Saturday, April 19, 2008

Deep Antarctic waters freshening

By David Fogarty for the Daily Telegraph

SCIENTISTS studying the icy depths of the sea around Antarctica have detected changes in salinity that could have profound effects on the world's climate and ocean currents.
The scientists returned to Hobart on Thursday after a one-month voyage studying the Southern Ocean to see how it is changing and what those changes might mean for global climate patterns.

Voyage leader Steve Rintoul said his team found that salty, dense water that sinks near the edge of Antarctica to the bottom of the ocean about 5 km down was becoming fresher and more buoyant.

So-called Antarctic bottom water helps power the great ocean conveyor belt, a system of currents spanning the Southern, Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans that shifts heat around the globe.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rocky Mountain Climate Org

Looks like an interesting source, has some pdfs on the home page about losing snowpack, and thus water, in the west.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Global Warming Battleground: Coal Plants

By Judy Pasternak

WASHINGTON — Every time a new coal-fired power plant is proposed anywhere in the United States, a lawyer from the Sierra Club or an allied environmental group is assigned to stop it, by any bureaucratic or legal means necessary.

They might frame the battle as a matter of zoning or water use, but the larger war is over global warming: Coal puts twice as much temperature-raising carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as natural gas, second to coal as the most common power plant fuel.

The plant-by-plant strategy is part of a campaign by environmentalists to force the federal government to deal with climate change. The fights are scattered from Georgia to Wyoming, from Illinois to Texas, but the ultimate target is Washington, where the Bush administration has resisted placing limits on carbon dioxide and Congress has yet to act on a global warming bill.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

NASA's Top Climate Scientist Says Big Oil is Hiding a "Planet in Crisis"

Global warming has plunged the planet into a crisis and the fossil fuel industries are trying to hide the extent of the problem from the public, NASA's top climate scientist says.

"We've already reached the dangerous level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere," according to James Hansen, 67, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. "But there are ways to solve the problem" of heat-trapping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, which Hansen said has reached the "tipping point" of 385 parts per million.

Hansen calls for phasing out all coal-fired plants by 2030, taxing their emissions until then, and banning the building of new plants unless they are designed to trap and segregate the carbon dioxide they emit.

The major obstacle to saving the planet from its inhabitants is not technology, insisted Hansen, named one of the world's 100 most influential people in 2006 by Time magazine.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

World cooling on biofuel solution to climate change

by Aubrey Belford

AKARTA (AFP) - Once a golden promise in the fight against climate change, biofuels are fast losing their lustre as high demand for essential crops drives land clearing and pushes up the price of food.
Biofuels made from food crops such as corn, sugar, soybeans and oil palm burn cleaner than fossil fuels, but experts say high demand is sending ripples through the world economy, and could be doing the environment more harm than good.
Rudy Gosal, a 36-year-old courier who queued with hundreds of others in Indonesia's capital in March to buy government-subsidised cooking oil, is one of millions feeling the pinch of the push towards biofuels.