USDA Scientists Study Effects of Rising Carbon Dioxide on Rangelands
By Don Comis
WASHINGTON—Rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels can reverse the drying effects of predicted higher temperatures on semi-arid rangelands, according to a study published today in the scientific journal Nature by a team of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and university scientists. (ARS)
Uh oh, CO2 actually reverses temperature effect on rangelands
The results of a USDA experiment called PHACE (Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment)where liquid CO2 is injected into the ground from a storage tank, then effects measure on grassland growth, shows a surprising result: increased range grass growth leading to retaining more soil moisture. I hate it when that happens. I’ll have to give them credit though, back in 2007 in the paper starting the project they theorized from models that:
Model results suggest that soil water content, plant production, soil respiration, and nutrient mineralization will increase for the high-CO treatment. Soil water content will decrease for all years, while nitrogen mineralization, soil respiration, and plant production will both decrease and increase under warming depending on yearly differences in water stress.
And the credit is, they followed through with a ground truth experiment to verify the model. (WUWT)
Scientists pinpoint river flow associated with cholera outbreaks, not just global warming
One riddle solved on cholera by examination of four major river basins shows when water flow went up, nutrients in the water were associated with increase in cholera cases
Deerfield, IL (Aug. 3, 2011) – An examination of the world’s largest river basins found nutrient-rich and powerful river discharges led to spikes in the blooms of plankton associated with cholera outbreaks. These increased discharges often occur at times of increased temperature in coastal water, suggesting that predicting global warming’s potential temperature effect on cholera will be more complicated than first thought, according to a new study published today in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
The findings by the authors will help give public health authorities another critical clue toward predicting future outbreaks of cholera based on climatic and environmental models in the hopes of preventing the spread of the deadly and highly infectious disease that currently plagues Haiti and several other countries. (EurekAlert)
A New Article “Afforestation Cools More Or Less” By Richard A. Betts
Richard A. Betts of the Hadley Centre has written a summary article in Nature Geosciences with respect to the article
Vivek K. Arora1 and Alvaro Montenegro, 2011: Small temperature benefits provided by realistic afforestation efforts. Nature Geoscience. Volume:4, Pages:514–518 Year published:(2011)DOI:doi:10.1038/ngeo1182 Received17 January 2011Accepted13 May 2011 Published online19 June 2011
Richard’s article is
Betts, Richard A., 2011: Afforestation cools more or less. Nature Geoscience Volume:4,Pages:504–505Year published:(2011)DOI:doi:10.1038/ngeo1223 Published online29 July 2011 (Roger Pielke Sr.)
Carbon emissions not the only thing contributing to global warming: researchers
Actions to reduce global warming should focus not just on carbon dioxide, but also other contributors to greenhouse gases that could, if eliminated, quickly reduce the Earth’s temperature, according to American researchers.
A team from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration argues in a new paper that reducing emissions of greenhouse gases with shorter lives could have an immediate impact on rising global temperatures.
Cutting such emissions would reduce the “radiative forcing” in the atmosphere — or the heat-capturing strength of greenhouse gases — the team argues in the article published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Reducing emissions of gases such as methane and nitrous oxide could also have a self-fulfilling effect of sorts:By reducing the gases, there would be a reduction in temperature, which would reduce the amount of these non-carbon dioxide gases that the Earth naturally produces in places such as swamps. (Postmedia News)
NOAA study: Slowing climate change by targeting gases other than carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide remains the undisputed king of recent climate change, but other greenhouse gases measurably contribute to the problem. A new study, conducted by NOAA scientists and published online today in Nature, shows that cutting emissions of those other gases could slow changes in climate that are expected in the future. (EurekAlert)
New Stunning Poll: Vast Majority of Americans Have Become ‘Cool Dudes’ – No Longer Believe ‘Liar Dudes’
Read here. 69% of Americans now believe that it’s likely that scientists have falsified global warming research. In another study (read here) social scientists found that it is only ‘cool dudes’ – conservative white males – who don’t believe global warming researchers. Hmmm….it would appear most Americans are firmly in the camp of ‘cool dudes’ (maybe those social scientists ought to change it to ‘cool Americans of gender and color diversity’). (C3 Headlines)
EU carbon oversold but could fall further
The European Union’s benchmark carbon price fell to its lowest level in two and a half years on Wednesday and even though the market looks oversold there could be further downside, technical analysis shows.
Benchmark EU Allowances (EUAs) fell to a fresh 29-month low of 11.05 euros ($15.71) a tonne in mid-morning trade on Wednesday, amid heavy selling on fears of a double dip recession.
By 1133 GMT (7:33 a.m. ET), EUAs were trading slightly higher at 11.23 euros. Volume was heavy at 13,539 lots. (Reuters)
Carbon tax campaign spinning its wheels
Source: The Australian
SUPPORT for federal Labor has collapsed in metropolitan Sydney and is so low in Queensland that former prime minister Kevin Rudd would be the only government MP to hold his seat in the state if elections had been held last weekend.
Polling commissioned by the Australian Coal Association also shows the government has achieved only marginal gains in support for the carbon tax since the package was released early last month and that a clear majority of voters remain opposed.
It found opposition to the carbon tax was highest in Queensland electorates (62 per cent) and key Sydney metropolitan electorates (61 per cent) and that 67 per cent of voters believed the Prime Minister should wait to introduce the tax until after an election.
The Galaxy poll shows the majority of people believe they will be left worse off by the tax despite the government’s bid to sell its compensation package.
Galaxy said while more voters were claiming they better understood the tax and options were becoming more deeply entrenched “this is not translating into increased support”. (The Australian)
Carbon scheme is doomed to fail
POLITICIANS never admit they do not have a solution to a problem. Call it “yes we can!” syndrome. As a consequence, some have vowed to decarbonise their economies to save the environment from climate change.
The Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus reminded the audience at a luncheon this week of the boast of former communist rulers of Czechoslovakia, “we control the wind and the rain!” Such hubris is alive and well.
Those nations headed down the carbon abatement path have asked economists to seek the most cost-effective means of doing so. The predictable answer was to price emissions. The trouble is it cannot succeed. A paper by David Campbell and others, After Copenhagen: The Impossibility of Carbon Trading, tells why.
The Kyoto Protocol carbon trading scheme has failed because while there may be a loose cap on emissions for developed countries, without a cap on all other countries the trade between the two is uncapped, so there is no overall emissions reduction. To illustrate, at the end of the Kyoto’s first commitment period 2012, the increase in China’s emissions will be in the order of 1000 per cent of the total reductions the developed countries were to make under Kyoto.
Further, the promises made after Copenhagen have no legal basis and refer to reductions in carbon intensity, which almost certainly will mean growth in absolute emissions. Any promises made are less credible than Kyoto itself, which was not credible. Pray tell us then, Prime Minister, what is the point of your carbon tax? (The Australian)
Volt & Leaf sales fell in July
The top two electric car models in the US each suffered a significant drop in sales last month.
The Volt managed only 125 units, the Leaf fared a little better at 931. In June the Volt sold over 500 units, the Leaf over 1700. Sales were so disappointing that for the first time this year, neither manufacturer mentioned their EV in the monthly sales press releases. (Daily Bayonet)
Chevy Volt: Still Not Selling
JONATHAN V. LAST
The July sales numbers are out and the Chevy Volt continues to electrify (get it?) the country. GM sold … 125 Volts last month! (TWS)
Analysis: Cash-rich shale drillers boost output, cap prices
Until recently, the nascent U.S. shale gas industry faced a major constraint on its growth, one that was bigger than environmental risk, more vexing than technology, and more challenging than the scrum for new acreage: capital.
After some $40 billion of foreign investment in the sector in the last two years, including BHP Billiton’s record $15.1 billion plunge last month, that limitation is no longer a factor, analysts say. And as a result, production may grow even faster than previously expected, putting an ever firmer cap on prices.
Capital-rich companies from ExxonMobil to Royal Dutch Shell have picked up the pace partnering with or acquiring smaller shale producers or parcels of land to gain access to reserves and technology to release them. (Reuters)
Federal judge dismisses enviro oil sands lawsuit
By Andrew Restuccia
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by two environmental groups alleging that the Defense Department violated the law by procuring Canadian oil sands.
The Sierra Club and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy had alleged the Defense Department violated Section 526 of a 2007 energy law that prevents the military and other agencies from buying alternative fuels that have higher greenhouse gas emissions than conventional petroleum fuels.
But United States District Judge Claude Hilton, out of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, dismissed the case late last week because he said the plaintiffs lacked standing. (E2 Wire)
Murkowski: EPA rules could threaten power reliability
By Andrew Restuccia
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is raising new fears about the effect of Environmental Protection Agency rules on electric grid reliability, after receiving an analysis on the issue from federal power regulators.
“EPA’s rulemakings could have a serious impact on the affordability and reliability of our nation’s energy supply, especially given the sheer number of new regulations the agency has rolled out in such a short time period,” Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Wednesday in a statement.
Murkowski’s concerns are likely to be used as fodder in Republicans’ ongoing push to delay or block EPA regulations that they say will impose unnecessary burdens on the economy. (E2 Wire)
The GOP’s Hidden Debt-Deal Agenda: Gut the EPA
By BRYAN WALSH Tuesday, Aug. 02, 2011
It was lost in the endless drama of the debt-ceiling negotiations, but last week, the Republicans in charge of the House of Representatives launched an unprecedented attack on the U.S.’s environmental protections. GOP Representatives added rider after rider to the 2012 spending bill for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department, tacking on amendments that would essentially prevent those agencies — charged with protecting America’s air, water and wildlife — from doing their jobs. (Time)
Another Sleazy Green TV Ad (this time, it’s from fake doctors)
by WILLIAM YEATMAN on AUGUST 3, 2011
Environmentalist special interests run the sleaziest attack ads in the business, as has been noted before on this blog, and also by my colleague Marlo Lewis. It doesn’t matter if you are a Republican (like Sen. Scott Brown) or a Democrat (like Sen. Mary Landrieu)—if you don’t toe the green line, then environmentalist advocacy groups will go for your jugular. Almost always, these enviro organizations try to pin an allegation of child abuse on those with whom they disagree. Classy! (Cooler Heads)
Medical groups to Obama: Finalize smog rule ‘immediately’
By Ben Geman
A host of medical and public health associations are pressing the White House to quickly complete delayed rules that tighten Bush-era smog standards. (E2 Wire)
Rogue EPA Targets Ozone — And Jobs
Regulation: Unsupported by science, a beleaguered American economy may soon be subject to ozone standards so stringent that Yellowstone National Park could not meet them. Look forward to double-digit unemployment. (IBD)
EPA’s Ozone Charade Chokes Industry for No Health Benefit
Environmentalist ideologues in the Obama administration are making up more reasons to wipe out more jobs. The story is a sordid one. (American Thinker)