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


Biodiversity helps sustain human life, scientists say

WASHINGTON — The world has long talked about the importance of preserving the diversity of life on Earth for the sake of beauty and wonder, or in the hopes of new medical discoveries, or for moral reasons.

Now a group of scientists reports that biodiversity helps sustain human life.

Earth may be near tipping point, scientists warn

LOS ANGELES —A group of international scientists is sounding a global alarm, warning that population growth, climate change and environmental destruction are pushing Earth toward calamitous – and irreversible – biological changes.

Whales Help Fertilize Ocean With Floating Dung

Whales  may have a new group of cheerleaders. They’ve always been popular with marine conservationists, but new research suggests that the fishing industry may  also want to adopt the slogan “Save the Whales.”


State of the Climate – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during May was 64.3°F, 3.3°F above the long-term average, making it the second warmest May on record. The month’s high temperatures also contributed to the warmest spring, warmest year-to-date, and warmest 12-month period the nation has experienced since recordkeeping began in 1895.

The end of fish, in one chart

ant to see how widely humans are scouring the oceans for fish? Check out this striking map from the World Wildlife Fund’s 2012 “Living Planet Report.” The red areas are the most intensively fished (and, in some cases, overfished) parts of the ocean — and they’ve expanded dramatically since 1950:

Energy Department Announces Investments to Accelerate U.S. Manufacturing of Energy Efficient Lighting Technologies

WASHINGTON — As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to help reduce energy costs for America’s homes and businesses, the Energy Department today announced more than $7 million for three innovative lighting projects at companies in California, Michigan and North Carolina that aim to lower the cost of manufacturing high-efficiency solid-state lighting (SSL) technologies like light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).  LEDs and OLEDs are generally ten times more energy-efficient than conventional incandescent lighting and can last up to 25 times as long, and by 2030, these technologies have the potential to reduce national lighting electricity use by nearly one half, which could save up to $30 billion a year.

U.S. EPA Launches First Waste to Biogas Mapping Tool

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Pacific Southwest Region has launched an online “waste to biogas mapping tool” to support the use of organic waste for energy projects.
“This innovative mapping tool, the first of its kind in the nation, helps restaurants, hotels and other food waste generators to connect with large energy producers,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Harvesting this energy prevents waste from ending up in landfills or clogging sewer lines.”

EPA Proposes Approval of Texas’ Clean Air Plan

(DALLAS – June 7, 2012) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its proposal to approve revisions submitted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the state’s permitting program for major air pollution sources under the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review (NSR) program. These changes to the State’s clean air plan meet federal clean air goals by establishing state rules for existing major facilities that are consistent with federal permitting requirements.

Scientists discover huge phytoplankton bloom in ice-covered waters

A team of researchers, including scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), discovered a massive bloom of phytoplankton beneath ice-covered Arctic waters. Until now, sea ice was thought to block sunlight and limit the growth of microscopic marine plants living under the ice. The amount of phytoplankton growing in this under-ice bloom was four times greater than the amount found in neighboring ice-free waters. The bloom extended laterally more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) underneath the ice pack, where ocean and ice physics combined to create a phenomenon that scientists had never seen before.

Geoengineering could disrupt rainfall patterns

A geoengineering solution to climate change could lead to significant rainfall reduction in Europe and North America, a team of European scientists concludes. The researchers studied how models of Earth in a warm, CO2-rich world respond to an artificial reduction in the amount of sunlight reaching the planet’s surface. The study is published June 6 in Earth System Dynamics, an Open Access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Cornell researchers warn that Arctic ice melt is setting stage for severe winters

The dramatic melt-off of Arctic sea ice due to climate change is hitting closer to home than millions of Americans might think. That’s because melting Arctic sea ice can trigger a domino effect leading to increased odds of severe winter weather outbreaks in the Northern Hemisphere’s middle latitudes — think the “Snowmageddon” storm that hamstrung Washington, D.C., during February 2010.


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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