"Energy and Global Warming News for April 20: La Ni±a conditions end"
The combined global land and ocean surface average temperature for March 2009 was the 10th warmest since records began in 1880, according to an analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.
Even bigger news, Wunderblog reports, “La Ni±a conditions end“:
If we stay ENSO neutral as the models predict, then the rest of the year is poised to be back on the very warm side (see “NOAA: Eighth warmest winter on record, this summer may be a hot one“) If we shift over to an El Ni±o, then all bets are off.
E&E Daily (Subs. Req’d)
House Democrats will begin the sprint toward global warming legislation this week with a series of hearings featuring high-ranking Obama administration officials and dozens of other witnesses to discuss the expansive climate and energy measure unveiled last month.
The Energy and Commerce Committee will delve into the details of the 648-page draft bill introduced by Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.).
President Obama and Democratic congressional leaders are hoping to finalize legislation this year that would establish a program requiring a mandatory cap on greenhouse gas emissions.
Watch hearings here.
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is scheduled to make her first congressional appearance tomorrow since her confirmation when she testifies before a Senate panel about developing a “green” work force.
Members of the Senate Housing, Education, Labor and Pension Committee are expected to question Solis about the Obama administration’s strategy for training American workers in green skills and for using the $500 million included in the federal stimulus package for such training.
“This committee hearing will examine how the administration plans to help prepare workers for these jobs and what the missing policy and resource tools to support that agenda are,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chairwoman of the Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee, in a statement.
If you saw $10 on the sidewalk, would you pick it up? Of course. And if doing so would help the economy and the environment, you might be even quicker.
A proposal before Congress offers businesses and consumers the chance to pocket the money, while creating jobs and helping ease global warming.
Lawmakers this coming week begin hearings on an energy and global warming bill that could revolutionize how the country produces and uses energy. It also could reduce, for the first time, the pollution responsible for heating up the planet.
E&E Daily (Subs. Req’d)
Another step has been made towards a national grid: a $1.7 billion, 11-year project will build transmission lines through the state of Minnesota.
A series of high-voltage transmission lines that will help ease congestion and carry remote wind power to population centers was approved by regulators yesterday, paving the way for construction of the $1.7 billion CapX 2020 project.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission granted a certificate of need for three 345-kilovolt lines planned by a group of 11 regional utilities led by Xcel Energy and Great River Energy. Part of the approval requires at least one of the lines to carry wind power, easing environmentalists’ concerns the lines would only make it easier for new coal-fired plants to be built.
Says Paul Gillin, the operator of the Web site Newspaper Death Watch (itself a potent sign of things): In an electronically mediated world, where frictionless access to information is the norm, “the high fixed cost of print publishing makes the major metro newspaper business model unsustainable.”
New calculations made by marine chemists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) suggest that low-oxygen “dead zones” in the ocean could expand significantly over the next century. These predictions are based on the fact that, as more and more carbon dioxide dissolves from the atmosphere into the ocean, marine animals will need more oxygen to survive.
Our wasteful habits wouldn’t matter much if there were just a few of us””a Neanderthal hunting band could have discarded six plastic water bottles apiece every day with no real effect except someday puzzling anthropologists. But the volumes we manage are something else.
VICTORIA’S potential role in developing divisive “clean coal” technology will be underlined this week when scientists announce 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas has been successfully stored underground in the Otway Basin.
The news comes a year after Australia’s first greenhouse burial trial began removing naturally occurring gas from a well, compressing it into a liquid and injecting it in a depleted gas field more than two kilometres beneath farmland.
The Murray river is part of a network of waterways that irrigates the south-eastern corner of Australia, but after six years of severe drought, the worst dry spell ever, its slow moving waters are now almost stagnant.
Water levels in the Murray in the first three months of this year were the lowest on record and the government agency that administers the river, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), said the next three months could be just as grim.
With meteorologists predicting another year of below-average rainfall, the MDBA, is bracing for worse to come.
At first, they look like two completely separate problems from hell imposed on humanity by global warming:
Problem One: Humanity is sliding into water bankruptcy in the American Southwest, China, India.
As mountain glaciers vanish worldwide, many millions of drought refugees — desperately looking for water and food — are thought by experts to be quite possible in several regions of the planet even within the next 20 years.
Problem Two: it’s urgent all nations make an almost unimaginably fast switch to alternative energy immediately — including a major retooling of mankind’s energy generators and conduits– in order to drastically cut greenhouse emissions.
Compiled by Max Luken and Carlin Rosengarten