced," developing nations in the Group of 77 and China said in a statement. Several of them said the 22-page text wrongly put emphasis on greenhouse gas curbs by the poor, not the rich.

Bonn climate talks hold up hope of turning trust into traction in Mexico
June 11, 2010 09:06 AM - World Wildlife Fund

Bonn, Germany – WWF says negotiators at UN climate talks in Bonn have missed some important goals, while showing a much stronger performance than in previous rounds. In WWF’s view, progress in Bonn was mainly a result of improved team spirit among negotiators, with countries from North and South teaming up in unusual coalitions, creating fresh dynamics and space for solutions and compromise.

Melting glaciers and snow put millions at risk in Asia
June 11, 2010 06:20 AM - David Fogarty, Reuters

Increased melting of glaciers and snow in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau threatens the food security of millions of people in Asia, a study shows, with Pakistan likely to be among the nations hardest hit. A team of scientists in Holland studied the impacts of climate change on five major Asian rivers on which about 1.4 billion people, roughly a fifth of humanity, depend for water to drink and to irrigate crops. The rivers are the Indus, which flows through Tibet and Pakistan, the Brahmaputra, which carves its way through Tibet, northeast India and Bangladesh, India's Ganges and the Yangtze and Yellow rivers in China. Studies in the past have assumed that a warmer world will accelerate the melting of glaciers and snow in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau, which act like water towers, the study published in the latest issue of the journal Science says.

Aerosols
June 8, 2010 02:43 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

What are aerosols? In this case they are tiny particles of dust, soot, salts, mist and all sorts of small stuff suspended in the air. This is what causes a hazy day, light scattering and sun light absorption. Aerosols have a great effect on climate but little is known about them.

Into an Ancient Glacial Lake
June 8, 2010 01:07 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Scientists have located the ideal drill site for the first ever exploration of an Antarctic sub-glacial lake, a development that it likely to facilitate a revolution in climate change research and which may lead to the discovery of life forms cut off from the main line of evolution for millions of years. Far below in the isolated dark strange life forms may have evolved isolated form the mainstream. Also down there are frozen relics of bygone ages and climates.

As Part of Growing Trend, UPS Adds 200 Hybrid Trucks
June 7, 2010 08:42 AM - Hybrid Cars, Matter Network

United Parcel Service this week is rolling out 200 new hybrid gas-electric delivery trucks in eight U.S. cities. Over the course of a year, the 200 new hybrid trucks are expected to reduce fuel consumption by roughly 176,000 gallons and cutting CO2 gases by nearly 1,800 metric tons. The move by UPS is part of a growing trend, identified in a new report from Pike Research about the global market for hybrid medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses. Pike forecasts an increase from 9,000 vehicles sold globally in 2010 to more than 100,000 vehicles in 2015.

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