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


A Crossroads for Japan: Revive Nuclear or Go Green?

In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, Japan has idled all 50 of its nuclear reactors. While the central government and business leaders are warning a prolonged shutdown could spell economic doom, many Japanese and local officials see the opportunity for a renewable energy revolution.

 

Shunning Nuclear Power Will Lead to a Warmer World

A physicist argues that if we allow our overblown and often irrational fears of nuclear energy to block the building of a significant number of new nuclear plants, we will be choosing a far more perilous option: the intensified burning of planet-warming fossil fuels.

When hitting 400 is not good: Levels of key greenhouse gas pass milestone, trouble scientists

WASHINGTON — The world’s air has reached what scientists call a troubling new milestone for carbon dioxide, the main global warming pollutant.

Monitoring stations across the Arctic this spring are measuring more than 400 parts per million of the heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere. The number isn’t quite a surprise, because it’s been rising at an accelerating pace. Years ago, it passed the 350 ppm mark that many scientists say is the highest safe level for carbon dioxide. It now stands globally at 395.

Earth’s water cycle intensifying with atmospheric warming

A clear change in salinity has been detected in the world’s oceans, signalling shifts and an acceleration in the global rainfall and evaporation cycle. In a paper just published in the journal Science, Australian scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California, reported changing patterns of salinity in the global ocean during the past 50 years, marking a clear fingerprint of climate change.

 

Geological record shows air up there came from below

The influence of the ground beneath us on the air around us could be greater than scientists had previously thought, according to new research that links the long-ago proliferation of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere to a sudden change in the inner workings of our planet.

Toxic mercury, accumulating in the Arctic, springs from a hidden source

Environmental scientists at Harvard have discovered that the Arctic accumulation of mercury, a toxic element, is caused by both atmospheric forces and the flow of circumpolar rivers that carry the element north into the Arctic Ocean. While the atmospheric source was previously recognized, it now appears that twice as much mercury actually comes from the rivers.

New study by WHOI scientists provides baseline measurements of carbon in Arctic Ocean

Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have conducted a new study to measure levels of carbon at various depths in the Arctic Ocean. The study, recently published in the journal Biogeosciences, provides data that will help researchers better understand the Arctic Ocean’s carbon cycle — the pathway through which carbon enters and is used by the marine ecosystem.

El Niño weather and climate change threaten survival of baby leatherback sea turtles

When leatherback turtle hatchlings dig out of their nests buried in the sandy Playa Grande beach in northwest Costa Rica, they enter a world filled with dangers. This critically endangered species faces threats that include egg poaching and human fishing practices. Now, Drexel University researchers have found that the climate conditions at the nesting beach affect the early survival of turtle eggs and hatchlings.

Stay or go? Some towns are eyeing retreat from sea

LOS ANGELES     (AP) — Years of ferocious storms have threatened to gnaw away the western tip of a popular beachfront park two hours drive north of Los Angeles. Instead of building a 500-foot-long wooden defense next to the pier to tame the tide, the latest thinking is to flee.

10 million years to recover from mass extinction

It took some 10 million years for Earth to recover from the greatest mass extinction of all time, latest research has revealed. Life was nearly wiped out 250 million years ago, with only 10 per cent of plants and animals surviving.

Great Barrier Reef heading for danger: UNESCO

Australia is riding an unprecedented wave of resources investment due to booming demand from Asia, with projects worth Aus$450 billion (US$435 billion) in the pipeline.

The world’s largest coral is not yet at sufficient risk to be declared in danger but UNESCO said the sheer number and scale of proposals including liquefied natural gas (LNG), tourism and mining projects could threaten it.


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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