Tiempo Climate Newswatch
Week ending February 13th 2011
The Blue Carbon Portal brings together the latest knowledge and resources on the role of oceans as carbon sinks.
WalkIt provides walking routes between user-defined points in selected British cities, with an estimate of the carbon savings.
Joto Afrika is a series of printed briefings and online resources about adapting to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa.
The CoolClimate Art Contest presents iconic images that address the impact of climate change.
About the Cyberlibrary
The Tiempo Climate Cyberlibrary was developed by Mick Kelly and Sarah Granich on behalf of the Stockholm Environment Institute and the International Institute for Environment and Development, with sponsorship from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
While every effort is made to ensure that information on this site, and on other sites that are referenced here, is accurate, no liability for loss or damage resulting from use of this information can be accepted.
Malaysia is felling an average of two per cent a year of Sarawak's rainforest, a report from Wetlands International finds. Most of the land is being converted to palm oil plantations. The analysis of satellite imagery shows that Malaysia is destroying forests three time faster than all of Asia combined. "We never knew exactly what was happening in Malaysia and Borneo," said Alex Kaat from Wetlands International. "Now we see there is a huge expansion [of deforestation] with annual rates that are beyond imagination."
Indonesia has admitted that a large number of mine and plantation companies are operating illegally on the island of Borneo. A presidential task force has found that violations of forest protection laws had "become widespread in a number of regions, especially in Central Kalimantan province." A University of Indonesia study concluded last year that the Indonesian military acted as coordinator, financier and facilitator for illegal loggers in Borneo. The forestry ministry has promised to cooperate with the Corruption Eradication Commission to enforce the law. A two-year moratorium on the clearing of natural forest and peatland was due to begin January 1st.
A new study by American scientists suggests that the higher frequency of drought over East Africa experienced over the past two decades is likely to persist as global warming develops. "Global temperatures are predicted to continue increasing, and we anticipate that average precipitation totals in Kenya and Ethiopia will continue decreasing or remain below the historical average," said contributor Chris Funk from the United States Geological Survey.
The proposed mechanism linking drought to global warming is that warmer air and increased humidity over the Indian Ocean is generating more frequent rainfall locally as the warm air rises. Having lost its moisture, the dry air then travels westward, descending over east Africa and causing drought conditions in Ethiopia and Kenya. "The decreased rainfall in Eastern Africa is most pronounced in the March to June season, when substantial rainfall usually occurs," Funk said. "Although drought is one reason for food shortages, it is exacerbated by stagnating agricultural development and continued population growth."
Global investment in solar photovoltaic (PV) technology could double by 2015 if governments put in place financial incentives and policies to achieve grid parity, according to a report from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) and Greenpeace International.
"Solar photovoltaic technology has, for many years now, shown increased power efficiencies and cost reductions," EPIA president Ingmar Wilhelm said. "Today's cost predictions, driven also by economies of scale in light of global photovoltaic capacity, totalling 40,000MW in 2010, show that the technology is on the brink of an economic breakthrough." To achieve grid parity, when the cost of PV becomes at least as cheap as conventional power, the report concludes that governments must, amongst other things, establish appropriate and flexible feed-in-tariffs.
General Electric plans to cut solar installation costs by half
Project 90 by 2030 supports South African school children and managers reduce their carbon footprint through its Club programme
Bath & North East Somerset Council in the United Kingdom has installed smart LED carriageway lighting that automatically adjusts to light and traffic levels
The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Public Gardens Association are mounting an educational exhibit at Longwood Gardens showing the link between temperature and planting zones
The energy-efficient Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers hotel is powered by renewable and sustainable sources, including integrated solar photovoltaics and guest-powered bicycles
El Hierro, one of the Canary Islands, plans to generate 80 per cent of its energy from renewable sources
The green roof on the Remarkables Primary School in New Zealand reduces stormwater runoff, provides insulation and doubles as an outdoor classroom
The Weather Info for All project aims to roll out up to five thousand automatic weather observation stations throughout Africa
SolSource turns its own waste heat into electricity or stores it in thermal fabrics, harnessing the sun's energy for cooking and electricity for low-income families
The Wave House uses vegetation for its architectural and environmental qualities, and especially in terms of thermal insulation
The Mbale compost-processing plant in Uganda produces cheaper fertilizer and reduces greenhouse gas emissions
At Casa Grande, Frito-Lay has reduced energy consumption by nearly a fifth since 2006 by, amongst other things, installing a heat recovery system to preheat cooking oil
Tiempo Climate Newswatch