22 January 2012

Climate in the media to 22 January 2012

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

McKibben's efforts pay off as Obama kills pipeline
Nicole Gaudiano, BFP, 18 January 2012
Vermont climate activist Bill McKibben isn’t used to environmentalists scoring a win over the oil industry. But that’s what happened Wednesday when President Barack Obama rejected a permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline — a project McKibben has been fighting since August.

America's energy subsidy myth
David Sirota, Cliamte Spectator, 20 January 2012
Barack Obama's Keystone XL Pipeline decision will help drive the belief that fossil fuels are being persecuted by the government. In fact, the opposite is true.
Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies 'could provide half of global carbon target'
Duncan Clark, Guardian, 19 January 2012
Such a move could save the equivalent of Germany's annual emissions by 2015, says chief economist at the IEA
Fossil fuel subsidies: a tour of the data
Duncan Clark, Guardian, 19 January 2012
Fossil fuels are subsidised in much of the world, causing billions of tonnes of addition CO2 emissions. Fatih Birol says ending fossil fuel subsidies could provide half the answer to solving climate change

Strong support for wind farms obscured, says CSIRO report
Kelsey Munro, Ben Cubby, SMH, January 18, 2012
There is much stronger public support for wind farms than media coverage of the issue would suggest, because a ''vocal minority'' who oppose wind farms secure the majority of media and political attention, according to new CSIRO research.
There is “No Evidence” that Wind Turbine Syndrome Exists, Concludes Expert Panel
Zachary Rybarczyk and Stephen Lacey, Climate Progress, 19 January 2012
If we want wind to continue growing, more turbines will need to be placed in our communities and close to our backyards. And that will inevitably cause more social friction.
The war against renewable energy

Why emissions need to drop off a cliff
David Spratt, CCR, 17 January 2011
How quickly do global greenhouse gas emissions need to drop to get back to a safe climate?  It’s a pertinent question when the Australian government is making great claims for its 2011 carbon legislation, but its aim is to reduce emissions by only five per cent by 2020.

Global Temperature in 2011, Trends, and Prospects
James Hansen, Reto Ruedy, Makiko Sato and Ken Lo, GISS NASA, 19 January 2012
2011 was only the ninth warmest year in the GISS analysis of global temperature change, yet nine of the ten warmest years in the instrumental record (since 1880) have occurred in the 21st century. The past year has been cooled by a moderately strong La Nina.
NASA Sees Repeating La NiƱa Hitting Its Peak


Fracking Would Emit Large Quantities of Greenhouse Gases
Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, January 20, 2012
"Fugitive methane" released during shale gas drilling could accelerate climate change

Uncertainty over future of HRL plant
Gus Goswell, ABC News, 20 January 2011
There is uncertainty over the Federal Government's commitment to a new power station planned for the Latrobe Valley.

Miner facing emissions charge
Leonie Lamont, SMH, January 16, 2012
in what is being described as a landmark decision, the Land and Environment Court has held that one of the state's coalmines should have to pay to offset some of its greenhouse gas emissions as a condition of operation.

“Water is much more important than oil”
Tierney Smith, RTCC, 20 January 2012
The door has closed on this year’s World Future Energy Summit (WFES).

Creating electricity at home: the cleanest and most sensible option under the sun
Matthew Wright, SMH, 17 January 2012
Solar energy benefits the state by providing electricity at much cheaper rates than those of traditional sources.

GM microbe breakthrough paves way for large-scale seaweed farming for biofuels
Damian Carrington, Guardian, 19 January 2012
Scientists have created a genetically engineered microbe that turns the algae into low-carbon biofuel, but must make the technique commercially viable

Shale oil and gas will help make western hemisphere self-sufficient
Richard Wachman, Guardian, 18 January 2012
BP forecasts that growth in fuel sources will make North and South America self-sufficient by 2030 – but UK will still need Gulf supplies

Scotland’s Ambitious 100% Clean Energy Target by 2020
Akhila Vijayaraghavan, Triple Pundit, January 13, 2012
One country that is really galvanizing wind energy to increase its renewable energy profile is Scotland. 2011 was an epic year for Scottish energy companies.

Growing Doubts in Europe On Future of Carbon Storage
Andres Cala, NYT, January 16, 2012
The European Union’s long-term energy plans to abate global warming while still burning fossil fuels hinge on proposals to capture carbon dioxide emissions and store them in deep underground rock formations. Yet weak support for the untested technology is putting Europe in the rear ranks of its development.

Cheap Beads Offer Alternative Solar-Heating Storage
ScienceDaily, Dec. 2, 2011
A cheap material that can store heat energy collected from the sun during the day that can be released slowly over night has been developed by researchers in the India.


Climate scientist disowned by Newt Gingrich speaks out over book spat
Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian, 6 January 2012
Katharine Hayhoe says the dumping of her chapter from Gingrich's book following rightwing pressure came as a surprise

Worse off under the carbon tax? Hardly...
Stephen Koukoulas, ABC Unleashed, 16 January 2012
It's less than six months until the carbon tax comes into effect.  There already has been, and no doubt will be, a kerfuffle about the impact of pricing carbon on household budgets


A Comprehensive Review of the Causes of Global Warming
Dana Nuccitelli, Skeptical Science, 20 January 2012
At Skeptical Science, we have several recent studies which have used a number of diverse approaches to tease out the contributions of various natural and human effects to global warming.

Fears Islanders may soon be forced out of their homes
ABC The World Today, 16 January 2012
There are concerns residents of the outer islands in the Torres Strait will soon be forced to flee their homes by encroaching seas.

Arctic methane outgassing on the E Siberian Shelf part 2 - an interview with Dr Natalia Shakhova
John Mason, Skeptical Science, 19 January 2012
In December 2011, following a fresh flurry of sometimes conflicting media reports about methane outgassing on the East Siberia Arctic Shelf (ESAS), we decided to go and talk to the people doing the work on the ground.

China report spells out "grim" climate change risks
Chris Buckley, Reuters, 18 January 2012
Global warming threatens China's march to prosperity by cutting crops, shrinking rivers and unleashing more droughts and floods, says the government's latest assessment of climate change, projecting big shifts in how the nation feeds itself.

Amazon Basin shifting to carbon emitter: study
AFP, 19 January 2012
The Amazon Basin, traditionally considered a bulwark against global warming, may be becoming a net contributor of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a result of deforestation, researchers said on Wednesday.

Offsetting Global Warming: Molecule in Earth's Atmosphere Could 'Cool the Planet'
ScienceDaily, Jan. 12, 2012
Scientists have shown that a newly discovered molecule in Earth's atmosphere has the potential to play a significant role in off-setting global warming by cooling the planet.

Mekong Delta reels under repeated disasters
Pham Hoang Nam, Vietnam News, 17 January 2012
Known as the nation's rice basket, blessed with fertile soil and favorable climatic conditions, the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta has been at the forefront of Viet Nam's amazing agricultural transformation in the Doi moi (renewal) period.

Black Carbon Deposits On Himalayan Ice Threaten Earth's 'Third Pole'
ScienceDaily (Dec. 14, 2009) — Black soot deposited on Tibetan glaciers has contributed significantly to the retreat of the world's largest non-polar ice masses, according to new research by scientists from NASA and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

How long do greenhouse gases stay in the air?
Carbon Brief and Duncan Clark, Guardian, 16 January 2012
This Q&A is part of the Guardian's ultimate climate change FAQ

What Can Be Done to Slow Climate Change?
ScienceDaily, Jan. 12, 2012
A new study led by a NASA scientist highlights 14 key air pollution control measures that, if implemented, could slow the pace of global warming, improve health and boost agricultural production.

Global Warming: ‘Revenge of the atmosphere’
Bob Berwyn, SCCV, 14 January 2012
With Arctic sea ice shrinking fast — losing 40 percent of its mass between 1980 and 2007 — widespread effects on climate and weather are inevitable, according to Jennifer Francis, with Rutgers University Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences.