Posted on July 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
In late June, smoke from wildfires in Canada streamed down over North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. Photo courtesy NASA Earth Observatory.
New study tracks regional nuances, global trends
FRISCO — U.S. Forest Service scientists and other researchers say there has been a significant increase in the length of wildfire seasons on nearly every continent, with the exception of Australia. Fire weather seasons around the globe have increased by nearly 20 percent and the global burnable area doubled over the past 35 years.
Most vegetation types, except boreal forests, showed significant increases in the fire weather season length, the new study found. Some areas, such as the Western and Southeastern United States, Alaska, tropical and sub-tropical South America and Eastern Africa and large parts of Eurasia show a steady lengthening of the fire season from 1979-2013. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Environment, forest fires, forests, global warming, wildfires | Tagged: climate change, Environment, forest fires, global warming, greenhouse gases, Wildfires | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 1, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Increasingly corrosive ocean waters pose a serious threat to shell-building species and other marine life.
‘Future generations will look back and wonder why we didn’t do everything we could to save the world’s oceans …’
FRISCO — Citing the growing threat to the world’s oceans, environmental advocates want the federal government to regulate carbon dioxide under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
The regulations have been used to limit emissions of other harmful chemicals, including chlorofluorocarbons, PCBs and asbestos.
“Time’s running out to avoid a mass extinction of wildlife in our oceans,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “It may not look like a toxic chemical, but when there’s too much CO2 in the ocean, it turns seawater corrosive and dissolves the protective shells that marine animals need to survive,” Sakashita said. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases, Marine biology, ocean acidification, ocean conservation | Tagged: carbon dioxide, CO2, Environment, greenhouse gases, ocean acidification, oceans, Toxic Substances Control Act. | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 28, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Tar sands development in Canada.
Study bolsters arguments against more tar sands exploitation
FRISCO —A new study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory will add fuel to controversy over development of tar sands oil.
The analyis shows that gasoline and diesel refined from Canadian oil sands release about 20 percent more carbon into the atmosphere over its lifetime than fuel from conventional domestic crude sources.
The research, which was conducted in collaboration with Stanford University and the University of California at Davis, shows some variability in the increase of greenhouse gas, depending on the type of extraction and refining methods. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment | Tagged: climate change, Environment, greenhouse gases, Keystone XL pipeline, Tar sands oil | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 23, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Oil and gas operations on public and tribal lands produce 21 percent of national emissions from gas production.
Study says easy fixes available to stop methane leaks
FRISCO — Methane emissions from oil and gas operations on federally managed public lands and tribal lands totaled more than 1 million tons in 2013, accounting for about 12 percent of total methane emissions across the U.S.
That methane was worth about $360 million at current gas prices, showing how oil and gas companies are squandering a valuable public resources and polluting the atmosphere, according to a new economic study released by the Environmental Defense Fund. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, climate change, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, global warming, oil drilling | Tagged: climate change, Environment, greenhouse gases, methane pollution, public lands | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Trucking industry cautiously supportive of new rules
There are a lot of trucks on the road these days, and they emit a lot of greenhouse gases. Proposed new federal rules could cut those emissions by 1 billion metric tons and amount to huge fuel savings for the trucking industry. @bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — The Obama administration says its proposed new fuel efficiency standards for trucks will cut CO2 emissions by 1 billion metric tons — about equal to the greenhouse gas emissions from all domestic energy use in the U.S.
The new rules would cut fuel costs by about $170 billion, and reduce oil consumption by up to 1.8 billion barrels, more than a year’s worth of imports from OPEC. Continue reading
Filed under: climate change, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Environment, EPA, global warming, greenhouse gases, heavy truck fuel efficiency standards, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, trucking industry | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 4, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Feed the world, and cut greenhouse gases? It can be done, scientists say. Photo courtesy USDA.
China study shows benefits of switching to sustainable, organic agriculture
FRISCO — A large-scale shift to sustainable organic farming could dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions — and improve soil quality and crop resistance to pests at the same time, according to a new study from China.
Since about a third of all global greenhouse gas emissions are produced by agriculture, scientists have been taking a close look at how to manage the production of food in a way that reduces the global warming footprint. With best practices in place, agriculture could become a net carbon sink instead of a source of heat-trapping pollution, some scientists assert. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, climate change, Environment, global warming | Tagged: agriculture, climate change, global warming, greenhouse gases, Organic farming | 3 Comments »
Posted on April 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Global methane leaks totaled 3.5 trillion cubic feet in 2012
*More Summit Voice stories on methane
FRISCO — Reducing methane leakage from drilling sites, pipelines and storage tanks represents a huge low-cost opportunity in the battle to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report that says 3.5 trillion cubic feet of gas — worth about $30 billion — escaped from oil and gas sector operations in 2012.
The majority of oil and gas methane leakage comes from a handful of countries, with the top seven emitting countries responsible for over half of the global total in 2012. Despite the huge scale of the methane loss, very few have taken steps to regulate leakage from the oil and gas sector, or set specific goals to reduce emissions in the future. But the benefits of doing so would be considerable, according to the report.
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, climate change, Environment, global warming | Tagged: fracking, global warming, greenhouse gases, methane, Natural gas, oil and gas | 2 Comments »