Climate

Obama climate adviser to depart in latest staff change
January 25, 2011 05:50 AM - Alister Bull and JoAnne Allen, Reuters, WASHINGTON

A key climate change adviser to President Barack Obama will step down soon, administration officials said on Monday, in the latest staff departure as the White House adapts to a shift in power in Congress. Carol Browner, White House coordinator of energy and climate policy, "will stay on as long as necessary to ensure an orderly transition," a senior administration official said. As his presidency enters its third year, Obama has unveiled a number of staff changes following Republican gains in the November congressional elections in which they won control of the House of Representatives.

While some Himalayan glaciers retreat, others are growing
January 24, 2011 07:05 AM - Alister Doyle, Retuers Environment Correspondent OSLO

Some Himalayan glaciers are advancing despite an overall retreat, according to a study on Sunday that is a step toward understanding how climate change affects vital river flows from China to India. A blanket of dust and rock debris was apparently shielding some glaciers in the world's highest mountain range from a thaw, a factor omitted from past global warming reports. And varying wind patterns might explain why some were defying a melt. "Our study shows there is no uniform response of Himalayan glaciers to climate change and highlights the importance of debris cover," scientists at universities in Germany and the United States wrote in the study of 286 glaciers.

Stratospheric Warming linked to our weather
January 22, 2011 09:50 AM - ScienceDaily

Meteorologists at Freie Universität have found a correlation between warming in the stratosphere and cold or warm winter periods. They observed that there is an increased number of stratospheric warmings, when the heat flow from the North Atlantic into the atmosphere is increased. Trends for winter temperatures can be derived from these new findings. "This could mean that in Europe there will increasingly be periods lasting several decades with predominantly colder winters alternating with periods of warmer winters," says Semjon Schimanke, who led the research, reported in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The meteorologists expect that in the long term their research will help weather forecasters make more accurate predictions.

Better Wind Mills
January 21, 2011 08:30 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

A wind turbine is a device that converts kinetic energy from the wind into mechanical energy. If the mechanical energy is used to produce electricity, the device may be called a wind generator or wind charger. If the mechanical energy is used to drive machinery, such as for grinding grain or pumping water, the device is called a windmill or wind pump. Large wind farms are being built around the world as a cleaner way to generate electricity, but operators are still searching for the most efficient way to arrange the massive turbines that turn moving air into power. To help steer wind farm owners in the right direction, Charles Meneveau, a Johns Hopkins fluid mechanics and turbulence expert, working with a colleague in Belgium, has devised a new formula through which the optimal spacing for a large array of turbines can be obtained.

CO2 Ocean Sequestration
January 20, 2011 04:54 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Carbon sequestration is "The process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it in a reservoir." When carried out deliberately, this may also be referred to as carbon dioxide removal, which is a form of geoengineering. The term carbon sequestration may also be used to refer to the process of carbon capture and storage, where CO2 is removed from flue gases, such as on power stations, before being stored in underground reservoirs. The term may also refer to natural biogeochemical cycling of carbon between the atmosphere and reservoirs, such as by chemical weathering of rocks. Using seawater and calcium to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) in a natural gas power plant's flue stream, and then pumping the resulting calcium bicarbonate in the sea, could be beneficial to the oceans' marine life or states a new research report.

NASA images reveal consistent climate warming among different temperature records
January 20, 2011 09:26 AM - Jeremy Hance

New images released by NASA illustrate how four different global temperature records show remarkably consistent warming around the world. Currently, global temperatures are analyzed by four major organizations: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), NOAA National Climatic Data Center, Met Office Hadley Center's Climatic Research Unit, and the Japanese Meteorological Agency. Although each organization has garnered slightly different results year-to-year, all show a consistent warming trend globally, including that the most recent decade as the warmest since record-keeping began in the late Nineteenth Century.

Climate Models Are Becoming Increasingly Accurate
January 19, 2011 09:45 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Predicting future climates on planet Earth is an extremely hard task due to the myriad of factors involved. To make the necessary calculations requires computers with capacities far beyond the average home computer. However, climate models are become ever more reliable thanks not only to greater computing power, but also to more extensive observation efforts of the current climate, and an improved understanding of the climate system.

Masdar World Future Energy Summit
January 18, 2011 04:36 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Abu Dhabi, UAE, may be a major oil supplier to the world, but the Emirate is also active with ideas and commitments to a green energy future. The World Future Energy Summit 2011 in Abu Dhabi began on January 17th. The summit is taking place not far from the emerging city of Masdar which is designed to be a showpiece of clean tech innovation and green urban planning. Around 33 official delegations and more than 3,000 delegates will participate in the World Future Energy Summit. Masdar is a project in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. Its core is a planned city, which is being built by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, with the majority of seed capital provided by the government of Abu Dhabi. The city will rely entirely on solar energy and other renewable energy sources, with a sustainable, zero-carbon, zero-waste ecology. The city is being constructed 11 miles east-south-east of the city of Abu Dhabi.

Eating Insects 'Could Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions'
January 17, 2011 01:58 PM - Benjamin Kolb, SciDevNet

Dining on crickets, locusts, or even cockroaches, instead of cattle or pigs, could ease both food insecurity and climate change, according to researchers.

Amount of carbon absorbed by ecosystems each year is grossly overstated, says new study
January 17, 2011 09:38 AM - Emily Kirkland, MONGABAY.COM

According to a new paper published in Science, current carbon accounting methods significantly overstate the amount of carbon that can be absorbed by forests, plains, and other terrestrial ecosystems. That is because most current carbon accounting methods do not consider the methane and carbon dioxide released naturally by rivers, streams, and lakes.

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