Daily Archives: December 1, 2012

Protest in Qatar calls for climate action

Published on Dec 1, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish

Hundreds of people have gathered in Doha to press negotiators at UN climate change talks being held in the Qatari capital to urgently tackle global warming.
The activists, who came from several countries in the region, called for negotiators – and their own national leaders – to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Al Jazeera’s Tarek Bazley reports from Doha.

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Kevin Anderson: Cabot Institute Annual Lecture 2012

Published on Nov 22, 2012 by ihmbristol

Cabot Institute Annual Lecture 2012

http://transitionculture.org/2012/11/27/kevin-anderson-real-clothes-for-the-emperor-facing-the-challenges-of-climate-change/

Real clothes for the Emperor: Facing the challenges of climate change
Kevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change, University of Manchester

Cabot Institute
University of Bristol

InHouse Media 2012
Producer: Thibault Jeangout
Editor: Moujan Mirdamadi
Production Assistants: Jamie Ilett-Jones and Steve Hartill

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Cyprus International Institute (CII) (Harvard School of Public Health) http://Cyprus-Institute.us

The “Transition Culture” movement and Rob Hopkins

Transition-Handbook

http://transitionculture.org/
Rob Hopkins brings humour, imagination and vision to the great challenges of our time, and argues that what is needed, above all else, at this time in history, is “engaged optimism”. The rapidly-spreading Transition movement which he was pivotal in establishing, is an embodiment of that. Nicholas Crane, presenter of BBC2’s recent ‘Town’ series, recently referred to Transition as “the biggest urban brainwave of the century”.

He is the co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and of the Transition Network. This grew out of many years experience in education, teaching permaculture and natural building, and setting up the first 2 year full-time permaculture course in the world, at Kinsale Further Education College in Ireland, as well as co-ordinating the first eco-village development in Ireland to be granted planning permission.

He is author of ‘The Transition Handbook: from oil dependence to local resilience’, which has been published in a number of languages, and which was voted the 5th most popular book taken on holiday by MPs during the summer of 2008, and more recently of ‘The Transition Companion: making your community more resilient in uncertain times’, published in October 2011. He publishes the blog www.transitionculture.org, recently voted ‘the 4th best green blog in the UK’(!). He tweets as @robintransition, and recently came 11th in the PeerIndex-driven Sustainability Drivers List.

He was the winner of the 2008 Schumacher Award, is an Ashoka Fellow and a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, served 3 years as a Trustee of the Soil Association, and was named by the Independent as one of the UK’s top 100 environmentalists. He is the winner of the 2009 Observer Ethical Award for the Grassroots Campaigner category, and in December 2009 was voted the Energy Saving Trust/Guardian’s ‘Green Community Hero’. In February 2012, Rob and the Transition Network were among NESTA and The Observer’s list of ‘Britain’s 50 New Radicals’.

Further sources

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Cyprus International Institute (CII) (Harvard School of Public Health) http://Cyprus-Institute.us
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Forks Over Knives – Official Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=O7ijukNzlUg

Uploaded by ForksOverKnives on Nov 18, 2010

and

http://www.forksoverknives.com/ | For showtimes, updates, newsletter sign up and more information.

The feature film Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV
Cyprus International Institute (CII)
(Harvard School of Public Health)
   http://Cyprus-Institute.us

Sea-level Rise Outpaces Expert Predictions

http://www.enn.com/top_stories/article/45270
From: David A Gabel, ENN
Published November 28, 2012 08:56 AM

http://www.enn.com/top_stories/article/45270

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected an annual sea level rise last year in 2011 of 2 millimeters per year. According to new satellite data, there appears to be a stark difference between their projections and reality. Sea-levels are rising 60 percent faster than predicted, at a rate of 3.2 millimeters per year. Global temperatures, on the other hand, are continuing to rise at the consistent pace which IPCC predicted. The study shows that the increased rate in sea-level rise is not significantly affected by internal variability in Earth’s climate system, but is rather reflective of a general trend.  [Sea-level Rise image via Shutterstock]

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The research was published in the Institute of Physics’ journal, Environmental Research Letters, and conducted by researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Tempo Analytics, and Labatoire d’Etudes en Geophysique et Oceanographie Spatiales. They believe that their findings will shed a light on the importance of tracking past predictions, especially since these IPCC predictions are frequently used by decision makers.

Satellite data from the last 20 years on global temperatures and sea-levels were analyzed and compared with the IPCC prediction. The general warming trend of 0.16 degrees C per decade was in line with the IPCC projection. This was even after short-term phenomena were excluded, such as solar variations, volcanic eruptions, and El Nino/Southern Oscillation.

To measure sea-level, satellites bounced radar off the water surface. This is a much more accurate method than tide gauges because the satellites have near-global coverage, and the tide gauges are only along the coast. The tide gauges are also influenced by non-climate factors like ocean currents and wind.

The result of their analysis was a sea-level rise rate that is 60 percent faster than previously predicted.

According to lead author of the study, Stefan Rahmstorf, “This study shows once again that the IPCC is far from alarmist, but in fact has under-estimated the problem of climate change. That applies not just for sea-level rise, but also to extreme events and the Arctic sea-ice loss.”

The article was published in the journal, Environmental Research Letters

…(more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Permafrost Carbon

http://www.enn.com/top_stories/article/45271
From: Andy Soos, ENN
Published November 28, 2012 10:34 AM

Permafrost

Permafrost is defined as subsurface material that remains below 0o C (32o F) for at least two consecutive years. Because permafrost soils remain frozen for long periods of time, they store large amounts of carbon and other nutrients within their frozen framework during that time. Permafrost represents a large carbon reservoir that is seldom considered when determining global terrestrial carbon reservoirs. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane emissions from thawing permafrost could amplify warming due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This amplification is called the permafrost carbon feedback. Permafrost contains about 1700 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon in the form of frozen organic matter, almost twice as much carbon as currently in the atmosphere. If the permafrost thaws, the organic matter will thaw and decay, potentially releasing large amounts of CO2 and methane into the atmosphere. This organic material was buried and frozen thousands of years ago and its release into the atmosphere is irreversible on human time scales. Thawing permafrost could emit 43 to 135 Gt of CO2 equivalent by 2100 and 246 to 415 Gt of CO2 equivalent by 2200. Uncertainties are large, but emissions from thawing permafrost could start within the next few decades and continue for several centuries, influencing both short-term climate (before 2100) and long-term climate (after 2100).

RELATED ARTICLES

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Galileo and Jupiter’s Moons

Uploaded by Jack Fuller on Jan 4, 2010

In 1610, when Galileo first pointed his newly built telescope toward the sky, no one had ever had the capability to see distant objects in any detail, and he had no idea what to expect. Focusing on the Moon first, he discovered that its surface was not smooth as people had previously thought, but covered with craters and mountains not unlike those on Earth.
Next, Galileo turned his attention to another bright object in the night sky — the planet Jupiter. Today, we know quite a bit about Jupiter. With a diameter about 11 times greater than Earth’s, Jupiter is the largest planet around our Sun. It is so enormous that its mass is more than twice the combined mass of all the other planets in our solar system. Composed mostly of gaseous hydrogen and helium, Jupiter is a gas giant. It has a trademark banded look that results from its turbulent atmosphere, and its Great Red Spot is a giant storm that has been raging for centuries. Jupiter also has a faint ring system and, as of May 2005, 63 known moons surround it.
In a very short time, Galileo discovered Jupiter’s four largest moons — Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, now called the Galilean moons. Each moon has unique characteristics that make it stand out in the solar system. For example, Io is the most volcanically active object in the solar system. Europa may have an ocean of liquid water beneath its icy surface and may be the best candidate for another habitable world. Callisto is one of the most heavily cratered bodies in the solar system, and Ganymede, which is even larger than the planet Mercury, is the largest moon.
The four Galilean moons were the first celestial bodies to be discovered with a telescope. Although Galileo at first thought they were fixed stars, his continued observations showed that their positions changed on a nightly basis. Galileo soon recognized that these new objects were satellites of Jupiter. The discovery that celestial objects could revolve around something other than Earth provided strong evidence in support of the heliocentric theory.

The Teachers’ Domain Earth and Space Science Collection is a collaboration between WGBH Educational Foundation (WGBH Educational Productions, the WGBH Media Library, and WGBH Interactive) and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), Digital Library for Earth System Education Program Center (DLESE Program Center). Major funding for this project is provided by the National Science Foundation. Teachers’ Domain is a Pathways project of the National Science Digital Library.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0226184. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
© 2006 WGBH Educational Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

WATER ICE FOUND ON PLANET MERCURY BY MESSENGER SPACECRAFT CLUE TO ORIGEN OF LIFE IN UNIVERSE

Published on Nov 30, 2012 by andy stack

THE MESSENGER SPACECRAFT HAS DISCOVERED WATER ICE ON MERCURY THE CLOSEST PLANET TO THE SUN. SCIENTISTS AT JHONS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SAY THAT THIS WATER ICE IS A FOOT AND A HALF THICK AND IS SO MUCH VOLUME THAT IT COULD COVER AN ARE THE SIZE OF WASHINGTON DC UP TO TWO MILES DOWNWARDS. THIS MAY NOT INDICATE THAT THESE IS LIFE ON MERCURY BUT IT PROVIDES A CLUE AS TO HOW WATER AND ICE MAY HAVE ARRIVED AT OTHER PLANETS THEY THINK IT MAY HAVE ARRIVED BY A COMET OR ASTROID STRIKE. the Measurements by the Neutron Spectrometer on the MESSENGER spacecraft show that decreases in the flux of epithermal and fast neutrons from Mercury’s north polar region are consistent with water ice in permanently shadow region. The neutron data indicat that Mercury radar-bright polar deposit contain, on average, a hydrogen-rich layer more than ten of centimeters thick beneath a surficial layer 10 to 20 cm thick that is less rich in hydrogen. The buried layer must be nearly pure water ice. The upper layer contains less than 25 wt.% water-equivalent hydrogen. The total mass of water at Mercury’s poles is to be 2 × 10 power 16 to 10power 18 g and is consistent with deliver by comet or volatile-rich asteroid. The findings are from NASA’s Mercury orbiting probe Messenger three scientific papers Thursday by journal Science.The frozen water is in regions of Mercury north pole that are in shadow impact craters. the south pole ice as well, though there are no data to support it. Messenger orbits closer to the north pole than the south.”If you add it all up, you have on the order of 100 billion to 1 trillion metric tons of ice,” said David Lawrence of the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. “The uncertainty on that number is just how deep it goes.”The ice is thought to be at least 1½ feet deep and possibly as much as 65 feet deep. radar measurements taken from Earth have suggest the presence of ice at Mercury poles. scientists know for sure thanks to Messenger, the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury.The water almost certainly came from comets, or asteroids. Ice is found at the surface well as buried under dark material.many people at jpl were holding back tears when the result was in and one man was openly weeping.

Cambridge Climate Research Associates
http://Climate-Research.Com http://Climate-Research.TV
Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Polar Ice-Melt Causes Sea-Level Rise, Satellites Find

Published on Nov 30, 2012 by VideoFromSpace

Sifting data from 11 satellites, experts have determined that nearly a 1/2 inch (11mm) of sea level rise can be attributed to melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica since 1992 . This accounts for 20% of sea level rise during that period.

Cambridge Climate Research Associates
http://Climate-Research.Com http://Climate-Research.TV
Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Water-Ice On Mercury – How It Was Found

Published on Nov 29, 2012 by VideoFromSpace

It has been estimated that there may be up to 1 trillion metric tons of water ice on Mercury. Scientist David Lawerence explains how NASA’s MESENGER mission’s neutron spectroscopy data contributed to the find.

Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120