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Friday, October 19, 2012

Editor's Note

Dear Readers
I am going to be away from my blogs for the next three days. I am traveling to San Francisco
to attend a Memorial Service of the husband of a dear friend of mine who passed away earlier
this month.  I will post if and when I am able, but likely won't resume in earnest until
my return late on Monday. And yes, the flight from San Francisco to Kennedy lands right in the
middle of the Foreign Policy Debate so am hoping CNN will rerun it later in the evening or the next day.
Best regards.
Michele Kearney

Food vs. fuel: Is there surplus land for bioenergy?

Food vs. fuel: Is there surplus land for bioenergy?

Scientists have discussed the concept of utilizing so called surplus land for the production of feedstock for bioenergy. They identified environmental, economic and social constraints but also options for efficient use of surplus land for bioenergy. The study provides a scientific background in support of a reassessment of land available for bioenergy feedstock production.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121018100133.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_environment+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+News+--+Top+Environment%29

Russia hints plans to quit Kyoto Protocol

Russia hints plans to quit Kyoto Protocol

Moscow (AFP) Oct 18, 2012
Russia on Thursday hinted that it may refuse to sign up to a new round of targeted carbon cuts that could see the Kyoto environmental protection treaty extended beyond its end of 2012 expiry date. "One has to admit that we never got any real commercial gain from the Kyoto Protocol," news agencies quoted Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as telling a government meeting.http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Russia_hints_plans_to_quit_Kyoto_Protocol_999.html

World 'not on track' for temperature target: UN

World 'not on track' for temperature target: UN

Singapore (AFP) Oct 18, 2012
Governments are "not on track" to achieve a target of keeping the average global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the UN climate chief said Thursday. Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), told a forum in Singapore that the world was moving in the right direction, but not fast enough.http://www.terradaily.com/reports/World_not_on_track_for_temperature_target_UN_999.html

Ozone Affects Forest Watersheds

Ozone Affects Forest Watersheds

Raleigh, NC (SPX) Oct 19, 2012
U.S. Forest Service and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) scientists have found that rising levels of ozone, a greenhouse gas, may amplify the impacts of higher temperatures and reduce streamflow from forests to rivers, streams, and other water bodies. Such effects could potentially reduce water supplies available to support forest ecosystems and people in the southeastern United States.http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Ozone_Affects_Forest_Watersheds_999.html

Fibbing Obama Gets Oil Leases All Wrong

Fibbing Obama Gets Oil Leases All Wrong

Daniel Fisher, Forbes
One of the most contentious exchanges in last night's presidential debate came after President Obama defended his energy strategy against Mitt Romney's charge that the administration has discouraged drilling on federal lands.As Romney and Obama parried over how much, exactly, oil and gas production has fallen on federal property (neither side had its facts entirely right, according to the Houston Chronicle), Obama let loose with this statement that had me scratching my head.http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2012/10/17/did-obama-really-take-away-those-oil-leases/?ss=business%3Aenergy

Antarctic Rift Subject of International Attention

Antarctic Rift Subject of International Attention

Greenbelt MD (SPX) Oct 16, 2012
As NASA's Operation IceBridge resumed Antarctic science flights on Oct. 12, 2012, researchers worldwide had their eyes on Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, the site of a large rift measured during last year's campaign. This 18-mile-long crack is the start of a calving event that could potentially create a massive iceberg. The Pine Island Glacier broke large icebergs in 2001http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Antarctic_Rift_Subject_of_International_Attention_999.html

Global drought a 'new normal': report

Global drought a 'new normal': report

New York (UPI) Oct 18, 2012
Increasing drought conditions across the planet are part of a "new normal" which oddly presents new business opportunities, a new Bank of America Merrill Lynch report says. The report comes just after insurer Munich Re's findings that North America has borne the brunt of weather-related natural catastrophes, with 30,000 deaths and insured losses of $510 billion in the 1980-2011 period.http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Global_drought_a_new_normal_report_999.html

Science panel urges halt to GM field trials in India

Science panel urges halt to GM field trials in India

Posted on behalf of  K. S. Jayaraman.
The prospects for growing genetically modified (GM) food crops in India have receded further with the release of yet another damning report on 17 October.
A 5-member Technical Expert Committee (TEC) of scientists with expertise in agricultural biotechnology wants all open field trials stopped until better mechanisms for monitoring the trials and evaluating biosafety data are in place, and conflicts of interest in the regulatory body have been dealt with.
The panel was appointed by India’s Supreme Court in May in response to a petition from anti-GM activists. Its report echoes the conclusions of a parliamentary panel in August, which also called for a moratorium on field trials (see ‘Indian parliamentary panel slams GM crops’).http://blogs.nature.com/news/2012/10/science-panel-urges-halt-to-gm-field-trials-in-india.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+news%2Frss%2Fnewsblog+%28News+Blog+-+Blog+Posts%29

BP Oil Spill: Case NOT Closed George Washington

BP Oil Spill: Case NOT Closed George Washingtonhttp://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/10/bp-oil-spill-case-not-closed.html

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GOP Blames EPA For Coal Sector Losses But New Study Tags Gas Prices

GOP Blames EPA For Coal Sector Losses But New Study Tags Gas Prices http://insideepa.com/Inside-EPA-General/Inside-EPA-Public-Content/gop-blames-epa-for-coal-sector-losses-but-new-study-tags-gas-prices/menu-id-565.html?S=LI

EPA Draws Multiple Industry, Environmentalist Suits Over Drilling Air Rules

EPA Draws Multiple Industry, Environmentalist Suits Over Drilling Air Rules http://insideepa.com/Inside-EPA-General/Inside-EPA-Public-Content/epa-draws-multiple-industry-environmentalist-suits-over-drilling-air-rules/menu-id-565.html?S=LI

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Report: Energy production threatens to strain nation’s water supply

Report: Energy production threatens to strain nation’s water supplyhttp://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/262559-report-oversight-needed-for-energy-production-impact-on-water-supply

Insurance giant cites climate in rising North American disaster costs

Insurance giant cites climate in rising North American disaster costshttp://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/262627-insurance-giant-cites-climate-in-rising-north-american-disaster-costs

Energy Industry Rep Compares The Coal Debate To The Civil War's Bloodiest Battles

Energy Industry Rep Compares The Coal Debate To The Civil War's Bloodiest Battles

Fracking's Dark Side Gets Darker: The Problem of Methane Waste

By Peter Lehner - Fracking for oil in North Dakota is so lucrative that when natural gas bubbles up alongside the oil, most oil companies simply view it as waste. It's cheaper, in the short term, to burn the gas than it is to build the infrastructure to pipe and sell it--so they burn it. Across the North Dakota prairie, natural gas flares light up the night sky like huge torches. Every day, they burn off enough gas to heat half a million homes.  » Continue...http://theenergycollective.com/node/130796?utm_source=tec_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&inf_contact_key=8e7d243ea35cf5f75e7937f9b9ea147dc32eb65bc8122dcb95797154e96a782b

Why We Need a NASA for the Oceans

Why We Need a NASA for the Oceans

Craig McClain, Deep Sea News
Over a decade ago, one of us (CM) made his first submersible dive off of Rum Cay in the Bahamas. ;At the surface the temperature was a warm 91ËšF and at the bottom 2,300 feet down the temperature was near freezing. Despite my large size, I don't remember feeling cramped inside the soda can-sized sub at any moment.http://deepseanews.com/2012/10/we-need-an-ocean-nasa-now-pt-1/

President Obama’s Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failures

President Obama’s Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failureshttp://blog.heritage.org/2012/10/18/president-obamas-taxpayer-backed-green-energy-failures/

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EarthTalk: Obama and Romney on the Environment

EarthTalk: Obama and Romney on the Environment

Just because the environment is getting short shrift this election season due to our nation’s lingering economic woes doesn’t mean that candidates Obama and Romney can ignore the issue. Environmentalists have cheered several of President Obama’s moves during his first term, including: passage of the Recovery Act and its funding for environmental and habitat restoration and water quality improvements.http://theenergycollective.com/globalwarmingisreal/131826/earthtalk-obama-and-romney-environment?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=The+Energy+Collective+%28all+posts%29

Fishery collapse near Venezuela linked to climate change

Fishery collapse near Venezuela linked to climate change

Even small increases in temperature from global warming are causing climatology shifts harmful to ocean life, a new study shows. Modest changes in temperature have significantly altered trade wind intensity in the southern Caribbean, undercutting the supply of key phytoplankton food sources and causing the collapse of some fisheries there.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121018094853.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_environment+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+News+--+Top+Environment%29
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Commentary on Coal

Coal Could Decide the Election

 

What the Frack?!

How the 2012 election could come down to one thing: coal.

David Roberts, Foreign Policy
Mitt Romney and the U.S. coal industry are engaged in a very public love affair. In August, the Republican candidate stood on a stage in Ohio and condemned Barack Obama's "war on coal," backed by a group of beefy, safety-helmeted men who looked like they just stomped out of a coal mine. Those miners later appeared in one of Romney's two September ads focused on coal, the "way of life" that, in his telling, Obama is ruthlessly attempting to crush.http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/10/16/what_the_frack?page=full
 

Both Romney and Obama Ignore Coal's Dark Side

Editors, Bloomberg
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have traded barbs over coal in both their debates, each accusing the other of failing to champion the fuel. It’s a shame that neither U.S. presidential candidate acknowledges the difficult economic reality coal now faces, or mentions that this form of power still produces intolerable amounts of pollution and greenhouse gases." I'm going to make sure we can continue to burn clean coal" Romney, the Republican nominee, said at the first debate on Oct. 3. Obama didn't disagree. When they met again this week, they...http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-17/championing-coal-romney-and-obama-ignore-its-dark-side.html
 
 

Coal Is Killing Us. Why Do We Let Them?

Kelly Rigg, Huffington Post
There are no technological barriers to staving off a climate crisis. So what's really holding us back? I've recently returned home after two weeks of intensive meetings, workshops and speaking engagements in the U.S., where this question was at the heart of virtually every conversation.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelly-rigg/killing-us-with-coal-why-_b_1965311.html

U.S. Geological Survey Article Advisory: Extinction Rates in North American Freshwater Fishes, 1900-2010

U.S. Geological Survey Article Advisory: Extinction Rates in North American Freshwater Fishes, 1900-2010

Yesterday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) advised of the release of an article, titled Extinction Rates in North American freshwater fishes, 1900-2010, 62 Bioscience, no. 9, Sept. 2012, 798-808. The article, authored by Noel M. Burkhead available here, discusses according to the abstract, how
[w]idespread evidence shows that the modern rates of extinction in many plants and animals exceed background rates in the fossil record. In the present article, I investigate this issue with regard to North American freshwater fishes. From 1898 to 2006, 57 taxa became extinct, and three distinct populations were extirpated from the continent. Since 1989, the numbers of extinct North American fishes have increased by 25%. From the end of the nineteenth century to the present, modern extinctions varied by decade but significantly increased after 1950 (post-1950s mean = 7.5 extinct taxa per decade). In the twentieth century, freshwater fishes had the highest extinction rate worldwide among vertebrates. The modern extinction rate for North American freshwater fishes is conservatively estimated to be 877 times greater than the background extinction rate for freshwater fishes (one extinction every 3 million years). Reasonable estimates project that future increases in extinctions will range from 53 to 86 species by 2050.

Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in September 2012

Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in September 2012



http://environment.yale.edu/climate/publications/Climate-Beliefs-September-2012/

Is California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard Unconstitutional?

Is California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard Unconstitutional?

If Tuesday's oral arguments before a Ninth Circuit panel are any indication, California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard is in trouble. The standard relies on a "carbon intensity score," which measures pollution from a fuel's entire life cycle — such as the type of electricity used to produce it, or the...... http://blogs.findlaw.com/ninth_circuit/2012/10/is-californias-low-carbon-fuel-standard-unconstitutional.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FindLawWrit+%28FindLaw+News+for+Legal+Professionals%29

These Pictures Will Give You Nightmares About The Canada Oil Sands from Clusterstock by Robert Johnson

These Pictures Will Give You Nightmares About The Canada Oil Sands

Too late to stop global warming by cutting emissions

Too late to stop global warming by cutting emissions

Johannesburg, South Africa (SPX) Oct 18, 2012
Governments and institutions should focus on developing adaption policies to address and mitigate against the negative impact of global warming, rather than putting the emphasis on carbon trading and capping greenhouse-gas emissions, argue Johannesburg-based Wits University geoscientist Dr Jasper Knight and Dr Stephan Harrison from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom.http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Too_late_to_stop_global_warming_by_cutting_emissions_999.html

Why Are Coastal Salt Marshes Falling Apart?

Why Are Coastal Salt Marshes Falling Apart?

Washington DC (SPX) Oct 18, 2012
Salt marshes have been disintegrating and dying over the past two decades along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and other highly developed coastlines without anyone fully understanding why. This week in the journal Nature, scientist Linda Deegan of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Mass., and colleagues report that nutrients--such as nitrogen and phosphorus from septic andhttp://www.terradaily.com/reports/Why_Are_Coastal_Salt_Marshes_Falling_Apart_999.html

NASA's GPM Observatory Completes First Dry Run

NASA's GPM Observatory Completes First Dry Run

Greenbelt MD (SPX) Oct 18, 2012
NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory satellite went through its first complete comprehensive performance test (CPT), beginning on Oct. 4, 2012 at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The testing ran twenty-four hours, seven days a week and lasted ten days as the entire spacecraft was put through its paceshttp://www.terradaily.com/reports/NASAs_GPM_Observatory_Completes_First_Dry_Run_999.html

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

There's A Really Good Reason Offshore Drilling Is Down Under Obama

There's A Really Good Reason Offshore Drilling Is Down Under Obama

deepwater horizon
Last night, one of the most contentious portions of the debate was the back and forth between the president and Mitt Romney over energy policy.
Obama correctly pointed out that domestic oil production was on the rise in America and drilling permits for federal land were on the rise too.
Romney was also correct in pointing out that the number of new permits for offshore drilling was down over the course of Obama's term.
His central claim: the last three years of the Bush administration had significantly more offshore drilling approvals than the first three years of the Obama administration.
For some reason both candidates were skirting around the oil slicked elephant seal in the room, the Deepwater Horizon well disaster. http://www.businessinsider.com/theres-a-really-good-reason-offshore-drilling-is-down-under-obama-and-it-has-to-do-with-the-deepwater-horizon-disaster-2012-10?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+businessinsider+%28Business+Insider%29
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Mathematics and the ocean: Movement, mixing and climate modeling

Mathematics and the ocean: Movement, mixing and climate modeling

Mathematicians have described mathematical ideas from dynamical systems along with numerical modeling and experimental observations to analyze mixing in the ocean.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017141809.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_environment+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+News+--+Top+Environment%29

Too late to stop global warming by cutting emissions: Scientists argue for adaption policies


Too late to stop global warming by cutting emissions: Scientists argue for adaption policies
Governments and institutions should focus on developing adaption policies to address and mitigate against the negative impact of global warming, rather than putting the emphasis on carbon trading and capping greenhouse-gas emissions, argue Johannesburg-based Wits University geoscientist Dr Jasper Knight and Dr Stephan Harrison from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. http://phys.org/news/2012-10-late-global-emissions-scientists-policies.html#nwlt

Ecosystem changes in tropics linked to declining upwelling of nutrient-rich waters, long-term study finds

Ecosystem changes in tropics linked to declining upwelling of nutrient-rich waters, long-term study finds
(Phys.org)—Reports of declining ice coverage and drowning polar bears in the Arctic illustrate dramatic ecosystem responses to global climate change in Earth's polar regions. But in this first-ever account of a long-term project in the southern Caribbean, a Stony Brook professor and his colleagues report in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. that tropical ecosystems are also affected by global climatic trends - and with accompanying economic impacts. http://phys.org/news/2012-10-ecosystem-tropics-linked-declining-upwelling.html#nwlt

Study confirms sea-level rise is accelerating along northeast U.S. coast

Study confirms sea-level rise is accelerating along northeast U.S. coast
(Phys.org)—A new study by emeritus professor John Boon of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science shows that the rate of sea-level rise is increasing at tidal stations along the Atlantic coast of North America, including those in Norfolk, Baltimore, New York, and Boston. http://phys.org/news/2012-10-sea-level-northeast-coast.html#nwlt

Half of all wetlands destroyed since 1900, report says

Half of all wetlands destroyed since 1900, report says
An alarming 50 percent of the world's wetlands have been destroyed in the last 100 years, threatening human welfare at a time of increasing water scarcity, a new report said. http://phys.org/news/2012-10-wetlands.html#nwlt

Cleaner fracking

Cleaner fracking
The technology that opened a wealth of new natural gas resources in the U.S. is producing millions of gallons of dirty water—enough from one typical gas well to cover a football field to a depth of 9-15 feet. Cleaning up that byproduct of "fracking" is the topic of the cover story of the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News. C&EN is the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. http://phys.org/news/2012-10-cleaner-fracking.html#nwlt

Coral reefs and food security: Study shows nations at risk

Coral reefs and food security: Study shows nations at risk
A new study co-authored by the Wildlife Conservation Society identifies countries most vulnerable to declining coral reef fisheries from a food-security perspective while providing a framework to plan for alternative protein sources needed to replace declining fisheries. http://phys.org/news/2012-10-coral-reefs-food-nations.html#nwlt

No, Global Warming Hasn't Stopped

No, Global Warming Hasn't Stopped

Kieran Mulvaney, Discovery News
The headline was catnip to climate change deniers:"Global Warming Stopped 16 Years Ago, Says Met Office Report Quietly Released."It hits all the right notes: Global warming is a myth; and 'they' know it's a myth and are trying to keep it quiet. (The 'they' in this context - the Met Office - is Britain's national weather forecasting service. Met is an abbreviation for Meteorological.)http://news.discovery.com/earth/no-global-warming-hasnt-stopped-121017.html

Energy in the Election: Why It Should Matter To You

Energy in the Election: Why It Should Matter To You

CBS MoneyWatch
The issue:Americans depend on energy for everything from driving their cars to powering factories, homes and offices — and of course our smartphones, laptops and tablets. How that energy is produced and where it comes from affect jobs, the economy and the environment.http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57533183/why-it-matters-energy/

The Sound Of Climate Silence: Romney And Obama Spar Over Who Wants To Drill For More Fossil Fuels During Debate

The Sound Of Climate Silence: Romney And Obama Spar Over Who Wants To Drill For More Fossil Fuels During Debatehttp://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/10/16/1025861/the-sound-of-climate-silence-candidates-spar-on-who-wants-to-drill-for-more-fossil-fuels-during-presidential-debate/?mobile=nc

Why Wasn't Climate Change Debated Last Night?

Why Wasn't Climate Change Debated Last Night?

Chris Mooney, Atlantic
"It was always going to be the case that whenever the visible reality of climate change became so painfully obvious that you couldn't deny it any more, that it was going to flip over to a winning issue. The question was: When was that going to happen?"So said Joseph Romm, the former Clinton energy official and popular blogger behind Climate Progress, at the first Climate Desk Live briefing at the Mott House on Capitol Hill. Romm and his fellow panelists -- strategist Betsy Taylor of Breakthrough Strategies and Solutions and consultant Paul Bledsoe, who worked in the Clinton...http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/10/is-david-axelrod-to-blame-for-climate-changes-absence-from-the-election/263704/

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

UNEP Report Released: Avoiding Future Famines: Strengthening the Ecological Basis of Security through Sustainable Food Systems

UNEP Report Released: Avoiding Future Famines: Strengthening the Ecological Basis of Security through Sustainable Food Systems

This month, the United Nations Environment Programme released a new report titled, Avoiding Future Famines: Strengthening the Ecological Basis of Security through Sustainable Food Systems. The 80-page report which is available here,
addresses an important aspect of the food security discourse: the ecological foundation of food security. The report argues that while factors such as availability, access, utilization and stability must be given adequate attention for global food security to be achieved, an underlying factor – the ecological dimension is not only largely being overlooked but is also being undermined.
The report has two main objectives:
  • To describe the problem. What is the significance of the ecological foundation of food security and how is this foundation being undermined by societal pressures 
  • To proffer some possible solutions. How can we build sustainable food systems?
The report was developed through collaboration among key international organizations including the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Bank, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Resources Institute (WRI).

GAO Report Released: Energy Water Nexus: Coordinated Federal Approach Needed to Better Manage Energy and Water Tradeoffs

GAO Report Released: Energy Water Nexus: Coordinated Federal Approach Needed to Better Manage Energy and Water Tradeoffs

Recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report, titled Energy Water Nexus: Coordinated Federal Approach Needed to Better Manage Energy and Water Tradeoffs GAO-12-880 (Sept. 13, 2012). The 38-page report, available here, discusses how
[w] ater and energy are inextricably linked and mutually dependent, with each affecting the other’s availability. Since 2009, GAO has issued five reports on the interdependencies between energy and water. These reports have shown that a considerable amount of water is used to cool thermoelectric power plants, grow feedstocks and produce biofuels, and extract oil and natural gas. Some of these sources of energy may also negatively affect water quality. In addition, developing oil and gas resources can produce wastewater—known as “produced water”—that must be managed or treated. Conversely, significant amounts of energy are needed to extract, transport, treat, and use water in urban areas.
GAO was asked to identify key energy-water nexus issues that Congress and federal agencies need to consider when developing and implementing national policies for energy and water resources. To conduct this work, GAO systematically reviewed its five reports to identify key nexus issues. GAO also used a content analysis of related literature and interviews with specialists to validate these themes.

Recommendation
GAO is recommending that DOE take the actions necessary to establish a program to address the energy-water nexus, with involvement from other federal agencies, as described in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. DOE agreed with the recommendation and stated that it will work with other federal agencies and experts to implement it. 

Related Energy-Water Nexus Reports:


Information on the Quantity, Quality, and Management of Water Produced during Oil and Gas Production, GAO-12-156 (Jan 9, 2012) 56 p.

Amount of Energy Needed to Supply, Use, and Treat Water Is Location-Specific and Can Be Reduced by Certain Technologies and Approaches, GAO-11-225 (Mar 23, 2011) 35 p.
 
A Better and Coordinated Understanding of Water Resources Could Help Mitigate the Impacts of Potential Oil Shale Development, GAO-11-35 (Oct 29, 2010) 75 p. 
 
Many Uncertainties Remain about National and Regional Effects of Increased Biofuel Production on Water Resources, GAO-10-116 (Nov 30, 2009) 54 p.

Improvements to Federal Water Use Data Would Increase Understanding of Trends in Power Plant Water Use, GAO-10-23 (Oct 16, 2009) 78 p.

Antarctic rift subject of international attention

Antarctic rift subject of international attention
As NASA's Operation IceBridge resumed Antarctic science flights on Oct. 12, 2012, researchers worldwide had their eyes on Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, the site of a large rift measured during last year's campaign. This 18-mile-long crack is the start of a calving event that could potentially create a massive iceberg. The Pine Island Glacier broke large icebergs in 2001 and 2007, but the 2011 IceBridge survey marked the first time a rift has been measured in great detail from the air. IceBridge will be based out of Punta Arenas, Chile, in October and November. http://phys.org/news/2012-10-antarctic-rift-subject-international-attention.html#nwlt

Fracking's Dark Side Gets Darker: The Problem of Methane Waste

Posted: 16 Oct 2012 05:21 AM PDT
Fracking for oil in North Dakota is so lucrative that when natural gas bubbles up alongside the oil, most oil companies simply view it as waste. It's cheaper, in the short term, to burn the gas than it is to build the infrastructure to pipe and sell it--so they burn it. Across the North Dakota prairie, natural gas flares light up the night sky like huge torches.

Extreme Weather: A Mixed Bag For Dead Zones


Illegal Scheme Exemplifies Threat of Geoengineering


Illegal Scheme Exemplifies Threat of Geoengineering

Violates UN Resolutions, Could Worsen Global Warming

- Common Dreams staff
A California businessman duped an indigenous village into spending $1 million on a geoengineering project that was "a blatant violation of international resolutions"—and that scientists say could exacerbate global warming and ocean acidification.https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/10/15-0

Rising sea levels threaten US coastline

Rising sea levels threaten US coastline
East coast's sea level is rising five times faster than global average, putting millions at risk of severe flooding.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2012/10/2012101531618962655.html

Editor's NOte

Dear Readers
I am on business travel today and in meetings. Will resume posting this evening.
Best regards
Michele Kearney

Monday, October 15, 2012

Study: Climate negotiations relying on 'dangerous' thresholds to avoid catastrophe will not succeed

Study: Climate negotiations relying on 'dangerous' thresholds to avoid catastrophe will not succeed
The identified critical threshold for dangerous climate change saying that the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius seems not to have helped the climate negotiations so far. New research from the University of Gothenburg and Columbia University shows that negotiations based on such a threshold fail because its value is determined by Nature and is inherently uncertain. Climate negotiators should therefore focus on other collective strategies. http://phys.org/news/2012-10-climate-dangerous-thresholds-catastrophe.html#nwlt

Study: Tropical cyclones are occurring more frequently than before

Study: Tropical cyclones are occurring more frequently than before
Are there more tropical cyclones now than in the past? – or is it just something we believe because we now hear more about them through media coverage and are better able detect them with satellites? New research from the Niels Bohr Institute clearly shows that there is an increasing tendency for cyclones when the climate is warmer, as it has been in recent years. The results are published in the scientific journal PNAS. http://phys.org/news/2012-10-tropical-cyclones-frequently.html#nwlt

Recent droughts could be new normal, may lead to massive tree death, study suggests

Recent droughts could be new normal, may lead to massive tree death, study suggests
Evidence uncovered by a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, geography professor suggests recent droughts could be the new normal. This is especially bad news for our nation's forests. http://phys.org/news/2012-10-droughts-massive-tree-death.html#nwlt

EPA Faces Decision on Corn Ethanol Waiver

EPA Faces Decision on Corn Ethanol Waiver

Jason Mick, Daily Tech
There's a growing debate about what is put inside your fuel pump. At the heart of the debate is a two-carbon alcohol -- ethanol. This little fuel is creating a huge debate, which has divided the farming industry and raised perennial questions regarding the cancerous influence of special interest on the U.S. federal government.http://www.dailytech.com/Obamas+EPA+Faces+Decision+Between+Corn+Ethanol+Profits+and+Farm+Jobs/article27923.htm
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