The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
DETROIT — For the past few years, national media have touted Detroit’s comeback story: It endured dark days, went through the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy, and is — literally, with the construction of a new skyscraper — on the rise.
The city is about to face a different kind of buzz.
“We’re starting to see more bees in the city,” said Timothy Paule, who, with his girlfriend, started a nonprofit to build beehives on vacant city plots. “Some people are planting urban farms, and they’re adding bees to help with the yield. Others are doing their part and placing hives in backyards to help the declining bee population.”
As the weather warms up, their bees — and millions of others — will get busy.
Paule is among a growing number of people in Detroit and around the globe who are cultivating urban beehives as part of social missions and small businesses. It is a trend that has prompted cities to lift beekeeping limitations and inspired entrepreneurs to sell beekeeping starter kits and the bees’ honey.
Carbon dioxide from ships at sea will be regulated for the first time following a historic agreement reached after two weeks of detailed talks in London.
Shipping companies will halve their greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 under the plan, brokered by the International Maritime Organization and binding across its 170 member states.
Glaciers in an Alaskan National Park are melting faster than any time in the past 400 years—and summer temperatures are starting to climb, research published March 23 revealed. The American Geophysical Union released the information Tuesday.
The Atlantic Ocean circulation that carries warmth into the Northern Hemisphere’s high latitudes is slowing down because of climate change, a team of scientists asserted Wednesday, suggesting one of the most feared consequences is already coming to pass.
The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation has declined in strength by 15 percent since the mid-20th century to a ‘‘new record low,’’ the scientists conclude in a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Nature. That’s a decrease of 3 million cubic meters of water per second, the equivalent of nearly 15 Amazon rivers.
The AMOC brings warm water from the equator up toward the Atlantic’s northern reaches and cold water back down through the deep ocean. The current is partly why Western Europe enjoys temperate weather, and meteorologists are linking changes in North Atlantic ocean temperatures to recent summer heat waves.
The governor of the Bank of England has warned of the “catastrophic impact” climate change could have for the financial system unless firms do more to disclose their vulnerabilities.
Telling banks and insurers they would need to provide more information about the risks they might face from climate change, Mark Carney said failure to do so would have damaging effects for financial stability.
He said the finance industry could be forced into making rapid adjustments if they did not gradually expose where their climate change risks might lie, which he said could trigger steep losses.
As the planet warms, giant icebergs and sea ice that once would have remained trapped in the frozen Arctic are moving southward faster and more frequently, menacing shipping and oil and gas drilling operations.
In the North Atlantic, scientists say the number of icebergs spotted south of 48 degrees latitude—where they start to get into more shipping lanes—is up again this year, following a series of extreme iceberg seasons.
“So far, iceberg numbers crossing south of 48 degrees look to be higher this year than last, and last year saw a relatively high iceberg flux year—about 1,000 icebergs crossing 48 North, compared to the long-term mean of 450,” said University of Sheffield geographer Grant Bigg, who studies icebergs and climate.
A federal appeals court in Denver told the Bureau of Land Management on Friday that its analysis of the climate impacts of four gigantic coal leases was economically “irrational” and needs to be done over.
When reviewing the environmental impacts of fossil fuel projects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the judges said, the agency can’t assume the harmful effects away by claiming that dirty fuels left untouched in one location would automatically bubble up, greenhouse gas emissions and all, somewhere else.
That was the basic logic employed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 2010 when it approved the new leases in the Powder River Basin that stretches across Wyoming and Montana, expanding projects that hold some 2 billion tons of coal, big enough to supply at least a fifth of the nation’s needs.
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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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