University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
September 8, 2011
“Although the burning of natural gas emits far less carbon dioxide than coal, a new study concludes that a greater reliance on natural gas would fail to significantly slow down climate change.” Methane leakage from natural gas, along with the release of other particles from burning coal that actually cool the planet (although they are environmentally detrimental), play into the complex ways that fossil fuel burning affects the planet.
Australian Broadcasting Corp
September 7, 2011
For about the last 14 million years, waters off of the Antarctic Peninsula have been too cold to support king crab life. Recently, the water there has been warming very rapidly, and is now home to a large population of king crabs. The crabs are voracious predators, while the native fauna for Antarctica have evolved without predators for millions of years. Initial studies show changes in the natural ecosystem where the crabs have newly arrived, including less biodiversity and changing geochemistry of the ocean-floor sediment.
Associated Press/ Delaware Online
September 3, 2011
Later this month, a new experiment that involves “locking away carbon dioxide forever” with seltzer water in a deep hole will begin in Iceland. In theory, the calcium in the highly reactive basalt rock beneath 90% of Iceland will react with CO2 and create limestone permanently. The researchers, however, warn that the experiment may fall short of expectations, and advise against “looking for a climate fix from the project any year soon.”
Studies and Reports:
UNEP Finance Initiative
September 13, 2011
“In this report, the financial sector voices recommendations to international climate change negotiators on how an effective regime for forest-based climate change mitigation should be designed to mobilise private finance engagement and investment.” The report warns against the huge financial and environmental losses that could stem from a post-Kyoto climate change deal that fails to spur private sector investment into deforestation and forest degradation reduction efforts.
The human dimension of fire regimes on Earth (pdf, 1mb)
Journal of Biogeography, 2011
This article provides a historical framework to promote understanding of the development and diversification of fire regimes in order to help managers assess the role of fire in communities. It examines how humans have caused a departure from ‘natural’ background levels that vary with climate change.
Carbon Disclosure Project
According to the executive summary of the CDP’s annual request to the Global 500 companies, asking them to measure and report what climate change means to their business, “Low carbon growth is now widely accepted as fundamental to generating long term shareholder value, avoiding dangerous climate change and helping the global economy recover from recent turmoil.”
August 31, 2011
This study finds that the Nitrogen content of the bedrock beneath forests affects the amount of carbon storage of the forest’s mass. “Forests associated with N-rich parent material contain on average 42% more carbon in above-ground tree biomass and 60% more carbon in the upper 30 cm of the soil than similar sites underlain by N-poor rocks”