The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
Leaders from some of the world’s most vulnerable climate countries have today adopted the Majuro Declaration calling for a “new wave of climate leadership” and marking the region’s efforts to accelerate action.
Issued at this year’s Pacific Islands Forum, which took place on the Marshall Islands, the declaration calls on countries to list specific, concrete pledges to reduce emissions and aims to accelerate the global response to the climate crisis.
The Pacific islands represent many of the countries most at risk by climate change, and they used the latest summit highlight the threats it places on security, livelihoods and the well-being of their populations, as well as those of other vulnerable nations across the globe.
Also signed by Australia and New Zealand, the declaration highlights the region’s own commitment to tackling climate change.
The probability of contamination of diesel fuel is increasing as biodiesel becomes more popular and as distribution and supply systems use the same facilities to store and transport the 2 types of fuels
In 2010, a Cathay Pacific Airways plane was arriving in Hong Kong when the engine control thrusts seized up and it was forced to make a hard landing—injuring dozens. The potential culprit? Contaminated fuel.
Today, environmental groups filed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to let air pollution cleanup go forward under a 2011 federal rule that would prevent thousands of premature deaths each year. The groups, as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and various states, asked the Supreme Court to reverse a court of appeals decision invalidating the rule.
If allowed to take effect, the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule would require cleanup of soot and smog pollution from power plants in more than two dozen states, producing huge benefits for human health and the environment. According to the EPA, the rule would every year prevent 13,000 to 34,000 premature deaths, 15,000 non-fatal heart attacks, 19,000 hospital and emergency room visits, 19,000 episodes of acute bronchitis, 420,000 upper and lower respiratory symptoms, 400,000 episodes of aggravated asthma, and 1.8 million days of missed work or school.
Researchers calculate that intense heat like that in the summer of 2012 is up to four times more likely to occur now than in pre-industrial America, when there was much less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
To quantify the impact of genetic improvement in wheat, disease and climate change over a 26-year period, a team of researchers at Kansas State University examined wheat variety yield data from Kansas performance tests, along with location-specific weather and disease data.
Their results showed that from 1985 through 2011, wheat breeding programs boosted average wheat yields by 13 bushels per acre, or 0.51 bushel each year, for a total increase of 26 percent.
Simulations also found that a 1 degree Celsius increase (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in projected mean temperature was found to decrease wheat yields by 10.64 bushels per acre or nearly 21 percent.
Scientists at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have devised a novel method to identify suitable new homes for animals under threat from climate change. Conservation scientists used their knowledge on species ecology to create habitat suitability maps and correctly identify sites that will remain viable in the future regardless of changing climate. However, the key for success is to understand, and account for, the link between variation in species population size, climate and how the climate may change.
The amount of ozone created from aircraft pollution is highest from flights leaving and entering Australia and New Zealand, a new study has shown. The findings, which have been published today, Thursday 5 September, in IOP Publishing’s journal Environmental Research Letters, could have wide-reaching implications for aviation policy as ozone is a potent greenhouse gas with comparable short-term effects to those of carbon dioxide (CO2).
The researchers, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, used a global chemistry-transport model to investigate which parts of the world are specifically sensitive to the creation of ozone and therefore which individual flights create the highest amounts.
Scientists have uncovered strong evidence that soot, or black carbon, sent into the air by a rapidly industrializing Europe, likely caused the abrupt retreat of mountain glaciers in the European Alps. The research, published Sept. 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may help resolve a longstanding scientific debate about why the Alps glaciers retreated beginning in the 1860s, decades before global temperatures started rising again.
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