Climate

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.

US Geological Survey Study of Oceanic Circulation
December 21, 2009 06:30 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The USGS released an important study of the deep ocean’s temperature variability and circulation system that could help improve projections of future climate conditions. The deep ocean is apparently affected more by surface warming than previously thought, and this understanding allows for more accurate predictions of factors such as sea level rise and ice volume changes.

U.N. climate talks end with bare minimum agreement
December 20, 2009 09:49 AM - Dominic Evans and Alister Doyle, Reuters

U.N. climate talks ended with a bare-minimum agreement on Saturday when delegates "noted" an accord struck by the United States, China and other emerging powers that falls far short of the conference's original goals. "Finally we sealed a deal," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. "The 'Copenhagen Accord' may not be everything everyone had hoped for, but this ... is an important beginning."

Copenhagen Climate "Deal"
December 19, 2009 10:04 AM - Al Jazeera

Five countries have reached a non-binding agreement at the Copenhagen climate change summit, but leaders from developing countries have reacted angrily to the deal. Five countries, including the US and China, forged the agreement on Friday following a day of frenzied talks at the 193-nation global warming summit in Denmark.

Are Smart Meters Really Smart?
December 18, 2009 01:43 PM - BC Upham, Triple Pundit

A class action lawsuit in Bakersfield, California claims newly installed smart meters inflate customers electricity and gas use, resulting in steep hikes in utility bills. The plaintiffs, a group of about 200 residents, are suing Pacific Gas & Electric, their utility company, and Wellington Energy, the company that installed the meters. In some cases, customers reported very high discrepancies in their bills. The New York Times reports that one PG&E customer testified “that the new meter logged the consumption of his two-bedroom townhouse at 791 kilowatt-hours in July, up from 236 a year earlier.”

No Deal Yet in Copenhagen, But US Announces Aid of 100 billion by 2020
December 18, 2009 06:17 AM - Richard Cowan and Alister Doyle, Reuters

The United States tried to break a deadlock in UN climate talks on Thursday with a pledge to help mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 to assist poor nations, but pointedly warned China it must accept tough requirements. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the dramatic announcement with less than two days remaining for an international summit aimed at reducing global emissions of carbon dioxide pollution linked to climate change. Some world leaders were voicing fears the talks could end in failure. "We have come to Copenhagen ready to take the steps necessary to achieve a comprehensive and an operational new agreement," Clinton said at a press conference.

Obama heads to Copenhagen
December 17, 2009 05:41 AM - Jeff Mason, Reuters

President Barack Obama heads to Copenhagen on Thursday to help secure a U.N. climate pact, staking his credibility on an as yet elusive deal that has ramifications for him at home and on the world stage. Obama is expected to arrive in the Danish capital on Friday morning, joining about 120 other world leaders to finish a complicated process of reaching a political agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight global warming.

Carbon capture ruled out of UN clean projects list
December 16, 2009 10:21 AM - Euractiv

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) will not be added to the list of technologies that industrial countries can invest in to offset their emissions, after some countries expressed their reservations at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen. International climate negotiators have been debating whether to accept capturing CO2 from industrial installations and storing it underground (CCS) as a means of contributing to emission cuts. But they delayed any decisions until next year at the earliest, as no consensus was reached.

Ski Industry on the Front Lines of Global Warming
December 16, 2009 08:03 AM - RGJ, Environmental Health News

Over the past 16 years, the ski season has been steadily shrinking -- despite the fact resorts dramatically have improved their snowmaking, expanding it over a wider area and investing in technology that allows them to make snow at warmer temperatures. But according to the National Ski Areas Association, Western ski resorts have been losing nearly a day of skiing a year since 1990. Whether you call it global warming or climate change, warming temperatures -- last week's cold snap notwithstanding -- are having a serious long-range effect on skiing.

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