Climate

Transitioning to Cool Roofs
July 21, 2010 12:34 PM - David A Gabel, ENN

In the effort to slow the pace of global warming, researchers and policy makers are encouraging the use of lighter colors for rooftops and streets worldwide. Dark, non-reflective surfaces which are common for asphalt and asphalt shingles, absorb heat from the sun and create a "heat-island" effect, plus a greater need for air conditioning. Lighter surfaces would reflect the sun’s rays back to outer space, reducing ground-surface temperatures and overall energy requirements.

Nations pledge global support for clean energy
July 21, 2010 07:05 AM - Jasmin Melvin and Alina Selyukh, Reuters

The United States and dozens of other countries have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars toward clean energy initiatives to help battle climate change, U.S. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu said on Tuesday. Meeting in Washington, D.C., for a two-day conference, delegations from 24 countries representing 80 percent of global energy consumption promised 11 initiatives that would mean building fewer power plants and using more clean energy. "We know the clean energy challenge won't wait, and we won't wait either," Chu said. With the U.S. Senate virtually gridlocked on passing an energy and climate change package this year, the Obama administration is under pressure to provide leadership in global climate talks that are making little progress.

Floating Glaciers
July 19, 2010 10:14 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Glaciers are massive sheets of ice, sliding slowly down a mountain and carving enormous grooves in the land. They flow down to the lowest point where gravity can take them, often into the ocean. The normal school of thought for these "tidewater glaciers" said that due to their weight and compaction to the earth's surface, they were grounded on the sea floor, only to arise once disintegrated. However, there is one glacier that extends into the water, floating intact on the ocean waves.

Russia swelters in heatwave, many crops destroyed
July 17, 2010 08:37 AM - Reuters

Soaring temperatures across large swathes of Russia have destroyed nearly 10 million hectares of crops and prompted a state of emergency to be declared in 17 regions. On Friday the state-run Moscow region weather bureau said it expected the heatwave, which has gripped the country since late June and is estimated to have already cost the agricultural sector about $1 billion, to continue into next week. Saturday could see temperatures in Moscow hit 37 Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit), which would break the previous record of 36.6C. set in 1936. "It looks like tomorrow could just break the record," the weather bureau's Moscow head Yelena Timakina said.

EPA Requires 800 million Gallons of Biodiesel in the U.S. Domestic Market in 2011
July 16, 2010 01:18 PM - The Green Economy

WASHINGTON, DC – - Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would require the domestic use of 800 million gallons of biodiesel in 2011. This is consistent with the renewable goals established in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), which expanded the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) and specifically requires a renewable component in U.S. diesel fuel.

Lakes on Titan
July 15, 2010 04:35 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Titan, is the largest moon of Saturn, the only natural satellite known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only object other than Earth for which clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found. On Earth, lake levels rise and fall with the seasons and with longer term climate changes, as precipitation, evaporation, and runoff add and remove liquid. Now, for the first time, scientists have found compelling evidence for similar lake level changes on Saturn's largest moon showing that is possesses a similar change cycle

US Climate bill sparks opposition from business groups
July 15, 2010 06:35 AM - Timothy Gardner, Reuters

Two U.S. business groups opposed on Wednesday the latest version of a climate change proposal circulating in the U.S. Senate, saying it was unfair to power companies and would hurt energy-intensive industries. Senators John Kerry, a Democrat, and Joe Lieberman, an independent, have crafted a draft bill focusing on capping greenhouse gas pollution from electric power utilities first. It scales back previous ambitions for a broad attack on emissions. The plan would launch a "cap-and-trade" market in which utilities that cut pollution could sell credits to companies that do not. It expects overall emissions limits would be achieved because the cap on all utilities toughens over time.

The Rising Indian Ocean
July 13, 2010 04:33 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Changing sea levels have happened before and will happen again in a dynamic world. Newly detected rising sea levels in parts of the Indian Ocean, including the coastlines of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka, Sumatra and Java, appear to be at least partly a result of human induced increases of atmospheric greenhouse gases, says a study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder. The study, which combined sea surface measurements going back to the 1960s and satellite observations, will threaten inhabitants of some coastal areas and islands.

June Heat in the US
July 12, 2010 04:45 PM - Andy Soos. ENN

It is summer and it is traditional to complain about how warm it is. Weather also is always a popular subject. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) State of the Climate report shows the June 2010 average temperature for the contiguous United States was 71.4 degrees F, which is 2.2 degrees F above the long-term average (1901-2000). The average precipitation for June was 3.33 inches, 0.44 inch above the long-term average.

Ten Nations at 'Extreme Risk' Because of Water Shortages, Report Says
July 12, 2010 08:51 AM - Yale Environment 360

Ten countries worldwide, including five African nations, are at "extreme risk" because of limited access to clean, fresh water, according to a new global water security index. And the effects of climate change and population growth will exacerbate the stress on these water supplies, potentially threatening stability in many regions, according to the analysis by Maplecroft , a UK-based consulting group.

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