26 August 2012

Climate News

Week ending 26 August 2012
Projected sea-level rise to 2100 (inches). Source City of Boston

Arctic sea-ice melt record more than broken, it’s being smashed
David Spratt, ClimateCodeRed, 25 August 2012
Climate change impacts are frequently happening more quickly and at lower levels of global warming than scientists expected, even a decade or two ago. And this week the Arctic has provided a dramatic and deeply disturbing example.

Four new ways climate activists can organize in an age of extreme weather
Brendan Smith, Grist, 21 August 2012
A new insurgent force has joined the climate wars: planet Earth.
This summer, she’s blanketed two-thirds of the country in drought; turned New Mexico and Colorado into blazing infernos; crumbled roads in Alaska and Texas with record-breaking temperatures; and, in biblical fashion, shut down a nuclear plant by clogging cooling pipes with dead fish.

Coalition carbon tax claims deflated
Peter Martin, The Age, August 18, 2012
The Coalition's scare campaign about the impact of the carbon tax has failed to convince financial market traders who back their judgments with money.

Arctic Death Spiral: How It Favors Extreme, Prolonged Weather Events ‘Such As Drought, Flooding, Cold Spells And Heat Waves’
Joe Romm, Climate Progress, August 22, 2012
We are headed for record lows in Arctic sea ice area and volume.

Christine Milne: the economy must serve people and nature, not vice-versa
The Conversation, 23 August 2012
David Bowman, Professor of Environmental Change Biology at the University of Tasmania, spoke with Senator Milne about climate change, the triple bottom line, a new economy and whether there is really any point to the Greens.

Alpha coal mine nod 'devastating' for reef
William Rollo, ABC News, August 24, 2012
Environmentalists and farmers have criticised the Federal Government's approval of the Alpha coal and rail project in central Queensland


We Are ‘Entering A Long-Term And Politically Dangerous Food Crisis’
Joe Romm, Climate Progress,  August 16, 2012
We are five years into a severe global food crisis that is very unlikely to go away. It will threaten poor countries with increased malnutrition and starvation and even collapse..

Welcome to Dystopia: the dangerous food and energy crises
Jeremy Grantham, RenewEconomy, 20 August 2012
The former chairman and chief investment strategist for the $100 billion funds manager GMO Capital focuses on the impending food crisis, and also how the climate issues and the energy issues are interlinked.

The cost of hunger: Drought only one factor behind high food prices.
The severe U.S. drought has been blamed for the rising prices of agricultural commodities. But that is only part of the story: Biofuels, financial speculation and changing dietary habits are also playing a role. The global food supply faces pressure from all sides.

World must brace for higher food prices, experts say
AFP, August 19, 2012
With drought parching farms in the United States and near the Black Sea, weak monsoon rains in India and insidious hunger in Africa's Sahel region, the world could be headed towards another food crisis.

As grain prices rise, so does Germany's debate over biofuel
Michael Steininger, CSM, August 20, 2012
Two German cabinet members have squared off on whether biofuel production is contributing to higher food prices. Biodiesel and bioethanol provide about 6 percent of the overall fuel supply.

The U.S. drought, freak occurrence or a changing climate?
Meredith Healey, CBC News, August 24, 2012
Prepare for sticker shock. It's a warning consumers worldwide have been barraged with this summer, as the worst drought in half a century grips the U.S. and its Midwest farm belt


Things To Do In The State Forest: Hiking, Camping, Coal Mining…
Sharona Coutts, Global Mail, August 23, 2012
In the laws that protect New South Wales state forests, there’s a loophole so big you could fit an open-cut coal mine through it. And the state government has done just that — approving a giant mine in habitat that the government lists as critically endangered.

Green group demands contract for closure 'action'
ABC News, 21 August 2012
Campaigners from Environment Victoria are in Canberra today lobbying for a decision on the closure of coal-fired power generators.
Contracts for closure: The scheme is not dead

Government imposes fracking moratorium
ABC News,  August 24, 2012
The State Government has announced a ban on any further approvals on fracking in new coal seam gas exploration wells.

Milne calls for push toward renewables
The Age, 21 August 2012
Australian Greens leader Christine Milne says a "big push" is needed if Australia is to switch entirely to renewable energy and reduce its large carbon footprint.

Who’s afraid of solar PV?
Mike Sandiford, The Conversation, 21 August 2012
The recent take-up of domestic solar photo-voltaic (PV) panels in Australia has been quite phenomenal. Across 2010 and 2011, the installed capacity increased seven fold to about 1.4 gigawatts, doubling every 9 months.

Renewables: All talk, not enough action
Giles Parkinson, ReNewEconomy, 20 August 2012
For all of the talk on both sides of politics in this past decade about the need to deploy large-scale renewables in Australia, they don’t have a heck of a lot to show for it.

Cloud Brightening to Control Global Warming? Geoengineers Propose an Experiment
ScienceDaily, Aug. 20, 2012
Even though it sounds like science fiction, researchers are taking a second look at a controversial idea that uses futuristic ships to shoot salt water high into the sky over the oceans, creating clouds that reflect sunlight and thus counter global warming


When the media won’t report the environment, it’s time to rethink news
Freya Mathews, The Converaation, 20 August 2012
The news treats nature as a backdrop to the dramas and delights of human life. In the 21st century, our dramas are driving nature’s destruction, and that destruction threatens an end to our delights.

Arctic heads for record melt, but do we want to know?
David Spratt, ReNewEconomy, 20 August 2012
Two extraordinary events at the end of last week say a lot about the state of the climate change conversation in Australia.

Green Desert: Climate coverage losing steam?
K. Kaufman, MyDesert, 18 August 2012
Guess who's not talking about climate change? Besides the usual suspects, we can now add some unusual ones: most of the major media outlets in the U.S., according to a new analysis from Media Matters for America, a media watchdog website.

Language Intelligence – Lessons on persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga: A Review
Real Climate, 20 August 2012
Any book that manages to link together the lessons of the Bible, Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, and Lady Gaga (not to mention Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill, Bob Dylan, and Jerry Seinfeld), can’t be all bad.

Apocalypse or bust: How Wired’s climate optimism doesn’t add up
Philip Bump, Grist, 23 August 2012
Good news, everyone. Wired is reporting that the world probably isn’t going to end in December. The bad news is how the magazine makes that argument.


US election 2012: Romney and Obama avoid the climate change elephant
Leo Hickman, Guardian, 24 August 2012
Next week's Republican convention will highlight – by its omission – how toxic climate change has become in the US

Climate Science as Culture War
Andrew J. Hoffman, SSIReview, Fall 2012
The public debate around climate change is no longer about science—it’s about values, culture, and ideology.

Science adviser warns climate target 'out the window'
Pallab Ghosh, BBC News, 23 August 2012
One of the government's most senior scientific advisers has said that efforts to stop a sharp rise in global temperatures were now "unrealistic".

Big emitters to pay more if Kyoto fails
David Wroe, The Age, August 23, 201
Big greenhouse gas emitters could pay more under the Gillard's carbon price if Australia refuses to sign up to a second round of the Kyoto Protocol, a leading climate think tank has said.

The End of the Industrial Revolution
Paul Gilding, ReNewEconomy,  24 August 2012
What a privilege it is to be alive in these times, in such a significant period in human history. It’s not always easy to see moments of great historical importance when you’re in the middle of them. Sometimes they’re dramatic, like the fall of the Berlin Wall or the landing on the moon.

If we are to cope with climate change we need a new moral order
Andrew Brown, Guardian, 21 August 2012
It will take the kind of conformism and sense of moral obligation offered by religious thought and ritual if we are to save the plane

Australia 'mid-range' in global prices
Ben Cubby, The Age, 21 August 2012
The carbon price puts Australia, the world's 15th-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, in the middle of the international pack when it comes to dealing with global warming, according to a new report by the Climate Commission.


Are Methane Hydrates Dissolving?
TerraDaily,  August 16, 2012
West of Spitsbergen methane gas is effervescing out of the seabed. Is this an indication that methane hydrates in the seabed are dissolving due to rising temperatures? And what would the effects be?

Extreme metrics
Gavin Schmidt, Real Climate, 18 August 2012
There has been a lot of discussion related to the Hansen et al (2012, PNAS) paper and the accompanying op-ed in the Washington Post last week. But in this post, I’ll try and make the case that most of the discussion has not related to the actual analysis described in the paper, but rather to proxy arguments for what people think is ‘important’.

Sea-level rise: Whatever you call it, water is rising in Norfolk.
Jennifer Weeks, Daily Climate, 21 August 2012
Virginia has no state policy on climate change. But on the coast – where rising seas threaten military bases, ports, homes and beaches – flooding is on everyone's mind.

Antarctic melt alarm as scientists find ‘very unusual’ warming
Simon Copland, Crikey, 23 August 2012
Scientists have drilled 364 metres into ice to complete the first ever comprehensive temperature record of the Antarctic Peninsula — and they’ve found evidence of “very unusual” and dramatic warming over the last century.
Report: Most Antarctic Peninsula Warming Human-Caused

Shade cloth over reefs? Scientists call for ‘last resort’ measures
The Conversation, 20 August 2012
Unconventional tactics, including using shade cloth to protect corals from heat stress, must form part of future ocean management and conservation plans, argues a scientist from the University of  Queensland.