August, 2016


August 31, 2016

Chemists develop promising cheap, sustainable battery for grid energy storage

by Morley

environmental news
(Credit: Shutterstock/University of Waterloo)

Chemists at the University of Waterloo have developed a long-lasting zinc-ion battery that costs half the price of current lithium-ion batteries and could help enable communities to shift away from traditional power plants and into renewable solar and wind energy production.

Professor Linda Nazar and her colleagues from the Faculty of Science at Waterloo made the important discovery, which appears in the journal, Nature Energy.

(Full Story)

August 30, 2016

10 Terrifying Before and After Photos That Will Silence Global Warming Deniers

by Dylan Sevett

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The climate crisis is becoming more apparent, when looking at recent photos of lakes, archipelagos, and coral reefs and comparing them to photos taken 20 years ago — and in some cases, just a decade ago. As the ozone layer continues to evaporate and polar ice caps continue to melt, this causes erratic weather patterns and dramatic sea level rises. NASA is now saying that global sea levels could rise by as much as three feet in the next century.

(Full Story and Pictures)

August 29, 2016

Biochar seen as potential market for forest

by Jim Mimiaga

dense forest
A type of biomass may be an untapped market for the vast stands of ponderosa pine in the San Juan National Forests that are in dire need of thinning. Ponderosa timber does not have a very lucrative market, and forest sales are mostly for a limited firewood market.
The situation creates a vexing problem for government foresters charged with thinning out overstocked forests in order to minimize risk of wildfire and beetle infestation.

The alternative biochar market is seen as a potential solution.

(Full Story)

August 28, 2016

Hopes rise for underground carbon storage scheme

by Tim Radford

environmental news updates
LONDON—Geologists have resolved one great problem about the capture of carbon dioxide from coal-fired or gas-fired power stations and its sequestration deep in the Earth, with what appears to be the prospect of rock-solid carbon storage.

Once there in the right rock formations, there’s no reason why it should escape. That is, it won’t react with groundwater, corrode the rocks around it and dissolve its way back to the surface in 10,000 years—or even 100,000 years.

(Full Story)

August 27, 2016

Scary and gross – 3 disturbing consequences of a warming planet

by Katherine Hayhoe

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What do anthrax-riddled reindeer corpses, a pile of flaming horse manure, and thawing cold war waste at a top-secret military base in Greenland have in common? These are just three of the increasingly bizarre and disturbing impacts of a warming climate that made headlines this summer. Climate scientists like myself are always trying to anticipate the unexpected – but the full implications of a warming planet are starting to catch even us by surprise.
(Full Story)

August 26, 2016

How hot was it in July? Hotter than ever.

by Henry Fountain
worstdrought

Continuing a string of global heat records, last month was the hottest July ever recorded, NASA said. But the agency added a wrinkle: Because July is always the hottest month of the year, this July was the hottest of any month since adequate record-keeping began in 1880.

The recent El Niño contributed to the record, as did overall warming linked to greenhouse gas emissions.

(Full Story)

August 25, 2016

Global warming a challenge for country’s crops

By China Daily

Extreme weather patterns, pests and diseases are impacting food security in China and the world, according to experts at the 7th International Crop Science Congress being hosted in Beijing this week.

Earth’s overall temperature rose by about 0.75 C over the last century, according to Zhang Weijian, the chief scientist of agro-ecology at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

August 24, 2016

Louisiana floods: Is this what climate change looks like?

by Rowena Lindsay,

A flood like the one that ravaged Louisiana over the past few days has a 0.2 percent chance of occurring any given year and should only occur once every 500 to 1,000 years, according to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

But there have been eight such storms in the United States alone since May 2015.

(Full Story)

August 23, 2016

Alaskan village votes on relocating due to climate change

by Harriet Alexander

A tiny Alaskan village has voted to abandon their ancestral home to the rising seas, becoming possibly the first settlement in the United States forced to relocate due to climate change.

Shishmaref’s 650 residents voted 89-78 in favour of a long-discussed proposal to move the entire village, to an as-yet-undecided new location, according to an unofficial count by the city clerk. Official results are expected on Thursday.

(Full Story)

August 22, 2016

After scorching heat, Earth likely to get respite in 2017

by Alister Doyle

The Earth is likely to get relief in 2017 from record scorching temperatures that bolstered governments’ resolve last year in reaching a deal to combat climate change, scientists said on Wednesday.

July was the hottest single month since records began in the 19th century, driven by greenhouse gases and an El Nino event warming the Pacific. And NASA this week cited a 99 percent chance that 2016 will be the warmest year, ahead of 2015 and 2014.

(Full Story)

August 21, 2016

This weightlifter danced through the Olympics to bring attention to Climate Change

Source: Fast Co Exist

Some people dance to remember, some people dance to forget. Olympian David Katoatau dances to save his home country, Kiribati, from disappearing into the sea.

Kiribati is a tiny republic made up of 33 coral atolls and reef islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean—it’s more than 1,000 miles from anywhere. Since the nation’s highest point is just two meters above sea level, climate change threatens to swallow the equatorial island chain.

(Full Story)

August 20, 2016

Plasma etching of biochar to reduce cost of energy storage devices

Source: Nano Werk

Two SDSU engineering researchers are using biochar, an inexpensive carbon-rich material and a new method of creating the porous surface needed to capture electricity to reduce the cost of supercapacitors (Journal of Power Sources, “Biochar activated by oxygen plasma for supercapacitors”).

The ability to absorb and discharge energy quickly make supercapacitors an integral part of energy harvesting systems, such as the regenerative braking systems of hybrid vehicles, according to explainthatstuff.com. However, supercapacitors are expensive.

(Full Story)

August 19, 2016

Seven ways climate change affects our health

by Katharine Hayhoe

Climate change is making heat waves stronger and more frequent, air pollution worse, and allowing vector-borne diseases to expand their range. It’s also compromising our drinking water, causing more extreme weather events, and impacting our mental health. And the costs will be great: just this June, the World Health Organization estimated that in the twenty years after 2030, climate change will cause “approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.”

(Full Story)

August 18, 2016

A stunning prediction of climate science — and basic physics — may now be coming true

by Chris Mooney

A lot of people deny climate change. Not many, though, deny gravity.

That’s why a recent animation released by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory — well, it came out in April, but people seem to be noticing it now — is so striking.
(Full Story)

August 17, 2016

Hitting the plastic slopes: Climate change pushes ski resorts to ‘weatherproof’

by Nicole Ireland

Ski and snowboarding resort operators in Canada and around the world are increasingly focused on “weatherproofing” their businesses as climate change threatens their supply of fresh powder.

“It’s become a common topic in many resort destinations, not only here, but in Europe, the United States,” said Peter Williams, director of Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Tourism Policy and Research. (Full Story)

August 16, 2016

Chronic hunger lingers in the midst of plenty

by Neeta Lal,

New Delhi—In a fraught global economic environment, exacerbated by climate change and shrinking resources, ensuring food and nutrition security is a daunting challenge for many nations. India, Asia’s third largest economy and the world’s second most populous nation after China with 1.3 billion people, is no exception. (Full Story)

August 15, 2016

The Food Security Climate Resilience (FoodSECuRE) Facility

Source: World Food Programme

The Food Security Climate Resilience (FoodSECuRE) Facility is a multilateral, multi-year, replenishable fund being developed by WFP to financially and programmatically support community-centred action to reinforce and build climate resilience. This ground breaking instrument specifically links climate and hazard forecasting with flexible multi-year financing, providing governments the means to quickly unlock funding to scale-up food and nutrition responses as well as disaster risk reduction activities before climate disasters occur. (Full Story)

August 14, 2016

As clouds head for the Poles, time to prepare for food and water shocks

by Charles Iceland, Co-authored with Betsy Otto and Richard Waite

A changing climate means less rain and lower water supplies in regions where many people live and much of the planet’s food is produced: the mid-latitudes of the Northern and Southern hemispheres, including the U.S. Southwest, southern Europe and parts of the Middle East, southern Africa, Australia and Chile. As WRI-Aqueduct’s future scenarios for water supply show, diminished water supplies will be apparent in these areas by 2020 — less than four years away — and are expected to grow worse by 2030 and 2040. (Full Story)

August 13, 2016

Climate change threatens the basis of food security in Latin America and the Caribbean: Agriculture

Source: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

The impact of climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean will be considerable because of its economic dependence on agriculture, the low adaptive capacity of its population and the geographical location of some of its countries, notes a new study by FAO, ECLAC and ALADI. (Full Story)

August 12, 2016

Scientists caught off-guard by record temperatures linked to climate change

By Zoe Tabary

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Record temperatures in the first half of 2016 have taken scientists by surprise despite widespread recognition that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense, the director of the World Climate Research Program said. (Full Story)

August 11, 2016

A climate scientist and economist made big bucks betting on global warming

by Dana Nuccitelli

Climate scientist James Annan and climate economist Chris Hope made a nice sum this year for a bet they made on global warming in 2008. As Hope tells the story:

“The record warmth of 2015 just made me £1,334 richer. While the extra cash is a nice bonus, it sadly demonstrates that the atmospheric dice remain loaded towards increasing climate change. (Full Story)

August 10, 2016

Overall Americans are becoming less skeptical about global warming, but there are still partisan divisions

by Christopher Borick, Sarah Mills and Barry Rabe

As temperatures climb higher, global warming doubt among Americans is falling to record lows. Recent reports indicate that the first half of 2016 was the hottest since records have been kept. At the same time, the number of Americans who do not think there is solid evidence for rising global temperatures has reached a new low: just 15%. (Full Story)

August 9, 2016

Scientists warn world will miss key climate target

by Robin McKie

Leading climate scientists have warned that the Earth is perilously close to breaking through a 1.5C upper limit for global warming, only eight months after the target was set.

The decision to try to limit warming to 1.5C, measured in relation to pre-industrial temperatures, was the headline outcome of the Paris climate negotiations last December. (Full Story)

August 8, 2016

Lake Tanganyika fisheries declining from global warming

Source: Scienmag

The decrease in fishery productivity in Lake Tanganyika since the 1950s is a consequence of global warming rather than just overfishing, according to a new report from an international team led by a University of Arizona geoscientist. (Full Story)

August 7, 2016

How Climate change is increasing forest fires around the world

by Anne-Sophie Brändlin

Have wildfires increased globally over recent years? And if so, is global warming to blame? Research has illuminated this, along with what wildfires do to us and our environment, and which areas are most vulnerable. (Full Story))

August 6, 2016

As earth swelters, global warming target in danger of being missed

by Alister Doyle

The Earth is so hot this year that a limit for global warming agreed by world leaders at a climate summit in Paris just a few months ago is in danger of being breached.

In December, almost 200 nations agreed a radical shift away from fossil fuels with a goal of limiting a rise in average global temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times while “pursuing efforts” for 1.5C (2.7F). (Full Story)

August 5, 2016

Global warming will make it nearly impossible to hold the Summer Olympics

by George Dvorsky

Olympic organizers have made climate change a central theme at the current games—and for good reason. A sobering new study shows that by the 2084 Olympics, rising temperatures will make it practically impossible for most cities to host the summer games.

In a new commentary published in The Lancet, a team led by Berkeley researchers Kirk Smith and John Balmes warn that the future of the summer Olympics is in jeopardy. (Full Story)

August 4, 2016

Engineering student designs revolutionary energy storage solution

Home Technology Energy & Green Tech

A Lancaster engineering undergraduate has invented a new storage solution that could provide the missing-link needed for a renewable energy revolution. The energy storage market in the US alone is estimated to be worth $200-600billion in 10 years. While most research and development efforts have been focused on improving battery technologies, a Lancaster student believes a mechanical solution could provide the answer. (Full Story)

August 3, 2016

Cumulative sea level change since April 2002

Credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech

An animation showing “sea level fingerprints,” or patterns of rising and falling sea levels across the globe in response to changes in Earth’s gravitational and rotational fields. Major changes in water mass can cause localized bumps and dips in gravity, sometimes with counterintuitive effects. Melting glaciers, for example, actually cause nearby sea level to drop; as they lose mass, their gravitational pull slackens, and seawater migrates away. (Full Story)

August 2, 2016

Looking, quickly, for the fingerprints of climate change

by Henry Fountain

When days of heavy rain in late May caused deadly river flooding in France and Germany, Geert Jan van Oldenborgh got to work.

Dr. van Oldenborgh is not an emergency responder or a disaster manager, but a climate researcher with the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute. With several colleagues around the world, he took on the task of answering a question about the floods, one that arises these days whenever extreme weather occurs: Is climate change to blame? (Full Story)

August 1, 2016

Scientists have found a perfect illustration of how the climate is spiraling ‘out of control’

by Chelsea Harvey

Several months ago, climate scientist Ed Hawkins made headlines with a stunning animated visualization of the change in global temperature over the past 150 years. At the time, he told The Washington Post that the graphic was an attempt to “communicate in a different way,” and his efforts seemed to have worked: The visualization was shared thousands of times and covered by numerous news outlets touting its simple and effective demonstration of the progression of global warming over time. (Full Story)