Climate

Weather Anomalies of Winter 2010
March 19, 2010 10:45 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

To the average person, the weather this winter, especially in February, has certainly been a departure from those winters of the past few years. There has been record snowfall in the mid-Atlantic region, bitter cold in the Deep South, and remarkably mild weather for the Pacific Northwest and New England. However, if the United States can be taken as a whole, some more modest trends appear.

Czech minister quits over controversial power plant
March 19, 2010 06:25 AM - Reuters

Czech Environment Minister Jan Dusik resigned Thursday from the caretaker cabinet, saying the prime minister had put pressure on him to decide hastily on plans to upgrade a controversial large coal-fired power plant. The ministry has yet to rule on the project, which has drawn objections from environmentalists and from Micronesia. The Pacific nation fears increasing floods as a result of climate change partly due to carbon emissions from the Czech Prunerov plant.

Planets in Other Star Systems
March 18, 2010 04:41 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

An extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, is a planet outside the Solar System. There are billions of stars in our galaxy and a significant percentage of these stars are likely to have planets orbiting them. There are also planets orbiting brown dwarfs and free floating planets between the stars. As of March 2010, over 400 extrasolar planets have been confirmed. The CoRoT satellite has discovered the coolest Jupiter like exoplanet so far to pass in front of its host star, enabling detailed studies of the planet as reported by a team from Oxford University.

Deal nearing on Senate climate bill
March 18, 2010 06:25 AM - Richard Cowan and Timothy Gardner, Reuters

The Senate is close to wrapping up talks ahead of introducing a compromise climate change bill, said a top Democratic lawmaker who discussed ideas with industry groups on Wednesday. "We're planning to button up our efforts somewhere I hope next week," Senator John Kerry told reporters after meeting with a coalition that represents automakers, forestry and paper companies, Big Oil, steel, mining, electricity and others. Kerry is working with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and independent Senator Joseph Lieberman on a bill to require U.S. industry to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases associated with global warming.

New Analysis: 15% Cut in U.S. Carbon Emissions Achievable Through Simple Inexpensive Personal Actions
March 17, 2010 09:13 AM - National Resources Defense Council

NEW YORK (March 12, 2010) – New analysis released today at a symposium on "Climate, Mind and Behavior" reveals that Americans can reduce U.S. carbon pollution by 15 percent – or one billion tons of global warming pollution – through collective personal actions that require little to no cost. The analysis released by NRDC and the Garrison Institute's Climate Mind Behavior (CMB) Project is part of a larger collaboration that seeks to integrate emerging research findings about what drives human behavior into new thinking on climate solutions.

CO2 at new highs despite economic slowdown
March 16, 2010 07:11 AM - Alister Doyle, Reuters

Levels of the main greenhouse gas in the atmosphere have risen to new highs in 2010 despite an economic slowdown in many nations that braked industrial output, data showed on Monday. Carbon dioxide, measured at Norway's Zeppelin station on the Arctic Svalbard archipelago, rose to a median 393.71 parts per million of the atmosphere in the first two weeks of March from 393.17 in the same period of 2009, extending years of gains.

Salt and Smog
March 15, 2010 02:46 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The smell of sea salt at the beach is a pleasant thought for many beach goers. Wind and waves kick up spray sending salt (sodium chloride into the air. Most salt of this sort falls back into the sea or nearby beach. The bit of chloride lingering in the air can react with nitrogen oxides (NOx) to form nitryl chloride which is a forerunner of chlorine gas, the most reactive form of chlorine. Those gas can contribute to smog formation in coastal areas. However, in a surprise, researchers have found that this air chemistry thought to be restricted to sea spray occurs at similar rates in the air above Boulder, Colorado which is nearly 900 miles away from any ocean. What's more, local air quality measurements taken in a number of national parks across the United States imply similar conditions in or near other non-coastal metropolitan areas.

California Caps SF6 Emissions for Utilities
March 15, 2010 06:04 AM - Editor, Sustainable Life Media

The California Air Resources Board recently announced that they will begin monitoring and limiting the emissions of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) in high-voltage electrical equipment starting in 2011. SF6 is the most potent of all greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. SF6 is approximately 23,900 times as potent as carbon dioxide, the world’s most prevalent greenhouse gas, at trapping heat in the atmosphere.

Deep-sea volcanoes play key climate role
March 15, 2010 05:48 AM - David Fogarty, Reuters

A vast network of under-sea volcanoes pumping out nutrient-rich water in the Southern Ocean plays a key role in soaking up large amounts of carbon dioxide, acting as a brake on climate change, scientists say. A group of Australian and French scientists have shown for the first time that the volcanoes are a major source of iron that single-celled plants called phytoplankton need to bloom and in the process soak up CO2, the main greenhouse gas.

Wind Turbines might actually add to warming
March 14, 2010 09:50 AM - Andrew Price, GOOD

A new paper suggests that wind turbines, installed broadly, might actually change the climate themselves just by disrupting the normal flow of the wind: In a paper published online Feb. 22 in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, [the MIT researchers] Wang and Prinn suggest that using wind turbines to meet 10 percent of global energy demand in 2100 could cause temperatures to rise by one degree Celsius in the regions on land where the wind farms are installed, including a smaller increase in areas beyond those regions. Read more: http://www.good.is/post/could-wind-turbines-actually-warm-the-globe#ixzz0i9u2kXfD

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