(June 9, 2011)
New York Times
A new US Geological Survey- led study shows the decrease in Rocky Mountain snowpack in the 1980’s to be the greatest decline in the last 1,000 years. By studying hundreds of thousands of tree growth rings, the researchers built long-term chronologies for locations across the Rockies. They found 2 other instances of sustained low snow pack in the Northern Rockies, however those dips were not as severe as current declines. The mountains in the study drain into the Colorado, Columbia and Missouri basins, which provide 60-80% of the water needs for over 70 million people. The study appears this week in Science.
(June 8, 2011)
Global carbon dioxide emissions rose last year at the fastest rate since in over 4 decades. China’s emissions rose 10.4% from the previous year, and accounted for 1/4 of global emissions. The US was the 2nd largest consumer. Global coal consumption experienced its greatest growth since 2003 (7.3%), hydroelectric power grew by 5.3%, nuclear output grew by 2%, and renewable energy sources grew by 15.5%. Global biofuels production grew by 13.8%.
(June 5, 2011)
Rising forest density in many countries is helping to offset the climate change caused by deforestation in other countries, a new study reveals. The report, based on a survey of 68 nations, suggests that increased forest density needs to be taken into account instead of just the area covered with forest. Measuring forest density requires more complex monitoring than measuring forest extent by photographing it from a plane or by satellite, but could yield more accurate estimates of how much carbon a forest is able to capture.
(June 2, 2011)
New York Times
The global carbon market has stalled after 5 years of rapid growth. Reasons for the decline include politics (cap and trade legislation failed in the US, Japan, and Australia), fraudulent activity and outright theft of emissions, and primarily a decreased in public and government interest along with the failure to agree on a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol, which expires next year.
Identifying Opportunities & Assessing Vulnerability: Essential Characteristics of Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments
Eliot Levine of WWF-US talks about reactive adaptation versus long-term adaptation planning, the value of doing vulnerability assessments, and valuable components to consider in assessments. In a prior article (How is Climate Change Adaptation Different from Business as Usual?), he discusses the necessity of context and recognition of adaptation as a means, and not an end.
A Guide for Tribal Leaders on U.S. Climate Change Programs
In June 2011, the Tribal Climate Change Project released a Guide for Tribal Leaders on U.S. Climate Change Programs. This guide summarizes key U.S. government programs addressing climate change, opportunities for tribal engagement and contacts for each agency. In addition to its immediate value to tribes and their partners, this information will provide important groundwork for research on understanding and improving the tribal consultation processes in the context of climate change. This guide also begins to include tribal, academic and non- governmental agencies and programs to assist tribes in addressing climate change. To download the Guide, click here: http://tribalclimate.uoregon.edu/publications/
The first global report by the organization on greenhouse gas measurement, management, and adaptation to climate change in the world’s largest cities. The 58 cities represented by the c40 Cities Climate Leadership Group account for 12% of global carbon dioxide. Download the full report (3.2mb).