Daily Archives: December 18, 2014

Hackathon CCAFS COP20

E120, e145, e130,

Chomsky Tells Funny Story About Bush

E120, e130, e145,

Chris Hedges “Corporations are Psycopathic Organisms”

E120, e130, e146,

Can Democracy Solve Climate Change? – Political/Religious Leaders -Rev. Jesse Jackson

Why Poverty

Published on Dec 18, 2014

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Greenland ice may be melting faster than predicted

Date: 16-Dec-14
Author: Ben Gruber

Scientists say sea levels may rise faster than previously thought as they gain new insights about the rate at which the Greenland Ice Sheet melts into the sea. In two new studies, researchers found that the mechanics involved in ice loss are more complex than what current models account for. Ben Gruber reportbal Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Food, Land, Population and the U.S. Economy



Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

The World Cobbled Together a Climate Deal in Peru. What Happens Next?

December 16, 2014, by Tim McDonnell, This post first appeared at Mother Jones.

US Secretary of State John Kerry addresses the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Climate negotiators from nearly 200 countries are on their way home from Lima, Peru, after a series of last-minute compromises produced an agreement that, for the first time, calls on all countries to develop plans to limit their greenhouse gas emissions.

As the two weeks of global warming talks drew to a close, familiar fault lines emerged between wealthy countries — which are disproportionately responsible for causing climate change — and developing countries, which will be disproportionately impacted by it. In the end, both sides made sacrifices. Developing nations failed to convince the United States and other economic powerhouses to commit cash to fund climate adaptation efforts around the world. And the US lost a battle over a one-word change that made guidelines for countries’ climate commitments optional instead of mandatory. As a result, the agreement came out weaker than climate hawks had hoped for, because countries get plenty of wiggle room to potentially scale back their promises.

“I would say that whereas at the end of last week, the draft agreement was close to unambiguously positive, over the weekend it did get watered down,” said Harvard environmental economist Robert Stavins. (You can read his more detailed analysis here).

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

BBC News – Volume of world’s oldest water estimated

17 December 2014 Last updated at 20:25 ET

The researchers dated some of the deep water to between one and 2.5bn years old
Related Stories

The world’s oldest water, which is locked deep within the Earth’s crust, is present at a far greater volume than was thought, scientists report.

The liquid, some of which is billions of years old, is found many kilometres beneath the ground.

Researchers estimate there is about 11m cubic kilometres (2.5m cu miles) of it – more water than all the world’s rivers, swamps and lakes put together.

The study was presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.

It has also been published in the journal Nature.

The team found that the water was reacting with the rock to release hydrogen: a potential food source.

It means that great swathes of the deep crust could be harbouring life.

‘Sleeping giant’

Prof Barbara Sherwood Lollar, from the University of Toronto, in Canada, said: “This is a vast quantity of rock that we’ve sometimes overlooked both in terms of its ability to tell us about past processes – the rocks are so ancient they contain records of fluid and the atmosphere from the earliest parts of Earth’s history.

“But simultaneously, they also provide us with information about the chemistry that can support life.

“And that’s why we refer to it as ‘the sleeping giant’ that has been rumbling away but hasn’t really been characterised until this point.”

The crust that forms the continents contains some of the oldest rocks on our planet.

But as scientists probe ever deeper – through boreholes and mines – they’re discovering water that is almost as ancient.

The oldest water, discovered 2.4km down in a deep mine in Canada, has been dated to between one billion and 2.5bn years old.

Deep surprises

Prof Chris Ballentine, from the University of Oxford, UK, said: “The biggest surprise for me was how old this water is.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Can organic crops compete with industrial agriculture?

By Sarah Yang, Media Relations | December 9, 2014 BERKELEY —

A systematic overview of more than 100 studies comparing organic and conventional farming finds that the crop yields of organic agriculture are higher than previously thought. The study, conducted by UC Berkeley researchers, also found that certain practices could further shrink the productivity gap between organic crops and conventional farming.

The yields of organic farms, particularly those growing multiple crops, compare well to those of chemically intensive agriculture, according to a new UC Berkeley analysis. (Photo by Kristin Stringfield)

The study, to be published online Wednesday, Dec. 10, in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, tackles the lingering perception that organic farming, while offering an environmentally sustainable alternative to chemically intensive agriculture, cannot produce enough food to satisfy the world’s appetite.

“In terms of comparing productivity among the two techniques, this paper sets the record straight on the comparison between organic and conventional agriculture,” said the study’s senior author, Claire Kremen, professor of environmental science, policy and management and co-director of the Berkeley Food Institute. “With global food needs predicted to greatly increase in the next 50 years, it’s critical to look more closely at organic farming, because aside from the environmental impacts of industrial agriculture, the ability of synthetic fertilizers to increase crop yields has been declining.”

The researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 115 studies — a dataset three times greater than previously published work — comparing organic and conventional agriculture. They found that organic yields are about 19.2 percent lower than conventional ones, a smaller difference than in previous estimates..

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Understanding and Overcoming Gaps in Measurement, Modeling and Regulation of Climate Policy

Yale University

Published on Dec 17, 2014

Understanding and Overcoming Gaps in Measurement, Modeling and Regulation to Implement Meaningful Climate Policy

A panel discussion is preceded by three short presentations: Trude Storelvmo explains how aerosols, principally sulfates, mask up to half the effect of greenhouse warming, and how their removal will likely exacerbate warming trends. Dan Lashof, then the Director of Climate and Clean Air Program at the NRDC (and now the Chief Operating Officer of NexGen Climate America) discusses the EPA’s CO2 emissions reduction plans, and Cliff Davidson, presents research on people’s collective responses to efforts to induce them to curb energy consuming behaviors.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice