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

Endangered dolphins near extinction

The world’s most endangered sea dolphins are sliding towards extinction in the face of damaging fishing methods, experts are warning.

Fracking in Mendips ‘may threaten Bath hot springs’

Concerns were raised on Wednesday that the controversial process of extracting gas from underground could pose a threat to Bath’s world famous hot springs.

Bath and North-East Somerset council fears test drilling in the Mendip hills could lead to exploitation of shale gas resources through “fracking”, which the local authority warns could harm the springs.

Read more: Shale boom in Bath could pollute water supplies, warn council leaders

Fishing boats ‘killing up to 320,000 seabirds a year’

Report says some albatross, petrel and shearwater species nearing extinction as fleets failing to implement simple measures.

Up to 320,000 seabirds a year are being killed worldwide each year by being caught up in fishing lines, according to a study being presented to the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity on Tuesday.

Some species and populations of albatross, petrels and shearwaters are being pushed to the edge of extinction because many fishing fleets are not taking simple measures to prevent birds chasing bait, experts will warn.

Wave and tidal power almost ready for mass consumption, says Alex Salmond

Wave and tidal power devices are close to producing electricity for mass consumption for the first time after a surge in investment, Alex Salmond has predicted.

The first minister said that the latest wave and tide machines being tested in Scottish waters were expected to become commercially viable by 2015 with several hundred megawatts of installed capacity, in a major breakthrough for the green energy industry.

More Evidence That Models Continue To Show Too Much Recent Warming

In our last World Climate Report article, we detailed a recent paper that showed that climate models which fail to account for the evolution of stratospheric aerosols (that is, reflective particles in the earth’s upper atmospheric) during the past decade or two project less warming than they would have had they included the influence of stratospheric aerosols in their calculations. This means that the discrepancy between the observed warming trend during the past 10-15 years (which is near zero) and climate model projections should be even larger than it appears (and it is already quite large).

Arctic Fires and CO2 Emissions

Last week, a widely-repeated pronouncement was made, that after an absence of more than 10,000 years, “wildfires have returned to the Arctic tundra” spurred by an apparent increase in lightning strikes and leading to carbon dioxide (CO2) releases from a traditional CO2 sink region. Another positive feedback to anthropogenic global warming. Oh yeah, and the fires will get worse and more widespread in the future.

But as with most dire global warming predictions, this one seems to lack grounding in reality.

The home run we need: Biocarbon

A clean energy technology revolution is necessary – but it’s not sufficient – to solve the global climate crisis we face. We also need Biocarbon, “the Second Solution”, to scale up the capacity of Earth’s living systems to soak up carbon and successfully reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) in our planet’s atmosphere to the safe level of 350 parts per million.

Is Western North America’s Water Supply Imperiled by the Mere Maintenance of Earth’s Current Climate?

In their newest study of the subject, the four Canadian researchers expanded the time span of the lake-level history to the past 5200 years, based on new analyses of sediment cores they collected in July of 2004 from North Pond (a lagoon on Bustard Island located at the western end of Lake Athabasca); and in doing so they discovered (see the figure below) that “modern society in western Canada developed during a rare interval of relatively abundant freshwater supply — now a rapidly diminishing by-product of the LIA glacier expansion, which is in agreement with late 20th century decline in Athabasca River discharge identified in hydrometric records (Burn et al., 2004; Schindler and Donahue, 2006).” And, frightenly, their data suggest, as they describe it, that “the transition from water abundance to scarcity can occur within a human lifespan,” which, as they caution, “is a very short amount of time for societies to adapt.”

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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