Monday, December 31, 2007

Man-made undersea ridges expected to fight global warming

More than 20 years ago, Tatsuo Suzuki came up with the idea of building an artificial undersea ridge from coal ash to help increase the fish population and provide a new use for industrial waste. His project raised eyebrows, but it might have produced another upshot: helping to fight global warming.

The shape of the manmade ridge creates currents that cause nutrients to rise, sustaining tiny phytoplanktons. As these phytoplanktons go through photosynthesis, they suck up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to Suzuki, who now heads the Environment Project Department of major general contractor Hazama Corp.

The Fisheries Agency projected in 2006 that one underwater ridge, which measures 120 meters long, 60 meters wide and 12 meters high, absorbs and stabilizes about 3,500 tons of carbon dioxide a year. Suzuki had a hunch that something like this might result. More >>>

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ranking Port Cities with High Exposure and Vulnerability to Climate Extremes

Screening Study: Ranking Port Cities with High Exposure and Vulnerability to Climate Extremes: Interim Analysis: Exposure Estimates

The impact of climate change and urban development could more than triple the number of people around the world exposed to coastal flooding by 2070, according to a new report by the OECD, co-authored by experts from academia and the private sector.

150 million people could be exposed to a 1 in 100 year coastal flood event by 2070, up from 40 million today, says a new report by the OECD. The co-authors include Professor Robert Nicholls from the Tyndall Centre at Southampton University. ...More ⋙

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Global Warming Could Kill World's Coral Reefs in 50 Years

ST. LUCIA, Queensland, Australia, December 21, 2007 (ENS) -Seventeen eminent marine scientists warn that world leaders face a race against time in preparing coral reefs, and the coastal communities dependent upon them for the "inevitable impact" of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere. Their new study shows that levels of carbon dioxide could become unsustainable for coral reefs within 50 years.

The warning comes in a new study published in the journal "Science" on December 14.

"It's vital that the public understands that the lack of sustainability in the world's carbon emissions is causing the rapid loss of coral reefs, the world's most biodiverse marine ecosystem," said Drew Harvell, Cornell professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and head of the Coral Disease Research Team, which is part of the international Coral Reef Targeted Research, CRTR, group that wrote the new study. Read More

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Climate Sanctions Sought Against US

German Party Launches Effort

by Judy Dempsey

BERLIN - The Social Democrats are calling for sanctions on energy-intensive US export products if the Bush administration continues to obstruct international agreements on climate protection, the party’s leading environmental specialist said yesterday.1219 02The move, after the United Nations climate conference last week in Bali, Indonesia, has won strong support from the Greens and other leftist groupings in the European Parliament. Those factions will renew their bid to impose such levies when the Parliament reconvenes next month.

It also signals a big effort by the Social Democrats to take the initiative on the environment and perhaps reshape it as a foreign policy issue that could affect relations between Berlin and Washington.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has taken the lead on climate change, both domestically and internationally, leaving her junior coalition partners, the Social Democrats, frustrated. The opposition Greens have also lost ground on an issue they had long dominated.

But with three important state elections next year, the Social Democrats, still floundering in the opinion polls, are revamping their program to stem the decline of public support, party officials say.

“Merkel has made climate change a big issue and has tried to bring the Bush administration on board, so far without success,” said Ulrich Kelber, deputy parliamentary leader of the Social Democrats and an environmental specialist who is leading the campaign to impose levies on energy-intensive US products. Read More

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Al Gore’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

By Al Gore

11 December, 2007

Oslo, Norway

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Honorable members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen.

I have a purpose here today. It is a purpose I have tried to serve for many years. I have prayed that God would show me a way to accomplish it.

Sometimes, without warning, the future knocks on our door with a precious and painful vision of what might be. One hundred and nineteen years ago, a wealthy inventor read his own obituary, mistakenly published years before his death. Wrongly believing the inventor had just died, a newspaper printed a harsh judgment of his life’s work, unfairly labeling him “The Merchant of Death” because of his invention - dynamite. Shaken by this condemnation, the inventor made a fateful choice to serve the cause of peace. Read More

FutureGen, World's Cleanest Coal Plant, Sited in Illinois

WASHINGTON, DC, December 18, 2007 (ENS)

A consortium of some of the world's largest coal companies and electric utilities has selected the small east-central Illinois town of Mattoon for FutureGen, a $1.4 billion coal-fueled power plant that is planned as the cleanest in the world.

The FutureGen Alliance today announced that Mattoon was chosen over three other sites in Tuscola, Illinois; Jewett, Texas; and Odessa, Texas.

"The Alliance would like to congratulate Mattoon, Illinois for being chosen as the final site to host the FutureGen facility," said Mike Mudd, CEO of the FutureGen Alliance, making the announcement at the National Press Club in Washington. "Officials from Mattoon should be commended for their determination and dedication to the FutureGen program." Read More