Climate

Arctic climate changing fast
February 7, 2010 07:15 AM - Rod Nickel, Reuters

Climate change is transforming the Arctic environment faster than expected and accelerating the disappearance of sea ice, scientists said on Friday in giving their early findings from the biggest-ever study of Canada's changing north. The research project involved more than 370 scientists from 27 countries who collectively spent 15 months, starting in June 2007, aboard a research vessel above the Arctic Circle. It marked the first time a ship has stayed mobile in Canada's high Arctic for an entire winter.

Alternative Energy Grows in Europe
February 6, 2010 08:42 AM - , The Ecologist

Wind and solar technology made up over half of Europe’s new electricity generating capacity in 2009, as the number of new coal and nuclear facilities fell More wind capacity was installed in Europe during 2009 than any other electricity-generating technology, according to statistics released today by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). Wind accounted for 39 per cent of increased European energy capacity, ahead of gas (26 per cent) and solar (16 per cent). In contrast, the nuclear and coal power sectors decommissioned more megawatts of capacity than they installed in 2009, with a total of 1,393 MW of nuclear and 3,200 MW of coal decommissioned.

California's global-warming law Under Attack
February 6, 2010 08:21 AM - Margot Roosevelt, Los Angeles Times, Environmental Health News

Republican politicians and conservative activists are launching a ballot campaign to suspend California's landmark global-warming law, in what they hope will serve as a showcase for a national backlash against climate regulations. Supporters say they have "solid commitments" of nearly $600,000 to pay signature gatherers for a November initiative aimed at delaying curbs on the greenhouse gas emissions of power plants and factories until the state's unemployment rate drops.

Arctic Ice not growing as fast as usual this winter
February 5, 2010 06:45 AM - Deborah Zabarenko, Reuters

Scant ice over the Arctic Sea this winter could mean a "double whammy" of powerful ice-melt next summer, a top U.S. climate scientist said on Thursday. "It's not that the ice keeps melting, it's just not growing very fast," said Mark Serreze, director of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center. In January, Arctic sea ice grew by about 13,000 square miles (34,000 sq km) a day, which is a bit more than one-third the pace of ice growth during the 1980s, and less than the average for the first decade of the 21st century.

How to Feed the Billions
February 4, 2010 12:19 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

A Malthusian catastrophe was originally foreseen to be a forced return to subsistence level conditions once population growth had outpaced agricultural production. The catastrophe is that in doing so many people will starve. Sometime around 2050, there are going to be nine billion people roaming this planet two billion more than there are today. It's a safe bet that all those folks will want to eat. Still, not everyone's convinced that feeding nine billion people is a totally impossible task. A Malthusian catastrophe has been predicted before to happen and has not yet done so, A new paper published this week in Science written by Britain's chief scientific adviser John Beddington along with others, outlines a way this could actually be done.

CO2 Regulation in US Hits more speedbumps
February 4, 2010 06:11 AM - Charles Abbott, Reuters

With congressional action on climate legislation in doubt, two House committee chairmen have filed a bill to block the government from regulating greenhouse gases under its own power. The lawmakers say Congress, not "unelected bureaucrats," should set environmental policy. Congress has squabbled for months over a comprehensive climate change bill. Some members say the best bet is to encourage renewable energy production.

Cap and Trade? Maybe not now...
February 3, 2010 06:25 AM - Steve Holland, Reuters

President Barack Obama acknowledged on Tuesday that a controversial "cap-and-trade" mechanism to fight climate change could be separated from other aspects of an energy bill before the U.S. Senate. A cap-and-trade system would set limits on greenhouse gas emissions and allow companies to trade permits to pollute. The system, a version of which was approved by the House of Representatives, is controversial, especially among lawmakers who represent states with big coal reserves.

As Climate Talks Stumble, U.N. Process in Question
February 2, 2010 04:57 PM - Anna da Costa, Worldwatch Institute

A key deadline for countries to submit emission reduction goals to the United Nations as part of the recently negotiated Copenhagen Accord passed last Sunday. The U.N. received commitments from 55 nations, but 139 countries remain unsupportive of the political statement, leading the international body to push back the commitment deadline indefinitely. Since the high-level climate change summit in Copenhagen concluded in December, global climate talks have been in a state of confusion. Two parallel tracks are already under way - one that includes the United States and one that omits this significant world emitter. The Copenhagen Accord, some say, threatens to introduce a third procedural track, complicating the already tense deliberations.

Today is World Wetlands Day
February 2, 2010 08:30 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

It's World Wetland's Day! For more than 25 years, February 2nd has been designated as World Wetlands Day. Wetlands are under-appreciated in many areas. First we have to drain the swamps, is still a common approach to development in many areas. This approach, of course, is actually a bad idea, a very bad idea, since wetlands, besides being important to the species that live there, are important groundwater recharge areas. World Wetlands Day 2010: "Wetlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change" stresses the fact that caring for wetlands is a part of the solution to climate change with the slogan: "Caring for wetlands – an answer to climate change."

Neanderthal and Climate Change
February 1, 2010 04:33 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The last Neanderthals in Europe died out at least 37,000 years ago – and both climate change and interaction with modern humans could be involved in their demise. The Neanderthal is an extinct member of the Homo genus that is known from Pleistocene specimens found in Europe and parts of western and central Asia. Neanderthals are either classified as a subspecies of humans or as a separate species. How and why they died out is a matter of debate.

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