2013 SkS Weekly News Roundup #31A

Another view on gas drilling in the context of climate change

I’ve received a “Your Dot” contribution on gas leaks and global warming from Louis A. Derry, an associate professor in the earth and atmospheric sciences department at Cornell University. It’s a critique of one element in “Gangplank to a Warm Future,” an Op-Ed article by Anthony R. Ingraffea, a professor of engineering at Cornell who is a prominent foe of expanded gas drilling using the bundle of methods commonly known as “fracking.”

Another View on Gas Drilling in the Context of Climate Change by Andrew Revkin, Dot Earth, New York Times, July 29, 2013

Arctic methane catastrophe scenario

Critics of new Nature paper on costs of Arctic warming ignore latest science on permafrost methane at everyone's peril. 

Arctic methane catastrophe scenario is based on new empirical observations by Nafez Ahmed, Earth insight, the Guardian, July 31, 2013

Bank curbs won't slow coal's comeback

Several big banks have said they will apply much more stringent conditions to funding for coal-burning plants, yet coal use is rising in many parts of the world.

Bank curbs won't slow coal's comeback by Kieran Cooke, Climate News Network, The Daily Climate, July 31, 2013

Can a carbon tax work without hurting the economy?

Five years in, BC's carbon tax has successfully reduced greenhouse gas emissions in a stable economy.

Can a carbon tax work without hurting the economy? Ask British Columbia by Dana Nuccitelli, Climate Consensus-the 97%, The Guardian, July 30, 2013

Climate change teaches some lessons

A quarter of a million students across the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius will be exposed to principles of sustainable development. Educating youth about sustainable development is part of this long-term vision to establish a new, ecologically sound economy.

Climate Change Teaches Some Lessons by Nasseem Ackbarally, Inter Press Service (IPS), July 29, 2013 

Climate change will impact Eugene's drinking water

EUGENE, Ore. — The average temperature on Earth could increase by 3.6 degrees by the middle of this century, according to data from climate change researchers in nearly 20 countries. And that increase is enough to potentially affect the main source of Eugene-Springfield's drinking water, according to a study by Oregon State University scientists.

The McKenzie River is the major source of drinking water in the Eugene-Springfeld area. The single-digit increase in temperatures predicted worldwide means the snowpacks that feed the river could drop by 56 percent between 2040 and 2060, according to the OSU study.

The study simulated snowpacks of the McKenzie watershed using 20 years of data, factoring in the 3.6-degree average temperature increase. It concluded that areas such as the Willamette Valley, that rely on low elevation snowpacks for much of their water, face special risks that need to be planned for.

OSU researchers warn climate change will impact Eugene's drinking water by Samuel Stites, The Register-Guard, July 28, 2013

Climate study predicts a watery future 

More than 1,700 American cities and towns – including Boston, New York, and Miami – are at greater risk from rising sea levels than previously feared, a new study has found.

By 2100, the future of at least part of these 1,700 locations will be "locked in" by greenhouse gas emissions built up in the atmosphere, the analysis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday found.

The survey does not specify a date by which these cities, or parts of them, would actually fall under water. Instead, it specifies a "locked-in" date, by which time a future under water would be certain – a point of no return.

Climate study predicts a watery future for New York, Boston and Miami by Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, July 29, 2013

How global warming is spreading toxic dust

Pollution problems from the past rise to the surface, thanks to climate change.

How Global Warming Is Spreading Toxic Dust by Henry Gass and ClimateWire, Scientific American, July 30, 2013

Mississippi, Alabama partner to study oil sands resources

MOBILE -- Mississippi and Alabama will form a partnership to further study the oil sands resources in the two states, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced Saturday while speaking to the Southern States Energy Board.

Mississippi, Alabama partner to study oil sands resources by Donna Harris, Biloxi Sun Herald, July 27, 2013

More carbon emissions = less global warming?

It’s the debate du jour in the climate blogosphere: How much hotter will the planet get as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise? The contention began July 20, when the Economist reported that a yet-to-be-released table of data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), showed that global temperatures would not rise as high this century as scientists had previously predicted. 

More Carbon Emissions = Less Global Warming? by Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, July 30, 2013

Pilot projects bury CO2 in basalt

By early August, scientists will have pumped 1,000 tons of pure carbon dioxide into porous rock far below the northwestern United States. The goal is to find a permanent home for the carbon dioxide generated by human activities.

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington, began the injections into the Columbia River Basalt formation near the town of Wallula on 17 July. The rock contains pores created as many as 16 million years ago, when magma flowed across what is now the Columbia River Basin. Bubbles of CO2 migrated to the edges of the magma as it cooled, forming layers of holes sandwiched between solid rock (see 'Rock steady').

Pilot Projects Bury CO2 in Basalt by Jeff Tollefson and Nature magazine, Scientific American, July 29, 2013

'Sky didn't fall' after British Columbia implemented carbon tax

British Columbia's carbon tax shift is celebrating its fifth year since being launched in 2008 as an ambitious initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A study that will be published in the upcoming issue of Canadian Public Policy examined how the carbon tax shift contributed to significant reductions in overall fossil fuel use and created one of the lowest personal and corporate income tax rates in Canada.

A part of the study, published by the environmental think tank Sustainable Prosperity, found that British Columbia's fuel consumption declined 17.4 percent per capita, and 18.8 percent compared with the rest of Canada, from 2008 to 2012.

Economists and industry analysts say that the tax shift's results may outpace the greenhouse gas emissions reductions in seven European countries that implemented a similar policy more than two decades ago.

'Sky didn't fall' after British Columbia lowered income tax, dropped fuel use with carbon tax by Coleen Jose, ClimateWire, E&E Publishing, July 30, 2013

Posted by John Hartz on Wednesday, 31 July, 2013

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