Climate

Alex in the Gulf
June 30, 2010 02:33 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Tropical Storm Alex, the first storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, continues to pick up steam as it crosses the western Gulf of Mexico. It has now reached hurricane proportions. It is fairly centered right now in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricanes are always a major weather related event especially for those who live in the affected area. In addition, this year we have the BP oil spill to contend with in the same area. What impact Alex and the oil spill will have on each other is far from clear yet.

More Fraud Within the Clean Development Mechanism
June 29, 2010 09:05 AM - Richard Levangie, Triple Pundit

A consortium of North American and European activists have demanded sweeping changes to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) after charging that up to one-third of all CERs ever sold may have been illegitimate. The groups are demanding an investigation to determine whether a number of coolant firms have manipulated the marketplace since 2005 by deliberately increasing their greenhouse gas emissions in order to obtain offsets by reducing them to normal levels.

Mid Ocean Life
June 28, 2010 09:03 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

For those without a green thumb, it takes several things to make plants (or algae grow). These are sunlight, nutrients, and water. In the middle of the ocean there is plenty of water and on the surface plenty of sunlight, the problem is lack of nutrients. For almost three decades, oceanographers have been puzzled by the ability of microscopic algae to grow in mid-ocean areas where there is very little nitrate, an essential algal nutrient. In a recent issue of Nature, oceanographer Ken Johnson, along with coauthors Stephen Riser at the University of Washington and David Karl at the University of Hawaii, show that mid-ocean algae obtain nitrate from deep water, as much as 800 feet below the surface.

Canada to phase out older coal-fired power plants
June 26, 2010 09:36 AM - Scott Haggett, Reuters

Canada will phase out older coal-fired power plants to cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions, Environment Minister Jim Prentice said on Wednesday, as it moves to make natural-gas fired plants the new clean-power standard. The new standards, expected to be firmed up by early 2011, will force electricity producers to phase out older, high-emitting coal-fired plants and require newer facilities to match the lower greenhouse-gas emissions of more efficient natural-gas fired plants. Canada has 51 coal-fired units producing 19 percent of the country's electricity and 13 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions. However, 33 of those plants will reach the end of their economic lives by 2025. Unless the operators make substantial investments to cut emissions from the aging facilities, they'll be required to shut down.

Hot Spring on Planet Earth
June 24, 2010 10:31 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

It is getting more and more difficult to deny that global warming is occurring. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a report recently about the state of the global climate, and the results were not pretty. It turns out the combined global land and ocean surface temperatures set a record in May. In fact, from March to May, it was the hottest spring on record. Furthermore, the whole first half of the year, from January to May was also the warmest on record.

The Nuclear Power Resurgence: How Safe Are the New Reactors?
June 23, 2010 10:54 AM - Susan Q. Stranahan, Yale Environment 360

As utilities seek to build new nuclear power plants in the U.S. and around the world, the latest generation of reactors feature improvements over older technologies. But even as attention focuses on nuclear as an alternative to fossil fuels, questions remain about whether the newer reactors are sufficiently foolproof to be adopted on a large scale.

Oceanic Temperatures and Climate Effects
June 22, 2010 04:38 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The study of ancient climates and oceanic temperatures can lend clues as to how future climate changes might happen. An international team of researchers, led by the members of the Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA) at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), has published studies of the evolution of Northern Pacific and Southern Atlantic sea surface temperatures, dating from the Pliocene Era; some 3.65 million years ago. The data obtained in the reconstruction indicate that the regions closer to the poles of both oceans have played a fundamental role in climate evolution in the tropics.

Asian Rivers Impacted by Clmate Change
June 21, 2010 05:27 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

It all depends on where you are. When weather patterns change rainfall will increase some places and decrease in other places. What has the most impact is those river systems that many people depend on. Two of Asia's major rivers are the the Brahmaputra and Indus river basins that descend from the Himalayas into India. According to some recent study these two are likely to be severely affected by climate change while others will be less affected and could even benefit.

Saharan Sun Power
June 21, 2010 01:52 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

There is plenty of sun in deserts and the Sahara is one of the biggest deserts in the world. Europe intends to import its first solar generated electricity from North Africa within the next five years, European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said in an interview on Sunday. The European Union is backing projects to turn the plentiful sunlight in the Sahara desert into electricity for Europe, a scheme it hopes will help meet its target of deriving 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Breaking the Cost Barrier on Algae-based Biofuels
June 18, 2010 09:57 AM - Jeff Siegel

It's been a hot topic for a few years now. And certainly the potential for incorporating algae as a key feedstock for future biofuel production is massive. But the sobering fact is that we're at least a good eight to ten years from seeing any kind of real, commercially-ready product… At least at the volumes that could allow for meaningful market penetration. So where does that leave us in the meantime?

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