Monday, July 28, 2008

Population Policy Needed In Order To Combat Climate Change, Experts Argue

ScienceDaily (July 28, 2008) — The biggest contribution UK couples can make to combating climate change would be to have only two children or at least have one less than they first intended, argues an editorial published in the British Medical Journal.

Family planning and reproductive health expert Professor John Guillebaud and Dr Pip Hayes, a GP from Exeter, call on UK doctors to break their silence on the links between population, family planning and climate change. They point to a calculation by the Optimum Population Trust that "each new UK birth will be responsible for 160 times more greenhouse gas emissions … than a new birth in Ethiopia."
More >>>

Thursday, July 24, 2008

CUC announces wind project request for expressions of interest

GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands, July 24 2008 - Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd. today announced that it will formally request expressions of interest from qualified wind generation developers for wind generation project of up to 10 megaWatt ("MW") on the island of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

A formal Request for Expressions of Interest will be posted on the CUC website.

In 2003, CUC completed a 12 month, two-site wind study with the support of an independent consultant. At that time, wind generation was not considered viable based on the measured wind intensity and duration and the lower cost of the prevailing diesel generation. CUC believes that this source of energy may now prove viable with reasonable assumptions regarding future fuel prices, capital costs and operating costs.

CUC currently relies upon diesel generation to produce electricity for Grand Cayman. CUC's power system is comprised of 17 generating units (15 diesel and two gas turbines) with a combined capacity of 136.6 megaWatts.

More >>>

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

28 EU overseas entities join forces for the first time to counter climate change - IUCN

11 July 2008 - For the first time the EU’s overseas entities have come together at a meeting in Reunion Island, calling for action on climate change impacts to help preserve nature, says IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) at the Reunion

Conference on Climate Change and Biodiversity in EU Overseas Entities (7-11 July).

With mounting pressure on the environment and people’s livelihoods better management and research is needed to identify the threats posed by climate change, allowing for appropriate adaptation measures in EU overseas entities. “IUCN is fully aware of the exceptional importance of biodiversity in EU overseas entities when compared with continental Europe, and their particular vulnerability to climate change,” says IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre. “Whether in Reunion, Greenland or Tahiti, biodiversity is one of the main assets for the well-being of the populations and the economic development of these territories.” More >>>

Monday, July 14, 2008

Energy-Addicted US Can Learn a Lot From Europe

A few days before we flew to Barcelona last month to attend a wedding, international headlines filled with news that truckers had blocked roadways leading to Spain’s major cities, leaving some store shelves bare.

The wildcat strike passed, and the wedding went off without a hitch. But the independent truckers’ protest — and subsequent efforts by Spanish farmers to block roadways in protest — bear testament to the pain inflicted by diesel fuel prices that have passed $8 a gallon and continue to climb. Gasoline prices in Europe are even higher, roughly 1.5 euros per liter for regular in the French countryside last month or about $8.50 a gallon. But petrol, as it's called, has always cost a lot more in Europe, in large part because of much higher taxes at the pump. That’s right, $8 a gallon. More >>>

Friday, July 11, 2008

One-third Of Reef-building Corals Face Extinction from climate change

ScienceDaily (July 11, 2008) — A third of reef-building corals around the world are threatened with extinction, according to the first-ever comprehensive global assessment to determine their conservation status. The study findings were published today by Science Express.
Leading coral experts joined forces with the Global Marine Species Assessment (GMSA) -- a joint initiative of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Conservation International (CI) -- to apply the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria to this important group of marine species.
"The results of this study are very disconcerting," stated Kent Carpenter, lead author of the Science article, GMSA Director, IUCN Species Programme. "When corals die off, so do the other plants and animals that depend on coral reefs for food and shelter, and this can lead to the collapse More >>>

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ocean Wind Power Maps Reveal Possible Wind Energy Sources

ScienceDaily (July 10, 2008) — Efforts to harness the energy potential of Earth's ocean winds could soon gain an important new tool: global satellite maps from NASA.

Scientists have been creating maps using nearly a decade of data from NASA's QuikSCAT satellite that reveal ocean areas where winds could produce wind energy.
The new maps have many potential uses including planning the location of offshore wind farms to convert wind energy into electric energy.

"Wind energy is environmentally friendly. After the initial energy investment to build and install wind turbines, you don't burn fossil fuels that emit carbon," said study lead author Tim Liu, a senior research scientist and QuikSCAT science team leader at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Like solar power, wind energy is green energy." More >>>

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Southern Ocean Carbon Sink in Trouble?

If you drove to work or school this morning or used electricity to power the computer on which you're looking at this image, chances are you released carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, people released about 7.8 billion tons (7.8 gigatons) of carbon into the atmosphere in 2005 by burning fossil fuels and making cement, and that number grows every year. What happens to all of the carbon dioxide that people release into the atmosphere? About half stays in the atmosphere, where it warms Earth, and the other half is absorbed by growing plants on land and by the ocean.

As people have put more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the ocean has responded by soaking up more carbon dioxide—a trend scientists expected to continue for many years. But in 2007, a team of scientists reported in the journal Science that between 1981 and 2004 carbon dioxide concentrations in the Southern Ocean didn’t change at all, even though global atmospheric levels continued to rise. More >>>

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Climate change report like a disaster novel, says Australian minister

July 7, 2008 - A new report by Australia's top scientists predicts that the country will be hit by a 10-fold increase in heatwaves and that droughts will almost double in frequency and become more widespread because of climate change.

The scientific projections envisage rainfall continuing to decline in a country that is already one of the hottest and driest in the world. It says that about 50% of the decrease in rainfall in south-western Australia since the 1950s has probably been due to greenhouse gases.

Yesterday, Australia's agriculture minister, Tony Burke, described the report as alarming and said: "Parts of these high-level projections read more like a disaster novel than a scientific report." More >>>

Saturday, July 5, 2008

British PM: G8 should boost fight against climate change

LONDON, July 5 (Xinhua) -- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Saturday called on Britain's Group of Eight (G8) partners to boost their anti-climate change efforts for the sake of their economies.

"The world is suffering a triple challenge: of higher fuel prices, higher food prices and a credit crunch," said Brown in an interview with British newspaper the Guardian.

"My message to the G8 will be that instead of sidelining climate change and the development agenda, the present economic crisis means that instead of relaxing our efforts we have got to accelerate them."

"This agenda is not just the key to the environment and reducing poverty, but the key to our economic future as well," he said. More >>>

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

US Midwest floods show impact of global warming

WASHINGTON, July 1 (Reuters) - Floods like those that inundated the U.S. Midwest are supposed to occur once every 500 years but this is the second since 1993, suggesting flawed forecasts that do not take global warming into account, conservation experts said on Tuesday.

"Although no single weather event can be attributed to global warming, it's critical to understand that a warming climate is supplying the very conditions that fuel these kinds of weather events," said Amanda Staudt, a climate scientist with the National Wildlife Federation. More >>>