Climate Change News Digest
Hansen Study: Climate Sensitivity Is High, Burning All Fossil Fuels Would Make Most Of Planet 'Uninhabitable'
James Hansen, the country's most prescient climatologist, is out with another must-read paper, "Climate sensitivity, sea level and atmospheric carbon dioxide." The paper, co-authored by a number of Hansen's former colleagues at NASA, is an antidote to the rosy scenarios the mainstream media have recently been pushing. The key findings are The Earth's actual sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 levels from preindustrial levels (to 550 ppm) - including slow feedbacks - is likely to be larger than 3-4°C (5.4-7.2°F). Given that we are headed towards a tripling (820 ppm) or quadrupling (1100 ppm) of atmospheric CO2 levels, inaction is untenable.
10th January 2014
Discovering a Legal Tool to Curb Climate Change
Corporations are created by state-issued charters. Where corporations are violating their duty to the public trust - governments have an obligation to stop them from doing so or to revoke their charters.
10th January 2014
Climate fix could make warming worse
New research suggests that attempts to artificially cool the planet could have unforeseen and damaging consequences. Rainfall around the tropics could be cut by 30% with significant impacts on rainforests in South America and Asia and increasing drought in Africa. The changes would happen so quickly there would be little time to adapt, say the researchers.
10th January 2014
Plants 'could stop being brake on global warming'
Earth's vegetation could be saturated with carbon by the end of the century and stop acting as a brake on global warming, scientists warn.
10th January 2014
Exposed: The myth of the global warming 'pause'
Scientists can now explain the "pause" in global warming that sceptics have used to bolster their arguments. Sceptics had claimed we have nothing to fear from climate change because it has stopped being a problem.
10th January 2014
Baucus Tax Reform Cuts $46 Billion in Oil Breaks
SOURCE: AP/Matt RourkeA refinery is shown in Trainer, Pennsylvania. On November 21, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, unveiled a discussion draft of tax reform legislation that focuses on cost recovery and accounting rules as part of a comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. tax code. This draft package includes the elimination of some longstanding tax breaks for Big Oil companies. The discussion draft proposes to eliminate as much as an estimated $46 billion in unnecessary tax breaks for hugely profitable Big Oil companies over the next decade. The White House just announced that Sen.
10th January 2014
Hydropower "Battery" Could Even Out Wind Energy Supply, Researchers Say
Norwegian hydropower stations could be linked to wind farms and serve as giant "batteries" to even out power supply fluctuations, a Scandinavian research organization says. A major hurdle for renewable energy suppliers is intermittent power production - sometimes too much power is generated, other times too little, and periods of peak demand often don't coincide with periods of peak supply. By using excess electricity from windy periods to pump water uphill into reservoirs, hydroelectric power stations could smooth out the intermittent power supplied by large wind farms, Scandinavian researchers from the firm SINTEF say. At times of low wind energy supply, the stored water could be released through dam turbines and hydroelectricity would fill the gap.
10th January 2014
Organic battery hailed as cheap renewable energy solution
A cheap rechargeable battery that harnesses energy by using the electrochemistry of organic molecules rather than metals is being touted by Harvard researchers as a breakthrough for renewable energy.
10th January 2014
MidAmerican's giant California Solar Star power plant enters service
(Reuters) - Renewable power companies MidAmerican Solar and SunPower Corp said they have connected the first 57 megawatts to the power grid from California's 579-MW Solar Star solar power plant, one of the biggest in the United States.
10th January 2014
China pledges further support for solar industry
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China pledged further support support for its ailing solar power industry on Saturday as the government seeks to revive a sector struggling with overcapacity and falling prices.
10th January 2014
Australia endures hottest year on record
Australia experienced its hottest year on record in 2013, the Bureau of Meteorology said Friday, enduring the longest heatwave ever recorded Down Under as well as destructive bushfires.
10th January 2014
100,000 Bats Fall from the Sky in Australia Due to Extreme Heat Wave
On the opposite side of the world from the 'polar vortex,' dangerously high temperatures are wreaking havoc. In a scene that could come straight out of Alfred Hitchcock's imagination, about 100,000 bats were found littering the ground after a major heatwave hit Australia this week, causing the bats to fall from the sky and die upon impact. In addition to the bats, the heatwave—which struck the north-east state of Queensland earlier this week and hit temperatures as high as 135 degrees fahrenheit—meant mass deaths for the country’s flying foxes across an estimated 25 colonies.
10th January 2014
Atlantic Ocean Zooplankton Are Now Reproducing in Arctic Waters
For the first time, scientists have discovered species of Atlantic Ocean zooplankton reproducing in Arctic waters. German researchers say the discovery indicates a possible shift in the Arctic zooplankton community as The amphipod Themisto compressa the region warms, one that could be detrimental to Arctic birds, fish, and marine mammals. Studying traps that have been suspended for 13 years in the Fram Strait, scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute found that small species of crustaceans common to the Atlantic are increasingly moving into Arctic waters. The researchers found fertile females as well as individuals at all stages of development, showing that the Atlantic species is reproducing in the frigid waters.
10th January 2014
Calif. officials see 'scary' drought outlook
click image to zoom The Drought Monitor map released on Jan. 9, 2014. One-third of the nation is in drought, marking what could be another dry year for states desperate for precipitation.
10th January 2014
Europe warned of severe drought by end of century
Drought could become a serious problem in Europe by the end of the century, scientists have warned.
10th January 2014
Warren Buffett Bought Stake in Pipeline Company on Same Day as North Dakota Oil Train Explosion
On December 30, the same day a Burlington Northern Sante Fe (BNSF) oil train derailed and exploded in Casselton, North Dakota, Warren Buffett - owner of holding company giant Berkshire Hathaway, which owns BNSF - bought a major stake in pipeline logistics company Phillips Specialty Products Inc. Owned by Phillips 66, a subsidiary of ConocoPhillips, Phillips Specialty Products' claim to fame is lubricating oil's movement through pipelines, increasingly crucial for the industry to move both tar sands crude and oil obtained via hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") in an efficient manner. "Phillips Specialty Products Inc...is the global leader in the science of drag reduction and specializes in maximizing the flow potential of pipelines," explains its website.
10th January 2014
Why Climate Deniers Have No Scientific Credibility: Only 1 of 9,136 Recent Peer-Reviewed Authors Rejects Global Warming
This is a guest post by James Lawrence Powell. I have brought my previous study up-to-date by reviewing peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals over the period from Nov. 12, 2012 through December 31, 2013. I found 2,258 articles, written by a total of 9,136 authors. Only one article, by a single author in the Herald of the Russian Academy of Sciences, rejected man-made global warming.
10th January 2014
Harassment of Climate Scientists Needs to Stop
Climate change denialists are suing scientists, seeking access to their private emails. They will stifle inquiry and scientific progress.
10th January 2014
2014 preview: The key to surviving climate change
Bye bye bigger dams, hello versatile crops: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's next report will emphasise versatility over fine-tuned mitigation
10th January 2014
Sea-level rise: What the experts expect
In the long run, sea-level rise will be one of the most serious consequences of global warming. But how fast will sea levels rise? Model simulations are still associated with considerable uncertainty - too complex and varied are the processes that contribute to the increase. A just-published survey of 90 sea-level experts from 18 countries now reveals what amount of sea-level rise the wider expert community expects. With successful, strong mitigation measures, the experts expect a likely rise of 40-60 cm in this century and 60-100 cm by the year 2300. With unmitigated warming, however, the likely range is 70-120 cm by 2100 and two to three meters by the year 2300.
10th January 2014
Group Wants To Label Gas Pumps Like Cigarettes, Warn Consumers About Danger To Planet's Health
Smoking tobacco causes cancer. Greenhouse gases warm the planet. These are things that scientists are at least 95 percent sure of. The tobacco industry and the fossil fuel industry have other things in common besides extremely high levels of certainty regarding their negative externalities. Both are deeply ingrained in the political and economic system, both use campaigns of disinformation to confuse the public, and both rely heavily on wealthy donors who fund special interest groups that are averse to any change that could negatively impact their profits. Now the Bay Area chapter of 350.org, an international group trying to help solve climate change, wants to make another connection between smoking and greenhouse gases - this time in the form of a warning label.
10th January 2014
Seeping Arctic Methane May Not Be Linked to Climate Change
In 2008, scientists discovered methane bubbling up from the seabed off the coast of Norway, raising new concerns that climate change could lead to large escapes of the greenhouse gas.
10th January 2014
The Only Way to Stop Climate Change Now May Be Revolution
Fed up with slow (or in some cases, backwards ) progress on climate change, environmental advocates are mulling desperate measures. Emerging at the head of this pack is arguably the world's most prominent climate scientist: James Hansen, a former NASA researcher turned activist.
10th January 2014

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