22 April 2012

Climate News

Weeks ending 22 April 2012 

No Letup in World's Warming
No let-up in world's warming as ocean heat content continues to grow

Miners get $4b in direct subsidies, says think tank
Ben Cubby, SMH, April 18, 2012
THE federal government gives just over $4 billion in direct subsidies to mining companies each year, mainly in the form of cheap fuel and tax breaks for building roads and railways, a report by the Australia Institute think tank said.

Must-Read Caldeira: ‘The Only Ethical Path Is To Stop Using The Atmosphere As A Waste Dump For Greenhouse Gas Pollution’
Ken Caldeira, Climate Progress, 15 April 2012
We are converting the climate of our planet to one that is similar to the hothouse climates that existed on this planet when dinosaurs were the top predators.

Sydney Uni hails major solar PV breakthrough
Giles Parkinson on 18 April 2012
The University of Sydney is hailing a breakthrough in solar photovoltaic technology that could lead to a significant boost in the efficiency of solar cells, and sharply lower costs for rooftop solar panels.


“Always look on the bright side of life” series
• Bright-siding climate advocacy and its consequences
• What bright-siding climate advocacy looks like
• Is all “good news” and no “bad news” a good strategy?

Extreme Weather, Climate & Preparedness in the American Mind (report)
82 percent of Americans report that they personally experienced one or more types of extreme weather or a natural disaster in the past year; Over the past several years, Americans say the weather in the U.S. has been getting worse – rather than better – by a margin of over 2 to 1; and a large majority of Americans believe that global warming made several high profile extreme weather events worse.
Poll: Global warming at root of recent wild weather

Climate Coverage Plummets 80% On Broadcast Networks From 2009 To 2011
Climate Progress,  April 18, 2012
Scientists Were Shut Out Of Climate Change Discussions On Sunday Shows


Fears over coal seam gas mining push country women to protest
Saffron Howden, SMH, 21 April 2012
Activism does not sit easily with some of the women of country NSW.

Ten things you should know about the CEFC
Giles Parkinson, ReNewEconomy, 17 April 2012
The long-awaited “experts review” into the proposed $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation has been delivered to – and accepted by – the federal government.

Power station project halted despite legal victory
ABC News, 16 April 2012
The company planning to build a new Latrobe Valley power station has stopped work on the project following a recent legal battle.

Baillieu's about-face on housing
Royce Millar and Adam Morton, the Age, April 17, 2012
Premier Ted Baillieu abruptly abandons a proposal to scrap mandatory energy ratings for new homes in Victoria.

India flips the switch on world’s largest solar power plant
Jess Zimmerman, Grist, 20 April 2012
The Indian state of Gujarat has built the world’s largest solar photovoltaic power plant, a field of solar panels the size of Lower Manhattan.

Coal power will only switch on for summer
Miles Kemp and Cara Jenkin, The Advertiser, April 18, 2012
The state's biggest electricity generator will mothball coal-fired power stations and become a discount retailer of gas and electricity.

McKinsey: Solar will be cost competitive within a decade
James Murray, Business Green, 18 Apr 2012
Report predicts $1 per watt solar technologies will be widely available by 2020. The solar industry has delivered dramatic cost reductions that will continue over the next decade, ensuring the technology is cost competitive with conventional base load power sources such as coal and nuclear by 2020

6 Scary Extreme Energy Sources Being Tapped to Fuel the Post Peak Oil Economy
Michael I. Niman, Alternet, 15 April 2012
Think of this as taking fracking to the next level so that we can continue to speed along on our highway to hell -- peak oil, and the earth, be damned.

Italy to Levy Carbon Tax, Cut Solar FiT in Wake of Record-Setting Growth
Clean Technica, 18 April 2012
When Italy’s been the subject of international news reports recently, it’s usually been related to its sovereign debt problems, economic woes and its struggle to restructure its political economy. Much less prominent has been its success in developing its renewable energy resources and markets– solar energy in particular– as well as its efforts to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.


Closing time for Australia's dirtiest power
Mark Wakeham, Climate Spectator, 19 April 2012
In the next ten weeks the federal government will sign contracts and announce dates for the closure of up to 2000 MW of Australia’s most polluting power stations. The contracts for closure commitment was a key, but little discussed, plank of the government’s Clean Energy Future package.

Abbott sweats on ALP loss to repeal carbon tax
Lenore taylor, The Age, April 21, 2012
Sometimes it's the biggest things that politicians don't want to talk about.

Inside Mexico's climate revolution
Richard Black, BBC News, 20 April 2012
Following a vote in its Senate on Thursday evening, Mexico is poised to become just the second country in the world to enshrine long-term climate targets into national legislation.

Greenhouse gas emissions still on the rise, data shows
Ben Cubby, SMH, April 18, 2012
Australia's greenhouse gas emissions continued to rise last year, driven by an increase in vehicle use and gases leaking from coalmines, federal government data show.

Milne interview: Time for progressive industry to stand up
Giles Parkinson, ReNewEconomy, 16 April 2012
Newly elected Greens leader Christine Milne says it is time for “progressive industry” to stand up and be counted as the debate over the carbon price and complementary measures such as the Renewable Energy Target, the Clean Energy Finance Corp  and other measures takes a worrying course.

Forecast the Facts: great campaign taking on the half of US TV weather reporters who are climate change deniers


Has Global Warming Caused A Quantum Jump In Extreme Weather?
Joe Romm, Climate Progress, 17 April 2012
“The climate has shifted to a new state capable of delivering rare & unprecedented weather events,” explained Weather Underground director of meteorology and former hurricane hunter, Dr. Jeff Masters.

Rising Seas Threaten Hundreds of U.S. Energy Facilities
Ben Strauss, Climate Central,  April 20, 2012
Sea level rise from global warming is well on the way to doubling the risk of coastal floods 4 feet or more over high tide by 2030 at locations nationwide. In the lower 48 states, nearly 300 energy facilities stand on land below that level, including natural gas infrastructure, electric power plants, and oil and gas refineries.

Drought, Flooding And ‘Multiple, Combined Outbreaks’ Of Pests Threaten To Reduce Asian Agricultural Output 50%
Stephen Lacey, Climate Progress, April 16, 2012
Two of Southeast Asia’s most valuable crops — rice and cassava — are under pressure from multiple, simultaneous threats fueled by climate change.

New CU-Boulder study indicates Greenland may be slip sliding away due to surface lake melt
UCB, 16 April 2012
Like snow sliding off a roof on a sunny day, the Greenland Ice Sheet may be sliding faster into the ocean due to massive releases of meltwater from surface lakes, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder-based Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

Large Majority Of Americans Understand Global Warming Made Several Major Extreme Weather Events Worse
Joe Romm, Climate Progress, Apr 18, 2012
A new survey finds that by 2-to-1 Americans accurately understand global warming makes a number of extreme weather events worse.

Call for less meat-eating to cut nitrous oxide
ERW, 13 April 2012
Emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) – the third most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas – are particularly problematic to reduce as nitrogen is essential for food production and more than 80% of N2O emissions are from agriculture. That's according to a US researcher who has looked at ways of achieving the four representative concentration pathways (RCPs) for the gas under consideration in the IPCC fifth assessment report.

Loss of 'world's largest wetland' could tip ocean balance
Cheryl Katz, The Daily Climate, April 17, 2012
Once thought to be too harsh and inhospitable to support any living thing, the ice sheets are now known to be a gigantic reservoir of microbial life.

Renegade glaciers gain ice
Sid Perkins, Nature, 15 April 2012
Despite a warming climate, some glaciers in southern Asia are holding their own.