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Climate researchers issue stern warning on natural gas

”  … It is the total quantity of CO2 from the energy system that matters to the climate.”

Shale gas deposits around the world. Map courtesy Energy Information Administration.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Researchers at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change have finally called the hoopla surrounding natural gas for what it is — mostly fossil fuel propaganda.

“The proponents of shale gas have always claimed that it is a lower carbon alternative to coal,” said Chris Shearlock, sustainable development manager at The Co-operative, an institutional investor in oil firms. “However, this is only true if the coal it displaces remains in the ground and isn’t just burnt elsewhere. Without a cap on global carbon emissions, shale gas is burnt in addition to other fossil fuels, increasing total emissions.”

The Tyndall report points out that, while U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have dropped by 8.6 percent since 2005, more than half of the recent emissions reductions in the power sector may be displaced overseas by the trade in coal. Continue reading

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Research suggests climate-change impacts to Puget Sound

Sampling Puget Sound waters aboard an EPA ship. Photo courtesy NOAA.

‘Corrosive’ water seen as threat to shellfish

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A comprehensive, multi-disciplinary survey of Puget Sound suggests that increased concentrations of atmospheric carbon are turning the water more corrosive during certain seasons, with potentially significant impacts to shellfish populations.

The study was conducted by the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program, a scientific partnership among universities and government agencies. The report also documented the presence of unusual, harmful algae that can contaminate shellfish, as well as nutrients from human activities, both of which have the potential to degrade water quality.

Conservation advocates say the data is alarming, and suggests that Puget Sound’s wildlife could face persistent threats as the Earth’s climate warms. Continue reading

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