Climate

China and India endorse Copenhagen Climate Accord
March 10, 2010 05:58 AM - Matthias Williams, Reuters

China and India joined almost all other major greenhouse gas emitters Tuesday in signing up to the climate accord struck in Copenhagen, boosting a deal strongly favored by the United States. More than 100 nations have now endorsed the Copenhagen Accord, a non-binding agreement reached after two weeks of tortuous wrangling at a 194-nation summit in December. The accord plans $100 billion a year in climate aid for developing nations from 2020 and seeks to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6F) above pre-industrial times, but produced no timetable of emission limits to reach that goal.

Amazon Droughts and Greening
March 9, 2010 03:01 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The sensitivity of Amazon rain forests to dry season droughts is still poorly understood, with reports of enhanced tree mortality and forest fires on one hand, and excessive forest greening on the other. In a current story there is a report that previous conclusions of large scale greening of the Amazon as a result of drought are not reproducible. Approximately 11%-12% of these drought stricken forests display greening, while, 28%-20% show browning or no change, and for the rest, the data are not of sufficient quality to characterize any changes. These changes are also not unique; approximately similar changes are observed in non-drought years as well.

EPA defends plan to regulate Greenhouse gas emissions
March 9, 2010 06:31 AM - Timothy Gardner, Reuters

The Environmental Protection Agency chief fought back on Monday against Senate attempts to challenge the agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, saying delaying action would be bad for the economy. President Barack Obama has long said the EPA would take steps to regulate greenhouse gases if Congress failed to pass climate legislation. The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate amid opposition from fossil fuel-rich states.

Impact of Ancient Indonesian Volcanic Eruption
March 8, 2010 04:05 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The Toba super eruption occurred between 69,000 and 77,000 years ago at Lake Toba (present day Indonesia), and it is recognized as one of Earth's largest known eruptions. The related catastrophe theory holds that this super volcanic event plunged the planet into a 6 to 10 year volcanic winter, which resulted in the world's human population being reduced to 10,000 or even a mere 1,000 breeding pairs, creating a bottleneck in human evolution. Some researchers argue that the Toba eruption produced not only a catastrophic volcanic winter but also an additional 1,000 year cooling episode. Newly discovered archaeological sites in southern and northern India have revealed how people lived before and after the colossal Toba volcanic eruption 74,000 years ago.

EU climate funding melting?
March 5, 2010 06:26 AM - Pete Harrison, Reuters

The European Union's development chief may be forced to name and shame France, Germany and Italy for not living up to their aid commitments, contributing to a roughly $17 billion funding gap this year. Andris Piebalgs warned in January he would clearly identify EU countries that failed to meet their aid commitments. "In 2010, the EU aid disbursements are likely to further grow to approximately 54-55 billion euros ($74-75 billion)," a leaked EU document seen by Reuters shows. "Many member states will most probably not reach their... aid targets. A gap of 12-13 billion euros remains."

How Hot or Cold the Ocean
March 4, 2010 03:06 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Covering about 70 percent of our planet's surface, the ocean acts as a global thermostat, storing energy from the sun, keeping Earth's temperature changes moderate and keeping climate change gradual. In fact, the ocean can store as much heat in its top 10 feet as the entire atmosphere does. What happens in the atmosphere has usually the most effect on where humanity lives but the ocean really controls the world's climate more.

EPA to Phase in CO2 emissions permits/BACT for mid-sized sources
March 4, 2010 06:02 AM - Timothy Gardner, Reuters

The Obama administration will give small businesses a break on coming carbon dioxide emissions rules but big emitters like coal-fired power plants will face a crack-down, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said on Wednesday. President Barack Obama has pushed the EPA to begin regulating gases blamed for warming the planet, in part to force polluters to support the climate change bill. The legislation is his preferred method of climate control, but it is stalled in the Senate.

Martian Glaciers
March 3, 2010 02:48 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Mars is a lot like Earth in many ways. The signs of water are obvious in the deep valleys. Many have speculated about once vast oceans often centered over the northern part of Mars. Where did the water go? Extensive radar mapping of the middle latitude region of northern Mars shows that thick masses of buried ice are quite common beneath protective coverings of rubble. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has charted the locations of these hidden glaciers and ice filled valleys which were first confirmed by radar two years ago.

Alaskan Glacier Ice Loss Overestimated?
March 3, 2010 08:48 AM - Science Daily, Adapted from materials provided by Northern Arizona University.

The melting of glaciers is well documented, but when looking at the rate at which they have been retreating, a team of international researchers steps back and says not so fast. Previous studies have largely overestimated mass loss from Alaskan glaciers over the past 40-plus years, according to Erik Schiefer, a Northern Arizona University geographer who coauthored a paper in the February issue of Nature Geoscience that recalculates glacier melt in Alaska.

Cap-and-trade plan dead says Senator Graham
March 3, 2010 08:34 AM - Richard Cowan and Thomas Ferraro, Reuters

The idea of imposing a broad cap-and-trade system to cut America's greenhouse gas emissions is dead and will be replaced with a new approach, an influential Republican senator said on Tuesday. Lindsey Graham, one of three senators working against daunting odds to produce a compromise climate bill, has recently turned against imposing the kind of cap-and-trade system used in Europe, which involves companies buying and selling pollution permits.

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