Climate

Cookstoves and Carbon Credits
May 25, 2012 06:54 AM - Jen Boynton, Triple Pundit

Take a region where charcoal is the cooking fuel of choice, switch it out for a cleaner burning fuel that doesn't contribute to global warming quite so dramatically, then, somehow, track the whole thing accurately enough that it’s possible to measure the tons of emissions the switch represents. Finally, sell the avoided tons on a carbon market to companies that are looking to offset their own over-indulgence or maybe organizations that want to be carbon negative, doing their part to reduce global warming. The calculations had better be accurate or else those credits will not be worth very much in the long run.

Rising seas not only issue facing island nation
May 24, 2012 08:03 AM - Charles Choi, Live Science

The island nation of Kiribati is one of the countries most threatened by rising sea levels. However, many of the floods it has seen may be due to a mix of natural variability and human activities, complicating the picture of how rising sea levels are endangering Kiribati and other island nations.

How did Tetrapods Walk?
May 24, 2012 06:19 AM - Tamera Jones, Planet Earth On Line

An ancient four-limbed creature that's thought to be the first ever to walk on land couldn't actually walk at all, researchers have discovered. Instead, they think the animal, called a tetrapod, simply hauled itself out of the primordial ooze with its two front limbs, using its back limbs merely for balance. 'These early tetrapods probably moved in a similar way to living mudskipper fishes in which the front fins, or arms, are used like crutches to haul the body up and forward,' explains Dr Stephanie Pierce from the University of Cambridge and The Royal Veterinary College, lead author of the study.

Why the best world-changing ideas begin in your neighborhood
May 22, 2012 09:31 AM - John-Paul Flintoff, Ecologist

Your ideas for changing the world may be desperately important. But if you can't find a way to engage the interests of the people around you they may never take off, argues John-Paul Flintoff. The environmental movement has often been guilty of making people despondent, either by talking about 'problems' in a way that makes listeners feel powerless, or by presenting solutions as miserable duties. It needn't be that way. Instead, we could try to make doing the right thing appealing, rather than merely necessary - and one way to do that is to offer people a chance to say hello to their neighbours.

Climate Study: Extreme Rain Storms in Midwest Have Doubled in Last 50 Years, Often Leading to Worsened Flooding
May 22, 2012 08:40 AM - Editor, NRDC

The kind of deluges that in recent years washed out Cedar Rapids, IA, forced the Army Corps of Engineers to intentionally blow up levees to save Cairo, IL, and sent the Missouri River over its banks for hundreds of miles are part of a growing trend, according to a new report released today by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Big storms, leading to big floods, are occurring with increasing frequency in the Midwest, with incidences of the most severe downpours doubling over the last half century, the report finds.

Watersheds
May 22, 2012 07:46 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

Where will the water be? That is the critical question for the future as climate changes occur forcing water to change its habits. Climate change projections indicate a steady increase in temperature progressing through the 21st century, generally resulting in snow pack reductions, changes to the timing of snow melt, altered stream flows, and reductions in soil moisture, all of which could affect water management, agriculture, recreation, hazard mitigation, and ecosystems across the nation. Despite some widespread similarities in climate change trends, climate change will affect specific water basins in the U.S. differently, based on the particular hydrologic and geologic conditions in that area.

1,000 Years of Climate Data Confirms Australia's Warming
May 21, 2012 08:47 AM - Editor, Science Daily

In the first study of its kind in Australasia, scientists have used 27 natural climate records to create the first large-scale temperature reconstruction for the region over the last 1000 years. The study was led by researchers at the University of Melbourne and used a range of natural indicators including tree rings, corals and ice cores to study Australasian temperatures over the past millennium and compared them to climate model simulations

Charcoal for African Cookstoves, What's the Story?
May 21, 2012 07:10 AM - Jen Boynton, Triple Pundit

You may have seen pictures of women in Africa cooking their daily meals on a small cookstove. These cooking implements look remarkably similar to the portable charcoal grills an American family might bring to the beach for an afternoon of grilling hot dogs and hamburgers. Imagine using one of these at your kitchen table to prepare nearly every meal of your life. In Mozambique (a coastal nation in Southwest Africa, just north of South Africa), the average lifespan is 47 years, the average income is $1 per day – minimum wage is a little more than double that, but high unemployment cuts the average in half. Charcoal is the cooking element of choice. Among market shoppers and sellers we met, charcoal was deemed to be the best cooking option because it is easily available and "not dangerous."

Tropic Atmospheric Circulation
May 18, 2012 07:46 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

An University of California - Riverside led team has identified black carbon and tropospheric ozone as the most likely drivers of large-scale atmospheric circulation change in the Northern Hemisphere tropics zone. While stratospheric ozone depletion has already been shown to be the primary driver of the expansion of the tropics in the Southern Hemisphere, the researchers are the first to report that black carbon and tropospheric ozone are the most likely primary drivers of the tropical expansion observed in the Northern Hemisphere.

Natural sinks still sopping up carbon
May 17, 2012 09:12 AM - Alexandra Witze, Science News

Earth's ecosystems keep soaking up more carbon as greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere, new measurements find. The research contradicts several recent studies suggesting that "carbon sinks" have reached or passed their capacity. By looking at global measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the new work calculates instead that total sinks have increased roughly in line with rising emissions.

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