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February 19 2014


January 24 2014


Video Friday: Extreme Weather, the Jet Stream, and Global Warming

With the eastern half of the United States under a deep freeze and the phrase “polar vortex” making the rounds (and no, despite Rush Limbaugh’s breathless ranting, it isn’t a term just made up by evil climate scientists), we circle back around to the discussion of climate vs. weather  and get a grasp on how the jet stream works in this video from The Film Archive.

The irony is that global warming my cause more bitterly cold winters in the eastern U.S. due to a rapidly warming Arctic and its effect on the jet stream. Of course, in any case, winters are still cold.

The post Video Friday: Extreme Weather, the Jet Stream, and Global Warming appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

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December 20 2013


Video Friday: Climate Change Impacts on the Alaskan Ecosystem

The northern latitudes are experience some of the most dynamic impacts from climate change. Done by a student as a final project for a Climate Dynamics Class, this video explores some of the effects and consequences climate change will have in Alaska.


Featured image credit: Berkeley Lab, courtesy flickr

The post Video Friday: Climate Change Impacts on the Alaskan Ecosystem appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

November 05 2013


14 Steps to Reduce Black Carbon and Stabilize the Cryosphere

on_thin_iceClimate change is causing unprecedented changes in the Earth’s regions of snow and ice, portents of profound, dramatic change for ecosystems and societies around the world, according to a joint report released by The World Bank and The International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI) November 4.

The Earth’s cryosphere is warming more rapidly than anticipated – “at a pace unprecedentd in the historic record.” Rather than abating, in most cases warming and melting is accelerating, posing ecosystems and societies around the world with a variety of fundamental threats, including an increasing frequency of droughts and floods, and dramatic shifts in water, food and energy resource availability, according to “On Thin Ice: How Cutting Pollution Can Slow Warming and Save Lives.”

The Earth’s cryosphere: “On Thin Ice”

Stabilizing and preserving the cryosphere merits inclusion as a global imperative, the report authors stress. Leadership – in the form of explicit and sustained guidance, direction, support and incentives – is needed across markets, industries, the government, private and public sectors if there is any chance of this objective being realized, however.

In “On Thin Ice,” the World Bank and ICCI report authors lay out 14 practical measures that if enacted by 2030 could drastically reduce short-lived carbon pollutants (SLCPs) – primarily black carbon and methane – and stabilize conditions in the world’s threatened snow and ice-bound regions. Doing so, they assert, would bring “multiple health, crop, and ecosystems benefits and decrease risks to development from water resource changes, including flooding and other major impacts or climate feedbacks we may not foresee today.”

The effects of climate change are being seen and felt disproportionately in the Earth’s cryosphere, whether it’s Arctic sea ice, Antarctic ice shelves, the Greenland ice sheet, the Alaskan coast or the freshwater glaciers of the Andes, Rockies and Himalayas. Moreover, “rapid changes in the cryosphere observed during the first decade of this century are continuing or accelerating,” according to the report.

“Warming in the cryosphere poses serious threats to disaster preparedness, to water resources in some heavily populated regions, and to adaptation and ecosystems preservation. Intensified monitoring in cryosphere regions is needed to provide better and earlier warning of changes.”

Ongoing warming “has the potential to trigger disastrous feedback mechanisms from the cryosphere into the global climate systems,” the report authors continue, including “loss of albedo from sea ice and snow cover and loss of permafrost leading to greater carbon fluxes into the atmosphere (particularly where emissions occur as methane.”


Credit: “On Thin Ice,” World Bank, ICCI

Methane emissions from thawing permafrost alone could increase atmospheric carbon “as much as 5-30% by the end of this century if current cryosphere warming is not slowed,” they warn.

Reducing Black Carbon and methane emissions

Implementing the 14 measures recommended in the report by 2030 “could slow warming in the Arctic by more than a full degree by 2050, resulting in up to 40 percent reduced loss of summer sea ice and 25 percent reduced loss of springtime snow cover compared to the baseline,” however.

As stated in the report’s executive summary,

“Accelerating actions to decrease short-lived pollutants from key sectors can make a real difference by slowing these dangerous changes and risks to development while improving public health and food security.”

Rapidly scaling up just four cleaner cooking solutions alone could save as many as 1 million human lives a year. Reducing diesel emissions in transportation can prevent 340,000 deaths Achieving a 50% reduction in open field and forest burning could avoid 190,000 deaths from air pollution, according to the report.


Source: “On Thin Ice,” World Bank, ICCI

There’s no time to waste, they emphasize. “With projections of large cryosphere impacts such as Arctic sea ice loss occurring by mid-century, speed is of the essence in addressing and operationalizing these cryosphere and development challenges.”

Of potentially profound significance for coastal regions and populations, “rates of sea-level rise might be significantly slowed by 2050, with a potential near-leveling-off in rates before the end of the century if SLCP measures are combined with CO2 emissions held to 450ppm.

“This decrease in sea-level rise could range from 10 cm to half a meter or more. Perhaps more important, temperature reductions in polar regions from these measures would help minimize the risk of essentially irreversible ice sheet loss or disintegration in West Antarctica and Greenland, which could ultimately raise ocean levels by several decimeters by 2100—and by many meters over a period of centuries or millennia.”

The post 14 Steps to Reduce Black Carbon and Stabilize the Cryosphere appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

September 20 2013


September 13 2013


Video Friday: Misleading Claims of Arctic Sea Ice Rebound, The Daily Mail Lathers Up Deniers

Arctic sea ice minimum volume trendThe Daily Mail – Where space aliens and climate change are reported with equal knowledge and respect

There have been many claims brought to my attention this week alleging the “final nail in the coffin” of anthropogenic global warming – the same nail that’s been fumbled around by deniers and the unfortunately misled for decades now. This time around it is the venerable and almost hilariously unreliable Daily Mail and it’s claims of Now it’s Global Cooling that has gotten so many hot under the collar. The tabloid claims that Arctic sea ice has rebounded by 60 percent, proving claims of diminishing arctic ice as false.

What the Daily Mail is good at is frothing up emotions. What the Daily Mail is truly abysmal at is objective, fact-based reporting and explaining even the simplest of scientific details. Not that they’re interested in scientific details.

Regression to the mean“is a common statistical phenomenon that any extreme measurement – say a record-breaking seasonal Arctic ice minimum – is followed by a measurement closer to the average. Yes, in fact, the seasonal Arctic sea ice minimum for 2012 was approximately 1 million square miles greater (less ice cover) than for the 2013 seasonal minimum (which officially hasn’t even occurred yet). The 2012 minimum was a record-breaker in a decade of record-breakers.

That the overall trend for Arctic sea ice extent, as well thickness (as indicated in the graphic below), remains in steep decline is of little interest to the Daily Mail. What they are interested in is misleading their readers, not reporting the facts.

Variations in spring ice thickness

There is no sudden return of Arctic sea ice cap, nor has there been any “emergency meeting” of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) because of it – the Daily Mail made that up out of whole cloth. But alas, such publications will keep passing around that rusty nail, looking to pound it into the empty coffin of global warming.

The rest of us face reality and look for solutions.

The post Video Friday: Misleading Claims of Arctic Sea Ice Rebound, The Daily Mail Lathers Up Deniers appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

August 23 2013


Video Friday: Greenland Ice Melt – Bellwether of Changing Climate

Scientists and Greenland Inuits confirm findings of leaked IPCC report

Due out later this year, early drafts of the Fifth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were leaked earlier this week, confirming what scientists have been saying now for years, even decades: global warming is real. Many see little change in the IPCC’s Fifth Report from its previous assessment published in 2007, albeit with ever-increased confidence in the science and better understanding of regional climate change. One notable difference is the projection of change in the Arctic, where observations of rapid warming and melting ice portend change at a scale of which previous assessments have only hinted.

“We’ve overloaded the atmosphere with heat-trapping gas, and the rest are just details,” says climate scientist Jason Box, who has spent the past twenty years studying the Greenland ice sheet. “There are manifold ways that climate change is having impact. The Arctic is a very useful bellwether of change – and it’s ringing.”

None have heard the ringing of change more than those that have lived in the Arctic for generations. For these people climate change is a day-to-day reality that threatens a way of life.

“The only humans around the North Pole, in the Arctic are us” says Inuit leader Aqqaluk Lynge, “We have been here for thousands of years, and we tell you things are changing. And you will feel it, maybe tomorrow.”

In fact, we don’t need to wait until “tomorrow” it feel it. Climate change is here, everywhere.

Featured image credit: Andrew Davies, courtesy flickr

The post Video Friday: Greenland Ice Melt – Bellwether of Changing Climate appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

July 01 2013


Enviro News Wrap: Obama’s Climate Plan; Shell in the Arctic; the Growth of Renewables; Natural Gas Greenwash, and more…

The Latest Environmental News HeadlinesGlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up and comments on the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:

The post Enviro News Wrap: Obama’s Climate Plan; Shell in the Arctic; the Growth of Renewables; Natural Gas Greenwash, and more… appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

May 06 2013


Enviro News Wrap: Climate Change and National Security; Keeling Curve On the Brink of 400; Getting Beyond Politics Leads to Climate Action, and more…

The Latest Environmental News HeadlinesGlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up and comments on the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:

The post Enviro News Wrap: Climate Change and National Security; Keeling Curve On the Brink of 400; Getting Beyond Politics Leads to Climate Action, and more… appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

February 28 2013


Shell Backs Off From Arctic Drilling

A series of accidents prompts the company to indicate that it is not yet ready to resume drilling operations in the region.

August 22 2012


Polar Bears are Suffering from the Ravages of Climate Change

As climate change advances in the Arctic, polar bear populations continue to sufferThe polar bear is emblematic of the Canadian wilderness, but as an apex predator, they are also one of the species most at risk from climate change. The Arctic is experiencing the effects of global warming more than any other place on Earth. Temperatures in the Arctic are rising at almost twice the rate of the rest of the world, and this is causing the early break-up of sea ice. Polar bears are dependent on the ice for their survival, which they use as a hunting platform, to secure mates and to travel.

There is a strong correlation between the decline in polar bears and the reduction in sea ice. The loss of sea ice is making it harder for polar bears to find enough seals to meet their dietary requirements. The result is leaner females that are less capable of successfully reproducing and less able to nurture their cubs once they are born.

As explained by the David Suzuki Foundation, the sea ice cover has declined by approximately nine per cent per decade since 1978, and the rate of melting appears to increase each year.

In 2009, polar bear biologists reported that declining sea ice in the Arctic was already harming some populations. At a meeting in Copenhagen, the Polar Bear Specialist Group made the claim that an increasing number of bear populations were in decline. The only population that was known to be doing well was the one in the Canadian high Arctic.

While more than half of the world’s polar bears live in Canada they can also be found in Alaska, Russia, Greenland and Norway. Many of Canada’s bears can be found in western Hudson Bay. In that part of the world ice is breaking up on average seven to eight days earlier with each passing decade. Melting sea ice is forcing the bears ashore where there is little prey for them to hunt. Increased time on land is leading to weight loss, physical deterioration and decreased rates of reproduction.

A recent aerial survey conducted on behalf of the Nunavut government suggests that there are about 1,013 polar bears in Canada’s western Hudson Bay. This number is similar to a 2004 mark-and-recapture or tagging study. Taken together these studies suggest that the number of polar bears is stable.

Andrew Derocher is one of many who do not agree with this assessment. Derocher is Professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta, he has studied polar bears for 40 years. As he explained in a phone interview with The Star.com, the study actually revealed substantially reduced numbers of cubs and yearlings.

Derocher believes that two to five times more cubs were born in the 1980s through to the 1990s.

In recent years, Derocher and others have documented a decline in body weight of the bears, leading to less cubs being born and a smaller number surviving to adulthood.

“The science of the effects of climate change on polar bears in Hudson Bay is absolutely profound” Derocher said, “the loss of sea ice reduces the body conditions of bears and bears with lower body condition produce fewer cubs and the bears collectively have lower survival rates.”

Being on land where there is no prey, females end up being 30 to 40 kilograms lighter than they were in the early 1980s and they are producing fewer cubs.

“When you put it all together it summarizes a population that is not reproducing sufficiently to maintain the current abundance and that means the population is in decline,” Derocher said. He concludes by saying that the pattern observed in western Hudson Bay is being replicated in other parts of the Arctic.

This summer, in addition to less ice, the polar bears near Hudson Bay had to contend with high heat and even wildfires. As reported by Reuters, these fires encroached on areas where females make their dens.

A polar bear scientist named Steven Amstrup is concerned about the loss of habitat. Amstrup is a former polar bear specialist with the U.S. Geological Survey and now chief scientist at the nonprofit conservation organization, Polar Bears International.

“Not only is the permafrost no longer permanent, tree roots needed to stabilize the den structure are disappearing,” Amstrup said. “The kinds of habitats where mother polar bears in this area give birth to their cubs are simply disappearing as the world warms and [the cubs] survival depends upon the shelter of the den to protect them from the elements.”

As reviewed in another Reuters article, a 2011 study suggests that increasing mortality rates of polar bear cubs is due to the fact that with less ice they are forced to swim long distances. While adult animals can swim vast distances, this study suggests that protracted swims can prove deadly for the cubs.

Starving polar bears may even be cannibalizing each other. Discovery News reported an incident of cannibalism that was captured on film in Hudson Bay in 2009. This was but one of 8 cases alleged to have taken place in the area that year. In 2011, the journal Arctic published another account of cannibalism witnessed by photojournalist Jenny Ross of the Svalbard archipelago last year. Although not unprecedented, polar bear cannibalism is likely to increase as the bears find it increasingly difficult to gain access to their prey.

A 2010 Reuters article reviewed a study which concluded that significant reductions in carbon emissions could cool the planet and rebuild sea ice.

“This is very much scientific evidence that there is hope,” said Amstrup. “If people think that there’s nothing they can do, they will do nothing. Here we’ve demonstrated that we can conserve polar bears.”

Global warming is threatening the entire Arctic ecosystem and jeopardizing the fate of the polar bear. It is not too late to save these majestic creatures, but to do so we must get serious about reducing emissions.

August 20 2012


Enviro News Wrap: Cape Cod Wind Project Approved; Few Deniers in Canada; the Dangers of Arctic Drilling, and more…

The Latest Environmental News HeadlinesGlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up and comments on the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:

August 16 2012


Record-breaking Greenland Seasonal Ice Melt With One Month Left to Go

Greenland ice melt is accelerating The cumulative melting index is what scientists use to quantify both the extent and duration of melting over the Greenland ice sheet and is typically measured at the end of every melt season, about mid-September. Though the final tally for this year’s cumulative melting index isn’t due for another four weeks, it has already broken the previous record set at the end of the melt season in 2010. Researchers reported this week that as of August 8th the ice shelf atop Greenland has melted more than at any time since such measurements began 30 years ago.

This most recent report of ice melt in Greenland follows on the startling news last month that 97 percent of Greenland ice surface had melted to some degree in as little as four days. Some of that ice refroze within a few days “changing the physical properties of the snowpack but very likely not contributing to the meltwater that run off from the ice and can potentially contribute to sea level rise,” said Marco Tedesco, assistant professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences the City College of New York and author of report.

The recent data on overall melt as measured by the cumulative melting index can impact sea level rise from meltwater flowing directly into the ocean or through “basal lubrication” where meltwater flows into deep crevasses, lubricating glaciers and precipitating the flow of ice into the sea.

“Over the past few years about half of Greenland’s contribution to sea level rise has come from meltwater, and half from ice going directly into the sea,” Tedesco said. A number of factors play into the accelerated surface melt over the past decade, he explained, with higher air temperatures in the Arctic principal among them. The highlands of Greenland, which normally experience melting for only a few days each season, if at all, now endurs melt conditions for weeks. When the snow melts and refreezes it becomes darker, when the snow disappears entirely leaving bare ice exposed, the surface is darker still. All this melting/refreezing or melting entirely alters the albedo effect, which absorbs more of the sun’s energy. A study released in June confirms that Greenland’s albedo is higher this season the normal.

“Snow absorbs about 20 percent of the energy that hits it and reflects the rest,” Tedesco said. “Ice absorbs more like 60 or 70 percent.”

The accelerating ice loss shows Greenland in a state of change predicted by climate models, but coming at a quickened pace models have not foreseen.

With more yet to come in August, this year’s overall melting will fall way above the old records,” says Tedesco. “That’s a goliath year – the greatest melt since satellite recording began in 1979.”

But he cautions some restraint:

“We have to be careful because we are only talking about a couple of years and the history of Greenland happened over millennia. But as far as we know now, the warming that we see in the Arctic is responsible for triggering processes that enhance melting and for the feedback mechanisms that keep it going. Looking over the past few years, the exception has become part of the norm.”

Greenland Cumulative Ice index

Main image credit: sbisson, courtesy flickr
Graph courtesy of GreenlandMelting.com

August 14 2012


ESA CryoSat-2 Data Reveals Arctic Summer Sea Ice Loss 50 Percent Greater than Expected

Cryosat-2 measures 50 percent more loss of sea ice than models have predictedOur planet’s climate appears to be reaching a potential tipping point more rapidly than previously estimated, according to preliminary results from data obtained from new remote sensing equipment on the European Space Agency’s (ESA) CryoSat-2 satellite. Arctic summer sea ice is being lost at a rate 50 percent higher than most of the scenarios projected by leading climate scientists, according to a report from The Guardian.

Researchers are for the first time able to accurately measure the thickness of sea ice across the Arctic’s expanse thanks to new instruments aboard ESA’s CryoSat-2. Preliminary results indicate that 900 cubic kilometers of summer sea ice has been lost during the past year. Whereas Arctic summer sea ice thickness averaged between five to six meters a decade ago, it’s now just 1-3 meters thick.

Profound Changes in Store

“Preliminary analysis of our data indicates that the rate of loss of sea ice volume in summer in the Arctic may be far larger than we had previously suspected,” The Guardian quoted Dr. Seymour Laxon of the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at University College London (UCL), where CryoSat-2 data is being analysed. “Very soon we may experience the iconic moment when, one day in the summer, we look at satellite images and see no sea ice coverage in the Arctic, just open water.”

The complete, or near total, loss of Arctic summer sea ice for all or part of the year would have profound effects on climate and life both locally and globally. Energy, mineral resource and commerical fishing companies view the opening of the Arctic seas as a new frontier for natural resource extraction. It would also be a boon for shipping companies and maritime transport, as it would open up the Northwest Passage and other shorter, less costly routes between North America and Eurasia.

The effects on local and global climate and the environment are likely to pose serious challenges for human, other animal and plant populations, however. The loss and thinning of Artic ice coverage accelerates climate warming as there’s less white ice surface area to reflect sunlight and heat up into and beyond the earth’s atmosphere, which will result in an acceleration of ocean temperature increases.

That may cause submarine methane deposits to melt, evaporate and escape into the atmosphere, adding significantly to the greenhouse effect. The appearance of methane plumes has been reported in many areas, The Guardian’s Robin McKie notes.

The disappearnce of Arctic sea ice around the Greenland coast would likewise have potentially devastating effects. Coastal sea ice around Greenland helps keep terrestrial glaciers there bottled up. Their disappearance would open a clear path to the sea, accelerating their melting. That would lead to sea level rising faster than it has been.

Disappearing Arctic sea ice could also result in profound changes to weather patterns globally, including precipitation levels and timing.

“With the temperature gradient between the Arctic and equator dropping, as is happening now, it is also possible that the jet stream in the upper atmosphere could become more unstable,” UCL Professor Chris Rapley explained. “That could mean increasing volatility in weather in lower latitudes, similar to that experienced this year.”

CryoSat-2 Reveals Arctic Sea Ice Thickness for First Time

ESA’s CryoSat-2 is the first satellite built specifically to measure and analyze sea ice thickness. It was launched on April 8, 2010 on a Dneiper rocket from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Painstakingly analyzing the accuracy of CryoSat-2′s measurements, ESA project scientists are confident that CryoSat’s maps of ice thickness are correct to within 10 cm.

“Before CryoSat, we could see summer ice coverage was dropping markedly in the Arctic,” Rapley continued. “But we only had glimpses of what was happening to ice thickness. Obviously if it was dropping as well, the loss of summer ice was even more significant. We needed to know what was happening – and now CryoSat has given us the answer. It has shown that the Arctic sea cap is not only shrinking in area but is also thinning dramatically.”

Varying throughout the year, Arctic sea ice cover has typically reached a maximum in March. The data received from CryoSat-2 enables researchers to clearly reveal the extent of Arctic sea ice loss over the past eight years, both in winter and summer.

In Summer 2004, Arctic sea ice thickness totaled about 13,000 cubic kilometers. That’s been reduced to 7,000 cubic kilometers this summer. Arctic summer sea ice cover would disappear in about a decade if the current average annual loss of some 900 cubic kilometers continues.

UCL’s Laxon emphasized the need for prudence when making predictions and jumping to conclusionos based on CryoSat-2 data given the complexity of the earth’s climate system. He noted that Arctic sea ice loss in winter was much slower, which partially compensates for the loss of summer sea ice.

Nonetheless, the trend in Arctic sea ice coverage is undeniably downward, and likely on a steeper slope than has been estimated. A study undertaken this year by EAS Cryo-Sat project team Professor Peter Wadham indicated that the volume of Artic summer sea ice has dropped 70% during the past 30 years.

“The Arctic is particularly vulnerable to the impact of global warming,” The Guradian quoted Rapley. “Temperatures there are rising far faster than they are at the equator. Hence the shrinking of sea-ice coverage we have observed. It is telling us that something highly significant is happening to Earth. The weather systems of the planet are interconnected so what happens in the high latitudes affects us all.”

Image credit: ESA

August 07 2012


Arctic Ice Decline Much Worse Than Expected

As the extent of Arctic sea ice declines to levels unrecorded since satellite monitoring began, the National Snow and Ice Data Center has released a new analysis that shows the situation to be worse by far than even the most pessimistic models predicted.

It's a perverse endorsement of one of the most popular denier memes - that you can't rely on climate models because the world is too complicated to be reduced to a compilation of computer data. But, thanks to the expertise (and conservative nature) of the scientists behind this work, the models have shown the direction with perfect accuracy: it's the terrifying extent that they have failed to anticipate.

In addition to the catastrophic conditions currently prevailing in the Arctic, the NSIDC has also drawn attention to the dramatic melting occurring this year in Greenland. And all this is supported and reinforced by the Polar Science Center's ongoing calculation of Arctic ice volume.

The trends are all down. Or as James Hansen put it in the Washington Post last week, "Climate change is here - and it's worse than we thought."

August 06 2012


The Arctic Drilling Countdown

The interior secretary is on his way to Alaska, but Obama administration officials caution that this doesn't mean that permits are imminent for Shell.

July 27 2012


April 30 2012


Enviro News Wrap: Climate Change and the Election; Koch Bros. Disinformation Campaign; the Scramble for the Arctic, and more…

The Latest Environmental News HeadlinesGlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up and comments on the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:

  • Obama is setting the stage for the 2012 Election and climate change will be front and center. With the majority of Americans supporting a national policy on greenhouse gas emissions, it’s a seemingly sound strategy. My prediction is that Romney will use the Big Tobacco strategy of creating a cloud of confusion and doubt with the goal of hiding the Truth.
  • Even during difficult times Obama is still supporting R&D (i.e. science) and choosing to invest in our future.
  • Climate change is not a phenomenon of the future, the Arctic is in the process of melting away right now and the Northern Hemisphere is increasing its focus on what will be revealed when the ice is gone. Mostly everyone is hoping for a jackpot of fossil fuels to fight over, literally fight over, with guns and planes and submarines. I prefer a world where we use the strength of the international market to build  a sustainable energy infrastructure. In global politics, generally speaking, where there is cooperation there is peace, where there is zero-sum competition there is conflict and sometimes war.
  • Windows that generate Solar electricity are the Future!
  • The group of Americans that are skeptical of scientists fluctuate between believing and not believing in climate change based on how extreme the weather was last year. What more needs to be said about climate change denial? It is a joke.
  • The nations with the largest economies are blocking the United Nation’s process to create a global agreement on how to deal with climate change. The countries that want to still make a commitment to a low carbon future are creating their own agreements. Peru has now joined this group and is committed to developing their economy sustainably.
  • Japan is still dealing with the damaged nuclear reactors from the Fukushima disaster and trying to figure out how to power their country. With an understandably low confidence in nuclear energy, support for the rapid adaptation to renewable energy is growing in the Japanese government.
  • The state of Virginia is also falling prey to the renewable energy bug where a new study claims that it is feasible to use renewable energy to create half of all future growth in energy generation.
  • Natural gas prices are slowly increasing due to speculation and oil is hovering at $104ish. Oil prices are being kept at $104ish because Saudi Arabia has increased exports to stabilize the price, which needs stabilizing because of conflict in Sudan, Syria, Iran, Nigeria and any other politically difficult part of the world that exports oil.
  • The Koch brothers never stop, their new task is to spend $6million on disinformation ads in swing states attacking Obama’s record on energy. The Koch brothers will need many more campaigns like this in order to get Romney elected because the majority of Americans believe in climate change and the need for a sustainable energy economy and they want something done about it on the federal level.
  • The BP Gulf Oil Spill legal drama is playing out, a $7.8bill penalty will likely be handed out just for one aspect of damages done. Much more money will be sucked out of BP in many other cases that will probably last decades.






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