Month: January 2015

Climate concern ‘linked to floods.

Public belief in the reality of climate change has risen in Britain, partly because of the 2013 winter floods, according to a report.

Concern has almost returned to the high levels reported in 2005, say University of Cardiff researchers.

Britons named climate change as a major issue facing the UK alongside crime and education in a national survey.

Many see climate change as contributing at least in part to floods, especially when they have been affected directly.

Helen Briggs | bbc.com

that solving climate (stabilizing at 2°C) is cheap, by any plausible definition of the word. Indeed, it is “super-cheap.”

The most important climate issue is the cost and consequences of inaction. The climate science has now reached the point that one can definitively say failure to very aggressively try to “solve” climate change is not either a rational or moral option for a nation or humanity as a whole. As Dave Roberts himself has explained, “The results of inaction are morally unacceptable. They are also economically unacceptable….”
To be crystal clear, my position — what the literature and field experience make crystal clear — is that solving climate (stabilizing at 2°C) is cheap, by any plausible definition of the word. Indeed, it is “super-cheap.”

Joe Romm | thinkprogress.org

Solar Power Station and undercover parking now open at Alice Springs airport.

Alice Springs Airport (ASA) today opened an expansion of its Solar Power Station. The new 325kw photovoltaic (PV) system was constructed on top of steel structures that will serve the dual purpose of mounting the solar panels and providing shaded, premium car parking.

The project, valued at $1.9 million, consists of an extra 996 panels and will more than double the airport’s capacity to produce its own power. With the shade structures covering half of the long-term car park, it also provides travellers with a premium undercover parking option if they are going away for a longer period of time.

ASA General Manager Dave Batic said today’s opening represents the second stage of a long-term strategy to improve the airport’s energy efficiency.

“Our first solar power initiative was a great success for the business and we’re committed to further developing our solar energy capability, especially when it comes to thinking outside the square to make it happen,” he said. “This addition to our car park takes advantage of our location to produce enough energy to power 90 homes for a year, and the innovative design means we can also build upon our parking facilities and offer shaded areas as a choice for our customers.

ASA currently receives approximately a quarter of its power needs from its existing 235kW power station, which was completed in 2010. The additional panels will offset the equivalent of 420 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. alicespringsairport.com.au

Study Projects Dismal Future for Great Barrier Reef.

Living corals on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef face a bleak future if current ocean warming trends continue and could fall to unprecedented low levels, a study suggests.

The Great Barrier Reef, previously considered one of the most pristine and healthy of global reef systems, has lost around half of its coral cover in just the last 27 years, they say, and living coral cover could decline to less than 10 percent with ongoing environmental change.

“Losing the GBR and other reefs would be a massive blow to marine biodiversity and to the people that depend on healthy reefs for food, tourism, and protection from storms,” he says.

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system, covering an area about the size of Japan, stretching for almost 1,400 miles along the majority of the coastline of Australia’s Queensland state.

Jim Algar | techtimes.com

Great Barrier Reef faces prospect of UNESCO ‘in danger’ listing.

A CRITICAL part of the plan to prevent UNESCO listing the Great Barrier Reef as “in danger” is in a shambles, with scientists saying Government efforts to stop agricultural run-off have failed.

A senior State Government scientist said Queensland efforts to cut coral-killing agricultural run-off were ineffective and showed no meaningful cut to pollution.

He said a major problem was that in removing red and green tape, the Government had replaced legal requirements with a voluntary scheme.

The Courier-Mail revealed yesterday that scientists had discovered farm chemicals in Queensland’s two most high profile table fish species – barramundi and coral trout. It marks the first time in Australia that the feminisation of male fish through endocrine-disrupting farm chemicals has been identified.

Brian Williams | couriermail.com.au

Here Are The Results Of A Major Recalculation Of Climate Change Projections For Australia.

Climate change will mean hotter days and more of them for Australia.

The peak science body, CSIRO, and the Bureau of Meteorology have released the results of a recalculation of climate change projections for Australia.

The projections are the most comprehensive for Australia and have been prepared with an emphasis on informing the natural resource management sector. Information has been drawn from simulations based on up to 40 global climate models.

CSIRO and Bureau researchers say most of the changes observed over recent decades will continue into the future.

“There is very high confidence that hot days will become more frequent and hotter,” says CSIRO principal research scientist Kevin Hennessy.

“We also have very high confidence that sea levels will rise, oceans will become more acidic, and snow depths will decline.

“We expect that extreme rainfall events across the nation are likely to become more intense, even where annual-average rainfall is projected to decline.”
businessinsider.com.au

‘World can cut carbon emissions and live well’

Forests around the world will need to be expanded by 5-15% to limit global temperature rises to 2C.

And crop yields must rise by 40-60%.

These are just two predictions for 2050 of an online tool developed by the government to consider options for cutting carbon emissions.

The Global Calculator uses data reviewed by international experts to look at scenarios for meeting the 2C target, which scientists say is needed to avoid dangerous climate change.

Led by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc), the model of the world’s energy, land and food systems suggests living standards can be maintained, but only by making sweeping changes to agriculture, transport, food and fuel.

There would need be hundreds of million electric cars on the road by 2050, and the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of electricity would need to fall by at least 90%. bbc.com

The choking problem of Asia’s air pollution.

At the age of 13, Tan Yi Han could not see the edge of his schoolyard. It was 1998 in Singapore, the wealthy city-state known for its tidy streets and clean, green image. But for much of that particular school year, clouds of smoke shrouded the skyline. The record-setting air pollution, which had begun in 1997 and lasted for months, caused a 30% spike in hospital visits. It would later be remembered as one of South East Asia’s worst-ever “haze episodes”.

Haze episodes have occurred in South East Asia nearly every year since. Back in 1998, and for years afterwards, Tan didn’t think too deeply about them. Yet at some point in his late 20s, he began to wonder: where did the haze come from? And why did it keep coming back?

Despite growing fears that this haze could cause serious health issues, the problem remains as opaque as the smoke itself. Mike Ives | bbc.com

CSIRO, BOM research shows how climate change will affect Australia

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

GR:  The fires of our industry have changed our planet.  There is enough added carbon in the atmosphere to produce the changes CSIRO and BOM predict.  How much worse things get depends on when we stop adding carbon.

The following is by Harry Tucker:  “AUSTRALIA’s two biggest science and weather bodies, CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology have released new climate change data and information on how it will affect Australia.

“There is very high confidence that hot days will become more frequent and hotter,” CSIRO principal research scientist, Kevin Hennessy said.

“We also have very high confidence that sea levels will rise, oceans will become more acidic, and snow depths will decline.

“We expect that extreme rainfall events across the nation are likely to become more intense, even where annual-average rainfall is projected to decline.”

“The projections are the most comprehensive ever released for Australia, and renowned science…

View original post 16 more words

Study: Global warming ‘doubles risk’ of extreme weather.

Extreme weather arising from a climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean will get much worse as the world warms, according to climate modelling.

Parts of the world will have weather patterns that switch between extremes of wet and dry, say scientists.

The US will see more droughts while flooding will become more common in the western Pacific, research suggests.

The study, in Nature Climate Change, adds to a growing body of evidence.

The latest data – based on detailed climate modelling work – suggests extreme La Nina events in the Pacific Ocean will almost double with global warming, from one in 23 years to one in 13 years.

Our previous research showed a doubling in frequency of extreme El Niño events, and this new study shows a similar fate for the cold phase of the cycle”

Prof Mat Collins
Exeter University

Helen Briggs | bbc.com