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Our Earth – Eco News Roundup: January 6, 2013

January 6, 2013

Our Earth

Our Earth – Eco News Roundup: January 6, 2013

The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.


Energy Department Announces New Investments in Pioneering U.S. Offshore Wind Projects

WASHINGTON – Underscoring the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above strategy to develop more secure, domestic energy sources and strengthen American competitiveness in the global market, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced seven offshore wind awards for projects in Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Virginia. As part of the Energy Department’s broader efforts to launch an offshore wind industry in the United States, these engineering, design and deployment projects will support innovative offshore installations in state and federal waters for commercial operation by 2017.

Energy Department Announces Six Projects to Develop Energy-Saving Windows, Roofs, and Heating and Cooling Equipment

WASHINGTON – As part of the Energy Department’s efforts to help homeowners and businesses save money by saving energy, the Department announced today a $9 million investment in leading-edge building envelope technologies, including high-efficiency, high-performance windows, roofs, and heating and cooling equipment. As winter temperatures set in for much of the United States, the Energy Department this week is also highlighting easy ways consumers can lower their heating bills on Energy.gov.

New land, but also costs, as Nordic nations rise from sea

(Reuters) – A Stone Age camp that used to be by the shore is now 200 km (125 miles) from the Baltic Sea. Sheep graze on what was the seabed in the 15th century. And Sweden’s port of Lulea risks getting too shallow for ships

2012 Saw 362 All-Time Record High Temperatures In U.S. But Zero All-Time Record Lows

This was the year where winter was like spring (see L.A. Times Explains U.S. ‘Seems to Have Largely Escaped Winter’ and ABC News Explains Warm Winter, ‘Wild Swings In Weather’, Driven by Global Warming, Only Going to Get Worse).

TIMELINE: Documenting Shell’s 2012 Arctic Drilling Debacle

This week’s grounding of Shell’s enormous Kulluk drilling rig near Kodiak Island, Alaska has not inspired confidence in its preparedness to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean.

Bridge To Nowhere? NOAA Confirms High Methane Leakage Rate Up To 9% From Gas Fields, Gutting Climate Benefit

Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have reconfirmed earlier findings of high rates of methane leakage from natural gas fields. If these findings are replicated elsewhere, they would utterly vitiate the climate benefit of natural gas, even when used to switch off coal.

Contrary To Contrarian Claims, IPCC Temperature Projections Have Been Exceptionally Accurate

There is a new myth circulating in the climate contrarian blogosphere and mainstream media that a figure presented in the “leaked” draft Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report shows that the planet has warmed less than previous IPCC report climate model simulations predicted.

Chevron CEO: Governments — Not Oil Companies — Are Responsible For Finding ‘A Better Solution’ To Climate

What does America’s second-largest oil company think about how to deal with global warming? Why, exploit more carbon-intensive resources, of course.

New study documents the natural relationship between CO2 concentrations and sea level

By comparing reconstructions of atmospheric CO2 concentrations and sea level over the past 40 million years, researchers based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton have found that greenhouse gas concentrations similar to the present (almost 400 parts per million) were systematically associated with sea levels at least nine metres above current levels. The study determined the ‘natural equilibrium’ sea level for CO2 concentrations ranging between ice-age values of 180 parts per million and ice-free values of more than 1,000 parts per million.

As climate warms, bark beetles march on high-elevation forests

Trees and the insects that eat them wage constant war. Insects burrow and munch; trees deploy lethal and disruptive defenses in the form of chemicals. But in a warming world, where temperatures and seasonal change are in flux, the tide of battle may be shifting in some insects’ favor, according to a new study.

Nature: Political action the biggest swing factor in meeting climate targets

The new study, published January 2 in the journal Nature, examined the probability of keeping average global temperatures from rising more than 2°C above preindustrial levels under varying levels of climate policy stringency, and thus mitigation costs. In addition, the study for the first time quantified and ranked the uncertainties associated with efforts to mitigate climate change, including questions about the climate itself, uncertainties related to future technologies and energy demand, and political uncertainties as to when action will be taken. The climate system itself is full of uncertainty — an oft-used argument to postpone climate action until we have learned more. “We wanted to frame the problem in a new way and try to understand which uncertainties matter in trying to limit global warming by specific climate action,” says Joeri Rogelj, ETH researcher and lead author on the paper, who carried out the research at IIASA.


Here are some other links you may find worthwhile:
Climate Change News Digest
Climate Progress from Center for American Progress
Rocky Mountain Institute “an independent, entrepreneurial nonprofit think-and-do tank™ that drives the efficient and restorative use of resources.”


At BPI Campus our Progressive Agenda is:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.

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