Climate Change News - October 6, 2008Monday, October 6, 2008
- Andy Revkin, the author of the DotEarth blog at the NYT, has received a prestigious journalism award for his long labors addressing climate change and global warming. His links to some of his early articles are especially interesting.
- RealClimate has had some interesting forth and backs with the authors of a recent paper that has been reported in the media to debunk ideas of large sea level rise this century. What is important is that the paper predicted a sea level rise of from 2.6 to 6.6 feet (0.8-2.0 meters), enough to make problematic the continued existence of Charleston, SC by century's end.
- Are sunspot numbers, which have been at zero for a couple of months, about to increase again as the new solar cycle begins? Recent calculations by the NASA's Solar Physics section of the Marshall Space Flight center show that that should be the case very soon. And, in fact, an active region was currently seen traversing the face of the sun. However, there is much uncertainty.
- Read it and weep: John McCain suggests that Sarah Palin will be put in charge of our country's energy security. Joseph Romm's article in Salon suggests that might not be such a good idea in view of her poor grasp of the facts of the energy situation in the US.
- Oh, oh, here comes the methane! Can you spell "tipping point?" However, is global warming the main cause of what seem to be large increases in releases from Arctic sites? On this point there is uncertainty.
- In so far as each coal fired electric plant is a global warming machine that threatens the lives and livelihoods of our children and grandchildren are individuals then justified in preventing their construction by whatever means possible? Al Gore suggests civil disobedience to stop construction of plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration capability.
- CO2 emissions have reached 9.34 billion tons per year and are reported to be up by 3% for 2007. China, for the second year in a row, has become the world's largest emitter of GHGs, due mostly to a surge in coal use and cement making. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that talks aimed at setting post-Kyoto emissions limits do not seem to be making much progress.
- In Columbia, legislators are getting exercised about taking advantage of the pending expiration of the congressional ban on offshore drilling.
- In Washington, the White House has decided not to mandate a nation-wide switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, claiming that to do so might hinder innovation of even more efficient technologies.
- Both Vice Presidential candidates said at their recent 'debate,' that they supported "clean coal." DotEarth reports their comments about it and climate change in a recent post. There is not much agreement about what the term "clean coal" means, but here is an informative article from the Rocky Mountain Institute. The Government Accountability Office estimates in a recent report (pg. 38) that including carbon capture and sequestration at a gasified coal plant would increase the cost of the electricity it generates by 21% - 78%.
- A recent comprehensive report indicates that up to 25% of earth's mammals may be faced with extinction, mostly due to the effects of habitat destruction and hunting. Populations of about 50% of earth's mammals are in decline.
- And that's nothing compared to Alaska's glaciers, 99% of which are retreating or thinning or both according to a new book just published by the American Geological Survey. The MSNBC article reporting this has some spectacular photographs comparing Alaskan glaciers now and in the past.
- And finally, just in case you've forgotten why "Friends don't let friends eat imported shrimp!" here's an article from Britain that you should read.