Climate News Roundup 4/24/2015

  • Several large insurance companies are calling upon the Federal Government to revamp its disaster relief system to put more emphasis on preparedness before a disaster.
  • Lester Brown and colleagues at the Earth Policy Institute have released a new book entitled The Great Transition.
  • John Cook and colleagues at the University of Queensland have a developed a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) entitled “Making Sense of Climate Science Denial” that is available free through EdX. A description of it can be found at RealClimate.
  • Ivy Main’s blog reports on the Virginia Attorney General’s opinion letter concerning the 2014 Virginia law prohibiting HOAs from banning solar panels. The short answer is that they can’t do it unless the prohibition was written into the founding documents of the HOA. She also reports on Gov. McAuliffe’s comments at a forum on climate change in Richmond on Earth Day.
  • Chesapeake Climate Action Network has launched a new website entitled domtruth. Check it out.
  • A new report finds that China could feasibly get 60% of its energy and 85% of its electricity from renewables by 2050.
  • March 2015 set the record for the hottest March ever recorded and the period Jan-March 2015 set the record for the warmest Jan-March ever.
  • The Dutch have developed a way to retrofit existing housing in 10 days to make it net zero energy housing. The occupants don’t even have to vacate during the retrofit.
  • Peter Sinclair has a disturbing new video about Totten Glacier in East Antarctica. Recent research indicates that it is being destabilized by warm ocean waters coming under it, much like two glaciers in West Antarctica.
  • Climate scientists have a difficult enough time communicating their results without people misinterpreting them. Read how one climate scientist has had to work to clear up misuse of his findings.
  • One of the weakest links in climate models is how clouds will influence future warming. Recent research provides new insights and the findings are not encouraging: clouds can amplify global warming.
  • In the April 3 Weekly Roundup of Climate News I gave you a link to a new book on climate change economics by Wagner and Weitzman. In this post they explain how rapidly the likelihood of exceeding a temperature increase of 6 degrees C goes up as the average temperature increase goes up. Scary, but well worth reading.
  • Panelists at the Electric Power Conference and Exhibition gave their opinions on how the electric power industry can meet the goals of the Clean Power Plan. The plan is achievable, but the industry faces large challenges in meeting it.
  • Planting forests in places where they haven’t been before can help to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A recent study indicates a positive impact from such efforts, although there are some potential negative impacts as well.
  • A Federal Court of Appeals today dismissed a challenge to the fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for big trucks.

These news items have been compiled by Les Grady, member and former chair of the CAAV steering committee. He is a licensed professional engineer (retired) who taught environmental engineering at Purdue and Clemson Universities and engaged in private practice with CH2M Hill, the world’s largest environmental engineering consulting firm. Since his retirement in 2003 he has devoted much of his time to the study of climate science and the question of global warming and makes himself available to speak to groups about this subject. More here.

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