Tiempo Climate Newswatch
Week ending August 7th 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.
A scientist with the United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), Charles Monnett, whose work has contributed to concern regarding the potential impact of global warming on the polar bear, has been suspended pending an investigation into "integrity issues." In 2006, Monnett and a colleague, Jeffrey Gleason, published a peer-reviewed report of sightings of drowned polar bears in open waters following a storm. The work featured in the documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Polar bears are now classified by the United States as a threatened species due to climate change.
An official complaint has been filed on Monnett's behalf by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). "You have to wonder," said Jeff Ruch, PEER executive director, "this is the guy in charge of all the science in the Arctic and he is being suspended just now as an arm of the interior department is getting ready to make its decision on offshore drilling in the Arctic seas." According to PEER, Monnett has not been informed of any specific charge or question relating to the scientific integrity of his work and the probe is being conducted by criminal investigators with no scientific training or background. "Ever since this paper was published, Dr Monnett has been subjected to escalating official harassment, culminating in his recent virtual house arrest," Ruch said. The head of BOEMRE, Michael Bromwich, has told agency staff in Alaska by email that the suspension is the result of new information regarding a separate subject.
Detailed data regarding the greenhouse gas contribution of dairy farming have been collected by a team of scientists from the United States Department of Agriculture. "We've calculated some of the first on-farm emission rates for western large-scale dairies, along with emissions per cow and per unit of milk production," said April Leytem from the Agricultural Research Service.
Emission rates were measured at a commercial dairy farm for open lots, a wastewater pond and a compost yard. The open lots were responsible for the highest levels of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions, generating 80 per cent of the carbon dioxide and 57 per cent of the nitrous oxide. The lots also generated 74 per cent of the facility's methane emissions during the spring. "Dairy producers have been very supportive of this work," Leytem commented. "Now we want to start improving models that state and federal regulators can use to generate estimates for on-farm emissions from commercial dairy facilities."
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), meeting in Ghana, has called on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to adopt agreed methodology for measuring the carbon footprint of information and communications technology (ICT) equipment, such as mobile 'phones, and its inclusion in national adaptation and mitigation plans. This, it is noted, would provide an incentive to the ICT industry to invest in developing countries, help reduce the digital divide and at the same time help fight climate change.
The ITU Call for Action also notes the potential for ICT to assist in adaptation efforts and the critical role that it can play in providing education and information through broadcasting, the internet and other means of communication. The ITU has launched a model project in Ghana, sponsored by Research in Motion, to consider how ICTs could be used to help Africa adapt to the effects of climate change and how telecommunications operations can reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions. The project will pilot the ITU methodology for environmental assessment in the sector.
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