Sci/tech

CO2 Emissions are not Changing the Ratio of Airborne CO2 to that taken up by the Oceans and Plants
November 11, 2009 03:14 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The University of Bristol in the UK has published a study based not on climate modeling, but on statistical analysis of data including historical data from Antarctic ice cores. The study shows that the balance between the airborne and the absorbed fraction of carbon dioxide has stayed approximately constant since 1850, despite emissions of carbon dioxide having risen from about 2 billion tons a year in 1850 to 35 billion tons a year now. This suggests that terrestrial ecosystems and the oceans have a much greater capacity to absorb CO2 than had been previously expected.

October Third Coolest, Wettest on Record, Across US
November 11, 2009 07:00 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that, on average, the mainland US (excluding Alaska) was the third coolest on record, and the records go back to 1895 at some stations. Average temperatures were 4.0 degrees F below the long term average. Rainfall average was 4.15, twice the long term average of 2.04 inches.

Glacier Retreat in Antarctica Has Unexpected Benefit
November 10, 2009 06:53 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has been studying glaciers in Antarctica, looking at their reducing surface area. As the glaciers retreat, more open water is exposed, and lead author of a new study, Professor Lloyd Peck of the BAS found that large blooms of tiny marine plants called phytoplankton are flourishing in areas of open water left exposed by the recent and rapid melting of ice shelves and glaciers around the Antarctic Peninsula. This remarkable colonization is having a beneficial impact on climate change. The phytoplankton blooms are relatively short lived, and as they die back, phytoplankton sinks to the sea-bed where it can store carbon for thousands or millions of years.

Not Science Fiction: Solar Power to be Zapped From Space By Lasers

Japan is aiming to collect solar power in space and zap it down to Earth using laser beams or microwave.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Cap & Trade Issue
November 9, 2009 06:43 AM - Shannon Arvizu, Triple Pundit

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce may actually have a better idea than a cap-and-trade bill for cutting emissions. And, contrary to popular opinion, they do recognize climate change and the need for clean tech development.

Midwest Weather Looks Good for Harvest
November 7, 2009 09:45 AM - Reuters

U.S. Midwest weather is seen mostly dry through the next week, ideal for the corn and soybean harvest, a forecaster said on Friday. "This is outstanding weather. Considering the time of the year, this is about as good as you're going to get," said Mike Palmerino with DTN Meteorlogix.

Geoengineering Being Discussed in Washington
November 6, 2009 06:47 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Dr. Ken Caldeira, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington provided a balanced look at the potential benefits and also the costs and possible harm that geoengineering techniques could offer in our quest to find a “Magic Bullet” to counter global warming. Can global warming be mitigated by a technological fix such as injecting light-blocking particles into the atmosphere or chemically “scrubbing” excess greenhouse gases from the atmosphere? Department of Global Ecology scientist Ken Caldeira addressed this question in his testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology in a hearing titled “Geoengineering: Assessing the Implications of Large-Scale Climate Intervention” on November 5, 2009.

$30.6M in Stimulus Funds Give US Hydroelectric Projects a New Spark
November 5, 2009 09:28 AM - Renewable Energy World via, Matter Network

Up to $30.6 million in economic stimulus funds will be used to finance seven hydroelectric projects nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The additional funding means Voith Hydro, a manufacturer of hydroelectric turbines, will be able to retain 40 jobs at its manufacturing facility in York, Pennsylvania

Ethiopian Rift Shows How Continents Can Split, Create New Ocean
November 4, 2009 08:10 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

A new study reported by the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and the University of Rochester sheds light on how the continents move, and oceans are created. In 2005, a gigantic, 35-mile-long rift broke open the desert ground in Ethiopia. At the time, some geologists believed the rift was the beginning of a new ocean as two parts of the African continent pulled apart, but the claim was controversial. Now, scientists from several countries have confirmed that the volcanic processes at work beneath the Ethiopian rift are nearly identical to those at the bottom of the world's oceans, and the rift is indeed likely the beginning of a new sea.

Margaret Thatcher, Lyndon Johnson were Right!
November 4, 2009 06:26 AM - Alister Doyle, Reuters

President Lyndon Johnson and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made stark warnings about global warming decades ago, but convincing evidence for action only amassed in recent years, experts say. A 190-nation U.N. conference in Copenhagen in December is due to agree a new U.N. pact to curb greenhouse gas emissions to slow a rise in temperatures to prevent floods, droughts, wildfires or rising sea levels.

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