2013 SkS Weekly News Roundup #17A

An interview with James Hansen

Having directed NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies for most of the past four decades, Dr. James E. Hansen retired this month to devote himself to the scientific activism that has brought both awards and catcalls during his long and distinguished career. On April 24, he will receive the Ridenhour Courage Prize in Washington, D.C., for “bravely and urgently telling the truth about climate change.”

The Newsmaker Memo: An Interview With Pioneering Climate Scientist James Hansen by John Conason, The National Memo, Apr 22, 2013

As wheat yields fall in Kenya, farmers turn to beans

For many years, it was wheat that kept Joshua Nyaruri‘s family fed and his income flowing. But lately it appears the Rift Valley favourite is being knocked off its perch by a once-snubbed crop – beans.

In the 60 years he has lived in Ole Leshua village in Narok County, Nyaruri has shared the general appreciation of wheat as one of the most valued cereals in Kenya. But over the past decade or more, the grain has been falling from favour, in part because of the unpredictable weather which experts believe is a consequence of climate change.

As wheat yields fall in Kenya, farmers turn to beans by Kagondu Njagi, Alertnet, Apr 25, 2013

Burn our planet or face financial meltdown

Last week's collapse of a European carbon emissions scheme makes an agreed approach to climate change all the more urgent.

Burn our planet or face financial meltdown. Not much of a choice by Will Hutton, The Observer, Apr 20, 2013

Carbon credits could finance improved cookstoves in Mexico

Environmental organisations in Mexico are hoping to finance the promotion of fuel-efficient wood-fired cookstoves, which reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, through the sale of carbon credits on the voluntary market.

Carbon Credits Could Finance Improved Cookstoves in Mexico by Emilio Godoy, Inter Press Service (IPS), Apr 25, 2013

Climate inaction likely to deepen EU divisions

The European Union must take measures to prevent the destruction of crops and property by extreme weather or face instability and deeper social divisions as a result of potential climate change, a European Commission document said.

Climate inaction likely to deepen EU divisions - paper, Reuter, Apr 19, 2013 

Climate change is very real and is affecting children's lives

As a dad to a 14 year old daughter, I worry about what climate change means for her future and her children’s future. Extreme flooding, colder, longer winters and harsher summers; it’s causing chaos in the developed world and it’s threatening children’s very survival in poorer countries.

Climate change is very real and is affecting children's lives by Michael Sheen, Express (UK), Apr 24, 2013

Hockey stick scores another point in climate study

However, a string of subsequent studies by a number of scientific groups from around the world have all yielded essentially the same result. Most recently, a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience this week — co-authored by 78 experts from 60 scientific institutions from around the world — found yet another hockey stick. Their temperature reconstruction shows a slow slide into a future ice age ending abruptly with a sharp rise in temperatures in the 19th and 20th centuries. Recent global surface temperatures are probably the warmest in the past 1,400 years. 

Hockey Stick Scores Another Point in Climate Study: Op-Ed by Anne-Marie Blackburn and Dana Nuccitelli, Apr 25, 2013

New fossil fuel frontiers pose threat to global recovery

Soaring risks around new fossil fuel frontiers – shale gas, deepwater exploration and the Arctic – have the potential to blow the global economic recovery off course, according to a report.

Energy companies need to adopt more sophisticated risk management strategies to take account of relatively low-likelihood but potentially "catastrophic" disasters, says the paper from the global insurance broker Marsh.

New fossil fuel frontiers pose 'catastrophic' threat to global recovery by Terry Macalister, The Guardian, Apr 25, 2013

Obama-allied group enters the Climate Wars

Organizing for Action, the advocacy arm pushing the Obama administration's agenda, will begin its next big policy push on Thursday with a focus on climate change.

The group, which was formed using the 2012 Obama campaign's machinery, will begin what organizers view as a potential multi-year effort to lay the groundwork for legislative action on climate change. The first steps will come in the form of an email blast to the group's reported 20 million subscribers Thursday morning featuring a "greatest hits" video compilation of what it calls the climate deniers in Congress.

OFA On Climate Change: Obama-Allied Group Enters The Climate Wars by Sam stein and Lucia Graves, The Huffington Post, April 24, 2013 

Sea ice loss could alter Arctic air chemistry

Now, a team of scientists have found evidence that the Arctic warming and melting sea ice could be changing the chemistry of the Arctic atmosphere through reactions that happen on the snow that sits atop the sea ice and in the air above it. These reactions purge pollutants from the atmosphere and destroy toxic surface-level ozone (which differs from the protective ozone layer higher up in the atmosphere).

Sea Ice Loss Could Alter Arctic Air Chemistry by Andrea Thompson, Our Amazing Planet, Apr 23, 2013 

Slow start on environment in second Obama term

SHORTLY after winning re-election in November, President Obama promised assertive leadership on climate change and energy. In his State of the Union address in February, he vowed that if the assembled lawmakers failed to pass broad climate legislation, he would act unilaterally.

And yet in the ensuing months, little more has been heard from the president or his cabinet on the matter.

Slow Start on Environment in Second Obama Term by John Broder, New York Times, Apr 24, 2013

The one thing we should be doing 

The country's leading climatologist (James Hansen) talks about what our future looks like if we continue along with business as usual -- and what we could do to prevent catastrophe.

James Hansen: The One Thing We Should Be Doing to Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change by Tara Lohan, AlterNet, Apr 24, 2013

Why is Reuters puzzled by global warming's acceleration?

The rate of heat building up on Earth over the past decade is equivalent to detonating about 4 Hiroshima atomic bombs per second. Take a moment to visualize 4 atomic bomb detonations happening every single second. That's the global warming that we're frequently told isn't happening.

Why is Reuters puzzled by global warming's acceleration? by Dana Nuccittelli, Climate Consensus-The 97% Blog, The Guardian, Apr 24, 2013

Posted by John Hartz on Saturday, 27 April, 2013

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