21 October 2012

Climate News

Week ending 21 October 2012
Rank of hottest years to coldest. Courtesy UK Met Office

UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013
John Vidal, The Observer, 13 October 2012
Global grain reserves hit critically low levels; Extreme weather means climate 'is no longer reliable'; Rising food prices threaten disaster and unrest
Empty Promise
By George Monbiot, Guardian, 16 October 2012
Could scientists have got the impacts of climate change on food supply wildly wrong? I believe we might have made a mistake: a mistake whose consequences, if I am right, would be hard to overstate. I think the forecasts for world food production could be entirely wrong.

When Greens Eat Themselves

Mike Steketee, Global Mail, October 17, 2012
What would you conclude about the success of a public campaign by interest groups that saw support for its cause decline?

Deniers cherry-pick in vain effort to prove up is down
Climate Code Red, 16 October 2012
It's spring, but today was cooler than yesterday. The trend is obvious, it's getting cooler and winter is coming? That's the cherry-picking method at the heart of climate denial, and it's at work again in a story by David Rose first published by the Mail on Sunday claiming that "Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released... and here is the chart to prove it".
Ten Charts That Make Clear The Planet Just Keeps Warming

Is this the beginning of the end of coal-fired generation?
Giles Parkinson, ReNewEconomy, 15 October 2012
Reduced demand, and the need to reduce carbon emissions, continues to have a dramatic impact on Australia’s coal-fired generators, with one of Queensland’s largest, the Tarong power station, forced to close half of its 1,400MW capacity.
Merit order, falling demand claim their biggest coal victim


Solar Insights: PV costs set for another 30% fall in 2012
Giles Parkinson, reNewEconomy, 16 October 2012
Suntech, the world’s biggest solar PV manufacturer, announces it’s cost of manufacture, amid all the market gyrations, will fall 30 per cent in calendar 2012 – to 55c a watt (not including silicon). That is after a 75 per cent fall in the previous two years.

Photos: Documenting The True Cost Of Coal
Stephen Lacey, Climate Progress, October 17, 2012
What if we factored the environmental and health impacts of burning coal into its cost? Economists say they would add up to about $500 billion per year — making coal’s true cost about $17.8 cents per kilowatt-hour generated.

Power pollution plunges
Lenore Taylor, SHM, 18 October 2012
The carbon tax has helped to drive a sharp fall in the emissions intensity of Australia's power generation as coal-fired stations are closed, moth-balled or sell less electricity.

Why you are paying $10/hr to run your neighbour’s air-con
Giles Parkinson, ReNewEconomy, 18 October 2012
We’re not quite into the scorching summer temperatures peaks, but here’s a thought to help boil your blood the next time you lie on the couch, sweltering in the heat. You’re one of  a minority of households that do not have air conditioning, but you might as well, because it’s costing you pretty close to $10 an hour in those summer peaks to subsidise those that do.
Productivity Commission releases a bomb

Chinese capture lion's share of solar
Peter Hannam, SMH, October 15, 2012
Forget cheap shoes. China is leaping up the technology ladder at a rate that has caught its competitors off guard, not least in renewable energy.

Ignoring geoengineering at our peril
Sara Phillips, ABC Environment, 17 Oct 2012
An American businessman has reportedly conducted his own experiments in artificially changing our climate. It would seem a conversation about the ethics of such an act are overdue.

Solar Power Is Contagious
ScienceDaily, Oct. 18, 2012
People are more likely to install a solar panel on their home if their neighbors have one, according to a Yale and New York University study in the journal Marketing Science.


Bringing the power sector account
Alan Pears, Climate Spectator, 19 October 2012
After five hearings of the electricity price inquiry a clear picture is emerging on power prices – and it is clear there are many people to blame. The process has been off the rails for 15 years and it's time it was fixed.

Americans increasingly believe in global warming, Yale report says
Monte Morin, LA Times, October 18, 2012
For the first time since the United States entered a deep recession five years ago, 70% of Americans now say they believe global warming is a reality, according to researchers.

Alan Jones ordered to do journalism training over climate errors
ABC News, 19 October 2012
Controversial broadcaster Alan Jones has been ordered to undergo basic journalism training by Australia's media watchdog.
Climate change: journalism's never-ending fight for facts

What would it mean to treat climate change like a security threat?
David Roberts, Grist, 15 October 2012
Climate change is a serious security risk to the United States — the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the White House have affirmed as much in various reports and proclamations. It’s become a popular talking pointamong climate hawks. Nonetheless, there hasn’t been enough thinking, at least outside nerd circles, about what it would it mean to approach climate change as a security problem

$20m bill to save beachfront mansions
Matthew Killoran, Gold Coast News, October 16, 2012
More than $20 million in ratepayer money has to be splashed out to stop millionaires' homes being washed into the ocean.

Seeing our planet as a factory floor
Paul Kingsnorth, ABC Environment. 16 October 2012
If we believe that the rest of nature is a resource for human use, then we will treat our planet simply as a factory floor. Even if we manage that factory sustainably, it will be a poor and depressing world.


Climate change bill of $1b for suburbs
Cameron Houston, the Age, 21 October 2012
Waterfront communities from Southbank to the Mornington Peninsula face a damage bill of more than $1 billion from severe storms and rising sea levels over the next 90 years, according to a confidential climate change report.

North America most affected by increase in weather-related natural catastrophes
Munich Re, 17 October 2012
A new study by Munich Re shows that North America has been most affected by weather-related extreme events in recent decades. The publication "Severe weather in North America" analyzes all kinds of weather perils and their trends. It reports and shows that the continent has experienced the largest increases in weather-related loss events.

Warming freezing economies
Oman Observer, 19 October 2012
Climate change caused by global warming is freezing the world economy and already leading to the deaths of millions every year, a report commissioned by 20 of the world’s most vulnerable countries said.

Food price crisis: What crisis?
Richard Anderson, BBC News, 15 October 2012
Without water, crops cannot grow and the world cannot eat. And this year, there hasn't been enough of it.

Australian Ski Industry to Banish Due to Global Climate Change?
Esther Tanquintic-Misa, IB Times, October 15, 2012
Skiing aficionados who often go to Australia to experience the resource-rich nation's ski resorts and alpine regions may be forced to scout other locations in the coming years as the worsening global climate change could kill the Australian ski industry by year 2020.

Methane hydrates: a volatile time bomb in the Arctic
Carlos Duarte and Antonio Delgado Huertas, The Conversation, 17 October 2012
Understanding and forecasting the response of Arctic methane hydrate deposits to rapid warming and thawing in the Arctic is of the utmost importance. Provided the magnitude of these risks, and those associated with other tipping elements in the Arctic, our collective response to climate change appears to be a careless walk on the razor edge.

$20m bill to save beachfront mansions
Matthew Killoran, Gold Coast Bulletin, October 16, 2012
More than $20 million in ratepayer money has to be splashed out to stop millionaires' homes being washed into the ocean.

Warming climate sends US corn belt north
SMH, 16 October 2012
Joe Waldman is saying goodbye to corn after yet another hot and dry summer convinced the Kansas farmer that rainfall won’t be there when he needs it anymore.

Scientists blame warmer Atlantic for wet summers
David Shukman, BBC News, 7 October 2012
Recent warming in the Atlantic Ocean is the main cause of wet summers in northern Europe, according to a new study.