Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Climate Change: Wine and Rain Forests

Hmmm... it has been awhile. Blogger has a new, Word-like interface. Let me take this for a spin.

Extreme weather that is believed to have been the result of climate change is being blamed an increase of deaths in Sweden:
In the end they found that the number of periods of extremely high temperatures increased significantly over the period 1980-2009. Not only that, this temperature increase contributed to 300 more deaths during these heat waves than would have been the case without climate change. The scientists also calculated that in Sweden as a whole, this would mean about 1,500 more deaths due to climate change over the past 30 years.
The US EIA has some good news for us about 2012: Carbon emissions dropped to an 18-year low. US residents reduced their energy usage, something that was helped along by a warm winter. However, the "reliance on renewable energy declined."

Hopefully we can continue to reduce our emissions and cut away on pollution and the issues that are associated with it. Canada has linked heavy air pollution with cancer spikes:
Scientists have discovered that levels of contaminants higher than in some of the world's most polluted cities have been found downwind of Canada's largest oil, gas and tar sands processing zone in a rural area where men suffer elevated rates of cancers linked to such chemicals.
Climate change has been impacting the Amazonia for quite some time and it is now looking like we could see a huge dieback that could release a lot of carbon dioxide into the air. The study is sure to attract attention, especially since it is quite a bit different than the forcasts made by the IPCC:
The new results are in stark contrast to forecasts made by climate models used by the IPCC. Even under future scenarios in which atmospheric greenhouse gases rise dramatically, the models project the dry season in the southern Amazon to be only a few to 10 days longer by the end of the century, and therefore the risk of climate change-induced rainforest dieback should be relatively low.
 Unlike The Empire Strikes Back, I shall end this on a high note. Climate change is boosting wine production in Vermont:
While no one wants to promote climate change, a group of Vermont winemakers can thank the state's rising temperatures for an economic boost. They have been able to add warmer-weather varieties, like pinot noir, to their selection.

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Climate Report Pre-release Causes Concern Arguments

The IPCC has a working draft of a new report due out next year. Unfortunately someone signed up for the peer review process and then released part of it on a blog. Information was then cherry picked and stated to show that global warming is not being caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

Skeptical Science has a nice post debunking the role of solar activity as the main reason behind the warming of the planet.

While we argue about climate change and what can be done, there are some certain things going on and things that appear to be on the horizon such as extreme weather, impact on the community, impact on the life on Earth, and even our ski slopes. At least the trees might make it in the near term.

Can alternative energy help slow down the effects of global warming or even turn the tide? It appears to be so but we will never know for certain until we make a real effort to build up a worldwide infrastructure and start treating our environment with the care that it deserves.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Political Special - Clean Energy and Recent Politics

For those of us in the United States today is the day when the majority of US citizens who are going to vote will do so. A number of federal issues and the general direction of the country will be somewhat decided today. Of course one of those issues will be alternative energy and here are a few news articles for you this AM.

Election outcome may determine future of clean energy industry - San Antonio Business Journal
The fate of clean energy jobs around the nation may hinge on the outcome of the election. President Barack Obama has been a champion of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power and has supported programs that provide tax credits to companies investing in “green energy.” Republican nominee Mitt Romney, however, has called Obama’s support of such programs a disaster[...]

Green Jobs Depend on Obama Win As Fiscal Cliff Approaches - Bloomberg
Four years ago Obama pledged to make the U.S. less reliant on fossil fuels and create 5 million green jobs in 10 years. So far, job creation has been far more modest than Obama projected, and bankruptcies at government-supported companies, including solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC, which received a $535 million loan guarantee, have generated a political backlash.

Bill in Congress could increase energy competitiveness | Midwest Energy News
With the potential for renewable investment high in the Great Lakes region, companies may use the business structure to attract more funding, said Nick Hylla, director of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, an outreach group based in Wisconsin.
“Where policy and financial innovation have been set in place at the state level, we’ve seen investors take advantage,” he said.

Climate policy advances in the states, but slowly - The Washington Post
But the push to expand renewable energy, which would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by producing electricity without burning fossil fuels, does continue on the state level. And California is pressing ahead — without the six states that initially planned to join it — with a trading system that will allow the state’s major carbon emitters to buy and sell pollution allowances.

 Obama-Romney: Where They Stand on Energy- U.S. Election 2012 - CNBC
There hasn't been all that much talk this election year about U.S. energy policies and the environment. But there are some major differences between the two presidential candidates.

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Monday, November 05, 2012

November 5th Green News

Green economy is on the rise – but remains to be fully exploited | Environment | The Guardian
There are now nearly 1 million people employed in green jobs, from biofuels and electric car manufacturing to wind turbine installation, with more than 25,000 jobs created last year. The green sector is now bigger than car manufacturing, aerospace or telecoms, but gets far less of the political attention these established sectors enjoy.
Going Green: SUNY ESF generating most of its own heat, power - YNN, Your News Now
At the current price of heat and power, the college will save about $400,000 a year, which means the system, will be paid for in five years.
Scotland generating £200m a year of indie green energy
According to figures compiled by SmartestEnergy, there are now around 280 independent, commercial-scale renewable energy projects across the country with a total capacity of 750 megawatts – equivalent to a small conventional power station and enough to power more than 500,000 households.

Green campaigners furious with UK's 'dash for gas' revelation
The coalition is divided over energy policy, with Osborne favouring a major increase in gas use, promising generous tax subsidies to the shale gas industry at last month’s Tory party conference. The Liberal Democrats want greater emphasis on renewable energy.
Land acquired for biomass power plant project | News | Materials Recycling Week
The EnergyPark is claimed to be Europe’s most sustainable biomass-from-waste power station, using a mix of the technologies to divert of waste from landfill at below landfill cost at the same time as creating renewable energy and recycled products.

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Thursday, November 01, 2012

Green energy exports key to Iceland's growth -McKinsey | Reuters

Green energy exports key to Iceland's growth -McKinsey | Reuters
Iceland risks slipping back into external deficit if it does not address the fundamental economic shortcomings exposed by the crisis, notably low productivity. This would threaten living standards and might delay the removal of capital controls imposed after the banking system collapsed in 2008.

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