Climate

Record-breaking snow across the US and climate change
December 27, 2009 07:44 AM - Jeremy Hance, Mongabay

Over the past few weeks the United States has been pounded by a number of big snow storms. A week ago Washington DC received 18 inches of snow, setting a number of records. Over Christmas, the middle of the country, from Texas to Minnesota was also hit by record amounts of snow. While snow fall over the East Coast and middle of the country in the United States in December is hardly unusual, a number of record amounts of precipitation may point to a larger shift in the climate. Scientists say that higher temperatures causes more water evaporation, which increases the chances of heavy precipitation events, such as floods and snowstorms.

Ecosystems strain to keep pace with climate
December 26, 2009 11:30 AM - Steve Gorman, Reuters, Environmental Health News

Earth's various ecosystems, with all their plants and animals, will need to shift about a quarter-mile per year on average to keep pace with global climate change, scientists said in a study released on Wednesday. How well particular species can survive rising worldwide temperatures attributed to excess levels of heat-trapping "greenhouse" gases emitted by human activity hinges on those species' ability to migrate or adapt in place.

Slow Sales of Honda Insight Give Insight into Hybrid Market
December 25, 2009 11:15 AM - BC Upham, Triple Pundit

Are hybrid cars still considered niche, or even — dare we say — "luxury" purchases? The failure of the lower-cost Honda Insight hybrid to dent the market for the Prius has some in the auto industry answering yes. Business Week reports that the Insight, which was introduced this year with a base MSRP of $19,800, over $2,000 less than the Prius, is still being outsold by Toyota's car 6 to 1.

Obama Frustrated with Outcome of Copenhagen Climate Talks
December 25, 2009 10:47 AM - Thomas Schueneman, Global Warming is Real

Despite near instantaneous condemnation of his role in the culmination of the COP15 climate negotiations last week, president Obama voiced his frustration over the course those negotiations took and accord that resulted from them. Speaking with Jim Lehrer on Wednesday, president Obama said that "people are justified in being disappointed about the outcome in Copenhagen."

Dairy Farmers to do Their Part to Slow Climate Change
December 23, 2009 06:30 AM - Editor, ENN

The US Department of Agriculture announced an agreement with U.S. dairy producers to accelerate adoption of innovative manure to energy projects on American dairy farms. The agreement represents a dynamic public/private partnership and is another demonstration of the Obama Administration's commitment to curb the emissions of greenhouse gases.

EU calls for more U.S. involvement in combating climate change
December 23, 2009 05:37 AM - Justyna Pawlak, Reuters

The European Union called on the United States on Tuesday to play a bigger role in combating climate change, after Sweden described the Copenhagen summit last week as a "great failure." Following a meeting in Brussels to discuss how to rescue the Copenhagen climate process, EU environment ministers emphasized the need for concrete, legally binding measures to combat global warming.

Sun Changes and How it May Effect the Climate
December 22, 2009 01:44 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor Satellite (AcrimSat) monitors the total amount of the sun's energy reaching Earth. It is this energy, called total solar irradiance, that creates the winds, heats the land and drives ocean currents. Some scientists theorize a significant fraction of Earth's warming may be solar in origin due to small increases in the sun's total energy output since the last century. By measuring incoming solar radiation, climatologists are can improve their predictions of climate change and global warming over the next century.

British Antarctic Survey finds rich Antarctic marine life
December 22, 2009 07:44 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The British Antarctic Survey has released new photographs of ice fish, octopus, sea pigs, giant sea spiders, rare rays and beautiful basket stars that live in Antarctica's continental shelf seas are revealed this week by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). As part of an international study on sea surface to seabed biodiversity a research team from across Europe, USA, Australia and South Africa onboard the BAS Royal Research Ship James Clark Ross sampled a bizarre collection of marine creatures from the Bellingshausen Sea, West Antarctica – one of the fastest warming seas in the world. Research cruise leader Dr. David Barnes of British Antarctic Survey said,

Climate accord offers some grounds for hope
December 22, 2009 07:30 AM - T. V. Padma and Mohammed Yahia, SciDevNet

The UN Climate Change Conference ended on Saturday (19 December) with frustration and verdicts of failure from many delegates because it did not reach a binding agreement on how to tackle climate change — or any agreement at all on targets for carbon emissions. But some commentators say that important principles behind fighting climate change have been established for the first time, and some action could start immediately even without the existence of a universal agreement.

Dutch have a simple answer to energy crisis – working together
December 21, 2009 10:33 AM - Lesley Riddoch, News.Scotsman, Environmental Health News

While tens of thousands of politicians and activists gathered hopefully in Copenhagen last Friday, a minor success was scored by eight men in wellingtons, standing on a barge beside the Afsluitdijk – the dyke that stops the North Sea from flooding the Netherlands. The focus of attention was a small, two-bladed tidal Tocardo turbine which has been spinning in one of the sluice channels between the freshwater IJsselmeer and the saltwater North Sea for the past 18 months.

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