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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis


Climate and Social Stress:

Implications for Security Analysis


Authors:
John D. Steinbruner, Paul C. Stern, and Jo L. Husbands, Editors; Committee on Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Social and Political Stresses; Board on Environmental Change and Society; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; National Research Council
Authoring Organizations
Description:
Climate change can reasonably be expected to increase the frequency and intensity of a variety of potentially disruptive environmental events-slowly at first, but then more quickly. It is prudent to expect to be surprised by the way in which these ...
Read Morehttp://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=14682

5 Charts About Climate Change That Should Have You Very, Very Worried

5 Charts About Climate Change That Should Have You Very, Very Worried

Two new reports highlight the alarming consequences of staying our current course.http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/11/5-charts-about-climate-change-that-should-have-you-very-very-worried/265554/

ENENews.com - Energy News 11/24

ENENews.com - Energy News



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Friday, November 23, 2012

Ocean currents play a role in predicting extent of Arctic sea ice

Ocean currents play a role in predicting extent of Arctic sea ice

Boston MA (SPX) Nov 23, 2012
Each winter, wide swaths of the Arctic Ocean freeze to form sheets of sea ice that spread over millions of square miles. This ice acts as a massive sun visor for the Earth, reflecting solar radiation and shielding the planet from excessive warming. The Arctic ice cover reaches its peak each year in mid-March, before shrinking with warmer spring temperatures. But over the last three decadeshttp://www.terradaily.com/reports/Ocean_currents_play_a_role_in_predicting_extent_of_Arctic_sea_ice_999.html

Climate Change Challenges Transportation System In The U.S.

Climate Change Challenges Transportation System In The U.S. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/22/climate-change-transportation_n_2174703.html?utm_hp_ref=daily-brief?utm_source=DailyBrief&utm_campaign=112312&utm_medium=email&utm_content=NewsEntry&utm_term=Daily%20Brief

ENENews.com - Energy News 11/23


ENENews.com - Energy News



Posted: 22 Nov 2012 10:18 AM PST
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Climate Change Causes Insurers to Rethink Price of Risk After Hurricane Sandy

 
REPORT    AIR DATE: Nov. 21, 2012

Climate Change Causes Insurers to Rethink Price of Risk After Hurricane Sandy

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/july-dec12/makingsense_11-21.html 

Methane Is Popping Up All Over Boston By JOANNA M. FOSTER


Methane Is Popping Up All Over Boston

Green - Energy, the Environment and the Bottom Line

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Editor's Note

Dear Readers
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.
I am joining the crush of cars that will hit the interstates today to make it
to a family gathering tomorrow. And sometime here and there I will have a
chance to catch up on some of the news - hopefully there won't be too much
(fat chance of that). At least I'm glad that I don't have to travel through LAX
today. Best regards to all.
Michele Kearney

World Bank Report Released: Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided

World Bank Report Released: Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided

This week, the World Bank, a partnership established in 1944, that provides "financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world" released a report titled, Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided. According to the press release, the 106-page report available here,
says that the 4°C scenarios are potentially devastating: the inundation of coastal cities; increasing risks for food production potentially leading to higher under and malnutrition rates; many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter; unprecedented heat waves in many regions, especially in the tropics; substantially exacerbated water scarcity in many regions; increased intensity of tropical cyclones; and irreversible loss of biodiversity, including coral reef systems.
. . .
The report notes, however, that a 4°C world is not inevitable and that with sustained policy action warming can still be held below 2°C, which is the goal adopted by the international community and one that already brings some serious damages and risks to the environment and human populations.

4-degrees briefing for the World Bank: The risks of a future without climate policy

4-degrees briefing for the World Bank: The risks of a future without climate policy

Berlin, Germany (SPX) Nov 20, 2012
Humankind's emissions of greenhouse gases are breaking new records every year. Hence we're on a path towards 4-degree global warming probably as soon as by the end of this century. This would mean a world of risks beyond the experience of our civilization - including heat waves, especially in the tropics, a sea-level rise affecting hundreds of millions of people, and regional yield failures impahttp://www.terradaily.com/reports/4_degrees_briefing_for_the_World_Bank_The_risks_of_a_future_without_climate_policy_999.html

Climate Change: The Standard Fixes Don’t Work

Climate Change: The Standard Fixes Don’t Work

World leaders seem to have their minds made up regarding what will fix world CO2 emissions problems. Their list includes taxes on gasoline consumption, more general carbon taxes, cap and trade programs, increased efficiency in automobiles, greater focus on renewables, and more natural gas usage.Unfortunately, we live in a world economy with constrained oil supply. Because of this, the chosen approaches have a tendency to backfire if some countries fail to adopt them. But even if everyone adopted them, it is not at all clear that they would provide the promised benefits.http://theenergycollective.com/gail-tverberg/146471/climate-change-standard-fixes-don-t-work?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=The+Energy+Collective+%28all+posts%29

Why President Obama Is Wrong To Separate The Economy And Climate

Why President Obama Is Wrong To Separate The Economy And Climate

Climate Reports Forecast Dire Future, Even If Action Is Taken



Climate Reports Forecast Dire Future, Even If Action Is Takenhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/21/climate-reports-climate-change_n_2170101.html?utm_hp_ref=daily-brief?utm_source=DailyBrief&utm_campaign=112112&utm_medium=email&utm_content=NewsEntry&utm_term=Daily%20Brief

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If the world were serious about addressing Climate Change

If the world were serious about addressing Climate Change

A new World Bank-commissioned report warns the world is on track to a “4°C world” marked by extreme heat-waves and life-threatening sea level rise.

The report is over 70 pages long.

The global community has committed itself to holding warming below 2°C to prevent “dangerous” climate change, the sum total of current policies—in place and pledged—will very likely lead to warming far in excess of this level. Indeed, present emission trends put the world plausibly on a path toward 4°C warming within this century.

Levels greater than 4°C warming could be possible within this century should climate sensitivity be higher, or the carbon cycle and other climate system feedbacks more positive, than anticipated. Current scientific evidence suggests that even with the current commitments and pledges fully implemented, there is roughly a 20 percent likelihood of exceeding 4°C by 2100, and a 10 percent chance of 4°C being exceeded as early as the 2070s.

Warming would not stop there. Because of the slow response of the climate system, the greenhouse gas emissions and concentrations that would lead to warming of 4°C by 2100 would actually commit the world to much higher warming, exceeding 6°C or more, in the long term, with several meters of sea-level rise ultimately associated with this warming.
http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/11/if-world-were-serious-about-addressing.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2Fadvancednano+%28nextbigfuture%29

The Next Oil Revolution

The Next Oil Revolution

Peter Glover, Energy Tribune
Far from running out of oil, new studies confirm the world is headed for the next oil revolution with growing US production playing an nascent role. And, as with the unconventional shale gas revolution, nearly all new unconventional oil development is taking place despite pre-election White House energy polices through development on private, rather than on federal, landshttp://www.energytribune.com/65437/the-next-oil-revolution

Warming to shift heavy rainfall patterns in the UK

Warming to shift heavy rainfall patterns in the UK

It appears that it’s not just us Brits who are fascinated with the UK weather. A group of researchers from Germany has taken to investigating the potential changes in extreme rainfall patterns across the UK as a result of future global warming and has found that in some regions, the time of year when we see the heaviest rainfall is set to shift.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121120193343.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_environment+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+News+--+Top+Environment%29

Report Warns World is Off Track on Warming

Report Warns World is Off Track on Warming

A string of recent reports paint a clear picture that the world is not on track to fulfill leaders’ stated goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 F) above pre-industrial levels, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/reports-warn-world-leaders-climate-change-0352.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20ucsusa%2Frss%20%28Union%20of%20Concerned%20Scientists%29

4 Degree Climate Shift Envisioned by World Bank

4 Degree Climate Shift Envisioned by World Bank
http://www.darkgovernment.com/news/4-degree-climate-shift-envisioned-by-world-bank/


Many governments have set a goal for limiting climate change: two degrees by the
end of the century, and no more. However, most projections show we're lagging
badly. Unless we accelerate a transition to renewables and nuclear, we're going
to shoot right past that 2°C limit. But even as the hand-wringing about missed
targets and [...]

Unconventional Resources Maps

Unconventional Resources Maps
 
Bakken shale infrastructure map
 
 
Looking for unconventional resource maps? Look no further than the UR Center
 
on OGFJ.com. There you'll find location, facilities, and infrastructure maps of oil and gas plays throughout North America. Get the information you need to make informed business decisions about the Eagle Ford,
 
Barnett,
 
Haynesville,
 
Marcellus,
 
Bakken,
 
Woodford
 
, and more. http://www.ogfj.com/unconventional.html

Canada oil sands continue to gain global attention

Canada oil sands continue to gain global attentionhttp://www.ogfj.com/articles/2012/11/canada-oil-sands-continue-to-gain-global-attention.html?cmpid=EnlOGFJNovember202012.html

Can the World Meet its Climate Change Goals? Unlikely, According to IEA Report

Can the World Meet its Climate Change Goals? Unlikely, According to IEA Report

http://www.yourenergyblog.com/can-the-world-meet-its-climate-change-goals-unlikely-according-to-iea-report?pk_campaign=Sarah-Jess%20Blog-Climate%20Change&goback=.gde_3004905_member_187916754 

ENENews.com - Energy News 11/21

ENENews.com - Energy News



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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Are 1200 New Coal Power Plants on the Way?

Are 1200 New Coal Power Plants on the Way?


What would 1200 new coal-fired power plants around the world look like? For starters, it would look a lot like 4°C of warming.http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/fossil-fuels/are-1200-new-coal-power-plants-on-the-way?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IeeeSpectrumEnergywiseBlog+%28Energywise+-+IEEE+Spectrum%29

Could a Carbon Price Help Us Avoid 4°C Rise in Global Temperatures?

Could a Carbon Price Help Us Avoid 4°C Rise in Global Temperatures?

A new report from the World Bank which looks at the unsettling prospects of a 2°C world and then the somewhat alarming implications of letting the climate issue slide and all of us wandering, eyes wide open, into a 4°C world. Would a carbon price within the world energy system help us avoid this issue?http://theenergycollective.com/davidhone/145761/simple-choice-4-c-or-carbon-price?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=The+Energy+Collective+%28all+posts%29

Will the World Build 1,200 New Coal Plants?

Will the World Build 1,200 New Coal Plants?

Brad Plumer, Wash Post
Climate scientists have sometimes warned that it could prove impossible to avoid high levels of global warming unless the world stops building new coal-fired plants. But that’s not a simple proposition. Across the globe, there are at least 1,199 coal plants now on the drawing board, according to a new report from the World Resources Institute.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/11/20/1200-coal-are-plants-being-planned-worldwide-what-happens-if-they-all-get-built/

California's Shale Formation is Four Times as Large as the Bakken

California's Shale Formation is Four Times as Large as the Bakken

Perhaps one of the more overlooked aspects of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) recent World Energy Outlook 2012 and its detailed analysis of the US hydrocarbon potential, is the dilemma facing California.California has committed to renewable energy, and aims to get a third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020; and it is this ‘green’ stance which could now threaten the development of a giant shale oil field.According to the IEA report the Monterrey Formation in Southern California has 15.4 billion barrels of…Read more...http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Californias-Shale-Formation-is-Four-Times-as-Large-as-the-Bakken.html

Why the U.S. Can't Stop Climate Change Alone (In 2 Graphs)

Why the U.S. Can't Stop Climate Change Alone (In 2 Graphs)

President Obama's election night reference to global warming kindled a bit of hope among liberals that his administration might make a concerted effort to tackle this issue in its second term. And unless we all plan on getting used to an annual superstorm season, we should hope so.
But here's a reminder, courtesy of a recent World Resources Institute report on coal consumption, that whatever the U.S. does to tackle climate change, our efforts will be for naught unless they're part of a global effort. Coal fired power plants are the top contributor to worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. And the future of coal will not be decided, by and large, in the United States, which currently consumed about 13 percent of the worldwide total in 2010. Instead, it's in the hands of China, which burned up 46 percent of it. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/11/why-the-us-cant-stop-climate-change-alone-in-2-graphs/265490/
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Greenhouses gases at new high as UN climate talks resume

Greenhouses gases at new high as UN climate talks resume

The concentration of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere climbed to a record high in 2011, according to the latest analysis of observations from the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Global Atmosphere Watch programme.
The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) — the single most important greenhouse gas — reached 390.9 parts per million (p.p.m.) in 2011 and is now 40% above the pre-industrial level of 280 p.p.m., the WMO reports today in its Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. Methane (1,813 parts per billion) and nitrous oxide (324 parts per billion) — both potent greenhouse gases — also reached new highs last year.
From 1990 to 2011, radiative forcing by long-lived greenhouse gases has increased by almost one-third, with CO2 alone accounting for about 80% of this increase. Since the start of the industrial era in 1750, about 1,377 billion tonnes of CO2 have been released into the atmosphere, according to the report.
About one half of that amount may have been absorbed by the ocean and by soils and plants on land. The other half lingers in the atmosphere, causing temperatures near the surface to warm.http://blogs.nature.com/news/2012/11/greenhouses-gases-at-new-high-as-un-climate-talks-resume.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+news%2Frss%2Fnewsblog+%28News+Blog+-+Blog+Posts%29

Tropical Indo-Pacific climate shifts to a more El Nino-like state

Tropical Indo-Pacific climate shifts to a more El Nino-like state

Manoa HI (SPX) Nov 15, 2012
The Walker circulation determines much of the tropical Indo-Pacific climate and has a global impact as seen in the floods and droughts spawned by the El Nino-Southern Oscillation. Meteorological observations over the last 60 years show this atmospheric circulation has slowed: the trade winds have weakened and rainfall has shifted eastward toward the central Pacific.http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Tropical_Indo_Pacific_climate_shifts_to_a_more_El_Nino_like_state_999.html

New dating of sea-level records reveals rapid response between ice volume and polar temperature

New dating of sea-level records reveals rapid response between ice volume and polar temperature

Southampton UK (SPX) Nov 20, 2012
A new study has revealed a rapid response between global temperature and ice volume/sea-level, which could lead to sea-levels rising by over one metre. During the last few million years, global ice-volume variability has been one of the main feedback mechanisms in climate change, because of the strong reflective properties of large ice sheets. Ice volume changes in ancient times can be reconstruhttp://www.terradaily.com/reports/New_dating_of_sea_level_records_reveals_rapid_response_between_ice_volume_and_polar_temperature_999.html

Earth on Acid: The Present and Future of Global Acidification

Earth on Acid: The Present and Future of Global Acidification

Boulder CO (SPX) Nov 20, 2012
Climate change and extreme weather events grab the headlines, but there is another, lesser known, global change underway on land, in the seas, and in the air: acidification. It turns out that combustion of fossil fuels, smelting of ores, mining of coal and metal ores, and application of nitrogen fertilizer to soils are all driving down the pH of the air, water, and the soil at rates far fasterhttp://www.terradaily.com/reports/Earth_on_Acid_The_Present_and_Future_of_Global_Acidification_999.html
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IAEA Workshop Warns Ocean Acidification Threatens Seafood Supply

IAEA Workshop Warns Ocean Acidification Threatens Seafood Supply

Blue-lined sea bream
Coral reefs are expected to deteriorate from acidity with significant implications for marine life. The blue-lined sea bream, or Symphorichthys Spilurus, pictured here inhabits lagoons and outer reefs in the Western Pacific. The photo was taken at the aquariums of the Musée océanographique de Monaco. (Photo: J. Teyssie, IAEA Environment Laboratories)
Better protection of shoreline natural systems, such as mangrove swamps and sea grass meadows, will help reduce the impact of increasing ocean acidification on fisheries and aquaculture, an IAEA co-hosted Workshop has recommended to policy makers.
The recommendation is among the conclusions of Bridging the Gap Between Ocean Acidification Impacts and Economic Valuation, held from 11 to 13 November in Monaco by the IAEA and the Scientific Centre of Monaco.
Currently, oceans absorb 25 percent of the atmospheric carbon dioxide emitted each year. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing due to human activities. Acidification occurs when the rising quantities of CO2 absorbed by the oceans, dissolve to form carbonic acid. In turn, ocean waters become more acidic. That increasingly acidic environment can threaten marine ecosystems.
Marine plants take up atmospheric emissions of carbon and store it - a process known as blue carbon - enhancing water conditions for other sea life.
Marine fisheries face many forms of stress. Ocean acidification is likely to affect them both directly and indirectly. The Workshop found that currently not enough research has been done to determine the effects of the anticipated levels of ocean acidity on finfish. However, many edible shellfish may suffer under future ocean conditions. Ocean acidity's indirect effects on the food consumed by all types of marine life and their habitats, and thus on the potential marine food harvest, may be of greater concern to local fisher communities.
Currently, seafood provides three billion people with 20 percent of their animal protein intake. Ocean acidity must be taken into account in fisheries management, in particular in regions where seafood is a main dietary source, the Workshop said. Changes to the world's marine fisheries will have global impacts on communities that support fishing, seafood-related employment, commerce and trade. Coral reefs are also expected to deteriorate from acidity with significant implications for marine life.
The 55 scientists and economists representing 19 States who attended the Workshop pointed out the need for further research, greater public awareness, and the issue's inclusion in international deliberations, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Workshop was called to provide recommendations for policy makers, who need to prepare for the social and economic impacts of ocean acidification.
Regional differences in the vulnerability of fisheries to acidification and other factors worsening the effects of acidification, such as global warming, the destruction of habitat, overfishing, and pollution must be addressed, the Workshop said.
Other sponsors of the Workshop included the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco; the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation; the Monaco Ministry of State; the Monegasque Society of Water; the Monaco Tourism Office; the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, and Energy; the International Union for the Conservation of Nature; the State Department of the United States of America; and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy.
The conclusions and recommendations from the Workshop were presented to an invited audience, including Prince Albert II of Monaco on Tuesday, 13 November 2012. A set of recommendations for policy-makers will also be issued.
The IAEA Environment Laboratories in Monaco also hosts the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre, which began its work in the summer of 2012.
-- By Peter Rickwood, IAEA Division of Public Information

(Note to Media: We encourage you to republish these stories and kindly request attribution to the IAEA)

Princeton geoscientists report Greenland ice sheet melting rate is increasing

Princeton geoscientists report Greenland ice sheet melting rate is increasing
(Phys.org)—Princeton geoscientists Christopher Harig and Frederik Simons have been applying new methods to study the amount of ice melt in the Greenland ice sheet. They report in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the rate is approximately 200 billion tons annually and is rising at a rate of approximately 9 billion tons per year. http://phys.org/news/2012-11-princeton-geoscientists-greenland-ice-sheet.html#nwlt

What goes down must come back up

What goes down must come back up
(Phys.org)—For most of the past two decades, the NASA and European Topex/Poseidon, Jason-1 and Jason-2 satellites have tracked the gradual rise of the world's ocean in response to global warming. In August 2011, scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and the University of Colorado in Boulder reported that global sea level rise had hit a speed bump. http://phys.org/news/2012-11-what-goes-down-must-up.html#nwlt

Maple syrup, moose, and the local impacts of climate change

Maple syrup, moose, and the local impacts of climate change
In the northern hardwood forest, climate change is poised to reduce the viability of the maple syrup industry, spread wildlife diseases and tree pests, and change timber resources. And, according to a new BioScience paper just released by twenty-one scientists, without long-term studies at the local scale—we will be ill-prepared to predict and manage these effects. http://phys.org/news/2012-11-maple-syrup-moose-local-impacts.html#nwlt

Learning lessons from BP oil spill

Learning lessons from BP oil spill
In an attempt to limit the harm of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, three million liters of dispersant were used to dissipate the oil. "The question is whether that was the best approach," said Tinka Murk, Professor of Environmental Toxicology at Wageningen University. On the surface the damage seems limited, but the seabed is covered with a thick layer of gunk. http://phys.org/news/2012-11-lessons-bp-oil.html#nwlt

After Sandy, testing the waters

After Sandy, testing the waters
During Hurricane Sandy the seas rose a record 14-feet in lower Manhattan. Water flooded city streets, subways, tunnels and even sewage treatment plants. It is unclear how much sewage may have been released as plants lost power or were forced to divert untreated wastewater into the Hudson River. Four days after Sandy, the environmental group Riverkeeper attempted to measure the storm's effect on water quality. If the river had been widely contaminated, by then, any evidence had washed out to sea. A week later, Sandy was followed by a more typical nor'easter. http://phys.org/news/2012-11-sandy.html#nwlt

ENENews.com - Energy News 11/20

ENENews.com - Energy News



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