Oceans show warming in last two decades

Because water has a vastly larger capacity for heat storage than the atmosphere, eventually between 80 to 90 percent of the heat trapped by the greenhouse effects ends up being stored in the oceans. Thus, the trend in ocean temperatures is an excellent indicator of long-term trends in global GHG effects...

Environmental Protection Agency Affirms Greenhouse Gas Emissions Endangerment Finding

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on July 29 denied 10 petitions challenging its Dec. 7 determination that greenhouse gas emissions are a threat to public health and must be regulated under the Clean Air Act. The finding allows the federal government to regulate...

Federal Government Urges Supreme Court Dismissal Of Carbon Dioxide Lawsuits

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The federal government on Aug. 25 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate a lower court decision to reinstate two lawsuits seeking to limit carbon dioxide emissions, arguing that new greenhouse gas regulations have displaced public nuisance cause of actions ( American...

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...

Assessment of preliminary data indicates that 2010 ties record for warmest year

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their analyses of global surface temperature data for 2010. Both found that 2010 was slightly warmer than 2005, but that the difference was not statistically significant. Combined land and ocean surface temperatures across the globe...

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...

U.S. Supreme Court finds that statutory law of CAA displaces Federal common law and state tort law on issue of GHG emissions

Several States, a city, and land trusts filed federal common law public nuisance claims against various power companies; they requested that the court set CO2 emission limits. In American Electric Power Co. et al v. Connecticut et al , 2011 U.S. LEXIS 4565 (6/20/11), the U.S. Supreme Court addressed...

Penguin decline may turn on presence or absence of krill, not the loss of sea ice per se

Researchers have been following the penguin population off the tip of the West Antarctic Peninsula since the 1970's. Winter air temperatures in the region have climbed a significant 5 to 6 degrees Celsius in recent decades with a concomitant loss of sea ice; this region is one of the fastest warming...

Acidification of Oceans May Affect the Brains of Fish

Yesterday's post noted some of the adverse consequences that are likely to arise from acidification of oceans. Another recent study shows that such acidification can influence the behavior of fish because of impacts on their brains; the response of nerve cells can be reversed as acidifying seawater...