Tag Archives: Greenhouse gas

Where will you live in 2050?


By Parag Khanna and Greg Lindsay – Upon retiring in April after more than four decades as a NASA climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen told Columbia University students he feared “climate chaos” if we do not act immediately to curb greenhouse gas emissions. There are now more than 800 natural disasters worldwide annually, according to the reinsurance giant Munich Re, double the number 20 years ago. That may just be the beginning. The number could skyrocket to 15,000 disasters per year by 2030, said General Electric’s global strategy director Peter Evans, meaning mile-wide tornados like the one that devastated Moore, Oklahoma in May would be the norm.

Cities will bear the brunt of these catastrophes. Even as they become the world’s demographic centers, economic drivers, and political powers, cities face unprecedented risks from cyclones, earthquakes and tsunamis. more> http://tinyurl.com/k9kvy3k

Our Hotter, Wetter, More Violent Future


Bloomberg – Earth’s atmosphere seems to have found a way to get back at the human race. For almost three centuries, we humans have been filling the air with carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases. Now, it turns out, the climate change these emissions have wrought is turning people against one another.

Why? The science so far doesn’t answer this question, though it’s easy enough to imagine how subsistence farmers could come into greater conflict with one another as their croplands become less productive. Or how, in the face of rising sea levels, coastal dwellers could come to blows over shrinking habitable land. more> http://tinyurl.com/q7dcc2w

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Radio waves carry news of climate change


R&D – Research shows that the strength of radio signals on the ground is a reliable indicator of temperature change above. Prof. Colin Price of Tel Aviv University and his team used simple radio antennae on the ground to measure radio waves broadcast by navigational transmitters around the globe, then compared information on the strength of these radio signals with data on temperature fluctuations in the upper atmosphere. They discovered that climate change in the upper atmosphere—caused by an abundance of greenhouse gases—may lead to a greater absorption of radio waves. Weaker signals could therefore be indicative of greater climate change. more> http://tinyurl.com/mrpvbtn

More carbon dioxide leads to less clouds


R&D Mag – The warmer the air, the more water can evaporate: a simple relationship familiar to us from everyday life. Researchers from Germany and the Netherlands have now established that this is not always the case: although an increase in the greenhouse gas CO2 makes the climate warmer, it also allows less water to evaporate.

“We wanted to know how the foreseeable rise in CO2 would affect cloud formation in temperate climate zones and what part the vegetation plays in this,” says Jordi Vilà-Guerau de Arellano from the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands. Working with colleagues from the Max Planck Institutes for Chemistry and Meteorology, the geophysicists made use of, for the first time, a computer model that takes account of the soil, water cycle, atmosphere and growth processes of plants. The model results highlight how local and daily variable processes, through turbulence, can influence the atmosphere on larger scales. more> http://tinyurl.com/bllvx32

California city eyes carbon credit revenue from its trees


Per capita anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissi...

Per capita anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by country for the year 2000 including land-use change. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reuters Point Carbon – California‘s seventh-largest city may try to bolster its strained budget by maintaining its 393,000-tree urban forest and selling carbon credits to regulated greenhouse gas emitters in the state’s forthcoming cap-and-trade program.

Planting and maintaining forests in urban areas is one of four ways emitters can offset their greenhouse gas output, according to California’s cap-and-trade regulations. more> http://tinyurl.com/bv5e5ym

Advanced power-grid model finds low-cost, low-carbon future in West


R&D Mag – The least expensive way for the Western United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to help prevent the worst consequences of global warming is to replace coal with renewable and other sources of energy that may include nuclear power, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) researchers.

Decarbonization of the electric power sector is critical to achieving greenhouse gas reductions that are needed for a sustainable future,” said Daniel Kammen, Distinguished Professor of Energy in UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group. “To meet these carbon goals, coal has to go away from the region.” more> http://is.gd/PN0ohW

Despite low solar activity, Earth’s energy budget out of whack


R&D Mag – A new NASA study underscores the fact that greenhouse gases generated by human activity—not changes in solar activity—are the primary force driving global warming.

The study offers an updated calculation of the Earth’s energy imbalance, the difference between the amount of solar energy absorbed by Earth’s surface and the amount returned to space as heat. The researchers’ calculations show that, despite unusually low solar activity between 2005 and 2010, the planet continued to absorb more energy than it returned to space.

The calculated value of the imbalance (0.58 W of excess energy per square meter) is more than twice as much as the reduction in the amount of solar energy supplied to the planet between maximum and minimum solar activity (0.25 W per square meter). more> http://is.gd/RMiIa8