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Our Earth – Eco News Roundup: February 17, 2013

February 17, 2013

Our Earth

Our Earth – Eco News Roundup: February 17, 2013

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


Energy Department, Treasury Announce Availability of $150 Million in Tax Credits for Clean Energy Manufacturers

WASHINGTON – As part of President’s Obama’s all-of-the-above approach to American energy, the U.S. Departments of Energy and the Treasury today announced the availability of $150 million in Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits for clean energy and energy efficiency manufacturing projects across the United States. This important tax program is focused on strengthening America’s global competitiveness in clean energy manufacturing, increasing our energy security and creating new jobs and opportunities for American workers.

Carbon Capture and Storage FutureGen 2.0 Project Moves Forward Into Second Phase

Near-Zero Emissions Coal-Fueled Power Plant to Demonstrate Commercial Scale Carbon Capture and Storage Technologies

Conservatives Aim To Roll Back Kansas Renewable Energy Standard

Lawmakers in Kansas this week have started to hold hearings regarding the state’s existing renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS). Lawmakers in both the Senate and the House are aiming to roll back the states’ RPS.

Arctic Death Spiral Bombshell: CryoSat-2 Confirms Sea Ice Volume Has Collapsed

The sharp drop in Arctic sea ice area has been matched by a harder-to-see, but equally sharp, drop in sea ice thickness. The combined result has been a collapse in total sea ice volume — to one fifth of its level in 1980.

Tree die-off triggered by hotter temperatures

A team of scientists, led by researchers at Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology, has determined that the recent widespread die-off of Colorado trembling aspen trees is a direct result of decreased precipitation exacerbated by high summer temperatures. The die-off, triggered by the drought from 2000-2003, is estimated to have affected up to 17% of Colorado aspen forests.

Sunlight stimulates release of climate-warming gas from melting Arctic permafrost

Ancient carbon trapped in Arctic permafrost is extremely sensitive to sunlight and, if exposed to the surface when long-frozen soils melt and collapse, can release climate-warming carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere much faster than previously thought

Southwest regional warming likely cause of pinyon pine cone decline, says CU study

Creeping climate change in the Southwest appears to be having a negative effect on pinyon pine reproduction, a finding with implications for wildlife species sharing the same woodland ecosystems, says a University of Colorado Boulder-led study. The new study showed that pinyon pine seed cone production declined by an average of about 40 percent at nine study sites in New Mexico and northwestern Oklahoma over the past four decades, said CU-Boulder doctoral student Miranda Redmond, who led the study.

Middle East river basin has lost Dead Sea-sized quantity of water

Already strained by water scarcity and political tensions, the arid Middle East along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is losing critical water reserves at a rapid pace, from Turkey upstream to Syria, Iran and Iraq below.

Marsh plants actively engineer their landscape

Marsh plants, far from being passive wallflowers, are “secret gardeners” that actively engineer their landscape to increase their species’ odds of survival, says a team of scientists from Duke University and the University of Padova in Italy. Scientists have long believed that the distribution of plants within a marsh is a passive adaption in which species grow at different elevations because that’s where conditions like soil aeration and salinity best meet their needs.

A new Harvard report probes security risks of extreme weather and climate change

Increasingly frequent extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, severe storms, and heat waves have focused the attention of climate scientists on the connections between greenhouse warming and extreme weather. Because of the potential threat to U.S. national security, a new study was conducted to explore the forces driving extreme weather events and their impacts over the next decade, specifically with regard to their implications for national security planning. The report finds that the early ramifications of climate extremes resulting from climate change are already upon us and will continue to be felt over the next decade, directly impacting U.S. national security interests.


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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