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2013 SkS Weekly News Roundup #9

Posted on 2 March 2013 by John Hartz

  • Alberta cancels funds for carbon-capture project
  • Australian climate outlook remains bleak
  • Climate change models: more accurate and less reliable?
  • Himalayan farmers coping with an uncertain future
  • Humans' work capacity is being cut by climate change
  • Killer heat waves and floods linked to climate change
  • Limiting carbon dioxide pollution by power plants in the U.S.
  • (Mis)Understanding Sea-Level Rise (SLR) and climate impacts
  • Study of ice age bolsters carbon and warming llnk
  • U.S. security establishment increasingly worried

Alberta cancels funds for carbon-capture project

Alberta and Swan Hills Synfuels LP canceled plans to develop a carbon-capture and storage project, the second CCS initiative to be scuttled in the Canadian province in less than a year.

Alberta Cancels Funds for Swan Hills Carbon-Capture Project by Jeremy van Loon, Bloomberg, Feb 25, 2013

Australian climate outlook remains bleak

In Australia, decades of hard-fought conservation gains are at risk of being wiped out after 14 September. That's when the incumbent Labor government faces oblivion at the federal election, at the hands of the conservative Liberal Party.

For environment groups and climate campaigners, things have never looked bleaker.

Australian climate outlook remains bleak with Tony Abbott out for revenge, Alexandar White, Environment Blog, The Guardian, Feb 25, 2013

Climate change models: more accurate and less reliable?

A recent issue of Nature had a very interesting article on what seems to be a wholly paradoxical feature of models used in climate science; as the models are becoming increasingly realistic, they are also becoming less accurate and predictive because of growing uncertainties.

Are climate change models becoming more accurate and less reliable? by Ashutosh Jogalekar, Scientific American,  Feb 27, 2013

Himalayan farmers coping with an uncertain future

One of the Climate News Network’s editors, Kieran Cooke, was among a group of journalists recently investigating the impact of climate change in Nepal and the Himalayas. He reports on some of the problems facing farmers in the region.

Himalayan Farmers Coping with an Uncertain Future by Kieran Cooke, Climate News Network, Climate Central, Feb 23, 2013

Humans' work capacity is being cut by climate change

It’s not just the heat, it’s the humidity that gets you.

That’s the conclusion of a new study that finds climate change has reduced humanity’s ability to work by making the planet hotter and muggier.

That one-two punch has already cut the world’s working capacity by 10 percent since humans began burning large amounts of oil, gas, coal and other fossil fuels at the start of the Industrial Revolution, found the analysis, which was published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Climate Change Is Cutting Humans’ Work Capacity by Lauren Morello, Climate Change, Feb 24, 2013

Killer heat waves and floods linked to climate change

Killer heat waves, floods and storms are increasingly caused by climate change, new research reveals.

Scientists in Germany say they have found how greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels are helping to trap the jet stream, resulting in extraordinary weather such as the 2010 Pakistan flood and the 2011 heat wave in the United States.

Human-driven climate change repeatedly disturbs the flow of atmospheric waves around the globe’s Northern hemisphere, said lead author Vladimir Petoukhov of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact

Killer Heat Waves and Floods Linked to Climate Change by Stephan Leahy, Inter Press Service (IPS), Feb 27, 2013

Limiting carbon dioxide pollution by power plants in the U.S.

ELECTRIC power plants spew about 40 percent of the carbon dioxide pollution in the United States, but, amazingly, there are no federal limits on utility emissions of this potent greenhouse gas. The Obama administration plans to remedy this situation by drafting rules that would curtail these discharges from existing plants. The president should make sure they are tough. Nothing he can do will cut greenhouse gases more. 

Limiting Carbon Dioxide Pollution by Power Plants, Op-ed by Daniel F. Becker  and James Gerstenzang, New York Times, Feb 26, 2013

(Mis)Understanding Sea-Level Rise (SLR) and climate impacts

One of the most important and threatening risks of climate change is sea-level rise (SLR). The mechanisms are well understood, and the direction of changes in sea-level is highly certain – it is rising and the rate of rise will accelerate. There remain plenty of uncertainties (i.e., a range of possible outcomes) about the timing and rate of rise that have to do with how fast we continue to put greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the responses of (especially) ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, and the sensitivity of the climate.

(Mis)Understanding Sea-Level Rise (SLR) and Climate Impacts, Significant Figures by Peter Gleick, Feb 26, 2013

Obama has the power to act on global warming

The test of President Obama’s seriousness about addressing climate change is not his pending decision on the much-debated Keystone XL pipeline. It’s whether he effectively consigns coal-fired power plants — one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions — to the ashcan of history.

Obama has the power to act on global warming. Op-ed by Eugene Robinsin, Washington Post, Feb 25, 2013

Study of ice age bolsters carbon and warming llnk

A meticulous new analysis of Antarctic ice suggests that the sharp warming that ended the last ice age occurred in lock step with increases of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the latest of many indications that the gas is a powerful influence on the earth’s climate.

Study of Ice Age Bolsters Carbon and Warming Link by Justin Gillis, Green Blog, New York Times, Feb 28, 2013

U.S. security establishment increasingly worried

More than three dozen national security officials, members of Congress and military leaders are warning of the threat climate change poses to U.S. national security, the latest in an indicator that U.S. intelligence and national security circles are increasingly worried about a warming planet.

In a new bipartisan open letter, they stress the need for urgent action and call on both public and private support to address issues that included forced migration and the displacement of vulnerable communities, as well as the dangers related to food production during extreme weather events.

U.S. Security Establishment Increasingly Worried about Climate Change by Joe Hitchon, Inter Press Service (IPS). Feb 27, 2013

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Comments 1 to 2:

  1. Shame the US Security Establishment can't have a wee chat with the Albertan troglodytes.

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  2. "Australian climate outlook remains bleak" not because Tony Abbot is destined to become new PM but because people still see Climate Change as a partisan issue here. And within the leading parties themselves, there is no sign of bipartisan approach as in the scase of U.S. security establishment repoted in the last article.

    That's IMO a better measure of progress towards climate change mitigation rather than the fact that AUS has CTax introduced while US has not. When the major political force (Libs) can get away with the claims that the whole effort is "the hoax based on the lie" and score favourable polls based on that, something must be wrong with the mindset of that electorate. Why can Tony Abbott ride his career on such pure and silly denial about climate change issue? Because we as large public have not grown up to tackle the issue yet. Have we shown that we've grown up, Tony would change his mind about it very quickly.

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