3-31-15 Asian solar spending helps drive renewable energy boom
Asian solar spending helps drive renewable energy boom
Almost half of global investment in new electricity generation last year was in renewables, thanks to a hike in investment by developing countries, says a UN report. Global investment in green energy rose 17 per cent, but developing countries saw a surge of 36 per cent. The big spending was on solar power in Asia, as well as on wind turbines in the North Sea. Chinese investment – up 37 per cent at $83 billion – again beat the US.
3-31-15 US makes climate pledge to UN
US makes climate pledge to UN
The US has pledged to tackle climate change by cutting its carbon emissions 26-28% by 2025. It made the formal offer to the UN as a step towards a global deal in Paris in December. The EU has already promised to cut its emissions by a roughly similar proportion. (Webmaster's comment: Don't worry, it will never get through a Republican congress. Acknowledging reality is not one of their strong points, only protecting business profits and their rich contributors!)
3-31-15 UN: New renewables broke through 100GW barrier in 2014
UN: New renewables broke through 100GW barrier in 2014
New renewable generating capacity broke the 100GW barrier in 2014, equivalent to the entire fleet of nuclear power plants in the US, a UN report shows. Global investment in renewable energy during 2014 increased by 17% from 2013 levels to US$270bn (£183bn). Investors have been attracted by the increasing cost effectiveness and low risk of the solar and wind sectors.
3-27-15 Keeping warming to 2 °C is not enough to save species
Keeping warming to 2 °C is not enough to save species
Is the world's target of limiting global warming to 2 °C too high, or too low? Does it even make scientific sense? The consensus around the target, which was agreed at climate talks in Copenhagen in 2009, seems to be coming unstuck. Back in October, US climate analysts David Victor and Charles Kennel called it scientifically meaningless and politically unachievable. We should get used to the idea of something warmer, they said. Now the target has been denounced as "utterly inadequate", by Petra Tschakert of Penn State University in University Park, who has been involved in a UN review of the target. She wants a 1.5 °C target instead. Writing in the journal Climate Change Responses, she says this lower limit is necessary if we want sea levels to rise less than a metre, to protect half of all coral reefs, and to still have some ice during Arctic summers.
3-27-15 The end of coal?
The end of coal?
To avoid catastrophic climate change, scientists say, we'll have to abandon the cheapest fossil fuel. What's wrong with coal? What do we use coal for? What's Obama's strategy? How have coal states responded? Why is that? So is coal dead? Is 'clean' coal possible?
3-26-15 Major Antarctic ice survey reveals dramatic melting
Major Antarctic ice survey reveals dramatic melting
It's melting from above and below and crumbling at the edges. Antarctica is in trouble. Its frozen edges, or ice shelves, are disappearing into the ocean faster than we thought. Some have thinned by up to 18 per cent in the past two decades, and the process is accelerating. The most rapidly melting ones are likely to be gone within 100 years. As this happens, the ice sheets sitting over Antarctica's land – which holds the equivalent of 60 metres of sea level – will accelerate their descent into the ocean, causing it to rise globally.
3-26-15 Antarctic ice shelf thinning speeds up
Antarctic ice shelf thinning speeds up
Scientists have their best view yet of the status of Antarctica's floating ice shelves and they find them to be thinning at an accelerating rate. In the first half of the last 18 years, the total losses from these tongues of ice that jut out from the continent amounted to 25 cubic km per year. But by the second half, this had jumped to 310 cubic km per annum.
3-25-15 Hopes grow for climate-proof beans
Hopes grow for climate-proof beans
A breakthrough in the development of temperature-resilient beans could help sustain a vital source of protein for millions of people around the globe. Climate projections suggest that 50% of the countries' bean production will be lost by 2050 if farmers do not have access to the new variety of bean.
3-24-15 Solar energy 'could provide 4% of UK electricity by 2020'
Solar energy 'could provide 4% of UK electricity by 2020'
Solar power could provide up to 4% of the UK's electricity by the end of the decade, the government has said. The plummeting cost of solar panels has caused the government to revise upwards its forecast for solar energy use, Energy Secretary Ed Davey said.
3-23-15 Climate change 'biggest threat' to National Trust land
Climate change 'biggest threat' to National Trust land
The National Trust has said climate change is the "biggest threat" to the land it protects. Unveiling a 10-year plan to "nurse the natural environment back to health", the charity said there had been an "alarming decline in wildlife" and time was "running out" to avoid more harm.
3-22-15 Climate change: China official warns of 'huge impact'
Climate change: China official warns of 'huge impact'
Climate change could have a "huge impact" on China, reducing crop yields and harming the environment, the country's top weather scientist has warned, in a rare official admission. Zheng Guogang told Xinhua news agency that climate change could be a "serious threat" to big infrastructure projects.
3-20-15 Fossil fuels: Scientists draw up investment principles
Fossil fuels: Scientists draw up investment principles
Climate scientists at leading universities are joining forces to discuss the basis of a set of principles governing investment in fossil fuels. They include academics at Oxford, Imperial College London and Harvard.
3-19-15 Arctic sea ice extent hits record low for winter
Arctic sea ice extent hits record low for winter
Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has fallen to the lowest recorded level for the winter season, according to US scientists. The minimum this year was 14.5 million sq km, said the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder. This is the lowest since 1979, when satellite records began.
3-13-15 Global CO2 emissions 'stalled' in 2014
Global CO2 emissions 'stalled' in 2014
The growth in global carbon emissions stalled last year, according to data from the International Energy Agency. It marks the first time in 40 years that annual CO2 emissions growth has remained stable, in the absence of a major economic crisis, the agency said. Annual global emissions remained at 32 gigatonnes in 2014, unchanged from the previous year. (Webmaster's comment: But there has been no reduction in the rate of increase of CO2 in the atmosphere according to the measurements at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii.)
3-13-15 'Long struggle' warning on climate
'Long struggle' warning on climate
America’s chief climate negotiator has warned of the long battle ahead to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Todd Stern told BBC News that by the end of the month, he expects the US to make a “quite ambitious” declaration on climate change. He praised China’s projected offer to the December climate summit in Paris.
3-9-15 A Burst Of Energy
A Burst Of Energy
Inside the world's largest solar power plant. On the grid Desert Sunlight Solar Farm produces 550 megawatts of energy, equal to the output of a conventional power plant.
3-6-15 A climate Skeptic's secret payoff
A climate Skeptic's secret payoff
This week, documents obained through the Freedom of Information Act revealed Soon's climate research was funded by at least %1.2 million from Exxon Mobil, Southern Company, the American Petroleum Institute and the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation - groups with a strong financial state in denying global warming.
3-5-15 Global flood toll to triple by 2030
Global flood toll to triple by 2030
The number of people affected by river flooding worldwide could nearly triple in the next 15 years, analysis shows. 50 million people could be affected by flooding in 15 years' time. Climate change and population growth are driving the increase, according to the World Resources Institute (WRI).
3-2-15 Signs of spring 'shifting' in trees
Signs of spring 'shifting' in trees
Scientists say signs of spring are appearing earlier in woodlands because of temperature rises in past decades. They predict that climate change will alter the order in which different trees start to grow leaves, with long-term implications for the survival of some woodland plants.