June 22 News: Researchers Project ‘Huge Decline’ In Emperor Penguins

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"June 22 News: Researchers Project ‘Huge Decline’ In Emperor Penguins"

A round-up of the top climate and energy stories.

Emperor penguins depend on the sea ice that rings the continent of Antarctic, so it’s no surprise that global warming, which is expected to melt some of that ice, may be bad news for these flightless, 4-foot (1.2-meter) tall birds. [Live Science]

Carlo Rubbia, who shared the 1984 Nobel Prize in physics, says global warming is a much bigger problem than most people realize. [Xinhua News]

The government’s climate change envoy has warned that failure to take more action to invest in a low carbon economy is a threat to the future “prosperity and security” of the British people. [Guardian]

The leading scientists in the field have just calculated that if all the equipment entering the world market uses the newest gases currently employed in air-conditioners, up to 27 percent of all global warming will be attributable to those gases by 2050. [New York Times]

Siemens and British Gas have stepped up their presence in the fast-expanding European smart grid market. [Business Green]

A team led by researchers at Winrock International, a U.S. environmental nonprofit organization, has developed an estimate of gross carbon emissions from tropical deforestation for the early 2000s that is considerably lower than other recently published estimates. [Eureka Alert]

The House voted to instruct conferees on the highway bill to keep language in the House measure that would block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) attempt to regulate coal ash. [The Hill]

Scientists have found evidence of a widespread loss of variety in plant communities across whole mountain landscapes. This is directly causing a reduction in the distinct identity of parts of the Scottish Highlands. [Phys.org]

EBay is continuing its green business initiatives by building the next phase of the company’s data center primarily using renewable energy. [PC Magazine]

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15 Responses to June 22 News: Researchers Project ‘Huge Decline’ In Emperor Penguins

  1. A additional roundup of today’s energy and climate news is posted at http://www.marcaccicomms.com/news/energy-and-environment-news-roundup-6-22-12/

  2. Spike says:

    I like this site, which I found for the first time today

    http://iwantsomeproof.com/

  3. Joan Savage says:

    The refrigerant/air conditioning issue is stunning. The NYT made the statement, “New room air-conditioners in the United States now use an HFC coolant called 410a, labeled “environmentally friendly” because it spares the ozone. But its warming effect is 2,100 times that of carbon dioxide.”

    I went looking for atmospheric lifetime for HFC 410a, and have yet to locate it.

    The IPCC/TEP Special Report on HFCs and PFCs is already out of date in that regard, though it has some good educational diagrams, and that recovery of the gases from equipment is usually 50% efficient.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/sroc/sroc_ts.pdf

    • colinc says:

      Homo sapiens sapiens non compos mentis ad absurdum.

    • Doug Bostrom says:

      Knight Science Journalism Tracker has a good writeup on this.

      • Joan Savage says:

        Thanks – particularly as it in turn has a link to an MIT graph that shows HFC 410a having an atmospheric half-life somewhere midway between 20 and 40 years.
        HFC 123 comes out looking better on the limited GHG and half life comparisons to a few other coolants.

        As the NYT article pointed out, the new alternatives can have other problems, some of them flammability and or toxicity.

        • Doug Bostrom says:

          Not mentioned anywhere (as far as I can see) is the improved possibility of using C02 as a refrigerant. Less absolute efficiency but the numbers are not so lousy that it’s obviously not practical.

          Better materials technology makes C02 feasible.

  4. Joan Savage says:

    Red flag warning for potential wildfire includes all of Utah, and significant parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and Nevada.

    http://radar.srh.noaa.gov/fire/

    That does not include existing wildfires, such as the huge Whitewater-Baldy fire in New Mexico.

    http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/#

  5. prokaryotes says:

    All-carbon solar cell harnesses infrared light
    New type of photovoltaic device harnesses heat radiation that most solar cells ignore. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/infrared-photovoltaic-0621.html

    MIT FTW

    • David B. Benson says:

      Unfortunately the link is broken (at least for me).

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      But, the denialist industry swears blind that solar will never become cheap nor efficient. They did it yesterday on the radio. Your report must be mistaken, or perhaps you are a ‘water-melon’.