Posted on June 9, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Southern California beaches with pollution controls see increased visits, with benefits to local economy
You gotta love a clean beach! This is near Port. St. Joe, Florida.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Just in time for the summer season, with millions of people streaming to beaches around the world, a new study shows that cleaning up pollution can pay off in a big way for seaside communities.
The research zeroed in on Southern California, showing that beaches with storm drain diversion systems attract millions more people annually, leading the researchers to the conclusion that improving the environmental quality of coastal areas through policy intervention had an effect on the way people use coastal areas.
The results of the study, published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, showed a direct correlation between increased attendance and the installation of storm drain diversions at 26 beaches in Santa Monica Bay and Malibu. (more…)
Filed under: Environment, ocean conservation, tourism, water | Tagged: beaches, Duke University, Environment, pollution controls, Santa Monica Bay | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 8, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Coal-fired power plants currently produce about 46 percent of the country’s electricity. Photo via Wikipedia and the Creative Commons.
Study compares economic sensitivity of gas and coal-fired power plants
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Proposed new limits on power plant emissions could spur a big shift away from coal and toward natural gas. The new rules on sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, nitrogen oxide and mercury may make nearly two-thirds of the nation’s coal-fired power plants as expensive to run as plants powered by natural gas, according to a new Duke University study.
“Because of the cost of upgrading plants to meet the EPA‘s pending emissions regulations and its stricter enforcement of current regulations, natural gas plants would become cost-competitive with a majority of coal plants — even if natural gas becomes more than four times as expensive as coal,” said Lincoln F. Pratson, a professor of earth and ocean sciences at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. (more…)
Filed under: energy, Environment | Tagged: coal, Duke University, energy, Environment, Natural gas, Nicholas School of the Environment | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 10, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
The graphs are apparently starting to sink in, as more Americans acknowledge the reality of global warming.
Regulations favored over market-based approach to controlling greenhouse gas pollution
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A new poll shows that market-based options for limiting greenhouse gas emissions need to be better explained to gain acceptance. Even though a growing number of Americans acknowledge climate change as a serious issue, most don’t much knowledge about the possible use of a cap-and-trade system, according to Duke University researchers who conducted the poll.
Recent weather events like Superstorm Sandy, as well as President Obama‘s renewed focus on climate has put climate change back on the table as a high-profile issue, with more Americans supporting regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and requiring utilities to switch to lower-carbon fuel sources.
Overall, 64 percent of Americans strongly or somewhat favor regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, factories and cars and requiring utilities to generate more power from “clean” low-carbon sources. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: cap and trade, climate change, Duke University, global warming, greenhouse gas regulation, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 12, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Slow response to climate change leaves researchers puzzled
A tropical parrot. PHOTO BY Luc Viatour
By Summit Voice
Tropical birds are moving to higher elevations because of climate change, but they may not be moving fast enough, according to a new study by Duke University researchers.
Instead of responding directly to temperatures changes, the birds may be tracking changes in vegetation, which can only move slowly via seed dispersal.
“This is the first study to evaluate the effects of warming on the elevation ranges of tropical birds,” said Stuart Pimm, Doris Duke Professor of conservation ecology at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment .”It provides new evidence of their response to warming, but also shows there is a delay in their response.” (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Summit County news | Tagged: climate chage, clobal warming, Duke University, Environment | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 1, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Can forests adapt to global warming?
Study shows no northward migration as warm zones expand northward
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Trees in the eastern U.S. are not adapting to global warming as quickly as expected, according to a team of Duke University scientists who looked at scores of species to try learn how they’re adapting to a changing climate.
“Warm zones have shifted northward by up to 100 kilometers in some parts of the eastern United States, but our results do not inspire confidence that tree populations are tracking those changes,” said James S. Clark, H.L. Blomquist Professor of Environment at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “This increases the risk of serious lags in tree migrations.”
“Many models have suggested that trees will migrate rapidly to higher latitudes and elevations in response to warming temperatures, but evidence for a consistent, climate-driven northward migration is essentially absent in this large analysis,” Clark said. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, forests, global warming, Summit County news | Tagged: Duke University, Environment, forest adaptation, forests, global warming, Nicholas School of the Environment, United States Forest Service | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 1, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
An area of subtropical high pressure known as the Bermuda High is growing stronger. As it wobbles to the east and west, it increases the chances of abnormally wet or abnormally dry summers in the Southeast.
Warming intensifies and shifts powerful Bermuda High, a key weather maker in the South Atlantic Basin
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Climate scientists at Duke University said their recent study of 60 years of weather records show that increasingly frequent episodes of exceptionally dry and wet conditions in the Southeast are probably linked to global warming.
The researchers say those anomalies in the region have doubled as the Bermuda High has intensified. As that high pressure area — also known as the North Atlantic Subtropical High — has grown stronger, its weather-making western edge has moved 1.22 longitudinal degrees closer to the East Coast every decade.
The Bermuda High forms every summer near Bermuda, where its powerful surface center helps steer Atlantic hurricanes and plays a major role in shaping weather in the eastern United States, Western Europe and northwestern Africa. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Atlantic Ocean, Azores High, Bermuda High, Duke University, environment global warming, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 23, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
Some alpine plants in Colorado are already feeling the heat of global warming, and researchers are trying to determine where the 'tipping point' might be. PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.
Long-term study aims to determine climate change tipping points
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Some alpine and arctic plants — including species found in the Colorado mountains — are showing negative effects of warmer conditions, with lower survival at the southern edges of their range, according to University of Wyoming ecologist Daniel Doak.
Together with Duke University researcher William Morris, Doak is conducting a long-term research project to determine how these species respond to climate change. In most years the impacts to plant populations are balanced by stronger growth in other areas. But in the warmest years of the six-year study, both survival and growth of the plants fell.
The study is based on the assumption that, as the Earth’s climate warms, species are expected to shift their geographical ranges away from the equator or to higher elevations. While scientists have already documented shifts for many plants and animals, the ranges of others seem stable. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, global warming, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: alpine plants, Duke University, Environment, global warming, National Science Foundation, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, University of Wyoming | 1 Comment »