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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sally Jewell Confirmation Hearing: Balancing Conservation and Energy

Posted: 09 Mar 2013 06:00 AM PST
Sally Jewell told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee during her confirmation hearing that balance is a critical component of managing our nation’s public lands and waters.http://theenergycollective.com/josephromm/196401/sally-jewell-conservation-and-energy?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The+Energy+Collective+%28all+posts%29

Nature's Prophet: Bill McKibben as Journalist, Public Intellectual, and Activist

Nature's Prophet: Bill McKibben as Journalist, Public Intellectual, and Activist

http://theenergycollective.com/matthewnisbet/196506/natures-profit-bill-mckibben-journalist-public-intellectual-and-activist?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The+Energy+Collective+%28all+posts%29

We're Screwed: 11,000 Years' Worth of Climate Data Prove It


We're Screwed: 11,000 Years' Worth of Climate Data Prove It

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/03/were-screwed-11-000-years-worth-of-climate-data-prove-it/273870/

Friday, March 8, 2013

Whole Foods: Products will carry GMO labeling


Whole Foods: Products will carry GMO labeling

http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/21555771/whole-foods-products-will-carry-gmo-labeling#axzz2My9NMEyj

EPA Accused Of Blocking Scientific Advancement of Corexit In BP Cleanup

EPA Accused Of Blocking Scientific Advancement of Corexit In BP Cleanup

Oil Spill Eater International (OSEI), through the Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Conference group, issued a press release this week saying that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) effectively blocked or otherwise delayed scientific advancement in the cleanup of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster by refusing to acknowledge the toxicity of the oil dispersant Corexit.
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read more

In the News: Long-term Global Climate Change Study

In the News: Long-term Global Climate Change Study

Today, researchers released a study of long-term global climate temperatures for the last 11,300 years.  According to the article abstract,
Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time. Here we provide a broader perspective by reconstructing regional and global temperature anomalies for the past 11,300 years from 73 globally distributed records. Early Holocene (10,000 to 5000 years ago) warmth is followed by ~0.7°C cooling through the middle to late Holocene (<5000 years ago), culminating in the coolest temperatures of the Holocene during the Little Ice Age, about 200 years ago. This cooling is largely associated with ~2°C change in the North Atlantic. Current global temperatures of the past decade have not yet exceeded peak interglacial values but are warmer than during ~75% of the Holocene temperature history. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model projections for 2100 exceed the full distribution of Holocene temperature under all plausible greenhouse gas emission scenarios.

References

Shaun A. Marcott, Jeremy D. Shakun, Peter U. Clark, & Alan C. Mix, A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years, Science 8 March 2013: 1198-1201.[DOI:10.1126/science.1228026] 
 

Earth Hurtling Towards Temperatures Not Seen in 11,000 Years

Earth Hurtling Towards Temperatures Not Seen in 11,000 Years
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/03/08-0

Melting Ice Brings Arctic Military Stakeholders to Copenhagen to Discuss Immediate Action

Melting Ice Brings Arctic Military Stakeholders to Copenhagen to Discuss Immediate Action

LONDON, March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Stakeholders from Denmark, Norway, the United States, Canada, Finland, Iceland and the European Union are set to meet in Copenhagen this May for Defence IQ's Arctic Patrol & Reconnaissance event http://www.arcticpatrolandrecon.com.
Continued ice-melt in the Arctic holds the potential to revolutionise commercial activity and business, as additional shipping routes emerge in the region. Whilst significant activity increase may be decades down the line, the Arctic nations are acting now in order to ensure their long-term regional security.
http://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=6442055&access=EH

Thursday, March 7, 2013

It's Time to Rethink America's Corn System

It's Time to Rethink America's Corn System

Jonathan Foley, Ensia
Nothing dominates the American landscape like corn.Sprawling across the Midwest and Great Plains, the American Corn Belt is a massive thing. You can drive from central Pennsylvania all the way to western Nebraska, a trip of nearly 1,500 miles, and witness it in all its glory.&nbsp; No other American crop can match the sheer size of corn.So why do we, as a nation, grow so much corn?http://ensia.com/voices/its-time-to-rethink-americas-corn-system/?viewAll=1

Glaciers Will Melt Faster Than Ever and Loss Could Be Irreversible Warn Scientists

Canada's Arctic Archipelago glaciers will melt faster than ever in the next few centuries. Scientists have shown that 20 percent of the Canadian Arctic glaciers may have disappeared by the end of this century which would amount to an additional sea level rise of 3.5 centimeters.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307145453.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

Reconstruction of Earth climate history shows significance of recent temperature rise

Reconstruction of Earth climate history shows significance of recent temperature rise

Using data from 73 sites around the world, scientists have been able to reconstruct Earth's temperature history back to the end of the last Ice Age, revealing that the planet today is warmer than it has been during 70 to 80 percent of the time over the last 11,300 years.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307145303.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Salamatu's Story: One Woman's Journey to Becoming a CWS Water Entrepreneur

 

Salamatu's Story: One Woman's Journey to Becoming a CWS Water Entrepreneur

Indiegogo Campaign Video for Community Water Solutions.
Support our Campaign here: igg.me/at/CWS
Production: philwallproductions.com
Video for CWS: Phil Wall
Editing: Michael Hagan
Music: Peter Seibert
Ghana Photography/Video: Lucy Parker Randall (smittenandhooked.com)
Additional Ghana Photos: Catherine Betances and Mira Thompson
http://vimeo.com/61223196

Interview: Probing Impact of Warming on World's Food Supply

Interview: Probing Impact of Warming on World's Food Supply

It has long been thought that climate change could enhance crop growth through the fertilizing effects of carbon dioxide.
Stephen Long
University of Illinois
Stephen Long
But recent research conducted by Stephen Long, a professor of crop sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, indicates that any gains from CO2 fertilization will be offset by damage to plants from higher temperatures, increases in atmospheric ozone, and the greater efficiency of crop pests in a CO2-enriched world. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Long, who recently received a $25 million research grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, talks about the impacts of climate change on some of the world’s key crops, the challenge of boosting crop yields to meet the demands of a burgeoning human population, and how tinkering with the genes involved in photosynthesis may provide the solution scientists are seeking.
Read the interviewhttp://e360.yale.edu/feature/probing_impact_of_warming_on_the_worlds_food_supply/2616/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+YaleEnvironment360+%28Yale+Environment+360%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Energy Department to remove radioactive waste from Hanford

Energy Department to remove radioactive waste from Hanford

The U.S. Department of Energy said it plans to remove up to 3.1 million gallons of radioactive waste from aging underground tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State and truck it to Carlsbad, New Mexico, for disposal.http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202591289252&rss=rss_nlj&slreturn=20130207152054

Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations Show Second-Largest Annual Increase

Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations Show Second-Largest Annual Increase

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased by 2.67 parts per million in 2012, marking the second-biggest jump since levels were first recorded in 1959 and decreasing the chances that the planet will
Coal Burning Power Plant
Wikimedia Commons
avoid a dangerous temperature increase of 3.6 degrees F (2 C) or higher, U.S. scientists say. The new data, collected in Mauna Loa, Hawaii, suggests that levels of heat-trapping CO2 are now just under 395 parts per million (ppm) and could hit 400 ppm within two years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The one-year increase was second only to 1998, when CO2 concentrations jumped by 2.84 parts per million; pre-industrial atmospheric concentrations of CO2 were 280 ppm. Pieter Tans, a senior scientist at NOAA's Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory, attributed the latest spike to an increase in fossil fuel burning globally, particularly in China. “It’s just a testament to human influence being dominant,” he told the Associated Press.http://e360.yale.edu/digest/atmospheric_co2_concentration_shows_second-largest_annual_increase/3783/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+YaleEnvironment360+%28Yale+Environment+360%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

16 Irrefutable Signs That Climate Change Is Real

16 Irrefutable Signs That Climate Change Is Real


http://www.businessinsider.com/16-irrefutable-signs-that-climate-change-is-real-2012-11

A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years

A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years

  1. Alan C. Mix1
+ Author Affiliations
  1. 1College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.
  2. 2Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
  1. *To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: marcotts@science.oregonstate.edu
Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time. Here we provide a broader perspective by reconstructing regional and global temperature anomalies for the past 11,300 years from 73 globally distributed records. Early Holocene (10,000 to 5000 years ago) warmth is followed by ~0.7°C cooling through the middle to late Holocene (<5000 years ago), culminating in the coolest temperatures of the Holocene during the Little Ice Age, about 200 years ago. This cooling is largely associated with ~2°C change in the North Atlantic. Current global temperatures of the past decade have not yet exceeded peak interglacial values but are warmer than during ~75% of the Holocene temperature history. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model projections for 2100 exceed the full distribution of Holocene temperature under all plausible greenhouse gas emission scenarios.

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198

Sea floor earthquake zones can act like a 'magnifying lens' strengthening tsunamis beyond what was through possible

Sea floor earthquake zones can act like a 'magnifying lens' strengthening tsunamis beyond what was through possible

Until now, it was largely believed that the maximum tsunami height onshore could not exceed the depth of the seafloor. But new research shows that when focusing occurs, that scaling relationship breaks down and flooding can be up to 50 percent deeper with waves that do not lose height as they get closer to shore.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307124800.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
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Governments Hand Down A Death Sentence For Polar Bears

Governments Hand Down A Death Sentence For Polar Bears

Polar BearA major meeting of governments on threats to endangered species on Thursday rejected a ban on international trade in polar bears amid fears it would distract from the bigger threat of global warming.http://www.businessinsider.com/international-ban-on-polar-bear-trade-rejected-2013-3?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+businessinsider+%28Business+Insider%29
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What should the United States and other governments do to mitigate or address the health consequences of climate change?

What should the United States and other governments do to mitigate or address the health consequences of climate change?

Climate change has both direct and indirect health consequences. Direct consequences include those resulting from high temperatures and severe weather events; while indirect ones arise from changing air and water quality and ecological shifts that favor tropical diseases and parasites.http://www.cfr.org/climate-change/should-united-states-other-governments-do-mitigate-address-health-consequences-climate-change/p30165?cid=rss-fullfeed-what_should_the_united_states_-030713&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+cfr_main+%28CFR.org+-+Main+Site+Feed%29

TEPCO considers dumping water from Fukushima nuclear plant into ocean

TEPCO considers dumping water from Fukushima nuclear plant into ocean

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has started to consider dumping massive amounts of water from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean after treating the radiation-tainted water.

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20130306p2a00m0na019000c.html

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

As Carbon Dioxide Levels Continue To Rise, Global Temperatures Are Not Following Suit

As Carbon Dioxide Levels Continue To Rise, Global Temperatures Are Not Following Suit

BP Prevails in Deepwater Horizon Insurance Dispute

BP Prevails in Deepwater Horizon Insurance Dispute

While the legal profession clearly is not recession-proof, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation has kept lawyers busy. Lawyers are arguing civil liability, criminal liability, continuances, deposition appearances. The list just keeps going. Last week, at least one of the many questions in the BP litigation was resolved.http://blogs.findlaw.com/fifth_circuit/2013/03/bp-prevails-in-deepwater-horizon-insurance-dispute.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FindLawWrit+%28FindLaw+News+for+Legal+Professionals%29

U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production in Federal and Non-Federal Areas

The Congressional Research Service (CRS), the public policy research arm of Congress, recently issued the report U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production in Federal and Non-Federal Areas (Feb. 28, 2013). The 13-page report authored by Marc Humphries discusses the following:

Summary

In 2012, oil prices ranged from $80 to $110 per barrel (West Texas Intermediate spot price) and remain high in early 2013. Congress is faced with proposals designed to increase domestic energy supply, enhance security, and/or amend the requirements of environmental statutes. A key question in this discussion is how much oil and gas is produced each year and how much of that comes from federal and non-federal areas. On non-federal lands, there were modest fluctuations in oil production from fiscal years (FY) 2008-2010, then a significant increase from FY2010 to FY2012 increasing total U.S. oil production by about 1.1 million barrels per day over FY2007 production levels. All of the increase from FY2007 to FY2012 took place on non-federal lands, and the federal share of total U.S. crude oil production fell by about seven percentage points.
Natural gas prices, on the other hand, have remained low for the past several years, allowing gas to become much more competitive with coal for power generation. The shale gas boom has resulted in rising supplies of natural gas. Overall, U.S. natural gas production rose by four trillion cubic feet (tcf) or 20% since 2007, while production on federal lands (onshore and offshore) fell by about 33% and production on non-federal lands grew by 40%. The big shale gas plays are primarily on non-federal lands and are attracting a significant portion of investment for natural gas development.
The number of producing acres may or may not be a function of how many acres are leased, and the amount of acres leased may or may not correlate to the amount of production, but in recent years, some members of Congress have proposed a $4/acre lease fee for non-producing leases. This proposal grew out of the efforts to open more public land and water (offshore) for oil and gas drilling and development when gasoline prices spiked in 2006-2008. Some in Congress noted that there were many leases they believed were not being developed in a timely fashion, while at the same time, others in Congress were pushing for greater access to areas off-limits (such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and areas under a leasing moratoria offshore). Higher rents for offshore leases were imposed by the Secretary of the Interior in 2009 to discourage holding unused leases and to move more leases into production if possible.
Another major issue that the 113th Congress may seek to address is streamlining the processing of applications for permits to drill (APDs). Some members contend that this would be one way to help boost energy production on federal lands. After a lease has been obtained, either competitively or non-competitively, an application for a permit to drill (APD) must be approved for each oil and gas well. Despite the new timeline for review (under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, P.L. 109-58), it took an average of 307 days for all parties to process (approve or deny) an APD in 2011, up from an average of 218 days in 2006. The difference, however, is that in 2006 it took the BLM an average of 127 days to process an APD, while in 2011 it took BLM 71 days. In 2006, the industry took an average of 91 days to complete an APD, but in 2011, industry took 236 days. The BLM stated in its FY2012 and FY2013 budget justifications that overall processing  times per APD have increased because of the complexity of the process.

Climate Change as History's Deal-Breaker

Climate Change as History's Deal-Breaker

Climate change, global warming, extreme weather -- call it what you will -- is the obvious deal-breaker in human, if not planetary, history.http://www.fpif.org/articles/climate_change_as_historys_deal-breaker?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FPIF+%28Foreign+Policy+In+Focus+%28All+News%29%29

Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations Show Second-Largest Annual Increase

Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations Show Second-Largest Annual Increase

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased by 2.67 parts per million in 2012, marking the second-biggest jump since levels were first recorded in 1959 and decreasing the chances that the planet will
Coal Burning Power Plant
Wikimedia Commons
avoid a dangerous temperature increase of 3.6 degrees F (2 C) or higher, U.S. scientists say. http://e360.yale.edu/digest/atmospheric_co2_concentrations_show_second-largest_annual_increase/3783/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+YaleEnvironment360+%28Yale+Environment+360%29
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