30 September 2012

Climate News

Week ending 30 September 2012
Images: NASA

Arctic Sea Ice: What, Why and What Next
Ramez Naam, SA blog, September 21, 2012
On September 19th, NSIDC, the National Snow and Ice Data Center, announced that Arctic sea ice has shrunk as far as it will shrink this summer, and that the ice is beginning to reform, expanding the floating ice cap that covers the North Pole and the seas around it.

Interactive map: Arctic sea ice concentration, 1984 and 2012


America's miasma of misinformation on climate change
Anna M Clark,Guardian, 23 September 2012
With serious reporting of global warming by US media virtually nonexistent, it's no wonder Americans are paralysed in denial.

Fox News climate coverage 93 percent wrong, report finds.
Stephanie Pappas, Live Science, 25 September 2012
Primetime coverage of global warming at Fox News is overwhelmingly misleading, according to a new report that finds the same is true of climate change information in the Wall Street Journal op-ed pages.

High-Arctic Heat Tops 1,800-Year High, Says Study
Columbia University, September 27, 2012
A “seminal” 2009 study in Science found that human-caused Arctic warming had overtaken 2,000 years of natural cooling. A new study of the high Arctic provides further evidence for that conclusion.

Deadly Connection: Extreme Weather and Climate Change
September 25, 2012
After record-breaking heat, destructive wildfires, droughts and storms punished communities across the United States this year, two House Democrats are asking Congress to recognize the steep cost of climate change’s steroidal effect on extreme weather.
A Summer Of Extremes: A Round-Up Of U.S. Records

Postcard from the Arctic Goldrush
Carlos Duarte, The Conversation, 27 September 2012
Google News contains more than 51,000 English-language news about the melting Arctic, five hundred of them generated in the 60 minutes before we decide to write this article.

TransCanada Turns Sadistic in Texas: Keystone XL Protestors Tased and Pepper Sprayed
Bill McKibben, Huffington Post, 26 September 2012
Watching from a distance is hard. I'm on the move setting up our big roadshow assault on the fossil fuel industry, but the real action is in Texas, where a growing number of blockaders are trying to shut down work on the southern section of the Keystone Pipeline -- and where TransCanada, according to the people at the Tar Sands Blockade, is turning more than a little sadistic.


It's a myth that wind turbines don't reduce carbon emissions
Chris Goodall and Mark Lynas. Guardian, 26 September 2012
Conclusive figures show that the sceptics who lobby against wind power simply have their facts wrong

Pacific Islands look to first zero emissions cargo network
Giles Parkinson, ReNewEconomy, 24 September 2012
There is talk around the docks of Suva that the real reason for the haphazard observation of shipping timetables may not always be because of some romantic notion of “Pacific time,” but something altogether more prosaic: the high cost of diesel.

Renewables industry risks stalling without 2030 target
Kellie Caught, ReNewEconomy, 24 September 2012
Donald Horne once penned the term “Australia the lucky country”, not as a positive term, but as an ironic indictment of Australia’s lack of innovation and enterprise in the 1960s. He argued that, as a nation, we were lucky to develop at a time when we weren’t being particularly clever.
Coalition affirms commitment to RET as is
Tristan Edis, Climate Spectator, 28 September 2012
Climate Spectator caught up with Greg Hunt, the Coalition’s spokesperson for climate change this week to ask a series of questions around its policies for support of renewables, energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage.
Kick the RET past 2020

UCG approval system 'inadequate': Ombudsman
Brisbane Times, September 26, 2012
Queensland's ombudsman has criticised approval processes for an underground coal gasification (UCG) project that contaminated groundwater.

Stratospheric aerosol particles and solar-radiation management
F. D. Popeet al, Nature Climate Change, 12 August 2012
The deliberate injection of particles into the stratosphere has been suggested as a possible geoengineering scheme to mitigate the global warming aspect of climate change.


Psychology: Science literacy and climate views
Adam Corner, Nature Climate Change, 27 September 2012
Communicators are convinced of the importance of emphasizing the scientific evidence about climate change risks. But research shows that science-literate individuals are not necessarily the most concerned about global warming.

Protecting Victoria's Coast
The Environment Defenders Office is representing a small environment group, Friends of the Surry, in an upcoming VCAT hearing on 8 October.  The case is about protecting our coast from bad planning decisions.

Pounding the bitumen for solar (audio)
About 100 people are walking from Port Augusta to Adelaide to campaign for a solar thermal plant to replace the highly polluting Playford coal fired power station at Port Augusta

Give us back our $5.5 billion
The Federal Government has just abandoned their promise to close our dirtiest coal-fired power stations like Hazelwood.

Constraining World Trade Is Unlikely to Help the Climate, Study Finds
ScienceDaily, Sep. 23, 2012
From rubber dinghies to television sets: the emissions of greenhouse gases in countries like China are to a significant extent caused by the production of goods that are exported to Germany or the United States. But this doesn't necessarily mean that Western countries have relocated their emission-intensive industries and hence escape regulation for climate protection.


Now climate experts warn that every house in the country is at risk of flooding
Jonathan Brown, Independent, 29 September 2012
Sheer volume of rain is overwhelming communities previously considered immune. Jonathan Brown reports

Record Arctic Snow Loss May Be Prolonging North American Drought
Brandon Keim. Wired, September 26, 2012
Melting Arctic snow isn’t as dramatic as melting sea ice, but the snow may be vanishing just as rapidly, with potentially profound consequences for weather in the United States.

The Arctic ice cap is melting - and with it goes our future
John Gibbons, Irish Times, 27 September 2012
It is difficult to overstate the magnitude of what is currently unfolding in the Arctic region

High Arctic warming surpasses Viking era, study shows
Alister Doyle, Reuters, 27 September 2012
Temperatures high in the Norwegian Arctic are above those in a natural warm period in Viking times, underscoring a thaw opening the region to everything from oil exploration to shipping, scientists said on Thursday.

Climate change is already damaging global economy, report finds
Fiona Harvey, Guardian, 26 September 2012
Economic impact of global warming is costing the world more than $1.2 trillion a year, wiping 1.6% annually from global GDP

The need for new ocean conservation strategies in a high-carbon dioxide world
Greg H. Rau, Elizabeth L. McLeod & Ove Hoegh-Guldberg,Nature Climate Change, 19 August 2012
The historically unprecedented threats to the marine environment posed by increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide will probably require the use of unconventional, non-passive methods to conserve marine ecosystems. Soliciting such approaches and evaluating their cost, safety and effectiveness must be part of a robust ocean conservation and management plan going forward.

100 million to die by 2030 if climate action fails: report
More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday.

Climate Change Kills 400,000 a Year, New Report Reveals
Mark Hertsgaard, Sep 27, 2012 4:45 AM EDT
The Earth’s changing climate is costing the global economy $1.2 trillion a year and killing 1,000 children a day, according to a new study—and the U.N. warns the summer’s record heat and drought could trigger a catastrophe.

Ocean Acidification Threatens Food Security, Report
Michael D. Lemonick, Climate Central, 24 September 2012
Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines, Iran, and China are among the top 50 nations whose food security may be threatened by the effects that the rise of manmade carbon-dioxide (CO2) gas emissions are already starting to have on fish and shellfish, according to a new report by Oceana, an international ocean conservation organization.
Small nations to be hit hardest by more acidic oceans

How The Arctic Death Spiral Fuels A ‘Wicked Backlash On Our Weather’
Joe Romm, Climate Progress, Sept 25, 2012
Videographer Peter Sinclair has another excellent video for The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media featuring leading Arctic experts

Thousands of homes at risk from climate change: report
Bridie Jabour, Brisbane Times, 25 September 2012
Brisbane Airport and more than 4000 homes on the Gold Coast are at risk of being damaged or destroyed by climate change, according to a new report from the Climate Commission

Warming ocean could start big shift of Antarctic ice
Ecos, 24 september 2012
Fast-flowing and narrow glaciers have the potential to trigger massive changes in the Antarctic ice sheet and contribute to rapid ice-sheet decay and sea-level rise, a new study has found.

Severe Economic Loss for European Forest Land Expected by 2100
ScienceDaily, Sep. 23, 2012
By 2100 the climate change is expected to reduce the economic value of forest land by 14 to 50 %, which equates to a potential damage of several hundred billion Euros unless effective countermeasures are taken.

Loss of Species Makes Nature More Sensitive to Climate Change, Study Finds
ScienceDaily, Sep. 26, 2012
When we wipe out the most sensitive species, human beings reduce the resilience of ecosystems to climate change, reveals a new study from biologists at the University of Gothenburg, published in the journal Ecology Letters.