• The Significant Role of Forests in Regulating Global Climate

    A new study published in the journal, Science, has quantified the forests' role in regulating carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere. Because plants absorb CO2 as part of their metabolism, the greater the forest, the more CO2 is removed, and the impact of global climate change is decreased. The study found that the world's established forests remove 8.8 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year. This equates to nearly one third of all annual fossil fuel emissions from humans. >> Read the Full Article
  • Soil Microbes Accelerate Global Warming

    ScienceDaily (July 13, 2011) — More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes soil to release the potent greenhouse gases methane and nitrous oxide, new research published in this week's edition of Nature reveals. "This feedback to our changing atmosphere means that nature is not as efficient in slowing global warming as we previously thought," said Dr Kees Jan van Groenigen, Research Fellow at the Botany department at the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, and lead author of the study. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Insurance Industry Can’t Afford to Have Their Heads in the Sand on Climate Change

    I have been saying for a long time now, that the next revolution in this country will be led, not by ponytailed radicals, not by protestors in the streets, and certainly not by politicians; rather it will by led by accountants. Like an army that crawls on its stomach, the corporatocracy that America has become, crawls on its balance sheet. (Of course, here at Triple Pundit, we’d like to see her roll on the three wheels of people, planet, and profit, but right now we mostly have one big wheel and two tiny ones, which still essentially amounts to crawling.) Wise men have known for ages that you really can’t separate the three in the long run, but then, wise men are not the ones running things. >> Read the Full Article
  • Climate Change Reducing Ocean's Carbon Dioxide Uptake, New Analysis Shows

    ScienceDaily (July 11, 2011) — How deep is the ocean's capacity to buffer against climate change? As one of the planet's largest single carbon absorbers, the ocean takes up roughly one-third of all human carbon emissions, reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide and its associated global changes. But whether the ocean can continue mopping up human-produced carbon at the same rate is still up in the air. Previous studies on the topic have yielded conflicting results, says University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor Galen McKinley. >> Read the Full Article
  • Carbon Tax? Australians want snap election to voice their opinions

    Two thirds of Australians want a snap election on the government's controversial plan to tax carbon pollution, a poll showed on Wednesday, as Prime Minister Julia Gillard crosses the nation in a campaign-style blitz to sell the scheme. The plan will be put to the vote in parliament around October and is almost certain to pass, but a rebuff would seriously threaten Gillard's minority government. The government, which does not have to call elections until 2013, has announced big fines for firms trying to overcharge consumers because of the tax, set to start next July and switch to carbon emissions trading in mid-2015. >> Read the Full Article
  • Book Review: Currents of Deceit

    On April 20, 2010, the infamous BP oil rig exploded. Americans and the rest of the world alike were in shock and feared how much oil would be released and how much damage it would do. After three months, the spillage of the oil was stopped and restoration has slowly begun. But what if there was a spill of something invisible and the company responsible wanted to keep it a secret. In the book Currents of Deceit, Professor Ronald Perkins writes about such a situation. Ronald Perkins is a professor of Geology at Duke University's Nicholas School where he has been teaching since 1968. Prior to his professorship at Duke, Perkins worked as a research geologist with the Shell Development Company. As his first work of fiction, Currents of Deceit is a stray from Perkins's usual writing of textbooks and scientific papers. >> Read the Full Article
  • World War II Bombing Raids Offer New Insight Into the Effects of Aviation On Climate

    ScienceDaily (July 8, 2011) — Climate researchers have turned to the Allied bombing raids of the Second World War for a unique opportunity to study the effect thousands of aircraft had on the English climate at a time when civilian aviation remained rare. The study, published in the International Journal of Climatology, reveals how civilian and military records can help assess the impact of modern aviation on the climate today. >> Read the Full Article
  • Rain in Australia

    Decreasing autumn and winter rainfall over southern Australia has been attributed to a 50-year decrease in the average intensity of storms in the region – a trend which is forecast to continue for another 50 years. In an address to the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics conference in Melbourne, CSIRO climate scientist, Dr Jorgen Frederiksen, said these changes are due to reductions in the strength of the mid-latitude jet stream and changes in atmospheric temperatures. The jet stream comprises fast moving westerly winds in the upper atmosphere. A long, severe drought, the worst on record is being experienced in many parts of Australia. As of November 2006, the late-winter to mid-spring rainfalls had failed. The average rainfall in the state of South Australia was the lowest since 1900. Across Victoria and the Murray-Darling Basin the season was the second driest since 1900. New South Wales' rainfall was boosted by above normal falls along the north coast of the state, however the state average rainfall for the season is the third driest since 1900. The situation has been worsened by temperatures being the highest on record since the 1950s. >> Read the Full Article
  • How Hot Was It Long Ago

    The question seems simple enough: What happens to the Earth’s temperature when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase? It has happened in the past. The answer is elusive. However, clues are hidden in the fossil record. A new study by researchers from Syracuse and Yale universities provides a much clearer picture of the Earth’s temperature approximately 50 million years ago when CO2 concentrations were higher than today. The results may shed light on what to expect in the future if CO2 levels keep rising. The study which for the first time compared multiple geochemical and temperature proxies to determine mean annual and seasonal temperatures, is published online in the journal Geology, the premier publication of the Geological Society of America, and will be published in print on August 1. >> Read the Full Article
  • Did Asia air pollution reduce global warming?

    Smoke belching from Asia's rapidly growing economies is largely responsible for a halt in global warming in the decade after 1998 because of sulphur's cooling effect, even though greenhouse gas emissions soared, a U.S. study said on Monday. The paper raised the prospect of more rapid, pent-up climate change when emerging economies eventually crack down on pollution. World temperatures did not rise from 1998 to 2008, while manmade emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuel grew by nearly a third, various data show. The researchers from Boston and Harvard Universities and Finland's University of Turku said pollution, and specifically sulphur emissions, from coal-fueled growth in Asia was responsible for the cooling effect. Sulphur allows water drops or aerosols to form, creating hazy clouds which reflect sunlight back into space. >> Read the Full Article