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Subject: North American Climate Change in the Coming Century
(Posted on Sep 15, 2013 at 04:44PM by Media Manager)
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North American Climate Change in the Coming Century


 
Status Report - Posted by Marc Boucher Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted July 24, 2013 5:28 PM

 

   NASA Precipitation changes.

Climate change map

 

 

 

 

 





 

 
NASA has released two videos showing projected precipitation and temperature changes in North America by 2100.


Projected U.S. Precipitation Changes by 2100


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipOcTpNl5rs&feature=player_embedded

The climate of the southwestern U.S. could be a lot drier by 2100. The climate of the northeastern U.S. could be a lot wetter.

New visualizations of computer model projections show how precipitation patterns could change across the U.S. in the coming decades under two different carbon dioxide emissions scenarios. The two climate scenarios, based on "low" and "high" levels of carbon dioxide emissions, highlight results from the draft National Climate Assessment.

Both scenarios project that dry regions get drier and regions that see more rain and snow would see that trend increase. The scenario with lower emissions, in which carbon dioxide reaches 550 parts per million by 2100, projects more subtle changes. The scenario with higher carbon dioxide emissions projects changes in average annual precipitation of 10 percent or more in some regions.

The visualizations, which combine the results from 15 global climate models, present projections of precipitation changes from 2000 to 2100 compared to the historical average from 1970 -1999. They were produced by the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., in collaboration with NOAA's National Climatic Data Center and the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, both in Asheville, N.C.

The visualizations show the precipitation changes as a 30-year running average. The date seen in the bottom-right corner is the mid-point of the 30-year average being shown.

"These visualizations communicate a picture of the impacts of climate change in a way that words do not," says Allison Leidner, Ph.D., a scientist who coordinates NASA's involvement in the National Climate Assessment "When I look at the scenarios for future temperature and precipitation, I really see how dramatically our nation's climate could change."

Projected U.S. Temperature Changes by 2100


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39cBqY1sszY&feature=player_embedded

The average temperature across the continental U.S. could be 8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer by the end of the 21st century under a climate scenario in which concentrations of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide rise to 800 parts per million. Current concentrations stand at 400 parts per million, and are rising faster than at any time in Earth's history.

These visualizations -- which highlight computer model projections from the draft National Climate Assessment -- show how average temperatures could change across the U.S. in the coming decades under two different carbon dioxide emissions scenarios.

Both scenarios project significant warming. A scenario with lower emissions, in which carbon dioxide reaches 550 parts per million by 2100, still projects average warming across the continental U.S. of 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

The visualizations, which combine the results from 15 global climate models, present projections of temperature changes from 2000 to 2100 compared to the  historical average from 1970 -1999. They were produced by the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., in collaboration with NOAA's National Climatic Data Center and the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, both in Asheville, N.C.

The visualizations show the temperature changes as a 30-year running average. The date seen in the bottom-right corner is the mid-point of the 30-year average being shown.

"These visualizations communicate a picture of the impacts of climate change in a way that words do not," says Allison Leidner, Ph.D., a scientist who coordinates NASA's involvement in the National Climate Assessment "When I look at the scenarios for future temperature and precipitation, I really see how dramatically our nation's climate could change."

To learn more about the National Climate Assessment, due out in 2014, visit here:

http://www.globalchange.gov/what-we-do/assessment


 

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Subject: British Secretary of State for Climate Change Appoimted
(Posted on Feb 19, 2013 at 04:30AM by Media Manager)
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The British Government and Climate Change

 




 
"In reality, those who deny climate change and demand a halt to emissions reduction and mitigation work, want us to take a huge gamble with the future of every human being on the planet, every future human being, our children and grand children, and every other living species."

The Rt Hon Edward Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, British Government


First, I must state I find it remarkable that the British government has a Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. There are 24 ministerial departments in the UK government and one of them is the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Can you imagine a Cabinet member within the executive branch of the United States federal government with the title of Secretary of Energy and Climate Change? Me neither. Not in my lifetime.

The DECC was created October 3, 2008 by Prime Minister Gordon Brown. If you visit the DECC website, you will read this:"Various natural factors, including volcanic eruptions and changes in the Sun's activity and Earth's orbit, have altered the Earths' past climate - but none of them can account for the warming that has occurred since about 1900. Rising greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations from human activity do, however, explain this warming through their enhancement of the natural 'greenhouse effect'."

And there is this: "Records from ice cores confirm the CO2 concentration is now higher than for at least the past 800,000 years and that the extra CO2 in the air today has a chemical fingerprint that links it to fossil fuels."

And this:

"If GHG emissions continue unabated, average global temperatures may rise (relative to 1990 temperatures) by between 1.1 and 6.4°C by the end of this century."

Edward Davey was appointed Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in February of 2012 and a week ago gave a speech at a symposium on climate change at the Royal Society and "was as blunt on the reality of climate science as he was critical of those who deny it."

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Subject: Marine Engines and NOx Emissions
(Posted on Jan 10, 2013 at 10:14AM by Media Manager)
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Marine Engines and NOx Emissions



Apart from a very few exceptions where power cables from land sources are connected and used on board vessels in port, ships are self sufficient regarding energy supply. A general overview of potential combustion (and emission) sources and their use on board ships is presented in Table C.1. In terms of number and emission magnitude, Main (ME) and Auxiliary (AE) diesel engines dominate by far, followed by turbine machinery (steam and gas turbines).

Emissions
from boilers, emergency diesel engines and waste incinerators are relatively very small and can be considered negligible (excluded hereafter). Rather than size, ME and AE engines are normally sub-divided according to their engine speed at the crankshaft as: high speed, medium speed and slow speed7. Slow and medium speed engines are more abundant than high speed engines for main engines. For auxiliary engines, high and medium speed engines dominate. Old steam turbine systems, which use steam to drive turbines geared to the propeller shaft, have a relatively low efficiency and consequently are being replaced by diesel engines.

For the world fleet in general, the total installed main engine power consists of 63% as slow speed diesel, 31% as medium speed diesel and 6% as others e.g. gas and steam turbines (IMO, 2000). Engine types by number for the world fleet (ship size > 100 GRT) are reported as 65,7% (slow speed diesel), 32,2% (medium speed diesel) and 2,1% (other) (Davies et al., 2000). In a 1990 emission study for the Mediterranean Sea including ca. 7300 vessels (Lloyds Register Engineering Services, 1999), the number of engines were reported as 47,3% (slow speed diesel),50,6% (medium speed diesel), and 2,1% (steam turbine) while based on installed power, the proportions were 65,8% (slow speed diesel), 26,2% (medium speed diesel), and 8,0% (steam turbine).

In contrast to CO2 and SO2 emissions, which are fuel dependent emissions, emissions of NOx are particularly dependent on the combustion process (engine type). For slow speed engines a longer period at higher temperatures occurs which gives improved of combustion efficiency but greater thermal fixation of nitrogen in the combustion air to NOx. Thus the new maximum allowable NOx emission limits for marine diesel engines (IMO Technical NOx Code, 1997) are directly related to the rated speed of the engine.

 

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Subject: Environmental Programs in US Extended
(Posted on Jan 3, 2013 at 12:46AM by Media Manager)
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6 environmental perks of the fiscal cliff deal

On top of averting major budget cuts, Congress' deal to dodge the fiscal cliff also extended several financial incentives for programs related to the environment.


Wed, Jan 02 2013 at 2:36 PM

 

Photo: Matt Churchill/Flickr

Congress pulled America off the fiscal cliff Tuesday night, two days after the long-dreaded package of tax hikes and spending cuts officially took effect. While this 13th-hour deal leaves plenty of problems unresolved, it may have at least helped the country dodge another big economic downturn — and possibly an environmental one, too.
 
Formally titled the "American Taxpayer Relief Act," the fiscal cliff bill modifies federal budget provisions and renews a broad range of tax credits, including many related to clean power, energy efficiency, agriculture and scientific research. Here's a brief look at some of the environmental issues it addresses:
 
Wind power
One of the bill's highest-profile environmental perks is a one-year extension of a tax credit for wind-energy production. The U.S. wind industry has been urging Congress to renew the tax credit for years, arguing that its expiration would eliminate some 37,000 American jobs. Worth 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour of wind-generated electricity, the credit's looming expiration has already been blamed for some layoffs in recent months, but even its belated renewal pleased many industry advocates.
 
"[W]e thank President Obama and all the members of the House and Senate who had the foresight to extend this successful policy, so wind projects can continue to be developed in 2013 and 2014," said Denise Bode, outgoing CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, in a statement released Wednesday. Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado also praised the extension, calling it a "long-overdue dose of certainty for manufacturers who employ more than 5,000 Coloradans and 60,000 workers across America."
 
In addition to preserving the production tax credit, or PTC, the fiscal cliff bill extends an investment tax credit for projects under construction, a measure the industry says is crucial to accelerating the country's development of wind power. Both credits will apply to projects that begin construction before Jan. 1, 2014.
 
Biofuels
While the wind industry's tax credits may have a broader impact, Congress also extended several financial incentives for U.S. biofuel producers. These include a cellulosic biofuel producer credit, a biodiesel and renewable diesel credit, and a special allowance for cellulosic biofuel plant property. Along with renewing tax credits, the bill also specifies that algae is a qualified feedstock for biofuel production.
 
"It's been a long year with a lot of missed opportunity and lost jobs in the biodiesel industry," Anne Steckel of the National Biodiesel Board said in a statement Wednesday. "But we're pleased that Congress has finally approved an extension so that we can get production back on track. This is not an abstract issue. In the coming months, because of this decision, we'll begin to see real economic impacts with companies expanding production and hiring new employees."
 
Energy efficiency
Power producers aren't the only energy-related beneficiaries of the fiscal cliff deal. The Senate and House extended a slate of tax credits that encourage more sustainable energy consumption, too, including tax credits for new and existing energy-efficient homes and another that softens the expense of energy-efficient appliances.
 
Alternative-fuel vehicles
The fiscal cliff deal also contains some late Christmas gifts for drivers of electric cars and other eco-friendly vehicles. It extends a tax credit for two- or three-wheeled plug-in electric vehicles, for example, which could mean up to $2,500 for anyone who buys a qualified electric motorcycle or trike. And it stretches out a credit for alternative-fueled-vehicle refueling property through Dec. 31, 2013.
 
Milk prices
Along with the fiscal cliff, Congress helped the country avoid the so-called "dairy cliff," a potential spike in milk prices caused by the expiration of the 2008 farm bill. The deal extends a "dairy price support" subsidy through Dec. 31, 2013, avoiding a scenario in which U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warned a gallon of milk could cost $7.
 
The milk subsidy is one of several portions of the farm bill lawmakers extended. The deal also addresses the USDA's Conservation Reserve Program, Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, Specialty Crop Research Initiative, and Biobased Markets Program, among others, but still excludes many provisions of the farm bill.
 
Research and innovation
Another tax credit sustained by the fiscal cliff deal is the research tax credit, which has already been extended 13 times since it was first introduced in 1981. Meant to spur job growth by encouraging businesses to invest in research and development, the credit has historically enjoyed bipartisan support, with proponents arguing its cost is offset by an increase in innovations, patents, business activity and thus federal revenue.
 
"Extending the U.S. R&D tax incentive through 2013 provides a strong signal to our economic competitors that the United States is serious about maintaining our global leadership in innovation," Robert Hoffman of the Information Technology Industry Council wrote this week in the group's policy blog.
 
Aside from the six areas listed above, perhaps the most broadly important aspect of the fiscal cliff deal is that it averts — at least for now — dramatic spending cuts at federal agencies like the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the EPA. These across-the-board cuts would have slashed funding for things like national park management, public health research and environmental cleanups, and even a temporary delay drew praise from many in the environmental community.
 
"Today, Americans can breathe a sigh of relief, thanks to the commitment by President Obama and Democratic leadership in Congress to ensure that this agreement includes new revenues and delays automatic cuts to essential programs that protect our health, our environment and our future," Franz Matzner of the Natural Resources Defense Council said in a statement. "But arbitrary, mandatory cuts to programs that every American relies on still dangle over the nation’s head. ... Furloughed workers, closed national parks, and dirtier air and water won't solve our economic woes. The nation needs a balanced plan that recognizes a healthy environment and a healthy economy go hand in hand."
 
For more on the fiscal cliff deal, see this post from MNN's Melissa Hincha-Ownby.
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Subject: EU Consultations to Improve Air Quality
(Posted on Jan 3, 2013 at 12:23AM by Media Manager)
Tags:

 

European Commission holding a public consultation on the best way to improve air quality in Europe.


The European Commission is holding a public consultation on the best way to improve air quality in Europe. For the next twelve weeks, interested parties are invited to share their views on ways to ensure full implementation of the existing framework, to improve it, and to complement it with supporting actions. The results of the consultation will feed into a comprehensive review of Europe’s air policies due in 2013. The consultation is open until 4 March 2013.

Air pollution and the associated threats to the environment and human health continue to be a concern for many EU citizens. Despite progress in the past decades resulting from legislation to reduce harmful pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, lead, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and benzene, some pollutants are still causing problems. Summer smog, potentially harmful ground-level ozone and fine particles that pose significant health risks regularly exceed safe limits. Consequently, exposure to air pollution still causes over 400,000 premature deaths in the EU every year.

The consultation is divided into two parts – a short questionnaire for the general public, and a more extensive set of questions for experts and practitioners from national administrations, regional and local authorities, researchers, businesses, stakeholders, health, environmental and other groups with experience in implementing EU air quality legislation.

This web-based consultation is part of a broader process designed to involve civil society in the upcoming air policy review. It is the final formal step of the consultation process started by the Commission in January 2011 , and which has involved regular meetings with Member States and other stakeholders regularly and a first public consultation on the effectiveness of EU air quality policy and priorities for the future.

The Commission will also shortly issue the results of a Eurobarometer survey on air quality. Some 25 000 European citizens in 27 Member States have been interviewed to give their views on air quality issues.

There are separate questionnaires for experts and the general public. Explanatory notes also accompany the public consultation. If you would like more information on this or you would like to keep on top of global climate change or emissions legislation please contact us.

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Subject: Korea To Reduce Emission in 2013
(Posted on Oct 15, 2012 at 06:42PM by Media Manager)
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South Korea Doubles 2013 Emissions Reduction Target


South Korea has doubled a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by local industrial and power sectors in 2013 to enhance competitiveness prior to a new cap-and-trade scheme starting in 2015, the economy ministry said on Monday.

Asia's fourth-largest economy aims to cut 17.2 million metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent or 3 per cent of next year's expected emissions, compared with 8 million metric tonnes of CO2 reduction or 1.42 per cent of this year's level, it said in a statement.

Seoul expects 570.6 million metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent gases to be emitted by 377 entities in its industrial and power sectors in 2013. The country's total emissions is seen at 589.8 million metric tonnes of CO2 next year, it added, and the industrial and power sectors are major emitters.

"We expect the reduction target, which was set up based upon this year's strict verification, to help those emitters facing the emission certificate trading scheme in 2015 strengthen and improve their competitiveness," the ministry statement said.

Korean lawmakers approved the national emissions trading scheme in May to start January 2015, which will tackle growing greenhouse gas pollution, overcoming strong industry opposition and joining some nations to put a price on carbon.

Those emitters which fail to meet their reduction targets next year will pay a maximum of 10 million Korean won ($9,000) in 2014, a relatively small amount which makes emitters prefer this method to cap-and-trade, and strongly oppose the switch.

Carbon emission reduction goals in 2013 for the country's top 10 emitters (thousands of metric tons, weighting on overall reduction) are as follows:

Ranking Name Amount/Weight

1 POSCO 2,480/26%

2 Hyundai Steel 487/5.1%

3 Ssangyong Cement 443/4.%

4 Tongyang Cement & Energy 284/3.0%

5 S-Oil 266/2.8%

6 GS Caltex 247/2.6%

7 SK Energy 241/2.5%

8 LG Display 228/2.4%

9 Samsung 223/2.3%

10 Display Electronics 216/2.3%

 

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