Climate

A Kenyan firm plans to produce 300 MW of electricity by 2012 by harnessing renewable wind power in the north of the country, its director told Reuters.
January 18, 2009 10:15 AM - The Guardian

Barack Obama has only four years to save the world. That is the stark assessment of Nasa scientist and leading climate expert Jim Hansen who last week warned only urgent action by the new president could halt the devastating climate change that now threatens Earth. Crucially, that action will have to be taken within Obama's first administration, he added. Soaring carbon emissions are already causing ice-cap melting and threaten to trigger global flooding, widespread species loss and major disruptions of weather patterns in the near future. "We cannot afford to put off change any longer," said Hansen. "We have to get on a new path within this new administration. We have only four years left for Obama to set an example to the rest of the world. America must take the lead."

African harbour cities at risk from rising sea-levels: scientists
January 15, 2009 08:57 AM - http://www.terradaily.com

Africa's harbour cities of Cape Town, Lagos and Alexandria are under threat from rising sea levels which could displace millions and cause massive economic losses, scientists said Wednesday. Speaking at an international climate change conference in Cape Town, Geoff Brundrit of the Global Ocean Observing System in Africa said even a slight increase in sea levels could wreak havoc on some countries.

People 'hungry' for climate change info
January 15, 2009 08:53 AM - http://www.iol.co.za

Scientists must develop new tools to help ordinary people understand their work on global climate change, and to help them appreciate what the existing scientific models can and can't predict about this phenomenon. This was the message from climate change expert Professor Bruce Hewitson, of UCT's Climate Systems Analysis Group, during the keynote lecture of Tuesday's session of the week-long "Iphakade: Climate Changes & African Earth Systems - Past, Present and Future" conference, which began on Monday.

In California, Hot and Dry Conditions Stir Drought Concerns
January 14, 2009 08:30 AM - Washington Post

SAN FRANCISCO -- The past two days have felt like summer in California, as unseasonable warmth sweeps the state -- possibly presaging a third straight year of drought, a worrisome possibility for a state already hit hard by the economic downturn. Another dry year could mean water rationing for businesses and individuals. It could also slow business expansion and affect the agricultural industry, ski resorts and efforts to keep firefighting costs down, after a year in which state and federal officials spent $1 billion combating wildfires.

Nasa climate expert makes personal appeal to Obama
January 12, 2009 08:38 AM - James Randerson, science correspondent,guardian.co.uk

One of the world's top climate scientists has written a personal new year appeal to Barack and Michelle Obama, warning of the "profound disconnect" between public policy on climate change and the magnitude of the problem. With less than three weeks to go until Obama's inauguration, ProfessorJames Hansen, who heads Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, asked the recently appointed White House science adviser Professor John Holdren to pass the missive directly to the president-elect.

State of the World 2009: Into A Warming World
January 10, 2009 10:20 AM - Worldwatch Institute

The Worldwatch Institute's State of the World reports have evolved into a remarkable source of intellectual wealth that provides understanding and insight not only on the physical state of this planet but on human systems as they are linked with ecosystems and natural resources around the world. It is especially heartening that the focus of State of the World 2009 is on climate change. The contents of this volume are of particular interest as they are based on the findings of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and provide a comprehensive overview of the policy imperatives facing humanity as we come to grips with this all-important challenge confronting the world today. The IPCC report provided the global community with up-to-date knowledge through an overall assessment of climate change that went substantially beyond its Third Assessment Report.

Harvard’s ‘Hippo’ Jet Heads to Pole to Test CO2 Level
January 9, 2009 08:48 AM - Bloomberg.com

Harvard University is flying a specially equipped jet between the North Pole and South Pole to test the atmosphere for variations in global-warming gases, aiming to improve computer models for predicting climate change. A modified Gulfstream V took off today from Colorado bound for the Arctic as part of a three-year mission dubbed Hippo, said David Hosansky, a spokesman for the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a collaborator in the Harvard-led project based in Boulder, Colorado. The plane will later turn south via New Zealand toward Antarctica.

Markey to become chair of House environment panel
January 9, 2009 08:33 AM - Clean Air Watch

"It's time to create the clean-energy age. My goal is now to create an energy policy that creates millions of new jobs in the United States." - Representative Edward Markey A big development today, as Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) declares he intends to take over the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. This is a very significant development, and one that should enhance the prospects for good global warming legislation in this Congress.

UN Climate Conference: The countdown to Copenhagen
January 9, 2009 08:22 AM - The Independent

In 331 days' time, 15,000 officials from 200 countries will gather in the Danish capital with 1 goal: to find a solution to global warming. Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor, presents the first in a series of dispatches on the crucial summit Three hundred and thirty-one days, plus a final frantic fortnight: not very long, really, to put together the most complex and vital agreement the world has ever seen. But that's all the time there is: in 331 days from now, on 7 December, the UN Climate Conference will open in Copenhagen and the world community will try to agree a solution to the gravest threat it has ever faced: global warming.

Once reducers of CO2, Canada's trees now contribute to global warming
January 8, 2009 09:04 AM - World Business Council for Sustainable Development

In an alarming, yet little noticed series of recent studies, scientists have determined that Canada's 1.2 million square miles of forests have become so stressed from damage caused by global warming, insect infestations and persistent fires that they have crossed an ominous line and now pump out more carbon dioxide than they take in. The trees make up more than 7 percent of Earth's total forest lands and have been dubbed the "lungs of the planet" because they could always be depended upon to suck in vast quantities of carbon dioxide, naturally cleansing the world of some of the harmful heat-trapping gas.

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