Climate

The Insurance Industry Can’t Afford to Have Their Heads in the Sand on Climate Change
July 14, 2011 08:08 AM - RP Siegel, Triple Pundit

I have been saying for a long time now, that the next revolution in this country will be led, not by ponytailed radicals, not by protestors in the streets, and certainly not by politicians; rather it will by led by accountants. Like an army that crawls on its stomach, the corporatocracy that America has become, crawls on its balance sheet. (Of course, here at Triple Pundit, we’d like to see her roll on the three wheels of people, planet, and profit, but right now we mostly have one big wheel and two tiny ones, which still essentially amounts to crawling.) Wise men have known for ages that you really can’t separate the three in the long run, but then, wise men are not the ones running things.

Climate Change Reducing Ocean's Carbon Dioxide Uptake, New Analysis Shows
July 13, 2011 09:26 AM - Editor, Science Daily

ScienceDaily (July 11, 2011) — How deep is the ocean's capacity to buffer against climate change? As one of the planet's largest single carbon absorbers, the ocean takes up roughly one-third of all human carbon emissions, reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide and its associated global changes. But whether the ocean can continue mopping up human-produced carbon at the same rate is still up in the air. Previous studies on the topic have yielded conflicting results, says University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor Galen McKinley.

Carbon Tax? Australians want snap election to voice their opinions
July 13, 2011 06:31 AM - Rob Taylor, Reuters, CANBERRA

Two thirds of Australians want a snap election on the government's controversial plan to tax carbon pollution, a poll showed on Wednesday, as Prime Minister Julia Gillard crosses the nation in a campaign-style blitz to sell the scheme. The plan will be put to the vote in parliament around October and is almost certain to pass, but a rebuff would seriously threaten Gillard's minority government. The government, which does not have to call elections until 2013, has announced big fines for firms trying to overcharge consumers because of the tax, set to start next July and switch to carbon emissions trading in mid-2015.

World War II Bombing Raids Offer New Insight Into the Effects of Aviation On Climate
July 11, 2011 01:15 PM - Editor, Science Daily

ScienceDaily (July 8, 2011) — Climate researchers have turned to the Allied bombing raids of the Second World War for a unique opportunity to study the effect thousands of aircraft had on the English climate at a time when civilian aviation remained rare. The study, published in the International Journal of Climatology, reveals how civilian and military records can help assess the impact of modern aviation on the climate today.

Rain in Australia
July 7, 2011 04:43 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Decreasing autumn and winter rainfall over southern Australia has been attributed to a 50-year decrease in the average intensity of storms in the region – a trend which is forecast to continue for another 50 years. In an address to the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics conference in Melbourne, CSIRO climate scientist, Dr Jorgen Frederiksen, said these changes are due to reductions in the strength of the mid-latitude jet stream and changes in atmospheric temperatures. The jet stream comprises fast moving westerly winds in the upper atmosphere. A long, severe drought, the worst on record is being experienced in many parts of Australia. As of November 2006, the late-winter to mid-spring rainfalls had failed. The average rainfall in the state of South Australia was the lowest since 1900. Across Victoria and the Murray-Darling Basin the season was the second driest since 1900. New South Wales' rainfall was boosted by above normal falls along the north coast of the state, however the state average rainfall for the season is the third driest since 1900. The situation has been worsened by temperatures being the highest on record since the 1950s.

How Hot Was It Long Ago
July 7, 2011 07:48 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

The question seems simple enough: What happens to the Earth’s temperature when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase? It has happened in the past. The answer is elusive. However, clues are hidden in the fossil record. A new study by researchers from Syracuse and Yale universities provides a much clearer picture of the Earth’s temperature approximately 50 million years ago when CO2 concentrations were higher than today. The results may shed light on what to expect in the future if CO2 levels keep rising. The study which for the first time compared multiple geochemical and temperature proxies to determine mean annual and seasonal temperatures, is published online in the journal Geology, the premier publication of the Geological Society of America, and will be published in print on August 1.

Did Asia air pollution reduce global warming?
July 5, 2011 06:33 AM - Gerard Wynn, Reuters, LONDON

Smoke belching from Asia's rapidly growing economies is largely responsible for a halt in global warming in the decade after 1998 because of sulphur's cooling effect, even though greenhouse gas emissions soared, a U.S. study said on Monday. The paper raised the prospect of more rapid, pent-up climate change when emerging economies eventually crack down on pollution. World temperatures did not rise from 1998 to 2008, while manmade emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuel grew by nearly a third, various data show. The researchers from Boston and Harvard Universities and Finland's University of Turku said pollution, and specifically sulphur emissions, from coal-fueled growth in Asia was responsible for the cooling effect. Sulphur allows water drops or aerosols to form, creating hazy clouds which reflect sunlight back into space.

Climate change is endangering the Polar Bears, court rules
July 1, 2011 06:20 AM - Deborah Zabarenko, Reuters, Environment Correspondent WASHINGTON

A U.S. federal judge upheld the status of polar bears as a species threatened by climate change, denying challenges by a safari club, two cattlemen's organizations and the state of Alaska. The ruling on Thursday by District Judge Emmet Sullivan confirmed a 2008 decision that polar bears need protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act because their icy habitat is melting away. The legal challenges -- some contending polar bears don't need this protection, others maintaining the big white bears need more -- were launched after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service included this Arctic mammal on its list of threatened species.

Average U.S. Temperature Increases by 0.5 Degrees F
June 30, 2011 08:35 AM - Editor, Science Daily

ScienceDaily (June 29, 2011) — According to the 1981-2010 normals to be released by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) on July 1, temperatures across the United States were on average, approximately 0.5 degree F warmer than the 1971-2000 time period.

El Nino and Southern Oscillation in 2010
June 28, 2011 03:09 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Worldwide, 2010 was one of the two warmest years on record according to the 2010 State of the Climate report, which NOAA released today. The peer-reviewed report, issued in coordination with the American Meteorological Society, was compiled by 368 scientists from 45 countries. It provides a detailed, yearly update on global climate indicators, notable climate events and other climate information from every continent. This year’s report tracks 41 climate indicators ― four more than last year ― including temperature of the lower and upper atmosphere, precipitation, greenhouse gases, humidity, cloud cover, ocean temperature and salinity, sea ice, glaciers, and snow cover. Each indicator includes thousands of measurements from multiple independent datasets that allow scientists to identify overall trends.

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