2013 SkS Weekly News Roundup #33A

A Texan tragedy: ample oil, no water

Fracking boom sucks away precious water from beneath the ground, leaving cattle dead, farms bone-dry and people thirsty.

A Texan tragedy: ample oil, no water by Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, Aug 11, 2013

Can China clean up fast enough? 

The world’s biggest polluter is going green, but it needs to speed up the transition.

Can China clean up fast enough?, The Economist, Aug 10, 2013

China to spend more to tackle dire pollution

China plans to accelerate investment in technology to save energy and tackle the dire pollution blamed for a series of health crises that have generated widespread public anger.

The government has been increasingly alarmed by social unrest caused by environmental disasters and threats to public health, often the result of the country's breakneck industrial expansion and mass migration to new cities.

China to spend more to tackle dire pollution, Reuters, Aug 11, 2013

Cutting soot and methane may not give hoped-for climate help

A U.S.-led drive to reduce soot and other heat-trapping air pollutants worldwide is less promising than hoped as a new front in the fight against climate change, according to a study published on Monday.

Frustrated by failure to agree a broad international deal to limit global warming, about 30 nations have joined the U.S. initiative to limit short-lived air pollutants as a new way to curb temperature rises, protect health and aid crop growth.

But the report said that extra measures to reduce such pollutants, led by soot and methane, would cut temperature rises by only 0.16 degree Celsius (0.29 Fahrenheit) by 2050, far less than some estimates that the benefits could be 0.5C (0.9F).

Cutting soot and methane may not give hoped-for climate help by alister Doyle, Reuters, Aug 12, 2013 

Effects of climate change in California are 'significant and growing'

California is feeling the effects of climate change far and wide, as heat-trapping greenhouse gases reduce spring runoff from the Sierra Nevada, make the waters of Monterey Bay more acidic and shorten winter chill periods required to grow fruit and nuts in the Central Valley, a new report says.

Though past studies have offered grim projections of a warming planet, the report released Thursday by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment took an inventory of three dozen shifts that are already happening.

Effects of climate change in California are 'significant and growing'  by Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times, Aug 10, 2013

Pollution economics

WITH more than a million people in China dying prematurely each year from breathing its dirty air, and with warming temperatures portending rising sea levels and disruptions to food production, the centrally planned Communist country is experimenting with a capitalist approach to address the problem: it is creating incentives so that the market — and not the government — will force reductions in emissions. 

Pollution Economics, Op-ed by Dirk Forrister and Paul Bledsoe, New York Times, Aug 9, 2013

State asks insurers: Are you ready for climate change?

Minnesota has joined four other states in requiring its insurance companies to discuss how extensively they’ve prepared for climate change.

About 70 companies have until Aug. 31 to respond to an eight-question survey. The questionnaire, developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), focuses on the assessment of risk associated with climate change. However, it also seeks information on whether insurance companies are working to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions, have altered their investment strategies in response to climate change, or have encouraged policyholders to reduce losses caused by “climate change-influenced events.”

State asks insurers: Are you ready for climate change? by Bill McAuliffe, Star Tribune, Aug 10, 2013

The East is grey

China is the world’s worst polluter but largest investor in green energy. Its rise will have as big an impact on the environment as on the world economy or politics.

The East is grey, The Economist, Aug 10, 2013

This is what global warming looks like

Global warming has accelerated during the past three decades, which have each been unusually warm. In fact, the most recent decade from 2001-2010 was the warmest since instrumental records began in 1850, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). 

While the rate of global warming has slowed in the past several years, possibly due to natural climate variability, the long-term temperature trend clearly shows that we’re living on a warming planet.

This Is What Global Warming Looks Like by Andrew Freedman, Climate Central, Aug 13, 2013

Timing a rise in sea level

Thirty-five years ago, a scientist named John H. Mercer issued a warning. By then it was already becoming clear that human emissions would warm the earth, and Dr. Mercer had begun thinking deeply about the consequences.

Timing a Rise in Sea Level by Justin Gillis, By Degrees, New York Times, Aug 12, 2013

U.S. climate change study explores weather modification

A U.S. study is under way to evaluate several possible ways to limit climate change including solar radiation management and carbon dioxide removal. 

The study will primarily be an analysis of peer-reviewed literature, and will not involve any substantial new research, experimentation, or development of new geoengineering technology, spokeswoman Lauren Rugani of the National Academy of Sciences said.

US Climate Change Study Explores Weather Modification, AccuWeather.com, Aug 13, 2013 

U.S. satellite system may soon create gaps in Earth-monitoring data

The delays in replacements for monitoring missions may open up holes in climate data.

U.S. Satellite System May Soon Create Gaps in Earth-Monitoring Data by Stephanie Paige Ogburn and ClimateWire, Scientific American, Aug 12, 2013

Posted by John Hartz on Tuesday, 13 August, 2013

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