Climate News Roundup 5/1/2015

  • CNN columnist John D. Sutter will spend the rest of the year reporting on 2 degrees C as a target for maximum global warming and its significance to the future Earth. To begin, he asks and answers 7 questions about the 2 degree value. You can signup there to receive his 2 degree newsletter.
  • Thawing permafrost may release significant amounts of carbon to the atmosphere
    in the form of carbon dioxide and methane.
    Its impacts should be considered in climate models and in efforts to keep global warming below 2 degrees C.
  • EPA’s Clean Power Plan will have a positive effect on the economy, generating more than 270,000 new jobs.
  • The Post Carbon Institute has released Part 3 of its four-part video series made in conjunction with the release of Richard Heinberg’s new book, Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels. In case you missed them, you can still watch Part 1 and Part 2.
  • China claims to have significantly reduced both its carbon dioxide emissions and its coal consumption in 2014. If confirmed and sustained this could be good news for all.
  • According to a new study about 75% of extremely hot days and 18% of extreme rain events can be attributed to climate change.
  • South Dakota regulators have delayed a decision on whether to renew the expired permit for the Keystone XL pipeline’s route through the state.
  • The Premier of Alberta in Canada hopes to turn their First Nations into pipeline proponents by letting them share in oil and gas profits.
  • We don’t normally think of climate change as triggering earthquakes, but some geologists think that it can.
  • It has been asserted that the recent report by the North American Energy Reliability Corporation (NERC) on the impacts of EPA’s Clean Power Plan on the reliability of our electricity supplies is based on several flawed assumptions.
  • Last week the U.S. government released the first Quadrennial Energy Review.
    It lays out six ways we can create a climate resilient energy infrastructure.
  • Matthew England, an Australian climate scientist, explains his recent article showing that the “hiatus” in global average surface temperature will have little effect on the long-term increase in temperature due to climate change.
  • NASA has prepared a set of interactive visuals showing the impact of climate change on Arctic sea ice, sea level, and global temperature. They also have one on how the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has changed.
  • For those who are interested in the concept of climate sensitivity, Dana Nuccitelli has an interesting piece on where things currently stand in trying to estimate it.
  • According to a new analysis, one in six of the planet’s species will go extinct if world leaders fail to act adequately on climate change.

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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