Category Archives: Climate change

The Emerging Arctic: A CRF InfoGuide Presentation

Download the document.

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has released a new interactive guide examining the economic opportunities and environmental risks emerging in the Arctic. Climate change, technological advances, and a growing demand for natural resources are driving a new era of development in the Arctic region. Many experts assert that Arctic summers could be free of sea ice in a matter of decades, opening the region up to hundreds of billions of dollars in investment, most notably in energy production and shipping.

But the region’s warming will also bring new security and environmental complications, particularly for the five Arctic Ocean coastal states—the United States, Russia, Denmark (Greenland), Canada, and Norway…

The “Emerging Arctic” InfoGuide includes:

  • an overview video with insights from Scott Borgerson, CEO, CargoMetrics and Cofounder, Arctic Circle; Michael Byers; Heather Conley, senior fellow and director of the Europe program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Marlene Laruelle, research professor of international affairs at George Washington University;
  • a timeline highlighting commercial, political, and environmental milestones in the Arctic;
  • infographics detailing the region’s demographics, oil and gas potential, and ships and shipping routes;
  • an interactive diagram showing the intersecting affiliations of Arctic Council member states; and
  • policy options for a stable and sustainable future in the Arctic.
  • an interactive map showcasing the receding sea ice, regional oil and gas resources, areas of diplomatic dispute, seasonal shipping routes, and the five Arctic Ocean coastal states

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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Climate change, Publications


Why Should We Conserve Southeast Asia’s Peat Swamp Forests?

Read the full post at The Equation.

Unloved and unappreciated, the peat swamp forests [of Southeast Asia] are being turned into profitable oil palm and pulpwood plantations at an astounding rate. At least 64% of the region’s peat swamp forests have already been destroyed, and the remainder are disappearing at the rate of 3.7% per year, making this one of the world’s most endangered ecosystems.

Yet the more scientists learn about the peat swamp, the more apparent it becomes that Indonesia and Malaysia are repeating the same tragic mistake America made with the Everglades. They now understand that an immense amount of carbon is sequestered within the deep peat; once the trees are stripped away and the peat is drained, this carbon is “released” by microorganisms that can now metabolize it more quickly.



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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Climate change


‘Years of Living Dangerously’: Showtime series spotlights climate crisis

Read the full story at Mother Nature Network.

Eight years since the Oscar-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” sounded the alarm about global warming, the climate crisis is more critical than ever. The new Showtime series “Years of Living Dangerously” picks up the mantle, enlisting A-list celebrities to serve as correspondents to draw attention to the most pressing climate issues.
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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Climate change, Films


IPCC report: 6 things you must know about reducing emissions

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s newest installment, Working Group III: Mitigation and Climate Change, highlights an important message: It’s still possible to limit average global temperature rise to 2°C — but only if the world rapidly reduces emissions and changes its current energy mix.

Getting to this finding meant analyzing more than 1,000 potential emissions pathways, modeled using the latest research and technology. In short, the report reveals the emissions trajectory we’re currently on — and the one we need to shift to if we’re to limit warming to 2°C, and avoid increasingly dangerous forest fires, sea level rise, heat waves and other climate impacts.

Here are six things you need to know about the level of emissions reductions needed to rein in runaway warming…

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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Climate change, Green business


TripZero: A lean startup tries to ‘green’ the travel industry

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Carbon emissions are the elephant in the room for the travel and tourism industry but one startup is tackling the issue head on.

A few “problem wells” source of greenhouse gas

Read the full story in R&D Magazine.

High levels of the greenhouse gas methane were found above shale gas wells at a production point not thought to be an important emissions source, according to a study jointly led by Purdue and Cornell universities. The findings could have implications for the evaluation of the environmental impacts from natural gas production.

The study, which is one of only a few to use a so-called “top-down” approach that measures methane gas levels in the air above wells, identified seven individual well pads with high emission levels and established their stage in the shale-gas development process.


Obama Administration Sets its Sights on Methane Emissions

Read the full story at Environmental Leader.

Consistent with its continuing efforts to combat climate change through executive action, the White House recently released its “Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions.”  This document, part of the administration’s larger Climate Action Plan, puts forth a plan to reduce domestic methane emissions.  The strategy targets four sources of emissions for methane reductions: landfills, coal mines, agriculture, and oil and gas.  While the methane reduction strategy focuses heavily on voluntarily measures for most of the target sources, the document strongly suggests that the oil and gas industry could be subject, for the first time, to federal methane emissions regulations by 2016.

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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Agriculture, Climate change, Regulation


Shift to green energy will be tiny brake on growth: U.N.

Read the full story from Planet Ark.

Many governments had complained that an earlier draft was not clear in its estimate of the costs of low-carbon energy, which include solar or wind, nuclear and fossil fuels whose greenhouse gas emissions are captured and buried underground.

The new draft, which is being edited by government officials and scientists in Berlin before publication on Sunday, indicates that world economic losses would be small compared to projected costs of heatwaves, floods, storms and rising sea levels.

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Posted by on April 14, 2014 in Climate change, Renewable energy


Gassy Cows Are Warming The Planet, And They’re Here To Stay

Read to the full story from NPR.

Sorry to ruin your appetite, but it’s time to talk about cow belches.

Humans the world over are eating meat and drinking milk — some of us , some of us a lot more, than years past. Farmers are bringing more and more cows into the world to meet demand, and with them escapes more methane into the atmosphere.

In 2011, methane from livestock accounted for 39 percent of all the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, according to a that United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization released Friday. That’s more than synthetic fertilizer or deforestation. Methane from livestock rose 11 percent between 2001 and 2011.

The bulk of the emissions — 55 percent — came from beef cattle. Dairy cows, buffalo, sheep and goats accounted for the rest.

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Posted by on April 14, 2014 in Agriculture, Climate change


IPCC: Mitigating climate change more challenging than ever

Read the full post at Science Insider.

Global greenhouse emissions are skyrocketing. Emissions cuts required to avoid dangerous impacts of climate change are steep. And despite decades of talk, world governments have made paltry efforts to address the problem.

That’s the grim picture painted by a major report on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions released today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).


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