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Friday, June 15, 2012

GMO Labeling Vote Approaching in California

GMO Labeling Vote Approaching in California
http://www.darkgovernment.com/news/gmo-labeling-vote-approaching-in-california/

The vast majority of Americans want genetically modified food labelled. If
California passes November's ballot, they could get it.
Last month, nearly 1m signatures were delivered to county registrars throughout
California calling for a referendum on the labeling of genetically engineered
foods. If the measure, "The Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act",
which will be [...]

NOAA: Second Hottest May On Record Globally, Hottest For Northern Hemisphere

Posted: 15 Jun 2012 07:24 AM PDT
NOAA has released its “State of the Climate Global Analysis” for May 2012. Here are the highlights:

Fracking Update 6/15


Debate over fracking, quakes gets louder
CNN
The use of hydraulic fracturing to open underground natural gas formations has a low risk of triggering earthquakes, federal experts reported Friday.
Some drilling triggers small quakes, but fracking not a high risk ...
Washington Post
WASHINGTON — The controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas does not pose a high risk for triggering earthquakes large enough to ...
Fracking fluid injection wells do cause quakes, study finds
Plain Dealer
The study also said that large geothermal heating systems could have caused seismic problems.

Plain Dealer
Report: Don't worry much about quakes and fracking
Sacramento Bee
A new government report says the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing does not pose a high risk of triggering earthquakes big enough to feel.
Report: Dont worry much about quakes and fracking
FuelFix (blog)
Jess Burrow, left, and James Patterson, look over the damage caused outside the home of Joe and Mary Reneau when their chimney was toppled by Saturday's ...

FuelFix (blog)
Fracking for oil and gas poses little quake risk-study
Reuters UK
Waste water disposal is higher risk for quakes * Only one quake officially linked to fracking * Best practices protocol should be developed By Ayesha Rascoe ...
Energy technologies run risk of causing earthquakes, new report says
Tulsa World
Hydraulic fracturing has a low risk for causing earthquakes -- but underground injection of fracking wastes and other energy technologies present greater ...
Hydraulic fracturing poses low risk for causing quakes; risks higher ...
kjrh.com
Hydraulic fracturing has a low risk for inducing earthquakes that can be felt by ... Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, extracts natural gas by ...

kjrh.com
Report: Long-term quake risks linked to carbon storage, fracking ...
The Hill (blog)
The study finds that the increasingly widespread gas drilling method hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, itself probably won't cause dangerous quakes, noting it ...

A Virtual Telescope Turns Back toward Earth

A Virtual Telescope Turns Back toward Earth
by Conor Myhrvold
A plug-in for WorldWide Telescope lets curious users explore the home planet.
Read More »

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Climate models should include ocean waves

Climate models should include ocean waves
(Phys.org) -- A new field study by researchers from Swinburne University of Technology suggests that the effect of wave activity on oceans should be incorporated in long term climate and weather prediction models.

The downstream consequences of depleting groundwater

The downstream consequences of depleting groundwater

Stanford CA (SPX) Jun 14, 2012
Hard lessons from around the American West and Australia could help improve groundwater management and protect ecosystems in California, Stanford University researchers find. The Water in the West program at Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment is focusing attention on how groundwater pumping can threaten rivers and ecosystems and, conversely, how creative groundwater management can be a

North-East Passage soon free from ice again

North-East Passage soon free from ice again

Bremerhaven, Germany (SPX) Jun 14, 2012
The North-East Passage, the sea route along the North coast of Russia, is expected to be free of ice early again this summer. The forecast was made by sea ice physicists of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association based on a series of measurement flights over the Laptev Sea, a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean. Amongs experts the shelf sea is k

Report: Fracking regulations could cost billions

Report: Fracking regulations could cost billions
New regulations proposed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for unconventional natural gas exploration could cost the country billions of dollars each year.
Full Article

Global climate change: Underestimated impact of sea-level rise on habitat loss?

Global climate change: Underestimated impact of sea-level rise on habitat loss?
Global climate change is expected to cause sea-level rise of approximately 1-2 meters within this century and studies are beginning to project the consequences for humans and global biodiversity. While the direct consequences of sea-level rise due to flooding and inundation ('primary effects') are beginning to be assessed, no studies have yet considered the possible secondary effects from sea-level rise due to the relocation of human refugees into the hinterland. Researchers from the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, with lead author Florian Wetzel and senior researcher Dustin Penn, collaborated with scientists from the Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity Group of Aarhus University, Denmark to assess and project the potential secondary impacts of sea-level rise on habitat availability and the distribution of mammals. They found that in more populated regions secondary effects can lead to an equal or even higher loss of habita! t than primary displacement effects.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bank of America to Invest $50 Billion to Address Climate Change

Bank of America to Invest $50 Billion to Address Climate Change

Bank of America has announced it will direct $50 billion to address climate change over the next ten years, but it was slammed by an NGO for not addressing its financing of coal businesses.The bank’s new goal will be effective from 2013, as its previous $20 billion target, set in 2007, will be met by the end of this year, four years early.Its environmental business initiative will consist primarily of lending, equipment finance, capital markets, advisory services, carbon finance, and advice and investment solutions for clients.The areas of…Read more...

57% of Chinese Citizens Want More Investment in Environment over Economy

57% of Chinese Citizens Want More Investment in Environment over Economy

Volcanic gases could deplete ozone layer


Volcanic gases could deplete ozone layer

Giant volcanic eruptions in Nicaragua over the past 70,000 years could have injected enough gases into the atmosphere to temporarily thin the ozone layer, according to new research. And, if it happened today, a similar explosive eruption could do the same, releasing more than twice the amount of ozone-depleting halogen gases currently in stratosphere due to humanmade emissions.

Water Too Dangerous to Drink: What Life's Like in California's Farming Communities

Water Too Dangerous to Drink: What Life's Like in California's Farming Communities

State officials know the primary sources of contamination, just how extensive it is and who's shouldering the burden. But will anything be done?

Fracking Los Angeles: What Life Is Like on the Country's Biggest Urban Oilfield

Fracking Los Angeles: What Life Is Like on the Country's Biggest Urban Oilfield

Unregulated fracking is happening in Los Angeles communities and residents are taking action and raising their voices in protest.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Will The Ice Age Strike Back

Will The Ice Age Strike Back

Ithaca NY (SPX) Jun 11, 2012
The dramatic melt-off of Arctic sea ice due to climate change is hitting closer to home than millions of Americans might think. That's because melting Arctic sea ice can trigger a domino effect leading to increased odds of severe winter weather outbreaks in the Northern Hemisphere's middle latitudes - think the "Snowmageddon" storm that hamstrung Washington, D.C., during February 2010. Cor

Environmental benefit of biofuels is overestimated, new study claims

Environmental benefit of biofuels is overestimated, new study claims

London, UK (SPX) Jun 11, 2012
Two scientists are challenging the currently accepted norms of biofuel production. A commentary published in GCB Bioenergy reveals that calculations of greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions from bioenergy production are neglecting crucial information that has led to the overestimation of the benefits of biofuels compared to fossil fuels. The critique extends to the Life Cycle Analysis models of

Geoengineering could disrupt rainfall patterns

Geoengineering could disrupt rainfall patterns

Brussels, Belgium (SPX) Jun 11, 2012
A geoengineering solution to climate change could lead to significant rainfall reduction in Europe and North America, a team of European scientists concludes. The researchers studied how models of the Earth in a warm, CO2-rich world respond to an artificial reduction in the amount of sunlight reaching the planet's surface. The study was published in Earth System Dynamics, an Open Access journal

Lessons Learned from Nuclear Accidents

Subject: Lessons Learned from Nuclear Accidents
To: "Karoff, Paul" <PKaroff@amacad.org>


Dear Colleague,

I thought you might find a new paper from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences of interest. Lessons Learned from “Lessons Learned”: The Evolution of Nuclear Power Safety after Accidents and Near-Accidents examines the changes in safety procedures and protocols that were or were not implemented after major nuclear disasters. The authors evaluate several less catastrophic accidents and near-mishaps as well, noting that those less serious incidents also offer critical lessons.

Further details on this new 30-page monograph are below. Let me know if you would like me to send you a copy, or you can access it online at http://www.amacad.org/projects/globalnuclearbooks.aspx.

Best regards,

Paul Karoff
Director of Communications
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
136 Irving Street
Cambridge, MA 02136


Have Past Accidents Helped Make Today’s Nuclear Plants Safer?
American Academy of Arts and Sciences Paper Assesses How Industry, Regulators Have Applied Lessons Learned


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Following each of the world’s worst nuclear accidents—Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima—governments and plant operators adopted safety and security measures to help prevent future disasters. Most recently, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has designed a new set of rules to harden American reactors against earthquake-triggered failures like those that crippled Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi plant last year.

But has the response from industry and nuclear regulators always been adequate?  Lessons Learned from “Lessons Learned”: The Evolution of Nuclear Power Safety after Accidents and Near-Accidents, a new paper from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, examines the changes in safety procedures and protocols that were or were not implemented after major nuclear disasters. The authors evaluate several less catastrophic accidents and near-mishaps as well, noting that those less serious incidents also offer critical lessons.

The paper provides recommendations for increasing plant safety and security as commercial nuclear power spreads globally. Authors, Michael M. May and Edward D. Blandford stress the need for better communication among nuclear states. “Mechanisms to facilitate and, where needed, enforce mutual learning have not always been adequate,” they write. “Information-sharing, import/export agreements based on safety standards, agreements to facilitate cooperation among regulatory authorities, and the participation of financial interests such as investors and insurers all have a role to play in improving mutual learning among different states.”

This paper, published as part of the American Academy’s Global Nuclear Future (GNF) Initiative, is available online at http://www.amacad.org/projects/globalnuclearbooks.aspx.

Members of the GNF Initiative are working with policy-makers in the United States, Middle East, and Asia to advance effective policies and procedures to ensure that the spread of nuclear power does not aggravate, and in fact reduces, concerns over international safety, security, and nonproliferation. Because the Academy is not identified with a particular stance on nuclear questions, yet has a fifty-year-old tradition of work on arms control, it offers a neutral forum for discussing these issues. 

Michael M. May is Professor Emeritus (Research) in the School of Engineering at Stanford University, where he is also a Senior Fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Edward D. Blandford is a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation as well as an adjunct Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering at the University of New Mexico.  

 

Recent Academy Publications from the Global Nuclear Future Initiative include:

Nuclear Collisions: Discord, Reform & the Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime, Steven E. Miller (American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2012)

The Back-End of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: An Innovative Storage Concept, Robert Rosner, Stephen M. Goldberg, and James P. Malone (American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2012)

Game Changers for Nuclear Energy, Kate Marvel and Michael May (American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2011)

Nuclear Reactors: Generation to Generation, Stephen M. Goldberg and Robert Rosner (American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2011)

Shared Responsibilities for Nuclear Disarmament: A Global Debate, Scott D. Sagan, James M. Acton, Jayantha Dhanapala, Mustafa Kibaroglu, Harald Müller, Yukio Satoh, Mohamed I. Shaker, and Achilles Zaluar (American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2010)

Multinational Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Charles McCombie and Thomas Isaacs, Noramly Bin Muslim, Tariq Rauf, Atsuyuki Suzuki, Frank von Hippel, and Ellen Tauscher (American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2010)

On the Global Nuclear Future, vols. 1–2, Dædalus (MIT Press, 2009–2010)

All of these publications are available on the Academy’s website at
http://www.amacad.org/projects/globalnuclearbooks.aspx.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (
www.amacad.org) is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. Current Academy research focuses on science and technology policy; global security; institutions of democracy; the humanities and culture; and education. With headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Academy’s work is advanced by its 4,600 elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs from around the world.

Can Fracking Be Cleaned Up?

Can Fracking Be Cleaned Up?
by Kevin Bullis
The International Energy Agency says yes, but it will take tougher regulations that force producers to apply the latest technologies.
Read More »

Today's climate more sensitive to carbon dioxide than in past 12 million years

Today's climate more sensitive to carbon dioxide than in past 12 million years
Until now, studies of Earth's climate have documented a strong correlation between global climate and atmospheric carbon dioxide; that is, during warm periods, high concentrations of CO2 persist, while colder times correspond to relatively low levels.

Evidence of impending tipping point for Earth uncovered

Evidence of impending tipping point for Earth uncovered
A prestigious group of scientists from around the world is warning that population growth, widespread destruction of natural ecosystems, and climate change may be driving Earth toward an irreversible change in the biosphere, a planet-wide tipping point that would have destructive consequences absent adequate preparation and mitigation.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

U.S. Experienced Second Warmest May, Warmest Spring On Record, NOAA Reports

U.S. Experienced Second Warmest May, Warmest Spring On Record, NOAA Reports

ScienceDaily (June 7, 2012) — According to NOAA scientists, the average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during May was 64.3°F, 3.3°F above the long-term average, making it the second warmest May on record. The month's high temperatures also contributed to the warmest spring, warmest year-to-date, and warmest 12-month period the nation has experienced since recordkeeping began in 1895.
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Majority of Chinese Prioritize Environment over Economy - Gallup


Majority of Chinese Prioritize Environment over Economy - Gallup

Can We Bridge Political Divide for Science? - Paul Raeburn, Knight Science

Can We Bridge Political Divide for Science? - Paul Raeburn, Knight Science

Can a Lawsuit Save Cap and Trade in NJ? - Maria Gallucci, InsideClimate

Can a Lawsuit Save Cap and Trade in NJ? - Maria Gallucci, InsideClimate

Oil Spill Training in the Arctic: A Necessity - Jennifer Dlouhy, Fuel Fix

Oil Spill Training in the Arctic: A Necessity - Jennifer Dlouhy, Fuel Fix

Can Japan No Longer Afford Its Ambitious CO2 Cuts? - Mari Iwata, WSJ

Can Japan No Longer Afford Its Ambitious CO2 Cuts? - Mari Iwata, WSJ

s ArctiIs Artic Ice Really Shrinking? - Al Bredenberg, ThomasNet

Is Arctic Ice Really Shrinking? - Al Bredenberg, ThomasNet

The Dirtiest Oil on Earth - Sierra Club, Huffington Post

The Dirtiest Oil on Earth - Sierra Club, Huffington Post

Has Earth Hit Tipping Point on Climate? - Robert Sanders, Berkeley News

Has Earth Hit Tipping Point on Climate? - Robert Sanders, Berkeley News