Search This Blog

Friday, September 7, 2012

Editor's Note

All
I'm taking the weekend off. Will return to posting Sunday evening.
Best regards.
Michele Kearney

Next generation of advanced climate models needed, says new report

Next generation of advanced climate models needed, says new report
The nation's collection of climate models should advance substantially to deliver more detailed, smaller scale climate projections, says a new report from the National Research Council. To meet this need, the report calls for these assorted climate models to take a more integrated path and use a common software infrastructure while adding regional detail, new simulation capabilities, and new approaches for collaborating with their user community. http://phys.org/news/2012-09-advanced-climate.html#nwlt
Enhanced by Zemanta

Drought Puts Modified Corn Seed to the Test


by Jessica Leber
Three major seed producers are working on drought-resistant crops. The conditions this summer are providing a stern test.
Read More »http://www.technologyreview.com/news/429100/drought-puts-modified-corn-seed-to-the-test/?nlid=nlbus&nld=2012-09-07
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Which Climate Conditions give us the Best Indication of Climate Change?

Which Climate Conditions give us the Best Indication of Climate Change?

What is the most important climate condition to keep tabs on? We have recently mentioned the record-low Arctic sea-ice extent, but hurricanes this year seem to be getting the most attention because of timing of Hurricane Isaac (I know of no evidence suggesting that the Arctic sea-ice has such a direct impact on U.S. politics!).It’s important to avoid getting lost into single indicators as the climate system is complex, with many different parts interacting with one another. The American Meteorological Society (AMS) recently put out a statement…Read more...http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Which-Climate-Conditions-give-us-the-Best-Indication-of-Climate-Change.html

Shell, Chevron, and Marathon Oil to Build CCS Project at Oil Sands Site

Shell, Chevron, and Marathon Oil to Build CCS Project at Oil Sands Site

The Canadian oil sands receive a lot of criticism due to the fact that they are far more polluting than other sources of oil. The very dense hydrocarbons of the oil sands must be partly refined before its viscosity is low enough to allow it to flow through pipelines. The refining process requires a lot of heat which is produced by burning vast amounts of natural gas.Shell, Chevron, and Marathon Oil have now announced that they will build a carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) project at their 225,000 barrel a day Athabasca Project. The Quest…Read more...http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Shell-Chevron-and-Marathon-Oil-to-Build-CCS-Project-at-Oil-Sands-Site.html

America's 10 Most Polluted States

America's 10 Most Polluted States

Do you know where you live? Half of all industrial toxic air pollution comes from power plants and 6,700 power plants and heavy industries are responsible for 80% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Coal- and oil-fired power plants contribute 44% of all toxic air pollution. Toxic mercury and emissions from the country’s electricity sector are estimated to cause tens of thousands of premature deaths, heart attacks, asthma cases and chronic bronchitis every year. While there are varying lists of America’s most toxic,…Read more...http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Americas-10-Most-Polluted-States.html

TransCanada submits new US route for Keystone pipeline

TransCanada submits new US route for Keystone pipeline

Washington (AFP) Sept 5, 2012
Pipeline operator TransCanada on Wednesday offered to re-route its planned Keystone XL pipe to avoid environmentally sensitive areas as it carries oil from Canada's tar sands to US refineries. The new route was designed based on feedback from Nebraska's environmental department and "extensive" public comment sessions, TransCanada said. It "reflects our shared desire to minimize the distuhttp://www.energy-daily.com/reports/TransCanada_submits_new_US_route_for_Keystone_pipeline_999.html

Australia abandons coal power plant closure plans

Australia abandons coal power plant closure plans

Sydney (AFP) Sept 5, 2012
The Australian government Wednesday walked away from talks to close down some of the nation's highest-polluting, coal-fired, power stations, in a move condemned by its key coalition partner the Greens. Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said Canberra had ended its negotiations with the power sector - a major producer of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia - because the electricity firmshttp://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Australia_abandons_coal_power_plant_closure_plans_999.html

Coastline erosion due to rise in sea level greater than previously thought

Coastline erosion due to rise in sea level greater than previously thought

Delft, Holland (SPX) Sep 06, 2012
A new model allows researchers at UNESCO-IHE, TU Delft and Deltares to much more accurately predict coastline erosion due to rising sea levels. It would appear that the effects of coastline erosion as a result of rising sea-level rise in the vicinity of inlets, such as river estuaries, have until now been dramatically underestimated. http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Coastline_erosion_due_to_rise_in_sea_level_greater_than_previously_thought_999.html

Weighing the Ocean: Solving the biggest problem in sea level science

Weighing the Ocean: Solving the biggest problem in sea level science

Oceanographers have thought of a novel way to measure the global ocean – weigh it.  Scientists have proposed an idea that will assess the mass of the world ocean by weighing at a single point.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120906111904.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_environment+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+News+--+Top+Environment%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

North America's Rocky Mountains affect Norway’s climate

North America's Rocky Mountains affect Norway’s climate

Both the Gulf Stream and the Norwegian Sea have a major impact on Norway's climate. However, it turns out that weather conditions are also influenced by geographical elements from much farther away. North America's Rocky Mountains, for instance, play a major role in weather in Norway.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120906074029.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_environment+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+News+--+Top+Environment%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Oil Giants Clean Up Oil Sands w/ Carbon Capture

Oil Giants Clean Up Oil Sands w/ Carbon Capture

Chris Helman, Forbes
Shell, Chevron and Marathon Oil announced today that they will build a carbon capture and sequestration mechanism into their 225,000 barrels per day Athabasca Oil Sands Project. The goal, when the system is completed in 2015, will be to capture 1 million metric tons a year of carbon dioxide and inject it a mile underground. . .http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2012/09/05/shell-and-chevron-to-green-oil-sands-with-carbon-capture-project/
Enhanced by Zemanta

U.S. Needs Corn for Food, not Fuel

U.S. Needs Corn for Food, not Fuel

Editorial, Virginian Pilot
This year's drought has been so severe, so devastating, that half of all counties across the country have been designated primary disaster areas. It has affected 85 percent of the U.S. corn crop; less than a quarter of the 10.8 billion bushels expected to be harvested this year is rated good or excellent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. . .http://hamptonroads.com/2012/09/us-needs-corn-food-not-fuel

China Ranked as the Most Attractive Country for Renewable Energy Investments

China Ranked as the Most Attractive Country for Renewable Energy Investments

Ernst & Young has recently assessed 40 countries to determine their attractiveness to renewable energy investors.The All Renewable Index 2012 ranked China in the top spot once again. Despite dropping 0.2 points since the last index in May, China finished with 70.2 to clinch first place. A major factor for China being voted as the most attractive country for investors was the move to increase their solar target by 400% to 50 gigawatts by 2020 in an attempt to encourage more domestic installations and use up the oversupply of photovoltaic panels.If…Read more...http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/China-Ranked-as-the-Most-Attractive-Country-for-Renewable-Energy-Investments.html

Crony Capitalism and the Energy Sector

Crony Capitalism and the Energy Sector

America’s energy industries (oil, gas, electricity) have been a bastion of crony capitalism for much of their history. Leading gas and electricity firms sponsored state and then federal public-utility regulation during the Progressive Era and New Deal. Like other so-called public utilities, they welcomed the prospect of making commission-approved “reasonable” profits in an entry-restricted environment rather than taking their chances in open-entry markets.The U.S. coal industry also longed for federal aid. “The bituminous…Read more...http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Crony-Capitalism-and-the-Energy-Sector.html

Study Suggests the Arctic May not Contribute as Much Oil and Gas as Thought

Study Suggests the Arctic May not Contribute as Much Oil and Gas as Thought

With the constantly rising demand for oil around the world, oil and gas companies are looking to extract every drop of oil they can from around the world.The Arctic is estimated to contain 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil reserves and 30 percent of gas reserves. Exploration and production licenses have recently been granted to certain companies to work in the area, yet a Norwegian study claims that oil fields there may actually only contribute a marginal amount of oil compared to volumes initially forecast.The study was carried…Read more...http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Study-Suggests-the-Arctic-May-not-Contribute-as-Much-Oil-and-Gas-as-Thought.html

6 Methods to Avoid the Food v Fuel Dilemma

6 Methods to Avoid the Food v Fuel Dilemma

With the U.S. experiencing its worst drought in many years the food vs fuel debate has returned as an issue.Many people believe that food producers should have the first (or only) call on feedstock that can also be used to produce biofuels– a popular meme this week on Twitter has been “why should people go hungry so rich men can have fuel for their cars?”Scientists and entrepreneurs are developing alternatives to try and avoid the conflict. Today, we look at 6 technologies and strategies that are being used to address food vs…Read more...http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/6-Methods-to-Avoid-the-Food-v-Fuel-Dilemma.html

Big Oil 1 - 0 Environment: Shell Granted Permit to Work off Alaskan Coast

Big Oil 1 - 0 Environment: Shell Granted Permit to Work off Alaskan Coast

Environmental groups concerned about the potential damage to the Arctic environment suffered another blow after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted a temporary air permit for Shell to work off the coast of Alaska. The company has already asked federal regulators to extend the drilling season in the Chuckchi Sea because its feels ice would remain at bay into late fall. Groups like Greenpeace have staged high-profile demonstrations in an effort to highlight their growing concern about the industry's move toward arctic waters. With millions…Read more...http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Big-Oil-1-0-Environment-Shell-Granted-Permit-to-Work-off-Alaskan-Coast.html

CANADA FINALIZES GHG RULES FOR COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS


CANADA FINALIZES GHG RULES FOR COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS
Final regulations that seek to tamp down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new and end-of-life coal-fired power plants announced by Canada’s federal government on Wednesday, and which will become effective on July 1, 2015, apply a more relaxed performance standard than proposed in the draft rule. Read More »http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4942.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2516763&hq_l=4&hq_v=30108e0773

Report calls on US environment agency to embrace social sciences

Report calls on US environment agency to embrace social sciences

The US National Research Council has released an overarching review of science at the  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), advising the federal agency to take a systems view and integrate the social sciences as it tackles an increasingly complex set of issues in the coming decades.
The central thesis is that the EPA has made massive strides with many of the most visible and straightforward sources of environmental pollution — including tailpipes, smokestacks and sewage systems — and that it now faces more difficult regulatory questions in areas such as nanotechnology and pervasive chemicals and materials that do not necessarily emanate from large tube-like structures. Entitled ‘Science for environmental protection: the road ahead’, the report calls for more integration of the science, data collection, monitoring and modelling done at the EPA. The Research Council also urges the agency to boost its expertise in the social sciences, which now consists “almost entirely of economists”, to the neglect of broader social, behavioural and decision sciences.http://blogs.nature.com/news/2012/09/report-calls-on-us-environment-agency-to-embrace-social-sciences.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+news%2Frss%2Fnewsblog+%28News+Blog+-+Blog+Posts%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

CARMA Online database of 60 thousand power plants with 8 years of emissions data

CARMA Online database of 60 thousand power plants with 8 years of emissions data

Scientific American - The Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA) tool produced by the Center for Global Development has a database of 60,000 power plants worldwide with emissions data going back to 2004.http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/09/carma-online-database-of-60-thousand.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2Fadvancednano+%28nextbigfuture%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Bangkok Climate Talks Show Big Challenges Still Unresolved

Bangkok Climate Talks Show Big Challenges Still Unresolved

Climate negotiators wrapped up a week of talks today in which they attempted to narrow differences between the world’s largest polluters ahead of a major climate summit in Doha, Qatar at the end of the year.http://www.ucsusa.org/news/commentary/bangkok-climate-talks-challenges-unresolved-0386.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ucsusa%2Frss+%28Union+of+Concerned+Scientists%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

As the U.N. climate talks make little progress, are we headed for 3°C rise?

Posted: 06 Sep 2012 06:21 AM PDT
 Protesters in Bangkok outside the UN climate talks.http://theenergycollective.com/david-k-thorpe/110271/bangkok-un-climate-talks-make-little-progress-world-headed-3-c-rise?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The+Energy+Collective+%28all+posts%29

Summer from Hell: Climate Change Makes Its Presence Known

Posted: 06 Sep 2012 06:26 AM PDT
The summer of 2012 has come to a close, but it won’t be forgotten anytime soon. It delivered one extreme weather event after another, from heat waves to freak storms, wildfires to drought. People lost their homes and livelihoods, yet even as they try to pick up the pieces, more powerful weather systems are looming on the horizon.http://theenergycollective.com/francesbeinecke/110191/summer-hell-climate-change-makes-its-presence-known?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The+Energy+Collective+%28all+posts%29

Experts Warn Of ‘Near Ice-Free Arctic In Summer’ In A Decade

Posted: 06 Sep 2012 06:46 AM PDT
The sharp drop in Arctic sea ice area has been matched by a harder-to-see — but equally sharp — drop in sea ice thickness. The combined result has been a collapse in total sea ice volume.http://theenergycollective.com/josephromm/110216/death-spiral-watch-experts-warn-near-ice-free-arctic-summer-decade-if-volume-trend?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The+Energy+Collective+%28all+posts%29

BP accused of gross negligence in US spill

BP accused of gross negligence in US spill
The US Justice Department has accused oil giant BP of "gross negligence and willful misconduct" in the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, in court documents obtained Wednesday.http://phys.org/news/2012-09-bp-accused-gross-negligence.html#nwlt

Fewer exploding stars potential predictor of global warming

Fewer exploding stars potential predictor of global warming
(Phys.org)—One of the universe's greatest unexplained mysteries – why stars explode – could be explained by a particle similar to the Higgs boson. The theory developed by University of Aberdeen astrophysicist, Dr Charles Wang, will be tested at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in December and was announced at the British Science Festival today. http://phys.org/news/2012-09-stars-potential-predictor-global.html#nwlt

Glacial thinning has sharply accelerated at major South American icefields

Glacial thinning has sharply accelerated at major South American icefields
For the past four decades scientists have monitored the ebbs and flows of the icefields in the southernmost stretch of South America's vast Andes Mountains, detecting an overall loss of ice as the climate warms. A new study, however, finds that the rate of glacier thinning has increased by about half over the last dozen years in the Southern Patagonian Icefield, compared to the 30 years prior to 2000. http://phys.org/news/2012-09-glacial-thinning-sharply-major-south.html#nwlt

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Slow-moving Isaac Brings Flooding to Gulf States

A Slow-moving Isaac Brings Flooding to Gulf States

Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 03, 2012
Isaac - once a Category 1 hurricane and now a strong tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour (60 knots) - continues to create havoc across the Gulf Coast, from eastern Texas to Florida. While "only" reaching Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale upon landfall on Aug. 28, Isaac is a slow mover, crawling along at only about six miles (10 kilometers) per houhttp://www.terradaily.com/reports/A_Slow_moving_Isaac_Brings_Flooding_to_Gulf_States_999.html

New Nature study illuminates 55 million years of the carbon cycle and climate history

New Nature study illuminates 55 million years of the carbon cycle and climate history

College Station TX (SPX) Sep 03, 2012
A study in Nature provides, in unprecedented detail, the history of a crucial indicator of the relationship between the carbon cycle and climate processes over the past 55 million years. Over this time period, when the Earth is known to have transitioned from "hothouse" to "icehouse" conditions, the oceans also experienced a dramatic shift in the carbonate compensation depth, or CCD. Definhttp://www.terradaily.com/reports/New_Nature_study_illuminates_55_million_years_of_the_carbon_cycle_and_climate_history_999.html