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U-T San Diego: Talk with leaders from Imperial County and you’ll hear a clear message: Time is running out to save the Salton Sea, the accidental desert lake whose receding shores pose a growing hazard for the wildlife and people who live nearby. This largest of inland lakes in California is expected to see even more rapid water loss by 2018 connected, in part, to water sales to the San Diego region. The water loss threatens the biological diversity of the sea, which serves as a central stop for hundreds...
Posted: September 2, 2014, 2:00 pm
SciDevNet: Big data can only capture the past -- without theory, they cannot predict into a changing future, says Martin Hilbert. Recently, much has been written, talked, and done about the usefulness of big data for development. The UN Economic and Social Council recognises that "big data have the potential to produce more relevant and more timely statistics than traditional sources of official statistics, such as survey and administrative data sources', while the OECD is convinced that "big data now represents...
Posted: September 2, 2014, 12:00 pm
BusinessGreen: The legal battle over the governance of India's coal industry has taken another twist as the government urged the Supreme Court not to revoke all of the 218 coal mining licences that it last week deemed illegal. The court had ruled all coal mining licences awarded between 1993 and 2010 had been allocated illegally, raising the prospect of a raft of licences being revoked and mining activity suspended at key mines. The ruling had been seen as being in line with the newly-elected Modi administration's...
Posted: September 2, 2014, 8:51 am
Clean Technica: This week, the government of Chile holds a final vote on its first carbon taxation scheme, also the first in South America, a measure to make fossil fuel generators pay for emitting greenhouse gases. The Chile carbon tax is part of a larger program of wide-ranging tax revisions introduced by the country’s popular center-left president Michelle Bachelet, partly to enact social reforms promised in her recent election. Though Chile has the highest per capita income in South America (near $20,000),...
Posted: September 2, 2014, 8:00 am
Reuters: South Korea has delayed a proposed tax on vehicle carbon emissions by over five years to the end of 2020, but confirmed it would push ahead with plans to begin its carbon emissions trading scheme from the start of 2015, finance minister Choi Kyung-hwan said on Tuesday. The finance ministry said in a meeting with other ministers that the so-called smog tax, which has already been postponed by more than two years, would place too much of a burden on industry if it was launched at the same time as...
Posted: September 2, 2014, 8:00 am
Agence France-Presse: An India-backed mining consortium could shelve controversial plans to dump dredging waste in the Great Barrier Reef, with alternative sites on land being considered amid growing environmental concerns, Australia said Tuesday. Environment Minister Greg Hunt said there was an "emerging option" that could see the consortium -- India's Adani Group and Australia's North Queensland Bulk Ports and GVK Hancock -- submit a proposal suggesting onshore dumping locations. "There is an emerging option which...
Posted: September 2, 2014, 5:30 am
Boston Globe: Labor Day has come and gone. Autumn looms. But how can summer be over when it never really began? If you feel cheated -- where were the scorchers and leaden humid nights? -- it's not your imagination. July and August really did feel more like an extension of spring than a separate season. The Boston area had but four days over 90 degrees; usually it has 10. Average temperatures for the summer were well below normal too. This, of course, followed on the heels of a cold and snowy winter that felt...
Posted: September 2, 2014, 5:14 am
ScienceDaily: A new study of satellite data from the last 19 years reveals that fresh water from melting glaciers has caused the sea-level around the coast of Antarctica to rise by 2cm more than the global average of 6cm. Researchers at the University of Southampton detected the rapid rise in sea-level by studying satellite scans of a region that spans more than a million square kilometres. The melting of the Antarctic ice sheet and the thinning of floating ice shelves has contributed an excess of around...
Posted: September 2, 2014, 5:04 am
LA Times: Ffty years ago Wednesday, Lyndon Johnson strolled out to the Rose Garden, pressed a fountain pen between the fingers of his hefty right hand and signed into law the highest level of protection ever afforded the American landscape. "If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt," President Johnson said later, "we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning." On that day, America...
Posted: September 2, 2014, 5:02 am
Blue and Green: A Thompson Reuters report on EU energy and climate policy has concluded that stricter regulations, based on proposed reforms to the European Emissions Trading System (ETS), will raise the EU carbon price to an average of €23/t between 2021 and 2030. Stricter regulation, argues the report, will force up the price of emission permits, currently valued at €6/t. The sharp increase in carbon price to €23/t is dependent on proposed reforms to the ETS that would limit the amount of permits available in...
Posted: September 2, 2014, 5:00 am
Naharnet: U.N. climate change chief Christiana Figueres on Tuesday warned time was running out for meaningful action on global warming, citing the plight of low-lying Pacific nations facing ever rising seas. Figueres, in Samoa for a U.N. conference on small island states, said the impact of climate change was greatest on Pacific nations, even though they had contributed little to the problem. "Climate change is the greatest threat these islands face and they are recognized as the bellwether of global...
Posted: September 2, 2014, 3:03 am
Business Times: The World Resources Institute (WRI) has said that global water shortages could hobble ambitious plans to develop shale gas exploration across the planet. In a newly published report, the WRI says that 38% of the world's shale resources were found in areas that were water barren or that were "under high to extremely high levels of water stress". Almost a fifth of shale resources are in areas of high or extremely high seasonal variability and 15% are in areas that are highly susceptible to drought....
Posted: September 2, 2014, 3:01 am
Gizmodo: The picture above shows a top-down view of Antarctica, the freezing southern end of our planet. Except that it's not a single picture. It's a mosaic of 3,150 satellite images mashed together to form one giant image. The images, which were created by MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates, which manages the RADARSAT-2 satellite on behalf of the Canadian Space Agency. They're hosted by the Canadian Cryospheric Information Network, at the University of Waterloo, which maintains the Polar Data Catalogue,...
Posted: September 2, 2014, 2:45 am
Journal-Sentinel: The recent disclosure that Gogebic Taconite donated $700,000 to a Wisconsin political group is the latest example of how the mining company and its supporters used money, influence and the allure of jobs to persuade lawmakers to relax state environmental regulations. Gogebic zoomed into Wisconsin politics in 2011. The company had plans for a massive open pit iron ore mine, but it demanded changes in mining laws before starting a multimillion-dollar regulatory review. The $1.5 billion project...
Posted: September 2, 2014, 1:06 am
Associated Press: Two men who used an old lobster boat to block a coal shipment to New England`s largest coal-burning power plant say they plan to argue at trial that their actions were necessary because of the threat posed by climate change. Environmental activists Ken Ward and Jonathan "Jay" O`Hara say they don`t intend to dispute many of the facts of the case during their jury trial, which opens Sept. 8 in Fall River District Court. Instead, they want to prove that global warming is real and that bold action...
Posted: September 2, 2014, 1:00 am
BusinessGreen: China's ambitious plans to introduce a national carbon market remain firmly on track, after a senior government official indicated the planned emission trading scheme will kick off in 2016. Reuters reported this week that the Chinese government is planning to approve the necessary legislation before the end of this year, paving the way for the launch of a national carbon market in 2016. The news agency quoted Sun Cuihua, a senior climate official with the National Development and Reform Commission,...
Posted: September 1, 2014, 11:05 pm
National Geographic: Scientists have more bad news for drought-stricken California: The climate warming expected in this century is likely to result in even less water flow from the mountains, as trees and plants growing higher on the slopes soak up more of the available precipitation. This finding should be "of great interest to water managers in California," says Roger C. Bales, a professor of hydrology and environmental engineering at the University of California, Merced, who co-authored the study published Monday...
Posted: September 1, 2014, 10:03 pm
Washington Post: Concern over climate change continues to grow among climate scientists and across the political spectrum. But climate change is a difficult problem to address in large part because its consequences are not immediately apparent, and thus it can be difficult to convince the public to accept the material sacrifices required. In democracies, this task can be made more difficult by the incentives parties and politicians face to pander; that is, to pursue votes by appealing to voters’ short-term interests....
Posted: September 1, 2014, 9:02 pm
Climate Central: Hike high enough up California's Sierra Nevada and the forest morphs around you. At around 6,000 feet, the dazzling diversity of the lower montane forest, replete with California black oak, ponderosa pine, and incense cedars gives way to more monotonous landscapes of red fir and lodgepole pine. Hike further still and trees eventually disappear altogether, replaced with rocky topographies reminiscent of Mars. The forestry changes underway threaten to slash the amount of water that flows down the...
Posted: September 1, 2014, 8:03 pm
Guardian: New EU rules on vacuum cleaners will not harm people with dust allergies as your correspondent (Letters, 25 August) suggests. The new rules – supported by most manufacturers and agreed by national governments – will not mean vacuum cleaners picking up less dust or extended vacuuming time. And they include tough standards to reduce dust escaping from the back. The whole point is that better “eco-design” for domestic appliances can reduce energy consumption without damaging performance. That is good...
Posted: September 1, 2014, 7:31 pm
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