Climate

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

Global Trade’s Dirty Secret: Outsourced Emissions
March 12, 2010 07:22 AM - Leon Kaye, Triple Pundit

The Carnegie Institution of Science released a new study this week finding that one-third of the carbon dioxide emissions developed countries release into the atmosphere result from goods and services produced outside their borders. The report’s details are troubling: Carnegie’s researchers estimate that 2.5 tons of CO2 per person are consumed in the United States but are produced elsewhere, and that figure spikes to 4 tons per European. Another point that will cause considerable disagreement among global climate negotiators is Carnegie’s analysis that one-quarter of the emissions in China are actually the result of its exports to its trading partners such as the United States.

US EPA to regulate Green House gas emissions from cars
March 12, 2010 06:35 AM - Tom Doggett, Reuters

The White House is finalizing rules on the first U.S. greenhouse gas emission standard for automobiles, which would raise average fuel economy 42 percent by 2016 in a bid to slash oil imports and fight climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department sent the final rules this week to the White House's Office of Management and Budget, according to a notice posted on the OMB website. The higher mileage requirements will reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 900 million metric tons and save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of vehicles built during the 2012-2016 model years, according to the EPA.

Improved Wood Stoves could improve air quality and health
March 10, 2010 06:45 AM - Yale Environment 360 , Clean Techies

Two billion people worldwide do their cooking on open fires, producing sooty pollution that shortens millions of lives and exacerbates global warming. If widely adopted, a new generation of inexpensive, durable cook stoves could go a long way toward alleviating this problem. With a single, concerted initiative, says Lakshman Guruswami, the world could save millions of people in poor nations from respiratory ailments and early death, while dealing a big blow to global warming — and all at a surprisingly small cost.

China and India endorse Copenhagen Climate Accord
March 10, 2010 05:58 AM - Matthias Williams, Reuters

China and India joined almost all other major greenhouse gas emitters Tuesday in signing up to the climate accord struck in Copenhagen, boosting a deal strongly favored by the United States. More than 100 nations have now endorsed the Copenhagen Accord, a non-binding agreement reached after two weeks of tortuous wrangling at a 194-nation summit in December. The accord plans $100 billion a year in climate aid for developing nations from 2020 and seeks to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6F) above pre-industrial times, but produced no timetable of emission limits to reach that goal.

Amazon Droughts and Greening
March 9, 2010 03:01 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The sensitivity of Amazon rain forests to dry season droughts is still poorly understood, with reports of enhanced tree mortality and forest fires on one hand, and excessive forest greening on the other. In a current story there is a report that previous conclusions of large scale greening of the Amazon as a result of drought are not reproducible. Approximately 11%-12% of these drought stricken forests display greening, while, 28%-20% show browning or no change, and for the rest, the data are not of sufficient quality to characterize any changes. These changes are also not unique; approximately similar changes are observed in non-drought years as well.

EPA defends plan to regulate Greenhouse gas emissions
March 9, 2010 06:31 AM - Timothy Gardner, Reuters

The Environmental Protection Agency chief fought back on Monday against Senate attempts to challenge the agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, saying delaying action would be bad for the economy. President Barack Obama has long said the EPA would take steps to regulate greenhouse gases if Congress failed to pass climate legislation. The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate amid opposition from fossil fuel-rich states.

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