New Ozone Standards could contribute to warming
January 31, 2010 09:40 AM - Richard Harris, NPR, Environmental Health News

The Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to tighten the ozone standard for smog will have an unfortunate side effect: Because of a quirk of atmospheric chemistry, those measures will hasten global warming. There's no question that smog is a hazard that deserves attention. Lydia Wegman of the EPA says the new ozone limits would have significant health benefits. Less smog means fewer asthma attacks, fewer kids in the hospital, fewer days of lost school, "and we also believe that we can reduce the risk of early death in people with heart and lung disease," she says. Here's the tough part: The way many states and localities will reduce smog is by cracking down on the chemicals that produce ozone. And those include nitrogen oxides, or NOx.

China's pollution situation still serious
January 28, 2010 06:01 AM - Reuters

China still faces a serious threat from pollution despite recent government efforts to clean up, the Cabinet said on Wednesday, adding the country would step up investment in environmentally friendly industries. While noting some progress at closing outdated factories, cleaning up dirty rivers and increasing access to clean drinking water, the State Council, or Cabinet, warned against any resting on laurels during a regular meeting.

Methane's Key Role in Global Warming
January 27, 2010 07:24 AM - Richard Harris, NPR

Carbon dioxide is the gas we most associate with global warming, but methane gas also plays an important role. For reasons that are not well understood, methane gas stopped increasing in the atmosphere in the 1990s. But now it appears to be once again on the rise. Scientists are trying to understand why — and what to do about it.

The Ozone hole is filling in, oh no!
January 26, 2010 07:30 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The US EPA recently proposed new Ozone standards to protect health and environmental values. These standards will apply to the lower atmosphere, to the air we breathe. In the upper atmosphere, Ozone is good. The "hole" in the Ozone layer over Antarctica has worried scientists for years since Ozone in the upper atmosphere protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. According to research at the University of Leeds, the hole in the ozone layer is now steadily closing. This is a concern, since its repair could actually increase warming in the southern hemisphere, the scientists at Leeds conclude.

Carbon traders quit emissions market amid drop in demand
January 26, 2010 06:42 AM - Tim Webb, The Ecologist

Banks are pulling out of the carbon-offsetting market after Copenhagen failed to reach agreement on emissions targets Banks and investors are pulling out of the carbon market after the failure to make progress at Copenhagen on reaching new emissions targets after 2012. Carbon financiers have already begun leaving banks in London because of the lack of activity and the drop-off in investment demand.

Oil Spill in Port Arthur Texas
January 24, 2010 08:45 AM - Reuters

A barge collided with a tanker on Saturday in the port of Port Arthur, Texas, sending thousands of gallons of crude oil into the water, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The tanker was carrying crude oil to Exxon Mobil Corp's refinery in Beaumont, Texas, located north of Port Arthur. The waterway, through which tankers carry oil to four refineries in Port Arthur and Beaumont, Texas, remained shut on Saturday night.

Copenhagen Climate deal melting?
January 23, 2010 09:17 AM - Alister Doyle, Reuters

The world is showing only lukewarm enthusiasm for a "Copenhagen Accord" to curb climate change, with no sign so far of deeper-than-planned 2020 curbs on greenhouse gas emissions before a January 31 deadline. In Brussels, a draft European Union letter on Friday showed plans for the 27-nation bloc to reiterate a minimum offer of a 20 percent cut in emissions by 2020 below 1990 levels, pleasing industry, and a 30 percent cut if other nations act comparably.

California Objects to One Auto Emission Standard for the nation
January 22, 2010 09:47 AM - Reuters

California has issues with federal attempts to weaken new vehicle pollution standards, but the state backed away on Wednesday from a report that it was threatening to pull out of a deal with U.S. President Barack Obama's administration. The California agency responsible for implementing the state's global-warming law and vehicle-pollution standards said in a November letter that federal agencies must address two issues "to ensure California's continued support for the national program."

Product Life Cycle Analysis
January 21, 2010 03:39 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

How good or how bad is a product from a green carbon footprint point of view? Several well known corporations like Airbus, Levi Strauss & Co., 3M, DuPont, and Kraft Foods are volunteering to road test a full life cycle greenhouse gas analysis on a wide range of products from blue jeans to manufactured steel. A life cycle analysis studies all the potential contributions to a carbon footprint and includes supplier, transportation, production and disposal. This concept is also related to environmental sustainability.

Imported from Asia: OZONE
January 21, 2010 06:59 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Ever wonder how the western US has high ozone levels when the winds usually blow in off the Pacific Ocean? Did you think it was all from the cars clogging the freeways? Turns out, it is caused in part from emissions of ozone generating air emissions from Asia. A study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that Springtime ozone levels above western North America are rising, primarily due to air flowing eastward from the Pacific Ocean, a trend that is most significant when the air originates in Asia.

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