Thursday, July 29, 2010



The California Dept. of Water Resources has issued a detailed Water Plan to adapt to the changes projected in the state’s water supply and quality as a result of climate change. Anticipated changes include: higher average temperatures, less water storage in the form of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains, increased risk of both droughts and floods, increased danger of wildfires, sea level rise, salt water intrusion into fresh water aquifers, and the loss of plant and animal species. For sea level rise, the worst-case scenario modeled projects a rise of 1.4 m (4 ft 7 inches) by 2100, with an accelerating rise beyond that time. See:

DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Maps and tables allow one to compare incentives across states, with dates on when the information for each was last updated. DSIRE, established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, is an ongoing project of the N.C. Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. At:

On June 3 Tara Patel posted an article in Bloomberg News titled, France to Shut Half Its Coal-Fed Power Plants, Curb Energy Use. In it Patel reports that France has plans to reduce carbon emissions 22% below 2005 levels by 2020 – a more ambitious goal than any federal legislation proposed in the U.S. France will replace the coal with natural gas and electricity generated from solar, wind, biomass and geothermal installations, in addition to increasing nuclear power with a new-generation Evolutionary Power Reactor. At:

On June 21 a group at Stanford, including Stephen Schneider, the Editor of the Journal Climate Change, posted a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences titled, Expert credibility in climate change. Using a dataset of 1372 scientists involved in climate research, they found: (1) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the climate change position of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and (2) climate contrarians have relatively less climate expertise and scientific prominence than those who agree with the IPCC. At:

The IPCC position is that Earth’s climate is changing, that the major reason is human activities – especially the burning of fossil fuels and forests – and that the changes pose a growing danger to humans and wildlife.

The consensus among top scientists is marked contrast to the perceptions of non-scientists in the United States, as shown by a study of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, at:

Robert Atkinson and Darrene Hackler of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation published a paper titled, Ten Myths of Addressing Global Warming and the Green Economy. They write, “Perhaps no social and economic issue is getting so much attention these days as the need to transition to a low-carbon economy. Most scientific evidence suggests that a 50 to 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) must occur by 2050 to prevent global temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius. Toward that end, numerous advocacy groups, scholars, think tanks and others have proposed a variety of steps to take based on a set of assumptions about the green economy. Yet, while we need to take bold action to address climate change, much of what passes for conventional wisdom in this space is in fact either wrong or significantly exaggerated.” The authors point out that the challenge of a 50% reduction in emissions by 2050 is huge - compounded by increasing population and per capita incomes. At:

David Roberts in Grist for July 26 has a piece titled, Why did the climate bill fail? The reasons he gives are:

1. The broken Senate

2. The economy

3. Republican obstructionism

4. “Centrist” Democrats, and

5. Obama


Nicholas Bianco and Franz Litz of the World Resources Institute have issued a report titled, Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States Using Existing Federal Authorities and State Action. The 60-page report analyzes the GHG emissions reductions possible through 2030 using only existing federal authorities and the 25 state action plans that have been announced. Without further federal and state action even the most ambitious fulfillment of current laws and plans cannot get the U.S. to reduce its emissions by 17% by 2020 or 83% by 2050. At:

A 24-page Summary for Policy Makers is available at:

ScienceDaily for July 26 carried a report titled, Unaccounted feedbacks from climate-induced ecosystem changes may increase future climate warming. The report concludes that climate change may be more severe than we think because current models underestimate positive feedbacks. At:

On July 26 Governor Markell of Delaware publicly signed four energy bills recently passed by the state legislature. One of them (SS 1 for SB 119) increased the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 25% by 2025 – meaning that 25% of the electricity used in the state must come from renewable energy sources by 2025 – with 3.5% of the electricity coming from solar PV. The bill also includes all of the electricity suppliers in the state – not just the largest one (Delmarva Power). During his remarks the Governor pointed out that the legislation passed with bipartisan support in both houses – something that seems to be inconceivable at the federal level. At:

For the RPS bill see:

The following items are from the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), Carol Werner, Executive Director. Past issues of its newsletter are posted on its website under "publications"

EESI’s newsletter is intended for all interested parties, particularly the policymaker community. For more information regarding either the newsletter or EESI please contact Amy Sauer at

Montreal Protocol Talks Conclude with Push to Phase Out ‘Super’ Greenhouse Gases

On June 18, the Montreal Protocol concluded its latest round of talks in Geneva, Switzerland, resolving to continue discussions on phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the ozone treaty, potentially avoiding up to 209 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent by 2050. The discussions were prompted by proposals submitted earlier this year by the Federated States of Micronesia, Mauritius, the United States, Canada, and Mexico. "It's a controversial issue that has been discussed for the second year. It's gaining support and should the parties decide on this, it would be the most important (climate) decision," said Marco Gonzalez, Executive Secretary of the UN Ozone Secretariat, which administers the treaty. Although HFCs account for about 2 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions today, they are growing so fast that scientists predict HFCs could account for 20 percent of the world's GHGs by 2050. “This would be a major victory for the world, and particularly vulnerable nations like Micronesia that need fast, near-term climate mitigation to survive,” said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development. “Opportunities for progress under the climate negotiations this year are uncertain, but we know the ozone treaty is ready to deliver.” The Montreal Protocol Parties will continue deliberations at the November 2010 meeting in Kampala, Uganda.

For additional information see: AP, Environmental Leader

Bid to Suspend California's Global Warming Law Qualifies for November Ballot

On June 23, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen certified a proposition to suspend the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) for the November ballot. Called the “California Jobs Initiative,” the proposition “requires the state to abandon implementation of comprehensive greenhouse gas reduction program that includes increased renewable energy and cleaner fuel requirements, and mandatory emission reporting and fee requirements for major polluters such as power plants and oil refineries, until suspension is lifted.” The suspension of AB 32 would not be lifted until the state unemployment rate drops from 12.4 percent to 5.5 percent for four successive quarters. In addition to reducing jobs, “AB 32 would impose billions of dollars in higher utility rates and fuel prices on California families when they can least afford it,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. Proponents of AB 32 have said the measure will decrease the growth of green jobs that would occur as a byproduct of AB 32. “This initiative sponsored by greedy Texas oil companies would cripple California’s fastest growing economic sector, reverse our renewable energy policy and decimate our environmental progress for the benefit of these oil companies’ profit margins,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

For additional information see: Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Fresno Bee

Congressmen Seek to Delay TransCanada Oil Sands Pipeline until Effects on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Are Studied

On June 23, 50 Congressmen signed a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, expressing concern over the proposed $12 billion TransCanada oil sands pipeline which will run from Hardisty, Alberta to Port Arthur, Texas. The Congressmen wrote the letter in the hopes that the State Department would not approve the pipeline until a “full lifecycle assessment of the greenhouse gas emissions” is produced by the Environmental Protection Agency. “Building this pipeline has the potential to undermine America’s clean energy future and international leadership on climate change,” the letter said. If approved, the pipeline would be the third one approved by the State Department and would eventually import 900,000 barrels a day, increasing the percentage of tar sands oil consumed by the United States from four percent to 15 percent of total U.S. fuel supply. In addition to their concern that the pipeline will be approved by the State Department without regard for safety measures and the environmental impacts of the pipeline, the letter cited concern over the fact that studies have shown that oil sands activities emit three times more greenhouse gases than conventional oil activities. “Endorsing tar sands pipelines is a step in the wrong direction,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), one of the signers. “It’s counter to what President Obama has stood for. . . . in getting us away from oil.”

For additional information see: Winnipeg Free Press, Guardian, Bloomberg, Vancouver Sun

MIT Study: Natural Gas Use Likely to Double

On June 25, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) released a study concluding that natural gas use in the United States is likely to double in the next few decades. With an increase from 20 percent to 40 percent of the U.S. energy market, natural gas would be taking the place of the old and inefficient coal plants, the study said. The researchers examined the extent of U.S. natural gas reserves and the ability of natural gas to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, finding that natural gas would indeed be a plausible substitute for coal but that U.S. energy policy must work to foster the concurrent growth of natural gas and renewable energy. Too often, the report said, renewable energy has been added to the grid at the expense of natural gas instead of coal, which has much higher carbon dioxide emissions. “Much has been said about natural gas as a bridge to a low-carbon future, with little underlying analysis to back up this contention. The analysis in this study provides the confirmation – natural gas truly is a bridge to a low-carbon future,” said MIT Energy Initiative Director Ernest J. Moniz. However, he cautioned, “we better not get mesmerized by gas either. We need to do the hard work of getting those alternative technologies ready to take over.”

For additional information see: New York Times, MIT Press Release, MIT Report

Senators Meet with Obama to Map Out Climate Legislation

On June 29, President Obama met with 23 senators to discuss climate and energy legislation, making clear that he still supports putting a price on carbon to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. "The president told the senators that he still believes the best way for us to transition to a clean energy economy is with a bill that makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for American businesses by putting a price on pollution -- because when companies pollute, they should be responsible for the costs to the environment and their contribution to climate change," the White House said in a statement. Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) have written a bill that would place an economy wide cap on emissions, but indicated after the meeting that they would be willing to scale back their legislation to move a package forward. “We are prepared to scale back the reach of our legislation in order to try to find that place of compromise," Kerry said following the meeting. One possibility that was raised would involve limiting the cap on carbon emissions to the utility sector. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) showed her support for such a measure, saying in a statement, “I believe that one possibility is to more narrowly target a carbon pricing program through a uniform nationwide system solely on the power sector.” The chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), is currently drafting a bill that would cap GHG emissions from power plants. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is aiming to bring energy legislation to the Senate floor in July.

For additional information see: Washington Post, New York Times, AP, AFP, Bloomberg

UK Advisors Urge Stronger Policies to Curb Emissions

On June 30, Britain’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) released a study urging the British government to adopt stronger climate policies. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United Kingdom decreased by 8.6 percent during 2009, but this reduction is due largely to the recession and increased fossil fuel prices, the study said. “The recession has created the illusion that progress is being made to reduce emissions,” said Lord Adair Turner, CCC chairman. “Our analysis shows that this is almost wholly due to a reduction in economic activity, and not from new measures being introduced to tackle climate change.” As a result, the CCC study recommended the adoption of low-carbon technologies for electricity generation, the prioritization of home insulation as a means of increasing energy efficiency, an increase in the number of people driving electric cars through more ambitious targets and a reduction in the use of fertilizers in agriculture through more efficient use. Were the British government to adopt these recommendations, it would be able to achieve GHG emissions reductions of 42 percent by 2020, the study said. In response to the CCC study, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said, “There has to be an enduring shift to low carbon, driving growth in new technologies, and it must be locked into the fabric of our economy in good times and bad.”

For additional information see: Telegraph, CCC Report, AFP, BBC

Study: Warmer Ecosystems May Absorb Less Carbon Dioxide

On July 1, a paper published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B indicated that warmer ecosystems may absorb less carbon dioxide (CO2). The model used in the study was designed to calculate how the capacity of ecosystems to store CO2 changed with increased temperatures caused by climate change. The study found that with a four degree Celsius rise in global temperature, ecosystems experienced a 13 percent reduction in capacity. “Photosynthesis by plants absorbs CO2 while respiration by animals returns CO2 to the atmosphere. Respiration has a higher ‘activation energy’ than photosynthesis meaning that it increases more rapidly with increasing temperature,” said lead author of the study, Gabriel Yvon-Durocher. “So if climate change raises environmental temperatures, the balance between respiration and photosynthesis in the ecosystem will change, favoring more respiration and less CO2 absorption.”

For additional information see: Science Daily, Study Abstract

Studies on Arctic's Past Offer Glimpse of Global Warming's Future

In the July issue of Geology, scientists looking at four million year-old fossils from the Arctic found that temperatures were significantly higher than present day, but with similar levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Canadian Museum of Nature paleontologist and co-author of the study Natalia Rybczynsk said this evidence offers a glimpse of how Arctic temperatures could rise if current climate trends continue. "It's really, really compelling evidence," she said. "That number is quite a bit warmer than previous proxy estimates. And it's warmer than the (climate-change) models have come up with." The study concluded, "Our results indicate that a significant increase in Arctic temperatures may be imminent in response to current atmospheric CO2 levels.”

A related study in the July issue of Quaternary Science Reviews found that when the Earth’s climate warms, the Arctic multiplies that warming by a factor of about three. The researchers looked at four different periods of climate change within the Arctic and found the amplification rate was consistent over millions of years. "What it reinforces is that the Arctic has very strong positive feedbacks," said lead author Gifford Miller of the University of Colorado. The most powerful of feedbacks in the Arctic is sea ice and snow cover, he said. "We only have 50 years of observations of the Arctic," Miller said, referring primarily to satellite sea ice observations. "(This new work) puts that 50 years in a bigger perspective."

For additional information see: Discovery News, Vancouver Sun, Miller Study Abstract, Science Direct

Study Raises Concerns Over Carbon Storage

On June 27, a study published in Nature Geoscience raised concerns over carbon storage as a means of lowering greenhouse gas emissions. In an attempt to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) being released into the atmosphere, scientists are studying methods of sequestering the CO2 directly from the source and storing it underground or in the deep ocean. This study examined several different methods of carbon sequestration and revealed that some are less effective than others in retaining the CO2 once it has been injected, and that there are serious environmental repercussions when the CO2 returns to the atmosphere. “Most of the investigated scenarios result in a large, delayed warming in the atmosphere as well as oxygen depletion, acidification and elevated CO2 concentrations in the ocean,” said the study. “Specifically, deep-ocean carbon storage leads to extreme acidification and CO2 concentrations in the deep ocean, together with a return to the adverse conditions of a business-as-usual projection with no sequestration over several thousand years.” Storing the carbon underground would be a better option because it is more successful in retaining the carbon deep in the ground, especially if the CO2 is compressed into a liquid and stored in rock formations that are especially effective at storing the carbon, said Peter Cook, chief executive of the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies. Yet, “the dangers of carbon sequestration are real and the development of CCS should not be used as a way of justifying continued high fossil fuel emissions,” said Shaffer. “On the contrary, we should greatly limit CO2 emissions in our time to reduce the need for massive carbon sequestration and thus reduce unwanted consequences.”

For additional information see: Sydney Morning Herald, AFP, ABC, Study Abstract

Major Economies Forum Concludes Climate Talks in Rome

From June 30 to July 1, the Major Economies Forum held climate talks in Rome. Attendees included representatives from the 17 major economies and officials from the United Nations, Bangladesh, Denmark, Barbados, Ethiopia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. This summit was enlarged to include developing countries such as Ethiopia and Bangladesh because such countries are expected to be hit particularly hard by the effects of climate change. The issues discussed include reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, funding for climate change mitigation efforts, plans for adaptation and methods to monitor progress. The summit concluded with no breakthroughs, said Italian Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo. The failure of December’s Copenhagen summit to produce a concrete agreement to reduce GHG emissions has raised awareness that “conditions aren’t there for a global accord,” Prestigiacomo said. Disagreements between developed and developing countries over how the costs of GHG emissions reduction will be distributed between countries also surfaced during the Rome climate talks. “It is critical that we arrive at an operational set of formulae on equity, based primarily on cumulative per capita emissions,” said Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh. A draft text produced by climate talks in Bonn in early June did not address the concerns of developing countries in that it focused on measures to reduce GHG emissions without addressing equity issues, Ramesh said.

For additional information see: AP, Times of India, Hindustan Times, Major Economies Forum Press Release

'Climategate' Scientists Cleared of Manipulating Data

On July 7, the British Independent Climate Change Email Review panel cleared the “Climategate” scientists of the charge that they had manipulated climate data. The panel also said that the conclusions of the fourth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are not weakened by the emails which were hacked and posted online this past November. “On the specific allegations made against the behavior of Climatic Research Unit (CRU) scientists, we find that their rigor and honesty as scientists are not in doubt,” the review said. However, the report also said that “there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness” and that the CRU scientists have been too ready to dismiss criticism of their work and too unwilling to comply with Britain’s Freedom of Information laws. The conclusions of this review reinforce the conclusions of the previous two reviews which were released in March and April. “We hope that commentators will accurately reflect what this highly detailed independent report says, and finally lay to rest the conspiracy theories, untruths and misunderstandings that have circulated,” said Edward Acton, vice-chancellor of the University of East Anglia.

For additional information see: Guardian, BBC News, AFP, New York Times

Germany Announces Plan for Zero-Carbon Electricity by 2050

On July 7, the German Federal Environment Agency announced that by 2050 it could receive all of its electricity from renewable energy. “A complete conversion to renewable energy by 2050 is possible from a technical and ecological point of view,” said Jochen Flasbarth, president of the Federal Environment Agency. “It’s a very realistic target based on technology that already exists – it’s not a pie-in-the-sky prediction.” Currently, Germany gets 16 percent of its energy from solar, wind and other renewable power sources, and it is the largest producer of solar power and the second-largest wind power producer after the United States. The German government’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40 percent from 1990 to 2020 and by 80 to 85 percent by 2050 are achievable if it transitions to renewable energy sources by 2050, Flasbarth stated. The transition would have economic benefits for Germany in that it would create jobs and help Germany’s manufacturing industry. “The costs of a complete switch to renewable are a lot less than the costs to future generations that climate change will cause,” said Flasbarth.

For additional information see: Reuters, BusinessGreen

National Academies Report Measures Possible Impacts from Emissions Targets

On July 16, the National Academy of Sciences released a report titled Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millenia which estimates changes in precipitation, streamflow, wildfires, crop yields, and sea level rise that can be expected with increased average global temperature. The report pulled together a vast amount of scientific data to offer likely ranges and best estimates of the equilibrium warming that can be expected from various levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Some impacts included a 5 to 15 percent drop in yields of some crops, including U.S. and African corn and Indian wheat, for every 1°C of warming; a 5 to 10 percent drop in total rain in southwest North America, the Mediterranean, and southern Africa for every 1°C of warming; and a 5 to 10 percent decline in streamflow in some river basins, including the Arkansas and Rio Grande, for every 1°C of warming.

The study was undertaken to help policymakers understand the potential impacts associated with emission cuts that may result from policies currently under consideration. “Many of us have had the experience of going to the doctor and receiving advice on how to improve our health,” said Katharine Hayhoe, a scientist from Texas Tech University who contributed to the report. “Then, it’s up to us to decide how much we are willing to change. In a similar way, this report presents the probabilities of certain impacts at different levels of global temperature increase. But we, the scientists, can’t make the decisions of how much risk is acceptable. That’s a political decision. Rather, we’re trying to give policymakers the information they need to make these decisions.”

For additional information see: Denver Post, National Academies' Press Release, National Academies' Report

NOAA: June, Year-to-Date Global Temperatures Are Hottest on Record

On July 15, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) released its monthly analysis of global land and oceanic surface temperature for June 2010, revealing that average global land and ocean temperature was the hottest on record for June, the April to June period and the January to June period. The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for June was 61.1°F, 1.22°F above the 20th century average. “June was the fourth consecutive month that was the warmest on record for the combined global land and surface temperatures (March, April and May were also the warmest),” a NOAA press release stated. “This was the 304th consecutive month with a combined global land and surface temperature above the 20th century average.”

For additional information see: NOAA Press Release, AP, Guardian

UN Panel Meets to Work on Climate Financing

On July 13, the United Nations High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing met to work on climate financing that had been pledged to developing countries at December’s meeting in Copenhagen. The pledge was made by developed countries to give $30 billion a year, beginning in 2012 and increasing to $100 billion a year by 2020, to help developing countries deal with the environmental impacts caused by climate change. The need for developed countries to act quickly and begin financing developing countries was underlined by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “The more we delay, the more we will pay – in lost opportunities, resources and lives,” he said. A report on possible private sources of long-term financing to supplement aid given by developed countries is expected to be released before the next session of climate talks in Cancun scheduled for late November. Some officials noted that the delivery of funds to developing countries could impact more than their ability to deal with the expected droughts and sea level rise. “Frankly, if we don’t get the finance credibly right, if we don’t come up with a set of packages or a package which the developing countries can clearly see is a real, effective, credible effort to meet the commitments that we’ve made, then I don’t think there is going to be a global deal,” said British Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne.

For additional information see: AP, BusinessGreen, UN Press Release, Xinhua News, India Times

Three European Ministers Call for Tougher Stance on Carbon Emission Cuts

On July 14, British Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne, German Federal Environment Minister Norbert Rottgen and French Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo called for increasing European carbon emissions cuts to 30 percent by 2020 instead of the current goal of 20 percent. “The current target of a 20 percent reduction now seems insufficient to drive the low-carbon transition. The recession by itself has cut emissions in the EU’s traded sector by 11 percent from pre-crisis levels. . . . If we stick to a 20 percent cut, Europe is likely to lose the race to compete in the low-carbon world to countries such as China, Japan or the U.S. – all of which are looking to create a more attractive environment for low-carbon investment,” the ministers said in an article featured in the Financial Times. The ministers argued that a 30 percent reduction is estimated to cost only 11 billion euros more than the 20 percent reduction and the International Energy Agency has estimated that postponing investment in low-carbon energy sources could cost between 300 billion euros and 400 billion euros globally (provided the cost of oil is $88 a barrel). If the price reached $130 a barrel, the costs of reaching the 30 percent target by 2020 could be low or even positive. “Ducking the argument on 30 percent will put us in the global slow lane. Early action will provide our industries with a vital head start,” the ministers said. “That is why we believe the move to 30 percent is right for Europe. It is a policy for jobs and growth, energy security and climate risk. Most of all, it is a policy for Europe’s future.”

For additional information see: Financial Times, Ministers' Statement

Giant Greenland Glacier Cracks Open Overnight

On July 7, it was discovered that Greenland’s Jakobshavn Glacier had cracked open overnight and a piece one-eighth the size of Manhattan broke off from the northern branch of the glacier. Days later, a second crack was discovered along the southern limb. Over the last 160 years, Jakobshavn has retreated more than 27 miles, moving the last six miles in the past ten years. Approximately 10 percent of all of Greenland’s ice loss has been melting from Jakobshavn, scientists noted. “While there have been ice breakouts of this magnitude from Jakobshavn and other glaciers in the past, this event is unusual because it occurs on the heels of a warm winter that saw no sea ice form in the surrounding bay,” said Thomas Wagner, a cryospheric program scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It is possible that because this year’s warm winter prevented sea ice from gathering around the glacier’s edges the glacier did not regain any of the ice which melts away during the summer. The result was that it has started melting and calving this year from last year’s summer ice levels, said Ian Howat of Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar Research Center. Scientists have been monitoring the glacier, noting the increased ice loss each year and trying to understand the cause of Jakobshavn’s retreat. “While the exact relationship between these events is being determined, it lends credence to the theory that warming of the oceans is responsible for the ice loss observed throughout Greenland and Antarctica,” said Wagner.

For additional information see: Discovery, Vancouver Sun, Hindustan Times, NASA Press Release

Google Earth Launches Interactive Map to Show Impact of Climate Change

On July 14, the British government and the Met Office Hadley Center launched a Google Earth interactive map to show the impacts of climate change. The map illustrates some of the differences which may be present in the world with 4°C increase in global average temperature. “The threat from climate change has not gone away and this Government is committed to doing what it can to take action,” said Foreign Office Minister Henry Bellingham. “This Google Earth map supports that commitment to tackling climate change and will hopefully communicate with a bigger audience globally about why the UK Government is being active in championing the transition to a low carbon economy.” The map shows reduced crop production and rising sea levels, in addition to videos of climate scientists discussing their research and of British Council and Foreign Office climate change projects. “This is a great example of the benefits of using the latest web technology to visualize scientific information and promote better understanding of the potential impacts of climate change,” said Ed Parsons from Google.

For additional information see: BusinessGreen, Met Office Press Release, Telegraph

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Chad A. Tolman
Coalition for Climate Change Study and Action

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