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2013 SkS Weekly News Roundup #5

Posted on 2 February 2013 by John Hartz

  • 69 feet of sea level rise?
  • Climate change is a top priority for the Phillipines
  • Climate change is national security issue for US
  • EU will not bend on Canadian tar sand oil
  • Human-caused and natural global warming
  • Linking Canadian oil sands pipelines to climate change
  • Major climate changes looming
  • Majority of US voters want climate action
  • Obama and Keystone XL
  • Sky-high bacteria could affect climate
  • Stern got it wrong on climate change
  • Steven Chu chastises climate change deniers
  • Summit explores global climate change challenges
  • Your biggest carbon sin

69 feet of sea level rise?

Glaciologist Jason Box describes a post-warming world that you won’t even be able to recognize.

Humans Have Already Set in Motion 69 Feet of Sea Level Rise by Chris Mooney, Mother Jones, Jan 31, 2013

Climate change is a top priority for the Phillipines

Faced with worsening extreme weather and studies indicating it is likely to be highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, the government of the Philippines intends to implement a series of laws in 2013 aimed at reducing disaster risk, improving clean energy production and adapting to climate shifts.

Filipino government makes climate change a top 2013 priority by Imelda Albano, Alternet, Jan 27, 2013

Climate change is national security issue for US

The incoming secretary of State understands the security risk that climate change poses. He will be uniquely positioned to broker action through diplomacy.

Why John Kerry Should Treat Climate Change as a National Security Issue by Coral Davenport, National Journal, Jan 31, 2013

EU will not bend on Canadian tar sand oil

Canada's urgent hunt for buyers for its oil is being thwarted as the European Commission sticks to a plan to label fuel from tar sands deposits as highly polluting, deterring refiners bound by environmental rules.

Intense pressure from Canada, seeking new markets to compensate for dwindling U.S. buying and discounted sales, has not convinced the EU executive to abandon its proposal to brand tar sands oil as more carbon-intensive than conventional crude.

EU executive thwarts Canada lobby on tar sand oil by Barbara Lewis and Jeffrey Jones, Reuters, Jam 30, 2013

Human-caused and natural global warming

A study suggests that human-caused and natural global warming episodes affect rainfall rates differently. The finding could help scientists better forecast what's ahead.

Are human-caused and natural global warming different? Study says yes. by Pete Spotts, The Christian Science Monitor, Jan 31, 2013

Linking Canadian oil sands pipelines to climate change

President Obama hasn't publicly drawn a connection between climate change and the Keystone XL pipeline, but new pressure is building on him and other officials to connect those dots.

Pressure Builds for Obama to Link Oil Sands Pipelines to Climate Change by Maria Gallucci, InsideClimate News. Jan 31, 2013

Major climate changes looming

"We are poised right at the edge of some very major changes on Earth," said Anthony Barnosky, a UC Berkeley professor of biology who studies the interaction of climate change with population growth and land use. "We really are a geological force that's changing the planet."

Major climate changes looming by Carolyn Lochead, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan 27, 2013 

Majority of US voters want climate action

Climate change is only polarizing on Capitol Hill.

A new report from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication finds that the majority of voters are concerned about global warming and want their elected leaders to take action.

Report: Majority Of Voters Want Climate Action by Josh Marks, The National Memo, Jan 28, 2013

Obama and Keystone XL

President Obama will soon have to decide whether he will be the "all of the above" president or the "respond to climate change" president. 

Obama and Keystone XL: The Moment of Truth? by Bill Chameides, The Huffington Post, Jan 30, 2013

Sky-high bacteria could affect climate

Scientists are surprised to discover bacteria and fungi floating 30,000 feet above Earth with the potential to affect weather.

Sky-high bacteria could affect climate, scientists say by Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times, Jan 28, 2013

Stern got it wrong on climate change

Lord Stern, author of the government-commissioned review on climate change that became the reference work for politicians and green campaigners, now says he underestimated the risks, and should have been more "blunt" about the threat posed to the economy by rising temperatures.

Nicholas Stern: 'I got it wrong on climate change – it's far, far worse' by Heather Stewart and Larry Elliott, The Guardian, Jan 26, 2013

Steven Chu chastises climate change deniers

In a wide-ranging and sometimes defiant letter to staff announcing his resignation on Friday, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, while highlighting his agency's achievements over the last four years, blasted critics of the administration's investment in the renewable energy market, suggesting that opponents were living in the "Stone Age."  

Energy Secretary Steven Chu Resigns, Chastises Climate Deniers And Clean-Energy Critics by Tom Zeller Jr., The Huffington Post, Feb 1, 2013

Summit explores global climate change challenges

Seychelles is flooding, Mali is parched, Kiribati is eroding and the one bright spot would seem to be the fact that the United States president finally uttered the words "climate change."

Nations on the front lines of climate change expressed hesitant optimism for the U.S., as delegates gathered for The Energy and Resources Institute's 13th annual Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, whose goal is to tackle resource efficiency challenges.

Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2013 Explores Global Climate Change Challenges by Joanna Zelman, The Huffington Post, Feb 1, 2013

Your biggest carbon sin

For many people reading this, air travel is their most serious environmental sin. One round-trip flight from New York to Europe or to San Francisco creates about 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person. The average American generates about 19 tons of carbon dioxide a year; the average European, 10.

Your Biggest Carbon Sin May Be Air Travel by Elisabeth Rosenthal, New York Times, Jan 27, 2013

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Comments 1 to 4:

  1. Are we seeing a paradigm shift.   I doubt it but live in hope.  Why don't we simply adopt Jim Hansen's Tax and Dividend solution.  If the US of A did this, the dynamics are such that other countries would have to follow suit.  Besides, from a politician's point of view it is a tremendous vote catcher.  Win win all around.

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  2. William:

    One of the articles that slipped under my radar this week is In Energy Taxes, Tools to Help Tackle Climate Change by Eduardo Porter, New York Times, Jan 29, 2013.  

    In this article, Porter provides a frank assessment of the propsects for enacting a national tax on carbon in the US anytime soon. Right now, it doesn't appear to be on any elected offical's radar screen -- including President Obama's.

    What President Obama says about climate change in his upcoming State of the State address will tell us more about what he intends to do - at least in the near term. 

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  3. Topic 2: Philippines and climate change, laws only don't work: see renewable energy act.  It is implementing the laws. So far only coal power has been implemented.

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  4. Re "69 feet of sea level rise" article where Chris Mooney interviews Jason Box, the author of this claim. Such claim needs to be adequately qualified: Chris did not do it in this areticle. A substantial melt of both GIS and AIS is required of 69ft SLR. We can be almost sure that such event won't happen in this century and maybe even won't happen in the next century.

    NEEM2013 on RealClimate provides the empirical evidence that IS response to the warming is a slow process that may last milenia. Jason apparently disagrees with the results of this study. Certainly, the orbital variation forcing in eemain was different that today's CO2 global forcing, however given the relative slowness of IS melt as evidenced in NEEM2013, I think there is plenty of time to reverse current CO2 forcing (by ocean sequestration or maybe by ingenious humans who invent the industrial scale CO2 scraping from the air) before Jason's alarming prediction has the chance to eventuate.

    I'm expecting some discussions on that subject to follow and I'm looking forward...

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