Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium

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07/27/2014 11:00 AM
United Kingdom: Parks to be protected from fracking
Wigan Today: National Parks in England will be protected from fracking unless there are "exceptional circumstances", ministers announced today. The policy was unveiled as the latest bidding process for shale companies seeking licences to explore for oil and gas was opened. The Government has committed to going ''all out for shale'', claiming development of the gas and oil resource is needed to improve energy security, boost jobs and the economy and bring down energy prices. But opponents say it causes disruption...


07/27/2014 10:33 AM
Fracking push gets go-ahead across UK as ministers tighten safeguards
Guardian: Ministers will give the go-ahead on Monday for a big expansion of fracking across Britain that will allow drilling in national parks and other protected areas in "exceptional circumstances". The government will invite firms to bid for onshore oil and gas licences for the first time in six years, with about half of the country advertised for exploration. Ministers are also clarifying the rules on when drilling can take place in national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) and world...


07/27/2014 02:58 PM
5 facts about coal trade, global warming
Associated Press: As the Obama administration weans the U.S. off polluting fuels blamed for global warming, energy companies have been sending more of America's unwanted energy leftovers to other parts of the world where they could create even more pollution. Here are five things to know about the issue: As U.S. reduces coal use, demand rises globally Over the past six years, the U.S. has cut consumption by 195 million tons as power plants have burned cheaper natural gas instead. The Environmental Protection...


07/27/2014 04:29 AM
Boom-Or-Doom Riddle For Nuclear Industry
Climate News Network.: The headline figures for 2014 from the nuclear industry describe a worldwide boom in progress, with 73 reactors presently being built and another 481 new ones either planned or approved. The World Nuclear Association (WNA) official website paints a rosy picture of an industry expected to expand dramatically by 2030. It says that over the period 1996 to 2013 the world retired 66 reactors, and 71 started operation. Between now and 2030, the industry expects another 74 reactors to close, but 272...


07/27/2014 06:43 AM
Planning to sink: What happens when Kiribati drowns?
PBS: Venice isn’t the only piece of land sinking today. The nation of Kiribati, made up of 33 tiny islands far out in the Pacific Ocean, is getting smaller as rising sea levels continue to swallow the land by an average of 3.7 millimeters a year, according to the National Tidal Centre of Australia. “Never in history has a state disappeared because of a physical problem,” said Michael Gerrard, Director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School. To deal with the country’s uncertain...


07/27/2014 04:44 AM
Hundreds flee as two California wildfires threaten homes
Associated Press: Fire crews were battling two fast-moving wildfires in California that threatened many homes and forced hundreds of evacuations, officials said. A fire in the Sacramento region had mushroomed to about 4,000 acres by late Saturday, while a blaze that began in the afternoon around Yosemite National Park threatened a small community. The so-called Sand Fire began Friday in the Sierra Nevada foothills and has since raced through more than 6 square miles of drought-stricken grasslands east of Sacramento....


07/27/2014 08:00 AM
14 concepts will be obsolete after catastrophic climate change
Washington Post: Naomi Oreskes is a professor of the history of science at Harvard University. Erik Conway is a historian of science and technology at the California Institute of Technology. They are the co-authors of “The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From the Future” (Columbia University Press), from which this article is excerpted. It’s 2393. A historian is recounting the collapse of Western civilization due to catastrophic climate change. In her anniversary lecture, she explains how the carbon-combustion...


07/27/2014 08:00 AM
In Chesapeake Bay waters warmed by summer sun deadly pathogen lies in wait
Washington Post: The last thing Rodney Donald was expecting during his family’s vacation on the Chesapeake Bay was to almost lose a leg to an aggressive bacteria growing in the brackish waters. “I’ve grown up on the bay my whole life, and I’m 66,” said Donald, propped up in a bed at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, his right leg stretched out, swathed in bandages. “I’d never even heard about it.” Vibrio vulnificus, of the same family as vibrio cholera, is a rapid-spreading flesh-eating bacteria that naturally...


07/27/2014 06:04 AM
Obama food aid ravages Third World farmers
Ecologist: The US taxpayers who finance foreign food aid surely believe they are feeding starving people, writes James Bovard. But the truth is the reverse - it is undermining indigenous agriculture in recipient countries - creating famine and chronic malnutrition, while sabotaging self-sufficiency. Despite uplifting rhetoric, Obama is perpetuating a program that sabotages foreigners' self-sufficiency. President Obama proclaimed two years ago: "As the wealthiest nation on Earth, I believe the United States...


07/27/2014 08:00 AM
United Kingdom: Sea temperature off Plymouth hotter than California
Telegraph: Ocean temperatures have a soared to a seven-year high off southwest Britain - making our seas as hot as California. Marine scientists say the water has reached 20.4C (68.7F) off Start Bay, Devon, and 20.1C (68.2F) off Perranporth, Cornwall. That is even warmer than readings taken from Santa Monica beach in Los Angeles, where its currently lagging behind at 19.4C (66.9F) and only 8C short of the sea temperature in Bali. Temperatures off the British coast are also rising by almost 4C a month...


07/27/2014 02:32 AM
We're putting a forest on a climate-change fast-track
New Scientist: One way it will stand out is a novel experiment called FACE - Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment. It will be the first in the world to take a mature, temperate, broad-leafed woodland ecosystem and, where it stands, expose it to predicted future atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. We will look at the effects of the CO2 on the structure and functioning of the woodland. With FACE we are responding to a lack of long-term data on the effects of CO2 on woodland. People have been saying we...


07/27/2014 08:00 AM
African biodiversity under threat from climate change
Deutsche-Welle: Researchers meeting in Cameroon have warned that Africa could lose up to 30 percent of its animal and plant species by the end of the century because of global warming, population growth and unregulated development. It is mid-afternoon in Lom Pangar in Eastern Cameroon. People are busy working, digging holes and cleaning up. Some are cutting down trees in preparation for the construction of a new dam that could generate up to 30 megawatts of hydroelectric power. Nformi Johnson works for one of...


07/27/2014 08:00 AM
Climate needs new support for nuclear power
Des Moines Register: Almost 30 years after James Hansen, NASA's chief atmospheric scientist, warned Congress that the burning of fossil fuels leads to global warming, the evidence still points to one conclusion: Increasing the use of zero-carbon nuclear power must be part of the solution. Hansen, along with other prominent climatologists, sees great value in using nuclear power to reduce carbon emissions. Nuclear power, in one or more advanced designs, holds promise for the generation of abundant, clean and affordable...


07/27/2014 08:00 AM
Scientists begin hi-tech quest for Arctic sea ice answers
Climate News Network: An international team of scientists plan to spend months watching ice melt. But although it will take longer and cost a lot more than watching paint dry, it will be much more interesting and rewarding. A sophisticated array of automatic sensors will allow scientists to conduct the longest ever monitoring program to determine the precise physics of summer sea ice melt in the Arctic. They plan to discover just how the Arctic ice retreats, the rate at which it melts, and the oceanographic processes...


07/26/2014 08:25 PM
Pacific summit to urge action on climate change
Agence France-Presse: Pacific island leaders will renew calls for meaningful action on climate change at a regional summit opening in Palau on Tuesday, amid fears rising seas will swamp their low-lying nations. Many of the 15 nations represented at the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) lie barely a metre (three feet) above sea level, and regard themselves as the frontline of climate change, an issue they say threatens their very existence. While emissions controls and carbon footprints can seem like abstract concepts in the...


07/27/2014 08:34 AM
Two California wildfires threaten homes
BBC: Two fast-moving wildfires in California are threatening homes and could result in the evacuation of hundreds of people, US officials say. In the Sacramento region, a fire has spread to cover an area of about 4,000 acres, while another blaze threatens homes around Yosemite National Park. The Sacramento fire is only 20% contained, officials told local media. Months of drought have caused more fires in California this year - some 1,400, twice the usual number. Homes evacuated The Sacramento...


07/27/2014 08:00 AM
Smart aid for the world's poor
Wall Street Journal: n September next year, the United Nations plans to choose a list of development goals for the world to meet by the year 2030. What aspirations should it set for this global campaign to improve the lot of the poor, and how should it choose them? In answering that question, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his advisers are confronted with a task that they often avoid: setting priorities. It is no good saying that we would like peace and prosperity to reach every corner of the world. And it is...


07/27/2014 03:01 AM
Study: climate change affecting fur seals in Antarctica
Blue and Green: Warming climate impacting on krill population – seals’ primary food sources – is leading to animals being born smaller and females breeding later than usual, according to new research. In a study published in the journal Nature, scientists have suggested that changes in the availability of krill – small crustaceans depending on sea ice – have caused Antarctic fur seals from South Georgia to become food-stressed. This has meant pups being born with 8% less body mass and females breeding later...


07/27/2014 03:01 AM
Climate change may slowdown crop yield, study finds
Blue and Green: Climate change makes 20 times more likely for corn and wheat crop production to decrease, significantly affecting food prices and availability in the long-term, according to a new study. Scientist from Stanford University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have said in a new study that although a massive and severe crop production slowdown is unlikely, global warming increase the risk of losses by 20 times. There is therefore a substantial risk of decreasing production of wheat...


07/26/2014 08:05 AM
Fracking in Nova Scotia should be put on hold to allow for more study: expert
Canadian Press: Hydraulic fracturing should not proceed in Nova Scotia until a broader public discussion is held and more research is completed, says the head of an expert panel reviewing the industry's potential in the province. David Wheeler, president of Cape Breton University, said Friday the province needs more time to get up to speed with the rapidly expanding unconventional oil and gas industry. "We need more research in a couple of particular areas before anyone could take a view on whether this is...