11 November 2012

Climate News

Week ending 12 November 2012

NOTE TO READERS

We are taking a break!  This will be the last weekly climate news for a little while, to allow me more time to see through some other projects. The blogs on this site will continue, in their irregular way.  So for 2012, a big thanks to Dave and Graeme and the others who have diligently fed in material for this service, and to all of you who have provided feedback. – David

PICKS OF THE WEEK

An interview with Kevin Anderson: “Rapid and deep emissions reductions may not be easy, but 4°C to 6°C will be much worse”
http://transitionculture.org/2012/11/02/an-interview-with-kevin-anderson-rapid-and-deep-emissions-reductions-may-not-be-easy-but-4c-to-6c-will-be-much-worse/
Transition Culture, 2 November 2012
We are talking here at best a steady-state economy. The analysis that I and colleagues in the Tyndall Centre have undertaken would suggest there probably has to be a reduction in our consumption and an economic contraction.

Study: Predicted 6ºC Rise by 2100 Should End "Business as Usual"
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/11/05-2
Common Dreams, November 5, 2012
'This isn't about shock tactics, it's simple maths' says global accounting firm.
AND
We’re Headed To 11°F Warming And Even 7°F Requires ‘Nearly Quadrupling The Current Rate Of Decarbonisation’
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/11/06/1144431/study-were-headed-to-11f-warming-and-even-7f-requires-nearly-quadrupling-the-current-rate-of-decarbonisation/

The Australian Government, Kyoto and the illusion of progress
http://theconversation.edu.au/the-australian-government-kyoto-and-the-illusion-of-progress-10631
David Hodgkinson, The Conversation, 10 November 2012
The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, announced on Friday that Australia is “ready” to join a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Superstorm Sandy—a People's Shock?
http://www.thenation.com/article/171048/super-storm-sandy-peoples-shock
Naomi Klein, The Nation, November 5, 2012 
Less than three days after Sandy made landfall on the East Coast of the United States, Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute blamed New Yorkers’ resistance to big-box stores for the misery they were about to endure.

Randers: What does the world look like in 2052?
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2012/randers-story-61888
Giles Parkinson, ReNewEconomy, 7 November 2012
What will the world look like in 40 years time. In 2052, will we have enough food and water? Will there be too many people? Will our standard of living be higher. Will we have taken decisive action on climate change.

ENERGY AND INNOVATION

A study in Noise and Health shows that wind farms cause people to lose sleep.  How reliable is this study?
http://www.quora.com/Wind-Power/A-study-in-Noise-and-Health-shows-that-wind-farms-cause-people-to-lose-sleep-How-reliable-is-this-study
The study Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health by Nissenbaum, Hanning and Aramini is being referenced in articles world-wide and is being held up as peer-reviewed evidence that wind farms are causing health problems by anti-wind lobbying groups. How reliable is the study? Are the conclusions sound? How seriously should this be taken?

Huge scale of UK's 'dash for gas' revealed
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/03/uk-dash-gas
Damian Carrington and Jamie Doward,  The Observer, 3 November 2012
The amount of power expected to be generated from gas by 2030 has quadrupled in the last year, according to official projections that will infuriate green campaigners who are demanding greater use of renewable energy sources.

The big talking points from the Energy White Paper
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2012/the-big-talking-points-from-the-energy-white-paper-68156
Giles Parkinson, RenewEconomy, 9 November 2012
There has been a lot of focus on figures which show that one quarter of consumer bills pay for the infrastructure that is used for just 40 hours a year to cope with peak demand. But here’s another number from the Energy White Paper: 30 per cent of the revenue from the wholesale market comes from just 30 hours of critical peaks a year.
AND
Ferguson spies a green energy future … and steps on the gas
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2012/ferguson-spies-a-green-energy-future-and-steps-on-the-gas-99541

Australia breaks 2GW of solar PV
http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/australia-breaks-2gw-solar-pv
Nigel Morris, Climate Spectator, 8 November 2012
Today is a historic day for Australia’s energy industry and more importantly perhaps for the solar PV industry in our country.

Geo-engineering
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bigideas/2012-11-05/4344502
ABC RN Big Ideas,  5 November 2012
Geo-engineering is controversial and unproven. It aims to cool the Earth’s temperature, to help mitigate global warming. Some say it's hubris. How can we dare to believe we can intervene to manipulate the climate? But what if it’s our last chance to stave off a complete climate change disaster?

Geoengineering is the answer to climate change. Unless it isn’t.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/geoengineering-is-the-answer-to-climate-change-unless-it-isnt/2012/11/05/aef1c418-073d-11e2-858a-5311df86ab04_story.html
Stephen Battersby, Washington Post, November 6, 2012
Is it time to get serious about geoengineering our way out of climate change?

The junk science of wind turbine syndrome
http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/junk-science-wind-turbine-syndrome
Ketan Joshi, Climate Spectator, 9 November 2012
In the past five years, a harmful and potent new creation has become prevalent in the field of renewable energy.

POLITICS AND POLICY

What does Obama's victory mean for action on global warming?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2012/nov/07/obama-climate-change-us-election-president
Damian Carrington, The Guardian,  7 November 2012
A second term frees the President to end his climate change silence and perhaps spur on a global deal, but he still needs to win Republican support on Capitol Hill
AND
Enviro groups see big win in efforts to put climate, energy on election agenda
http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2012/11/climate-election
Douglas Fischer, The Daily Climate, Nov. 7, 2012
'Flat Earthers' are out, 'Climate Heroes' in, as results from Tuesday's election are tallied.

The marginal seats with the most rooftop solar
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2012/the-marginal-seats-with-the-most-rooftop-solar-48795
Giles Parkinson, ReNewEconomy, 4 November 2012
The list of the most marginal Federal seats with the highest rate of deployment for rooftop solar systems shows that there is a roughly even split between Coalition and government rankings, with the ALP having 10 such seats, the Liberals 8, the Liberal National Party 6 and the WA Nationals 1.
AND
How rooftop solar PV suddenly became a hot political issue
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2012/how-rooftop-solar-pv-suddenly-became-a-hot-political-issue-13825

The most brutal ad you’ll see this election
http://grist.org/politics/the-most-brutal-ad-youll-see-this-election/
David Roberts, Grist, 2 November 2012
I don’t think this requires much commentary, do you?

Paper a whitewash of the environment
http://www.smh.com.au/business/paper-a-whitewash-of-the-environment-20121104-28s3p.html
Ross Gittins, SMH, 5 November 2012
THE most glaring weakness in Julia Gillard's white paper on the Asian century is its failure to factor in the high likelihood that mounting environmental problems will stop Asia continuing to grow so rapidly - as well as limit our ability to take advantage of what growth there is.

Australia's carbon abatement imports target revealed
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/australias-carbon-abatement-imports-target-revealed-20121101-28l8f.html
The Age, 1 November 2012
Australia will need to import about 100 million tonnes of carbon abatement in 2020 to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets, the first official emissions projections since Australia imposed a price on carbon found on Wednesday.

SCIENCE AND IMPACTS

Arabica Coffee Could Be Extinct in the Wild Within 70 Years
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121107200144.htm
Science Daily, Nov. 7, 2012
A study conducted by scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK), in collaboration with scientists in Ethiopia, reports that climate change alone could lead to the extinction of wild Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) well before the end of this century.

The great thaw: Charting the end of the ice age
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21628891.900-the-great-thaw-charting-the-end-of-the-ice-age.html
Anil Ananthaswamy, New Scientist, 5 November 2012
Just 20,000 years ago, ice ruled the planet. So why did it relax its grip? Finally, it looks like the answers are in.

China, less impact by CO2 may explain slowing in warming
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/06/us-climate-temperatures-idUSBRE8A510020121106
Alister Doyle, Reuters, 6 November 2012
Sun-dimming industrial pollution in China or signs that greenhouse gases trap less heat in the atmosphere than expected may help explain an apparent slowdown in global warming since 2000, experts say.

Revealed: Climate change led to decline of Maya civilisation
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/revealed-climate-change-led-to-decline-of-maya-civilisation-8298232.html
Steve Connor, Independent, 9 October 2012
One of the world’s great civilisations was forced into terminal decline by successive dry periods culminating in a prolonged drought, according to a study that throws fresh light on the mysterious disappearance of the Maya in Central America around 1,100AD.

Climate change 'likely to be more severe than some models predict'
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/08/climate-change-severe-models
Scientists analysing climate models warn we should expect high temperature rises – meaning more extreme weather, sooner
Fiona Harvey, Guardian, 8 November 2012
AND
Future Warming Likely to Be On High Side of Climate Projections, Analysis Finds
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108142746.htm

Bushfire conditions worsen near Melbourne
http://www.theage.com.au/national/bushfire-conditions-worsen-near-melbourne-20121107-28yp2.html
Ben Cubby, The Age, November 8, 2012
Bushfire risk has increased sharply since the 1970s, with an index that measures the severity of fire weather conditions near Melbourne having risen nearly 50 per cent in four decades.

Melting in the Andes: Goodbye glaciers
http://www.nature.com/news/melting-in-the-andes-goodbye-glaciers-1.11759
Barbara Fraser, Nature, 7 November 2012
Researchers are racing to determine how shrinking glaciers in the Andes will affect the water supply of millions of people.