10 June 2012

Climate News

For week ending 10 June 2012

Difference between the number of melt days in 2011 and the average number of melt days during the period 1979 - 2010. Large sections of the island experienced twenty more days with melting conditions than average. Image credit: Arctic Report Card
Unprecedented May heat in Greenland, new May record just 0.7C below hottest ever recorded
Jeff Masters, Wunderblog,  May 31, 2012
The record books for Greenland's climate were re-written on Tuesday, when the mercury hit 24.8°C (76.6°F) at Narsarsuaq, Greenland, on the southern coast. According to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, this is the hottest temperature on record in Greenland for May, and is just 0.7°C (1.3°F) below the hottest temperature ever measured in Greenland


Time For Outrage On Behalf of the Planet
Bill McKibben, Common Dreams, 7 June 2012
It's Time to Fight the Status Quo

Queensland's Premier "Can Do" Campbell also does climate science denial
Graham Readfearn, 5 June 2012
Just in case anyone was in any doubt, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman reminded Australia earlier this week that his state was most certainly “in the coal business” and that protecting the Great Barrier Reef wouldn’t come before fossil fuel exports.
Qld Environment Minister not convinced on man-made climate change
Matt Wordsworth ABC TWT, June 4, 2012
Queensland's new Environment Minister is the latest politician to voice scepticism about man-made climate change.

Developers to flood seaside towns as state winds back planning regulations
John Masanauskas, Herald Sun, June 05, 2012
Coastal property prices are expected to rise as the Baillieu Government declares war on climate change "hysterics".

Rinehart aide urges editorial influence
Kirsty Simpson, Brisbane Times, June 6, 2012
The Fairfax board should have the right to change the editorial direction of the company's newspapers if it would increase profit, one of Gina Rinehart's closest advisers has said.


Loss of biodiversity an equal threat to climate change: study
The Canadian Press, 7 June 2012
The accelerating loss of plant and animal species around the planet is becoming as great a threat to global health and prosperity as climate change, concludes a newly published review of hundreds of research studies.

World Future Council presents 24 tipping-point policies needed to preserve a habitable planet
Stephen Leahy, Inter Press Service, June 5, 2012
Ecologically ignorant policies are largely responsible for the interlinked crises that are unraveling the planet's life support system.

State of the future: challenge one; sustainable development and climate change
Chris Riedy, The Conversation, 8 June 2012
Human civilisation uses 50% more resources than the Earth can sustainably provide. In other words, we would need one and a half planets to sustain our current way of life into the future. By 2030, if we keep going the way we are going, we will need two planets.

We’re about to push the Earth over the brink, new study finds
David Roberts, Grist, 7 June 2012
There’s a new scientific paper out in the journal Nature called “Approaching a state shift in Earth’s biosphere.” In a sane world, it would be front page news.


Claims new gas plants could help cut emissions branded 'ridiculous'
Will Nichols, Business Green, 8 June 2012
Green groups warn building gas plants rather than renewables could leave the UK stuck with the high carbon fuel

Solar Insights: why solar will win the energy wars
Giles Parkinson, renewEconomy, 4 June 2012
If you want to get a glimpse of how the energy profiles of many major economies will evolve in coming years, then the energy production data from Germany for the month of May is not a bad place to start.

Environmental Benefit of Biofuels Is Overestimated, New Study Reveals
ScienceDaily, June 8, 2012
Two scientists are challenging the currently accepted norms of biofuel production.

CSP: It needs a new way of thinking about energy
Giles Parkinson, ReNew Economy, 6 June 2012
A new report outlining the prospects of solar thermal energy has underlined its enormous potential for Australia, saying it could provide between a third and even one half of the nation’s energy needs, but notes it may require a new of thinking about energy production and delivery.

How concentrated solar technologies will travel down the cost curve
Giles Parkinson, ReNew Economy, 6 June 2012
The biggest challenge for concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies is getting down the cost curve. But as with wind energy and solar PV that went before it, it’s a classic chicken and egg situation: Without properly constructed incentives to initiate deployment, the technology will struggle to reach the scale that can deliver the anticipated cost reductions.


Electricity bills: be afraid, but not of the obvious
Lenore Taylor, The Age, 9 June 2012
In every good horror movie the thing you think is going to be scary doesn't turn out to be the thing you should really fear.

Global Climate Justice gets its 15 Minutes
The Bonn workshop on “Equitable Access to Sustainable Development”

Federal ‘green-tape’ myth for Alpha mine
Chris McGrath, the Conversation, 6 June 2012
The dispute between the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments over the approval of Gina Rinehart’s Alpha Coal Mine continues to escalate.

No credits due as forests plundered
Michael Bachelard, SMH, June 9, 2012
In 2007, young Australian entrepreneur Dorjee Sun began a mission to save the world. He criss-crossed the globe with a documentary crew, inserting himself into climate change negotiations in a way that eventually made him one of Timemagazine's ''Heroes of the Environment''.

NC Senate panel rejects sea level rise warning
Allen Reed, AP, June 7, 2012 at 5:15 p.m.
A much mocked proposal to ignore scientists' warnings of rising sea levels is moving ahead in the North Carolina Senate.

Divided Public: Climate Survey Shows Skepticism and Alarm Rising Over the Past Decade
ScienceDaily, June 5, 2012
Researchers have found that between 2002 and 2010 the images and emotions that the American public associates with global warming shifted significantly. Four consecutive nationwide surveys found both increasing skepticism and growing alarm among respondents.

Winning On Climate: Framing The Debate Means Being Both For And Against Things
Stephen Lacey, Climate Progress, Jun 7, 2012
There’s an age-old debate playing out among climate hawks today: Do you win environmental battles by fighting against something or fighting for something?

State eases sea level regulations
Tom Arup, the Age, June 6, 2012
The Baillieu government will wind back rules making new property developments in seaside towns plan for sea-level rises caused by climate change, arguing they have hampered rural growth.


Global warming turns tundra to forest-study
Reuters, Jun 3, 2012
Shrubs have grown to trees in just a few decades; More trees in tundra will speed warming

Spring fever: U.S. smashes heat record for season
Brian K. Sullivan, Bloomberg News Service, 7 June 2012
Spring in contiguous US warmest on record, capping the hottest 12-month period in data going back 117 years.

Four Major Heat Records Fall in Stunning NOAA Report
Andrew Freedman, Climate Central, 7 June 2012
Four major heat records fell in a stunning new climate report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Thursday.
50% chance of El Nino developing in 2nd half of 2012, which NASA says will lead to 'rapid warming'

Amazon deforestation at record low, data shows
Jonathan Watts, Guardian, 7 June 2012
Rate of illegal logging has fallen, but critics claim Brazil has weakened protection measures by revising Forest Code

A symbol of the nation, Lebanon’s cedar heavily threatened
Paula Jahn, Daily Star, 4 June 2012
Lebanon likely to lose national symbol of cedar tree due to climate change

Note: Apologies for an abridged selection this week, as some gremlins intervened