Climate

Texas files again to block EPA carbon rules
January 1, 2011 09:51 AM - Jim Forsyth, Reuters, SAN ANTONIO

Texas on Thursday filed a fresh motion in federal appeals court to block the Obama Administration's attempts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in the state, one day after another federal court rejected the state's petitions. At issue is the state's lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to prevent the agency from forcing it to issue greenhouse gas permits for its biggest polluters when national carbon rules take effect in January. Until there is a ruling on the case, Texas asked the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to block the EPA's mandate that the state expand its pollution regulations to include greenhouse gases. The Fifth Circuit court denied that request on Wednesday. On Thursday, EPA published in the Federal Register details of its proposed permit rules for Texas to go into effect on Sunday, January 2.

U.S. court rules Texas cannot delay EPA - mandated greenhouse gas rules
December 31, 2010 08:47 AM - Ayesha Rascoe, Reuters, WASHINGTON

A federal court on Wednesday blocked an attempt by Texas to delay the Environmental Protection Agency's plans to impose carbon regulations in the state early next year. The state of Texas is suing the EPA to prevent the agency from forcing it to issue greenhouse gas permits for the biggest polluters when national carbon rules take effect in early January. Until there is a ruling on the case, Texas asked the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to block the EPA's mandate that the state expand its pollution regulations to include greenhouse gases. The court denied the request. The EPA issued a finding last year that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare. Since then the agency has moved forward with developing rules under the Clean Air Act to limit emissions blamed for climate change.

On Eve of New Climate Regs, A Primer on Federal Greenhouse Gas Regimes: Part I
December 30, 2010 09:12 AM - Eli Kintisch, Science AAAS

For 2 years industry officials, states, and environmentalists have had 2 January 2011 circled on their calendars. That's the date greenhouse gases officially become regulated pollutants under the Clean Air Act—a direct result of a 2007 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that carbon dioxide is a pollutant under that law. The Environmental Protection Agency's effort to control greenhouse emissions will only get more controversial as myriad lawsuits challenge the regime and Republicans, now ascendant in the House of Representatives, seek to stop EPA in its tracks.

Indonesia moves ahead on climate action
December 30, 2010 06:58 AM - Olivia Rondonuwu and David Fogarty, Reuters, JAKARTA/SINGAPORE

Indonesia has chosen once of its largest and richest provinces to test efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by saving forest and peatlands, a key part of a $1 billion climate deal with Norway. Central Kalimantan province on Borneo island is the second largest producer of greenhouse gases among Indonesia's 33 provinces because of deforestation, destruction of carbon-rich peat swamps, and land use change, the government says. "The assessment showed that Central Kalimantan is a province with large forest cover and peatland and faces a real threat of deforestation," top technocrat Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, head of a special presidential delivery unit charged with managing the Norway deal, said in a statement on Thursday.

Climate change: we are like slave-owners
December 29, 2010 09:21 AM - Jean-Francois Mouhot, Ecologist

An economy run on slave labour has much in common with one run on fossil fuels, argues Jean-Francois Mouhot. Ending suffering means we all need to become modern-day abolitionists.

Coral bleaching may be over-estimated
December 29, 2010 06:33 AM - Tom Marshall, Planet Earth Online

Problems with how scientists communicate with the media and in how reefs' health is assessed have created a skewed public understanding of coral bleaching, according to a new study. Coral bleaching is a widespread phenomenon in which corals lose their vivid colours. It's a major concern to conservationists, as it can be triggered by rapid environmental change and sometimes presages the death of whole reefs, along with the complex ecosystems they support. But the researchers suggest we need to take a more complex view of the matter - bleaching isn't always a bad thing. 'We go out to Indonesia twice a year, and in spring when the waters are warmest the reefs are always bleached,' says Dr David Suggett, a marine biologist at the University of Essex's Coral Reef Research Unit and co-author of the paper, published in Global Change Biology.

Wheat Poised to Weather Climate Change
December 28, 2010 11:56 AM - Jessica Marshall, Discovery News

With climate change predicted to alter precipitation and raise temperatures in North American grain-growing regions by 3 to 4 degrees Celsius (about 5 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, crops in the future will face dramatically different growing conditions than they do today. But a new study shows that over the last century and a half, North American wheat crops spread into regions with even wider temperature and precipitation differences than will arise over the next century. This analysis suggests it will be possible to adapt to new wheat-growing conditions.

Drilling Project in the Dead Sea Aimed at Climate History and History of Humankind
December 23, 2010 03:40 PM - Editor, Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Dec. 22, 2010) — About 50 miles from Bethlehem, a drilling project is determining the climate and earthquake activity of the area. Scientists from eight nations are examining the ground below the Dead Sea, by placing a borehole in this deepest basin in the world.

Permian Recovery
December 22, 2010 11:54 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

250 million years ago there was a world wide extinction event where 96% of all marine species were exterminated. Most of this event is unknown. Only one in every ten species survived, and these formed the basis for the recovery of life in the subsequent time period, called the Triassic. A new fossil site – at Luoping in Yunnan Province – provides a new window on that recovery, and indicates that it took about 10 million years for a fully-functioning new ecosystem to develop. During that time window, the new ecosystem evolved and changed until it stabilized.

Europe moves ahead on Cap & Trade, Japan seen shelving carbon emission trading scheme
December 22, 2010 06:49 AM - Kiyoshi Takenaka, Reuters, TOKYO

Japan is likely to shelve a plan to introduce carbon emissions trading as the troubled ruling Democratic Party bows to powerful business groups still recovering from a costly downturn. If confirmed, it would be a massive reversal by the party, which has backed one of the toughest emissions reduction targets of any major economy and said emissions trading was a key way to achieve that goal and drive greater energy efficiency at home. It would also be a blow to hopes more top greenhouse gas polluting nations outside the European Union would usher in emissions trading, after efforts in the United States and Australia were shelved.

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