Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium

Climate Change, Global Warming and Renewable Energy RSS News Feed


07/21/2016 03:32 PM
Trees' surprising role in the boreal water cycle quantified
ScienceDaily: Approximately 25 to 50 percent of a living tree is made up of water, depending on the species and time of year. The water stored in trees has previously been considered just a minor part of the water cycle, but a new study by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists shows otherwise. Research published this week in Nature Scientific Reports is the first to show that the uptake of snowmelt water by deciduous trees represents a large and previously overlooked aspect of the water balance in boreal...


07/21/2016 05:16 PM
Sadiq Khan: violence across London was 'fuelled by hot weather'
Evening Standard: London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said last night's shocking violence across the capital was "fuelled by the hot weather". Clashes broke out between police and youths as up to 4,000 teenagers gathered in Hyde Park last night, with one youth stabbed after being chased through traffic nearby. Meanwhile, in a separate incident in Hackney, dozens of police officers were attacked with missiles as they shut down an illegal rave on an estate, and a water fight between 200 youths in Burgess Park, Peckham,...


07/21/2016 03:02 PM
Antarctic Peninsula Has Cooled, but Warming Will Win
Climate Central: For most of the latter half of the 20th century, the Antarctic Peninsula was one of the fastest-warming places on the planet, with serious repercussions for the local environment, including the spectacular disintegration of a millennia-old ice shelf, and global sea level rise. But a new study detailed Thursday in the journal Nature suggests temperatures on the peninsula have dropped slightly since the late 1990s. This relative cooling is partly driven by the recovery of the ozone hole, and is,...


07/21/2016 09:36 AM
Germany and China are beating the U.S. in energy efficiency
Yahoo!: The United States ranks No. 8 among the world's most energy-efficient nations, while the clean-energy powerhouse Germany holds the top slot, a new report found. Oil-rich Saudi Arabia, perhaps unsurprisingly, landed with a thud at the bottom of the list. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranked 23 of the world’s top energy-consuming countries for its 2016 international scorecard, released Wednesday. Energy-efficient steps include outfitting buildings with intelligent...


07/21/2016 10:02 AM
Can palm oil be sustainable?
ScienceDaily: Land used for palm oil production could be nearly doubled without expanding into protected or high-biodiversity forests, according to a new study published in the journal Global Environmental Change. The study is the first to map land suitable for palm oil production on a global scale, while taking into account environmental and climate considerations. "There is room to expand palm oil production and to do it in a sustainable way," says IIASA researcher Johannes Pirker, who led the study. Palm...


07/21/2016 10:06 AM
Poland ‘cannot afford’ share of EU 2030 climate target
Climate Home: Poland’s environment ministry says the country will struggle to meet an EU proposed 7% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, branding the goal an “inconvenience”. On Thursday the European Commission released its vision of all 28 member states would contribute towards the bloc’s goal of cutting emissions 40% on 1990 levels by 2030. Covering around 60% of EU emissions, the plan sees Sweden and Luxembourg making cuts of 40% on 2005 levels. Poland’s 7% goal is the fourth smallest after Bulgaria...


07/21/2016 08:32 AM
Oceans may be large, overlooked source of hydrogen gas
ScienceDaily: Rocks formed beneath the ocean floor by fast-spreading tectonic plates may be a large and previously overlooked source of free hydrogen gas (H2), a new Duke University study suggests. The finding could have far-ranging implications since scientists believe H2 might be the fuel source responsible for triggering life on Earth. And, if it were found in large enough quantities, some experts speculate that it could be used as a clean-burning substitute for fossil fuels today because it gives off high...


07/21/2016 08:05 AM
WMO: 2016 on track to be hottest year on record
Climate Home: Average temperature in the first six months of 2016 was 1.3C says NASA as fears over climate change impacts continue to mount We are on course for the hottest year on record, the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation has confirmed. Data from US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA published this week confirmed June was the 14th month in a row to break temperature records. “Another month, another record. And another. And another. Decades-long trends of climate change...


07/21/2016 09:16 AM
The Republican Party makes its hatred of mass transit official
Grist: The Republican Party has made its views on transportation clear: highways good, transit and bike share bad - or at least not worth spending any federal money on. This is the vision laid out in the recently released GOP platform. It’s intensely anti-urban, anti-transit, opposed to smart growth, and far outside the mainstream. According to the GOP, the only legitimate federal transportation expense is building highways. The Republicans propose eliminating all federal spending on mass transit,...


07/21/2016 08:44 AM
Hey, someone mentioned climate change on stage at the Republican convention
Grist: Harold Hamm, a fracking mogul and GOP donor, ventured where few Republicans are willing to go on Wednesday night: He mentioned climate change on stage at the Republican National Convention. “Climate change isn’t our biggest problem,” he said. “It’s Islamic terrorism.” OK, not a rousing call to action, but at least there’s the implication that climate is a problem. But, of course, the real focus of the speech was the need for more oil and gas drilling — and how it could save us from the bad guys....


07/21/2016 07:19 AM
Hottest Year Ever? 2016 Burns Through Heat Records, NASA Says
LiveScience: This year may be only half over, but 2016 is already on track to be the hottest year ever on record, with each of the first six months, from January to June, setting new temperature records, NASA officials announced this week. For the first time, NASA shared a midyear climate analysis, doing so because temperature averages this year have been so in excess of previous data, agency officials said. NASA's data showed that each month in 2016 was the warmest respective month globally in the modern...


07/21/2016 06:45 AM
?A New Study Adds Fuel to Calls for a Fracking Ban
Nation: About 386 million years ago, Pennsylvania received a great gift-or, depending on your point of view, a curse: the Marcellus Shale, a formation of black rock and limestone containing vast reserves of natural gas. The formation stretches from New York through the Appalachian Basin, but it's Pennsylvania that has played host to the most intensive plundering of those reserves since the mid-2000s, when energy companies began to use hydraulic fracturing to free up the gas trapped a mile below the surface...


07/21/2016 07:22 AM
Minnesota must do more to cut greenhouse gas linked to climate change -
Minnesota Public Radio: Officials in Gov. Mark Dayton's administration say Minnesota should look at strengthening its renewable energy law. The state is on track to meet a requirement of 25 percent renewable electricity generation by 2025. But that has not been enough to help reach another state goal: a major reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change. Republicans and Democrats came together in 2007 to act on climate change. The Minnesota Legislature passed goals that -- at the time -- were among...


07/21/2016 06:26 AM
Study: Drought impedes tree growth, shuts down Amazon carbon sink
Mongabay: The Amazon rainforest is popularly known as the “the planet’s lungs” — absorbing and storing 100 billion tons of carbon and preventing it from entering the atmosphere. Maintaining that vast carbon sink is seen as vital to limiting climate change impacts. Now, new research published in the Global Biogeochemical Cycles journal shows that droughts can bring this crucial ecosystem service to a grinding halt. University of Exeter scientist Dr. Ted Feldpausch and an international team of researchers...


07/21/2016 06:02 AM
2016 set to be hottest year yet, CO2 on rise: WMO
Reuters: The world is on track for its hottest year on record and levels of carbon dioxide have reached new highs, further fuelling global warming, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Thursday. June marked the 14th straight month of record heat for land and oceans, the United Nations agency said. It called for speedy implementation of a pact reached last December to limit climate change by shifting from fossil fuels to green energy by 2100. A strong El Nino weather event in the Pacific Ocean,...


07/21/2016 06:32 AM
Local Efforts to Save Coral Reefs May Be Futile
Climate Central: Corals in remote and relatively pristine reefs fare little better overall amid global warming than those growing alongside heavily populated coastlines, according to research published Wednesday. The new paper, published in Nature's Scientific Reports by the University of North Carolina, reinvigorated debate among reef scientists over whether local safeguards and programs could save some of the world's most spectacular and crucial ecosystems from being wiped out. Scientists agree that coral...


07/21/2016 04:00 AM
The best strategies to keep bodies cool in a heatwave, according to researchers
Guardian: As we hit high-heat season in the Northern Hemisphere, it is useful to clarify tactics that can be used to help maintain healthy body temperatures. These tips are not commonly known and can be adopted by anyone, anywhere. While I am a climate scientist, my funded work is in the area of heat transfer, particularly in the human body. I work with medical companies to maintain healthy body temperatures during surgeries or other situations. I also deal with scald burns and I often serve in burn injury...


07/21/2016 05:38 AM
Sweden's Vattenfall commits to UK offshore windfarm despite Brexit
Guardian: The Swedish energy company Vattenfall is pushing ahead with a £300m windfarm off the coast of Aberdeen despite last month’s EU referendum vote. The offshore windfarm has been dogged by years of legal battles between Donald Trump and the Scottish government over its impact on his golf course, which the tycoon ultimately lost in the courts last year. But on Thursday Vattenfall announced its final investment decision on the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, which sees it buying out Aberdeen...


07/21/2016 04:54 AM
Climate change: Greenland loses a trillion tonnes of ice in four years as melting rate triples
Independent: It’s no news that Greenland is in serious trouble -- but now, new research has helped quantify just how bad its problems are. A satellite study, published last week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, suggests that the Greenland ice sheet lost a whopping 1 trillion tonnes of ice between the years 2011 and 2014 alone. And a big portion of it came from just five glaciers, about which scientists now have more cause to worry than ever. It’s the latest story in a long series of increasingly...


07/21/2016 04:29 AM
San Diego Bans Plastic Bags
EcoWatch: The San Diego City Council voted Tuesday to ban single-use plastic bags at grocery stores, pharmacies and corner markets. The goal of the new ordinance is to encourage shoppers to use reusable bags, decreasing the number of plastic checkout bags used every year. San Diego goest through roughly 700 million plastic bags a year, with only 3 percent of them being recycled, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. "The vast majority of plastic bags we see are entangled in the brushes next to our rivers...