15 January 2012

Climate in the media to 15 January 2012

PICKS OF THE WEEK---------------

Much ado about methane
David Archer, Daily Climate, Jan. 9, 2012
The climate change story has many frightening pieces. Methane venting from oceans and the Arctic has grabbed the public's imagination lately, but it is not the scariest part of the tale.

Study: Simple measures could reduce global warming, save lives
Brian Vastag and Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, January 13, 2012
Simple, inexpensive measures to cut emissions of two common pollutants will slow global warming, save millions of lives and boost crop production around the world, an international team of scientists reported Thursday.

Health Promotion Journal of Australia Special Issue: Climate Change & Health Promotion
As a commitment to building knowledge and promoting debate about the links between climate change and health promotion, the Australian Health Promotion Association has agreed to make this special issue freely available for the month of January 2012.

Resistance and Hope at a Time of Climate Emergency
Nick Buxton, Common Dreams, 13 January 2012
While there were no shortage of lofty announcements at the UN climate talks, it took the words of a 21 year-old student from Maine to speak the truth about the climate crisis and puncture the bubble of deceit and delusion in the latest gathering in Durban, South Africa in December 2011.

Boom And Doom: Revisiting Prophecies Of Collapse
Debora MacKenzie, New Scientist, 7 January 2012
At the beginning of the 1970s, a group of young scientists set out to explore our future. Their findings shook a generation and may be even more relevant than ever today.
Saving a Million Species: Extinction Risk from Climate Change
Edited by Lee Hannah, University of California;Island Press, USA
Doomsday clock ticks closer to midnight

Should We Work Towards A 3°C World, If A 2°C Target Is Really Out of Reach?
Matthew McDermott, Treehugger, January 9, 2012
It's only very slightly pessimistic to say that Durban threw hope of keeping temperature rise below the critical +2°C threshold, above which lots of natural systems are projected to become unhinged.
WARNING: The notion that 3 degrees is OK is seriously crazy... see

Tourism relies on jet-setters, but travel is destroying attractions
Joe Kelly, Vancouver Sun, 13 January 2012
Kitzb├╝hel is an international ski resort in the Austrian Alps, renowned for hosting the Hahnenkamm downhill race, one of the most famous and most treacherous ski races on the World Cup circuit. As a major tourism destination, Kitzb├╝hel draws people from all over the world who want to experience the mountain first-hand. The valuable tourism dollars fuel a vast economic engine for the surrounding region. Sadly, the resort is dying a slow death. Within two decades, there won’t be enough snow to support skiing on the legendary slope.


Biomass and Electricity (2-part series)
Matthew L. Wald, NYT blogs, 9-10 January 2012
Burning natural gas releases less heat-trapping carbon dioxide than burning coal does because it has only about half as much carbon per unit of energy.
Biofuels Land Grab: Guatemala's Farmers Lose Plots and Prosperity to "Energy Independence"

Green energy investment soars to $260bn
Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian, 12 January 2012
New data shows worldwide funding of green energy projects rose by 5% last year

China Increases Target for Wind Power Capacity to 1,000 GW by 2050
Liu Yuanyuan, RWW, January 5, 2012
The National Energy Administration of China has set a series of development goals for the country's renewable energy sector during the 12th Five-year Development Plan, which shows that by 2015 the country's wind power capacity will reach 100 GW, based on the current capacity of 40 GW.
China's renewables surge outweighed by growth in coal consumption
Jonathan Watts, Guardian, 12 January 2012
China sees major increases in solar, wind and hydropower, while officials struggle to cap growth in carbon emissions from coal

Energy Efficiency is for Real, Energy Rebound a Distraction
Shakeb Afsah, Kendyl Salcito and Chris Wielga, CO2 Scorecard, Jan 11, 2012
Energy efficiency is an over-rated policy tool when it comes to cutting energy use and CO2 emissions—that’s the basic message promoted by the US think tank the Breakthrough Institute (BTI), and amplified in major news outlets like the New Yorker and the New York Times. We refute this policy message and show that the BTI, as well as its champions in the media, have overplayed their hand, supporting their case with anecdotes and analysis that don’t measure up against theory and data.

Study finds coal plants generate nearly 3/4ths of US carbon emissions
Dina Cappiello, Associated Press, 12 January 2012
The most detailed data yet on emissions of heat-trapping gases show that U.S. power plants are responsible for the bulk of the pollution blamed for global warming

US Fracking Moratorium Urged as Doctors Call for Health Study
Alex Wayne, Bloomberg News, January 12, 2012
The U.S. should declare a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in populated areas until the health effects are better understood, doctors said at a conference on the drilling process.

China's carbon price a worry
Sarah-Jane Tasker, The Australian, January 09, 2012
The Australian coal industry remains confident of continuing strong sales to China despite the world's biggest carbon pollution emitter planning a carbon tax from 2015.

We can’t win the clean energy race without government investments
Richard W. Caperton, Climate Progress, Jan 10, 2012
Budget deficits drove the conversation in Washington in 2011 with the daily news dominated by government shutdown threats, the “super committee,” continuing resolutions, and arcane budgeting practices.

Inpex confirms $33bn Top End gas project
ABC News, 13 January 2012
Japanese gas company Inpex and its French partner Total have confirmed they will proceed with their planned $33 billion Ichthys gas project in Darwin and off the coast of Western Australia.


Baillieu hides carbon tax documents
Clay Lucas, The Age, January 10, 2012
The Baillieu government has been accused of using ''laughable'' excuses to block the release of economic modelling it used to attack the Gillard government's carbon tax.

It is the coal barons, not activists, who threaten society
Shaun Murray, The Age, January 10, 2012
Anti-coal activists pose a political threat. That's why we're being spied on.

Network News Coverage of Climate Change Collapsed in 2011
Joe Romm, Climate Progress, Jan 9, 2012
Last week Climate Progress reported on the loss of interest in the story of the century by the major print media.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Makes Climate Change a Top Priority
Zachary Rybarczyk, Climate Progress, Jan 11, 2012
Developing countries (including China) are expected to account for more than 90% of global energy growth in the next 30 years.


Great charts of record-smashing U.S. extreme weather in 2011

Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast (good set of online resources)

Glacier time-lapse images reveal 'epochal change'
Max Paris, Environment Unit, CBC News, Jan 13, 2012
Nothing is quite as damning or convincing as photo evidence.

Climate Change and Sea Level Rise: “An Emerging Hockey Stick”
Peter Sinclair, Climate Progress, 10 January 2012
Since we have such an active community of armchair oceanographers and spreadsheet Glaciologists here, I thought it would be useful to speak to the real thing, the people who actually spend time on the ocean, on the ice sheets, do the measurements, and come back to share that knowledge with us.
Rising sea levels endanger the Delta
Luoise Saramt, Egypt Independent, 10 January 2012
The Nile Delta region produces no less than 65 percent of the Egypt’s total agricultural production. It is also part of the country’s most densely populated regions; half of Egypt’s ever expending population lives in this triangle of fertile land, a zone identified as one of the world’s most vulnerable to climate change
Document future history with the king tide
Ross Kay, ABC News, 12 January, 2012
The history of the future will be documented next weekend as the summer king tide rolls onto Wide Bay shores.

12 Simple(ish) Ways To Quickly Reduce Global Warming Two-Thirds by 2050
Matther McDermott, Treehugger, January 13, 2012
Apologies for the green movement circa 2007 title, but this time it's actually apt—not like all those posts about how unplugging your phone charger will save the planet.

Global Warming Caused By Greenhouse Gases Delays Natural Patterns Of Glaciation
Eurasia Review, January 8, 2012
Unprecedented levels of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are disrupting normal patterns of glaciation, according to a study co-authored by a University of Florida researcher and published online Jan. 8 in Nature Geoscience.

Arctic methane outgassing on the E Siberian Shelf part 1 - the background
John Mason, Skeptical Science, 15 January 2012
Reports of extensive areas of methane - a powerful greenhouse gas - bubbling up through the shallow waters of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) have been doing the rounds in the media recently, with some articles taking the apocalyptic approach and others the opposite. So what IS going on in the far North?

Global Warming May Trigger Winter Cooling
Sid Perkins, Science,  12 January 2012
It seems counter-intuitive, even ironic, that global warming could cause some regions to experience colder conditions. But a new study explains the Rube Goldberg-machine of climatic processes that can link warmer-than-average summers to harsh winter weather in some parts of the Northern Hemisphere.