"August 8 News: Some Diseased Trees Releasing ‘Flammable Concentrations’ Of Methane, Say Researchers"
A round-up of the top climate and energy news.
Researchers at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies say some diseased trees release methane at a level that may be a globally significant source of the potent heat-trapping gas, according to the study published in Geophysical Research Letters. [Summit County Citizens Voice]
Sixty trees sampled at Yale Myers Forest in northeastern Connecticut contained concentrations of methane that were as high as 80,000 times ambient levels. Normal air concentrations are less than 2 parts per million, but the Yale researchers found average levels of 15,000 parts per million inside trees.
“These are flammable concentrations,” said Kristofer Covey, the study’s lead author and a Ph.D. candidate at Yale. “Because the conditions thought to be driving this process are common throughout the world’s forests, we believe we have found a globally significant new source of this potent greenhouse gas.”
The worst drought in half a century is slashing U.S. crop and livestock production, President Obama said on Tuesday as he called on Congress to pass a farm bill that will send disaster aid to more farmers and ranchers. [Reuters]
And in many areas of the world, solving problems associated with climate change was never part of many industries’ budget considerations. One of these is the wine industry, where some curious things are happening. [Press Democrat]
The White House announced Tuesday it is inviting contract proposals from green energy firms to boost the Army’s use of renewable energy. [The Hill]
When a campaign spokesman said last week that Congress should let a tax break for wind energy producers expire at the end of the year, some Republicans were concerned the candidate had gone too far. [Washington Post]
The European Commission urged the world on Tuesday to stick with a goal of limiting climate change to a maximum temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) after Washington said the target could not be guaranteed. [Reuters]
MANILA — At least a third of this overpopulated capital and its suburbs were submerged on Tuesday as torrential rains battered the city and floodwaters poured in from almost all sides. [New York Times]