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Aerosols reactions can impact global warming assessment, yet they are often not a significant factor in models

Some so-called greenhouse gases trap heat and boost the planet's surface temperature, which keeps the Earth habitable. Past climatic events have shown that temperatures can move into ranges that would be harmful to current biota, including humans. Key drivers of such changes are CO2 concentrations...

COP15 will not change climate change reporting requirements for companies

By Colleen Theron, Environmental solicitor and consultant. Despite the inconclusive outcome of COP15 and the significant issues facing countries in the coming year to implement a legally binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), a critical area of focus for business and the legislature...

Electric cars may entail more than putting an electric motor where the internal combustion engine goes

The replacement of the internal combustion engine and drive-train with electric motor(s), batteries, and control systems is leading to a rethink of the way in which cars are designed and manufactured. One of the proposals, which dates from the turn of the last century, is the hub motor, an idea originally...

Marten Law: EPA Releases Additional Proposed Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Rules for Three Industry Sectors

By Russell Prugh, Marten Law PLLC "On March 22, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed regulations for mandatory monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in three sectors: oil and natural gas production, transmission, and storage facilities; carbon...

Marten Law: Responding to Limits on Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Three Questions for Companies in the Oil and Gas Industry

By Russell Prugh, Associate, Marten Law PLLC “The effects of coming greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation will be felt across a broad spectrum of the oil and gas industry. Exploration, development, production, refining, and transportation face restrictions on their direct GHG emissions. And unlike...

23% of global CO2 emissions were produced in one country to make goods for use in another country

Much attention has been focused on the localized production of CO2, and its contribution to global warming. What is missing from an understanding of CO2 production is the extent to which the generation of CO2 is related to the creation of goods in one country, goods which are exported to another country...

Energy Reduction Verification and the UK’s mandatory energy efficiency scheme

By Malcolm Dowden, Solicitor and Environmental Law Consultant The UK Environment Agency’s CRC Project Executive Andrew Hitchings has confirmed the British Standards Institute’s ‘Kitemark’ scheme for Energy Reduction Verification (ERV) as an approved ‘Early Action Metric’...

Solar cells are becoming less expensive

"The future, according to MiaSolé, a Californian start-up, is unrolling at one centimetre a second in a bland-looking building in Silicon Valley. Despite the location, and the fact that most other solar cells are made from silicon, MiaSolé's cells are not. Ribbons of steel a metre...

Because some ships may be less carbon intensive than others, customers can influence emissions

"If the shipping industry were a country, it would be the sixth-biggest industrial carbon emitter in the world. Whereas big countries have plans for cutting emissions, shipping does not. The UN climate talks in Cancún are unlikely to change that. But customers, who indirectly pay for shipping...

California sets forth indicators of disproportionate impacts of climate change on environmental justice communities

To assist Cal-EPA with the examination of potential environmental justice concerns associated with climate change, Cal-EPA requested the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) [best known for its role in setting drinking water related Public Health Goals and in overseeing much of the...

Movement of corals around Japan provides evidence of global warming

Prior posts have noted that in terms of ascertaining evidence of global warming, it may be worthwhile to assess the numerous studies of various potential indicators (e.g., migration patterns, drought, relocation of biota). Add another indicator. A new study of reefs around Japan reveals that a handful...

Some aircraft designers think outside the box to improve efficiency

Concern has been expressed in recent years over the contribution of aircraft to GHG emissions. Some airlines have gotten favorable publicity for experimenting with bio-derived fuels. But, what if aircraft were to target reducing fuel consumption by half, or more. That will require some radical rethinking...

Data from crop trials demonstrates threat climate change poses to crops

Serendipity has helped more than a few scientists with insights and discoveries. Researchers were chatting, and realized that data from work one of them was focused upon various crop trials spread across southern and eastern Africa, if correlated with local weather conditions (other than drought), could...

Natural gas development poses a risk of enhancing GHG emissions due to "leakage", note new studies

Several prior posts have noted the greenhouse impact of methane (aka natural gas); it has many times the warming effect as carbon dioxide (CO2), which seems to be the focus of so much discussion about global warming. The posts have focused on the numerous "natural" sources of methane emissions...

Trees damaged by bark beetles slow their uptake of CO2 for up to a century

As noted in prior posts, bark beetles damage large forest areas, often killing or causing the death of 50% to 80% of mature trees. As these trees decompose, they release CO2, adding to the atmospheric burden of GHG's. New research has identified additional climate repercussions from beetle outbreaks...

Can addressing air pollution decrease global warming? You betcha

Prior posts have noted the adverse health impacts from small particles, often referred to generally as PM10 and/or PM2.5. Prior posts have also noted the adverse impact of soot on global warming, which because it is black and absorbs heat warms up the atmosphere and whatever it is coating (e.g., glaciers...

New CO2 Performance Standard Proposal for New Electric Generators Issued by EPA

On September 20, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a new proposal to limit carbon dioxide (“CO2”) emissions from new coal-fueled and natural gas-fueled electric generating units. The proposal replaces a proposal EPA made last year. For new coal-fueled...

EPA Excludes Carbon Dioxide Waste Streams from RCRA - A (Very Small) Step Forward for CCS

By J. Wylie Donald The Congress may be dysfunctional but the administrative agencies are still moving the ball. A case in point is last month's Christmas present from EPA to the carbon capture and storage community. On December 17 EPA issued its final rule , Hazardous Waste Management System...

EPA Proposes First Carbon Emissions Limits for Power Plants

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its Clean Power Plan, which would impose the first federal limits on carbon-dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from power plants in the United States.[1] The proposed rules, which the EPA published pursuant to Section 111(d) of the Clean Air...

Challenges to EPA’s Proposed Carbon Rules: What If They Succeed?

By Michael B. Gerrard The Clean Power Plan proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in June is the centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s efforts to fight climate change. Coal-fired power plants are by far the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and...

States Should Think Twice Before Refusing Any Response to EPA’s Clean Power Rules

The date is approaching for EPA to finalize its rules for controlling carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, and states are contemplating their responses to those rules. A number of commentators have recommended that states “just say no” to EPA and refuse to prepare state plans...

Back to the Future: EIA’s Analysis of EPA’s Clean Power Plan Concludes that Power Sector CO2 Emissions May Drop to 1980s Levels

In June 2014, EPA issued its proposed Clean Power Plan to regulate CO2 emissions from existing power plants under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this statute: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ]. The Clean Power Plan proposes to limit carbon emissions from...