Climate

The Importance of Riverbed Carbon Storage Capacity
November 10, 2011 09:43 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

The soils and sediments at the bottom of rivers are rich in organic material. They can store carbon for thousands of years according to a study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Despite often high rates of erosion and sediment transport, the riverbed can hold organic carbon for 500 to 17,000 years. The researchers focused their studies on the Ganges-Brahmaputra basin in India, which feeds off waters from the Himalaya Mountains. The fact that riverbeds store much carbon is a cause for concern. In a changing climate, the soils could be destabilized, releasing the carbon back to the atmosphere.

"Storm of epic proportions" hits Alaska
November 10, 2011 06:47 AM - Yereth Rosen, Reuters, ANCHORAGE, Alaska

A storm experts compared to a Category 3 hurricane lashed the western coast of Alaska on Wednesday, ripping roofs from buildings and pushing water and debris into communities, authorities said. The storm, which began hitting Alaska late on Tuesday after building over the northern Pacific Ocean, brought winds measured at up to 89 miles an hour and flooded parts of some Native villages along the coastline. There were no reports of deaths or injuries as of Wednesday evening, and damage tallied so far was caused largely by wind and included reports of tin roofs flying off and power lines down, authorities said. Alaska opted out of participating in a nationwide emergency-broadcast test on Wednesday due to the storm, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said. "This is a storm of epic proportions as it's being described," said Jeff Osiensky, a meteorologist and regional warning coordinator for the National Weather Service. "This is kind of ratcheted up to a level much higher than we've been accustomed to."

GHG Index is Up
November 9, 2011 02:47 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Green house gas emissions such as carbon dioxide have been increasing. NOAA’s updated Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, which measures the direct climate influence of many greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, shows a continued steady upward trend that began with the Industrial Revolution of the 1880s. Started in 2004, the AGGI reached 1.29 in 2010. That means the combined heating effect of long-lived greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere by human activities has increased by 29 percent since 1990, the base index year used as a baseline for comparison. This is slightly higher than the 2009 AGGI, which was 1.27, when the combined heating effect of those additional greenhouse gases was 27 percent higher than in 1990.

Sea Life 'Must Swim Faster to Survive' to Survive Climate Change
November 9, 2011 08:54 AM - Editor, Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Nov. 7, 2011) — Fish and other sea creatures will have to travel large distances to survive climate change, international marine scientists have warned. Sea life, particularly in the Indian Ocean, the Western and Eastern Pacific and the subarctic oceans will face growing pressures to adapt or relocate to escape extinction, according to a new study by an international team of scientists published in the journal Science.

Durban climate summit: is it time to forget about 2 degrees of warming?
November 8, 2011 04:41 PM - Tom Levitt, Ecologist

Is it time environmentalists let go of the holy grail of carbon emission reduction targets and looked at alternatives such as 'carbon clubs'? Second tier politicians will gather around and agree of the need to tackle the problem of climate change and possibly commit funds for poorer countries for adaptation. A binding or voluntary agreement on cutting carbon dioxide emissions will remain out of reach though, with the US, China and subsequently others, unwilling to commit to substantial reductions.

Air pollution causing stronger cyclones, study finds
November 8, 2011 02:55 PM - Syful Islam, SciDevNet

Air pollution from soot and aerosol emissions is making cyclones over the Middle East and South Asia more destructive, according to a study. Natural differences in wind speed and direction over different heights in the atmosphere, known as 'wind shear', normally keep cyclones in check — effectively tearing the storms apart before they reach a certain size.

Australia passes $23.78 a ton carbon tax, trading, and permits
November 8, 2011 06:41 AM - James Grubel, Reuters, CANBERRA

Australia passed landmark laws on Tuesday to impose a price on carbon emissions in one of the biggest economic reforms in a decade and injecting new impetus into December's global climate talks in South Africa. Tuesday's vote in the upper house Senate made Australia the second major economy behind the European Union to pass carbon-limiting legislation. Tiny New Zealand has a similar scheme. Its impact will be felt right across the economy, from miners and liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers to airlines and steel makers, and is aimed at making firms more energy efficient and push power generation toward gas and renewables. The vote is a major victory for embattled Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who staked her political future on what will be the most comprehensive carbon price scheme outside of Europe, despite deep hostility from voters and the political opposition. "Today Australia has a price on carbon as the law of our land. This comes after a quarter of a century of scientific warnings, 37 parliamentary inquiries, and years of bitter debate and division," Gillard told reporters in Canberra.

Roman Era Drought in Southwest USA
November 7, 2011 04:19 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

There have been periodic droughts in the American southwest for millenia. A new study at the UA's Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research has revealed a previously unknown multi-decade drought period in the second century A.D which was in the middle of the Roman era. The findings give further evidence that extended periods of aridity have occurred at intervals throughout our past. Almost nine hundred years ago, in the mid-12th century, there was a better known multi-decade drought in the southwestern US made locally famous by the Anasazi. This was the most recent extended period of severe drought known for this region.

Permafrost Microbial Action
November 7, 2011 11:06 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

There are an estimated 1,7 billion metric tons of carbon in the frozen soils at the north pole. This sequestered carbon is more than 250 times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions attributed to the United States in the year 2009. As global temperatures slowly rise, however, so too do concerns regarding the potential impacts upon the carbon cycle when the permafrost thaws and releases the carbon that has been trapped for eons. In this case the concern focus on the microbes in the permafrost that will ultimately release, contain, or somewhere in between limit the carbon release.

Last year's greenhouse gas emissions topple worst-case scenario
November 7, 2011 09:24 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM

Global carbon emissions last year exceeded worst-case scenario predictions from just four years before, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). A rise of 6 percent (564 million additional tons) over 2009 levels was largely driven by three nations: the US, India, and China. Emissions from burning coal jumped 8 percent overall. The new data, supported by a similar report from International Energy Agency (IEA), makes it even more difficult for nations to make good on a previous pledge to hold back the world from warming over 2 degrees Celsius.

First | Previous | 362 | 363 | 364 | 365 | 366 | Next | Last