tagged w/ Greenhouse Gases
On 7th December it will start, in Copenhagen, the Un summit on climate change. Now, Denmark has submitted a draft that could become the basis for a political agreement: 50% reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. But there's no midterm plan and 2050 is far away.
http://www.inaltreparole.net/en/world/copenaghentra7giorni301109.htmlOn 7th December it will start, in Copenhagen, the Un summit on climate change. Now,... more
BEIJING — The Chinese government announced Thursday that it had set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 relative to economic development. China is aiming to reduce what it calls so-called carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent compared to 2005 levels, according to Xinhua, the state news agency.
The announcement came the day after President Obama pledged a provisional target for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, the first time in more than a decade that an American administration has offered even a tentative promise to reduce production of climate-altering gases. President Obama discussed climate change with Chinese President Hu Jintao when the two met in Beijing on Nov. 16.
China and the United States, the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, have been in discussions on options that both nations can take to address the issue of climate change. Both countries are expected to be crucial players in talks next month at international climate meetings in Copenhagen at which nations will negotiate terms for a global post-2012 treaty on reducing emissions, although leaders have said they do no expect to come to an agreement there.
Chinese officials announced Thursday that Prime Minister Wen Jiabao would attend, after American officials said Wednesday that President Obama also planned to take part in the talks himself.
In Copenhagen, Mr. Obama will tell the delegates that the United States intends to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions “in the range of” 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050, American officials said Wednesday.
China’s announcement on Thursday of future reductions uses an altogether different benchmark. China will measure its reduction by carbon intensity, or amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of gross domestic product, meaning that emissions would still grow but the rate would slow. China has rejected demands to announce an absolute reduction in carbon emissions, arguing that environmental concerns must be balanced with economic growth and that developed countries must first demonstrate a significant commitment to reducing emissions.
Ahead of Copenhagen, China has been trying to deflect pressure by showing that it has made its own commitments to battling climate change. In September, President Hu Jintao announced at the United Nations that China would reduce its carbon intensity by 2020, but drew some criticism by not giving a number at the time. Earlier, China had set a goal of reducing by 2010 the amount of energy needed to produce every 1,000 renminbi, or $146, of GDP compared to 2005 levels.
In Brussels, the European Commission on Thursday welcomed “the valuable steps China is taking to tackle climate change, and the leadership China is bringing to this negotiation.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/27/science/earth/27climate.html?_r=1&hpBEIJING — The Chinese government announced Thursday that it had set a target to... more
WASHINGTON — California has taken a major step toward creating a broad-based trading system to limit emissions of pollutants blamed for harmful climate change.
The California Air Resources Board, often a trailblazer in environmental regulation, released a draft rule on Tuesday establishing a cap-and-trade program that sets a declining ceiling on emissions of greenhouse gases and allows companies to buy and sell permits to meet it.
California’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The proposed system would begin in 2012 with 600 major sources of global warming pollutants, including power plants, refineries and concrete factories.
Similar proposals to reduce emissions are stalled in Congress with little hope of moving through this year. And next month, world governments will assemble in Copenhagen to discuss the issue but are not expected to produce any binding agreements on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the new rules would help California address a serious environmental problem, while giving companies flexibility in meeting clean-air goals.
The proposed rule also includes reductions in emissions from industrial and transportation fuels beginning in 2015.
California joins a number of other states and regions, including the 10 states of the Northeast, in moving ahead with programs to address global warming as Congress debates a nationwide program. One point of dispute in the legislation is whether the federal government will pre-empt these local and regional efforts and create a single national cap-and-trade program.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/25/science/earth/25climate.html?hpwWASHINGTON — California has taken a major step toward creating a broad-based... more
In Graphic Detail
SHOCKING NEW NASA DATA / NEW PREDICTION = "3 TO 5 YEARS NO ICE IN ARCTIC"
THE PERMAFROST = IS NOW THAWING....
3-5 years All Arctic Ice will be gone. Five years after that... no ice on either pole!
Watch Video as prehistoric methane gas is released under the ice from the thawing permafrost below is ignited.
NEW DATA: The original time to reach the permafrost thawing tipping point wasn't predicted to happen until 2050.
We need to understand what is happening and how the effects of what is now taking place... will change all our lives in the "months and few years ahead".SHOCKING NEW NASA DATA / NEW PREDICTION = "3 TO 5 YEARS NO ICE IN ARCTIC"... more
Global warming... is much worse that you think.
PLEASE SELECT: "WATCH FULL PROGRAM"
Dan Miller's presentation focuses on why the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports are actually best case scenarios. For example, IPCC climate models do not include the effect of melting permafrost releasing greenhouse gases, even though the permafrost is melting now and it holds more greenhouse gases than all that mankind has ever released.
Another example is that IPCC predictions of sea level rise only take into account thermal expansion of the oceans and melting of glaciers; the largest factor, disintegration of glaciers, was not included because it is hard to model. The result is that sea level rise will likely be substantially higher this century than the IPCC predicts.
Miller discusses several other potential catastrophes that are not included in IPCC predictions and also discusses tipping points that could put climate change solutions out of our reach in years or decades, the psychology of climate change, and why it is difficult for people to respond to the threat posed by a warming earth.
His talk concludes with a discussion of ways to address climate change and the risks and opportunities that companies face due to the climate crisis.
The Climate Project
NASA | Earth Observatory
NASA | Science for a Hungry World: Part 6
HOME PROJECT: A Visual Global Tour /current effects of global warming.
.Global warming... is much worse that you think.
PLEASE SELECT: "WATCH FULL... more
While livestock make up nearly one fifth of all CO2 greenhouse gases, it seems that the media barely ever, if at all, covers the role that livestock play in climate change. This is an interesting article that critiques how the media is playing a huge role in an uninformed public on this issue. With Copenhagen getting closer and closer, it's an interesting read. Makes you wonder what life would be like with lower consumptions of meat!While livestock make up nearly one fifth of all CO2 greenhouse gases, it seems that... more
When you look at the ice core record, there’s a significant amount of correlation between sea level rise and the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air at the time. But the ice core record goes back less than a million years. A study published a couple of weeks ago in the journal Science measured proxy data for CO2 concentration in the ocean and compared that data to other data on the stability of ice sheets. The authors discovered that there is strong correlation between the two going back at least 20 million years.
One of the challenges that the authors had was the fact that few available previous studies didn’t show correlation between the amount of CO2 in the air and the global climate prior to the start of ice core data. The authors hypothesized that this was a problem with the other datasets and developed a set of tests to check their hypothesis.
More at the linkWhen you look at the ice core record, there’s a significant amount of... more
I was rather un-enthused by this event. I dont see how playing 350 MJ songs or drawing a big 350 in the sand is going to solve anything. Why didn't 350.org use their organizing power to manifest something real and effective, like 350 coal plant sit-ins?
I generally have a problem with partying for causes, especially when partying is the reason for the cause (if you want to consider the Industrial Revolution coupled with Capitalism a 250 year-long party, which I do).
Even if you participated in writing 350 letters to Congress. You think they read those things? If they dont even read the bills they slab their John Hancock on, how do you expect them to read letters from peons (i'm roleplaying) and the ignorant masses? I'd wager they dont read one single letter from a concerned citizen of their constituency, let alone 350 of them.
so, what's next? people know 'global warming', people know 'climate change', and now people have a vague idea of standard molecular ratios for the air they breathe. So when does the TV get turned off, or the cars traded in for bicycles?I was rather un-enthused by this event. I dont see how playing 350 MJ songs or drawing... more
Once we put Halloween behind us, everyone will move onto the next big holiday which is typically also one of the most traveled of the year.
If you'd like the heads-up on which airlines are making the greatest greenest strides, then please take a look at this article.
Since purchasing an airline ticket requires a sizable investment, it's always nice to support companies that are doing far more for the world than just collecting their ka-ching.
If you have the inside scoop on any other airlines that are flying greener skies, please share your insight below -- thanks!Once we put Halloween behind us, everyone will move onto the next big holiday which is... more
A new study from The Worldwatch Institute finds that 51% of annual global CO2 emissions can be directly attributed to livestock; making it the single largest global CO2 emitter and, surprisingly, the fastest and most effective potential mitigator of climate change.A new study from The Worldwatch Institute finds that 51% of annual global CO2... more
"How Does the New Biodegradable or Compostable Plastic Work?
The breakthrough heralded in this press release is the use of ENSO bottles. ENSO claims that their bottles are "biodegradable in both landfill and compost environments and can also be successfully mixed with standard PET plastic recycling." How is that possible?
This is where the spaghetti comes in. Plastics are all long chains of atoms, strongly bonded together to give them great technical properties like the ability to withstand a charge of high-pressure carbon dioxide or contain water without breaking down even when you forget the bottles in the trunk of your car on a sunny day. These long chains are called "polymers".
You know how hard it is to eat spaghetti? Well, polymers are like spaghetti to microbes. Very few microbes have developed knives (called enzymes in micro-world) which can cut through polymer chains. And the chains are just too long for the microbes to get their mouths around. (Having already risked entering annoying analogy territory, we will leave off anthropomorphizing micro-mouths.)"
At the link the risks mentioned are increased consumption of plastic bottles, rise in CO2 and the toxicity of the breakdown products.
Is this a good thing?
I don't see it as a solution, especially after looking at these risks, plastic should be banned altogether and instead look for a new material that is 100% safe, biodegradable and easily renewable.
What do you suggest?
"How Does the New Biodegradable or Compostable Plastic Work?
DALLAS — Environmental activists sued the Texas environmental agency Tuesday in an effort to force the state to regulate greenhouse gases, asking that coal-fired power plant projects be halted until that happens.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issues air pollution permits that set limits on toxic releases, but the agency says there is no need to regulate carbon dioxide. Texas emits more greenhouse gases, made up mostly of CO2 emissions, than any other state.
The lawsuit by Public Citizen — which describes itself as a consumer advocacy organization — calls for greenhouse gas limits to be imposed as part of the permitting process, based on a 2007 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that classified carbon dioxide as an air pollutant under the Clean Air Act.
"The time has come for the TCEQ to take its head out of the sand and begin the process to regulate CO2 emission from Texas sources," Tom "Smitty" Smith, director of Public Citizen's Texas office, said in a statement announcing the suit.
Bryan Shaw, the chairman of the TCEQ, said it would not make sense for the state to regulate CO2.
"The science on global warming is far from settled," he said in a statement. "Neither Congress nor the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) have been able to promulgate final rules on greenhouse gas regulation. What is certain is that if done incorrectly, CO2 regulations will impose great costs on Texas without any guarantee of a measurable environmental benefit. Reducing CO2 in Texas will do nothing to lower CO2 globally, but will have the effect of sending U.S. jobs to China and India."
Smith announced the suit in Austin in front of the Travis County Courthouse and a filthy 20-foot inflatable coal plant that Public Citizen often carts to protests around the state.
The group is hoping to change the rules for the five coal- and petroleum coke-fired plants awaiting permit hearings in Texas.DALLAS — Environmental activists sued the Texas environmental agency Tuesday in... more
You may have come across a story recently that would lead you to believe that Denver is the worst polluter in the world. It hit a few sites recently.
And why not? What a great headline! DENVER BIGGEST POLLUTER IN THE WORLD!
Got your attention, right? You’re thinking, "but surely there must be another city that pollutes more." Well, not according to science, say these blogs. Yes, they even link to a scientific study!
Well, the thing is, that's misleading. Which you'd know if you read even part of the scientific study instead of just linking to it.You may have come across a story recently that would lead you to believe that Denver... more
A little bit late to the game, but glad they've arrived... The world's largest exporter of meat products, Brazil's JBS-Frisboi has pledged to no longer buy cattle raised from areas of the deforested Amazon which were cleared after September 23rd of this year, Greenpeace reports. Additionally, they will not work with any farms found to be using slave labor (what year is it again?!?) or raising cattle in designated protected areas or on indigenous lands:A little bit late to the game, but glad they've arrived... The world's... more
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Czech President Vaclav Klaus sharply criticized a U.N. meeting on climate change on Tuesday at which U.S. President Barack Obama was among the top speakers, describing it as propagandistic and undignified.
"It was sad and it was frustrating," said Klaus, one of the world's most vocal skeptics on the topic of global warming.
"It's a propagandistic exercise where 13-year-old girls from some far-away country perform a pre-rehearsed poem," he said. "It's simply not dignified."
Klaus published a book in 2007 on the worldwide campaign to stop climate change entitled "Blue Planet in Green Chains: What Is Under Threat -- Climate or Freedom?"
more at the link.
Al Gore is a fraud. Inconvenient Truth or Convenient Lie? Watch "Global Warming or Global Governance" for free on google video before you answer that question.UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Czech President Vaclav Klaus sharply criticized a U.N.... more
Alberta's oilsands produce more greenhouse gas emissions than some European countries right now and will produce more than all of the world's volcanoes in just 11 years if the pace of development continues, a new report says.
"Dirty: How the Tarsands Are Fuelling Global Climate Change" is set to be released Monday.
Greenpeace commissioned award-winning author Andrew Nikiforuk, a business and environmental reporter, to write the report.
"Nobody in Canada wants to talk about the scale issues," he said in an interview Saturday.
"The emissions are bigger than Estonia and Lithuania right now and in 2020 will be larger than countries like Belgium, Austria, Ireland and Denmark."
The report documents the "real" cost of the oilsands, which Nikiforuk said are the world's largest energy project.
"The major energy projects in the Middle East,... they don't come anywhere near. None of them approach the scale and capital intensity of the oilsands."
The report says almost $200 billion has been or will be invested in the projects in northern Alberta, including not only the oilsands but pipelines, refinery expansions and other associated infrastructure.
It adds that the liabilities are a nearly threefold increase in greenhouse gas emissions, enormous amounts of natural gas used and wasted to produce synthetic oil from bitumen — which consists of tarry pitch, or asphalt — and the "economic nightmare" of carbon capture and storage, a technology that has yet to be developed.
more at link....Alberta's oilsands produce more greenhouse gas emissions than some European... more
(The U.S. Mission in Geneva is festooned with solar panels, and it now uses a high-efficiency air-conditioning system.)
Until four years ago, the United States Mission in Geneva was another unassuming concrete office block in the city’s diplomatic district.
Now staff members can boast the building is a showcase for green technologies.
The transformation began when the exterior of the building began to crumble earlier this decade. Instead of carrying out a straightforward restoration, however, diplomats asked the State Department to install a solar electric system.
Douglas M. Griffiths, the deputy permanent representative at the mission and an economic officer there when the idea for the solar system arose, said the panels protected the facade from sun and water and reduced the need for cooling by shading the windows.
But Mr. Griffiths said the project also had political benefits at a time when the United States was seen by many governments as turning up its nose at global efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
More at link.
This seems to be the only US building abroad using so much renewable, clean energy - a show for the UN and for the very environment-conscious Swiss people...(The U.S. Mission in Geneva is festooned with solar panels, and it now uses a... more
Arctic temperatures in the 1990s reached their warmest level of any decade in at least 2,000 years, new research indicates.
The study presents new evidence that the Arctic would be cooling if not for greenhouse gas emissions overpowering natural climate patterns.
The report published in Science magazine found that thousands of years of gradual Arctic cooling, related to natural changes in Earth's orbit, would continue today if not for emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.Arctic temperatures in the 1990s reached their warmest level of any decade in at least... more
New research appearing in the online issue of the Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and a group of international researchers found that climate model quality does not affect the ability to identify human effects on atmospheric water vapor. Since atmospheric water vapor is an important driver of temperatures and rainfall, the results of this study will help convince skeptics that man's impacts are causing at least part of the problem.
The physics that drive changes in water vapor are very simple and are reasonably well portrayed in all climate models, bad or good.
More water vapor - which is itself a greenhouse gas - amplifies the warming effect of increased atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.
Previous LLNL research had shown that human-induced warming of the planet has a pronounced effect on the atmosphere's total moisture content. In that study, the researchers had used 22 different computer models to identify a human "fingerprint" pattern in satellite measurements of water vapor changes. Each model contributed equally in the fingerprint analysis. "It was a true model democracy," Santer said. "One model, one vote."
But in the recent study, the scientists first took each model and tested it individually, calculating 70 different measures of model performance. These "metrics" provided insights into how well the models simulated today's average climate and its seasonal changes, as well as on the size and geographical patterns of climate variability.
This information was used to divide the original 22 models into various sets of "top ten" and "bottom ten" models. "When we tried to come up with a David Letterman type 'top ten' list of models," Santer said, "we found that it's extremely difficult to do this in practice, because each model has its own individual strengths and weaknesses."
Then the group repeated their fingerprint analysis, but now using only "top ten" or "bottom ten" models rather than the full 22 models. They did this more than 100 times, grading and ranking the models in many different ways. In every case, a water vapor fingerprint arising from human influences could be clearly identified in the satellite data.
"One criticism of our first study was that we were only able to find a human fingerprint because we included inferior models in our analysis," said Karl Taylor, another LLNL co-author. "We've now shown that whether we use the best or the worst models, they don't have much impact on our ability to identify a human effect on water vapor."
Photo shows total amount of atmospheric water vapor over the oceans on July 4, 2009. These results are from operational weather forecasts of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting.
For more information:
https://publicaffairs.llnl.gov/news/news_releases/2009/NR-09-08-01.htmlNew research appearing in the online issue of the Proceedings of the U.S. National... more