Climate

Mount St. Helens' Aftermath
May 4, 2010 12:03 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

A volcano erupts and the world seems to end. What happens afterwards? May 18 marks the 30th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington state and scientists to this day use what's being learned there to challenge established thinking about how landscapes evolve and rebound.

New State-by-State Wind Power Data Helps Build a Green Grid
May 4, 2010 08:55 AM - Konstantin Gorshkov, Green Economy Post

New wind resource maps and wind potential tables for the lower 48 states were recently released by AWS Truewind in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). This new data marks the first state-by-state comprehensive update of wind energy potential since 1993. Accurate information about the wind resources available in each state will help keep the momentum in wind energy development going strong in 2010. If state and federal policies need valid evidence of wind potential to promote this clean energy source, then that data has arrived.

Warmer Arctic needs new rules to limit environmental damage
April 30, 2010 07:25 AM - WWF

A new, warmer Arctic cannot continue to operate under rules that assume it is ice-covered and essentially closed to fishing, resource exploration and development and shipping, WWF said as it launched a group of reports on protecting a newly accessible, highly vulnerable environment with profound significance for global climate, the global economy and global security. The International Governance and Regulation of the Marine Arctic reports were launched as Russian president Medvedev visits Norwegian capital Oslo for talks which include arctic issues and just before the Arctic Council meets in Greenland.

EPA Confirms Climate IS Changing
April 28, 2010 11:56 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

In another display of the sea change that has occurred at the US Environmental Protection Agency under the current administration, a new report was issued yesterday regarding indicators of climate change. The report, entitled "Climate Change Indicators in the United States," measures 24 separate indicators showing how climate change affects the health and environment of US citizens.

Soil Production of C02 May Decline As World Warms
April 27, 2010 08:02 AM - Yale Environment 360

Contradicting earlier studies showing that soil microbes will emit more carbon dioxide as global warming intensifies, new research suggests that these microbes become less efficient over time in a warmer environment and would actually emit less CO2. The research, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, could have important implications for calculating how much heat-trapping CO2 will accumulate in the atmosphere as temperatures rise. Researchers from the University of California, Irvine, as well as Colorado State and Yale universities, found that soil microbes, in the form of bacteria and fungi, rapidly exhale CO2 for a short period of time in a warmer environment.

Scientists find fastest deep ocean current near Antarctica
April 26, 2010 05:51 AM - David Fogarty, Reuters

Scientists have discovered a fast-moving deep ocean current with the volume of 40 Amazon Rivers near Antarctica that will help researchers monitor the impacts of climate change on the world's oceans. A team of Australian and Japanese scientists, in a study published in Sunday's issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, found that the current is a key part of a global ocean circulation pattern that helps control the planet's climate. Scientists had previously detected evidence of the current but had no data on it.

Colorado Law Will Retire or Retrofit Coal-Fired Power Plants
April 24, 2010 09:16 AM - SustainableBusiness.com, Matter Network

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter on Monday signed into law the Colorado Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act--legislation that requires Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) to cut nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 80% from several Front Range coal plants by the end of 2017, most likely sooner. Xcel will work with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to submit a plan to the Public Utilities Commission by Aug. 15, detailing how it will retire or retrofit 900 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired capacity. Xcel will give primary consideration to replacing or repowering those plants with natural gas, renewables, greater efficiencies and other cleaner energy sources. "This law is a template for tomorrow that allows us to transform our energy portfolio, our economy and our environment by working strategically and collaboratively," Gov. Ritter said. "By shifting our oldest and least efficient coal plants to cleaner, Colorado-produced natural gas, we send a strong message to the rest of the country that we absolutely can cut air pollution and protect public health while also creating jobs and protecting ratepayers." Governor Ritter was joined at the Capitol signing ceremony by members of a broad coalition that supported House Bill 1365, including Xcel Energy Chairman and CEO Dick Kelly, lawmakers, power producers and conservationists.

What Country Is the Best at Protecting the Environment?
April 22, 2010 09:06 AM - Remy Melina, LiveScience

After dropping more than 20 spots this year in one ranking that measures how well countries are working to protect the environment, the United States is taking steps to improve its environmental impact. The 2010 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks 163 countries based on 10 indicators of environmental protection, such as levels of air pollution, marine protection laws, water quality, and their rate of planting new trees. The EPI is composed biannually by a team of environmental experts at Yale University and Columbia University.

Michigan. The Saudi Arabia of WIND energy
April 22, 2010 08:42 AM - Douglas Elbinger, Exclusive to ENN

The first regional Wind Energy Conference, sponsored by the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (www.glrea.org) took place at the Cobo Center in Detroit April 20 & 21st. Bringing together for the first time under one roof, the major players from government, utilities, universities, and private enterprise everyone had a chance to focus on what the experts had to say about the state of the art in wind energy production and the role it will play in the transformation of Michigan's economy. A highlight of the intensive two day Michigan Wind Energy summit, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, in her keynote speech, stated that the goal of her efforts was to make Michigan the "Saudi Arabia of wind energy". In her enthusiastic 'let's get serious' attitude about making change, Gov. Granholm reiterated that no one is hungrier for change and the jobs that 'going green' will create than Michigan.

Military leads fight against climate change
April 22, 2010 06:22 AM - Timothy Gardner, Reuters

The U.S. military, the government's largest fuel buyer, is leading the fight against climate change by investing in the "Great Green Fleet" and other ways of cutting dependence on oil and coal, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts report released on Tuesday. "They're not having long and protracted debates about whether or not we can afford it ... they are marching" into investments in everything from electric vehicles to forming strike groups that run on alternative fuels, said Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew Environment Group's Global Warming Campaign. The report, "Re-energizing America's Defense," says the military has found that climate change may lead to domestic and international instability by threatening water and food supplies. In addition, stronger storms caused by emissions could increase the need for humanitarian missions by the military both at home and abroad, which could stretch resources.

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