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 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 at 03:33:22 PM EST
Climate change evident across Europe, confirming urgent need for adaptation
ScienceDaily (Nov. 23, 2012) -- Climate change is affecting all regions in Europe, causing a wide range of impacts on society and the environment. Further impacts are expected in the future, potentially causing high damage costs, according to the latest assessment published by the European Environment Agency this week.

The report, 'Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2012' finds that higher average temperatures have been observed across Europe as well as decreasing precipitation in southern regions and increasing precipitation in northern Europe. The Greenland ice sheet, Arctic sea ice and many glaciers across Europe are melting, snow cover has decreased and most permafrost soils have warmed.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 at 03:33:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by asdf on Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 at 06:56:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Care should be taken in reading this graph: it tracks departures from the average temperature, not change in the average temperature.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Nov 24th, 2012 at 02:04:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That looks very very exceptional. But, year-to-date says little: a diagram with time on the X axis and both current-month and 12-month running average deviation from the 20th-century average might be more telling.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Nov 24th, 2012 at 04:09:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that's just the US. If you were to correct for the quantity of hot air blown by Mitt Romney throughout the year, I think you'd find it would have been one of the coolest recorded years.

See? You don't need global warming to explain that deviation.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Nov 24th, 2012 at 10:54:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Energy deal - but no target to cut Britain's carbon emissions - UK Politics - UK - The Independent
Legally binding commitments to cut the amount of carbon that power stations can emit will not be included in the new Energy Bill following a bitter row within the Coalition.

...This will be seen as a partial victory for Mr Osborne who feared that setting a rigid target now could add a new burden on industry. However, he failed in his efforts to block the introduction of a target altogether. The Chancellor will also publish plans next month on how to boost gas production.

John Sauven, the executive director of Greenpeace, said: "By failing to agree to any carbon target for the power sector until after the next election, David Cameron has allowed a militant tendency within his own ranks to derail the Energy Bill. It's a blatant assault on the greening of the UK economy."

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 at 03:33:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scientists eye nanotechnologies to boost crop yields | EurActiv

SPECIAL REPORT / Nanotechnologies that deliver fertilisers to plants offer promising ways of improving farm productivity while reducing the risk of water contamination. But the scientists behind a new Swiss-funded study caution that while the technology is still evolving, potential risks must be considered.

...Researchers at Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station (ART) in Zurich and the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture in Berne say that direct application of plant protection products and fertilisers containing nanosubstances may pose potential hazards to microorganisms that flourish beneath the Earth's surface.

The scientists contend there is only limited research into the effects of man-made nanomaterials on soil health, and point out that "the potential improvement of plant protection products and fertilisers through nanomaterials is offset by their significantly higher flux into soils if nanomaterials are used."

Fragile microorganisms like bacteria and fungi are natural suppliers of nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients to crops, and are paramount for soil fertility and plant health.

"We cannot afford to jeopardise these essential ecosystem services" explained Thomas D. Bucheli of the Agroscope ART, and an author of the report funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. "These symbiontic communities are key for a sustainable agriculture and deserve our special attention."

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 at 03:33:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's all very well the scientists urging caution, but we all know that that's not how big business works.

They'll cause a problem and then deny it till the profits are in and the hedge funds have taken their cut, then once the profits are undermined by the issues and bad publicity government will be required to sort out the mess

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Nov 24th, 2012 at 11:00:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
India Pushes Forward with Massive Expansion of Nuclear Capabilities - SPIEGEL ONLINE
The 2011 disaster at Japan's Fukushima plant led many countries to turn away from nuclear power. But a growing population and rising economy has prompted India to massively expand its nuclear program -- even in the face of technological worries and fervent opposition.

...there are already growing doubts about the safety of Indian nuclear plants. In August, the country's general accounting office released a devastating critique of the domestic nuclear regulatory agency, noting that more than half of inspection reports were submitted late and that a number of inspections were never even performed.

The government intends to set up a new, independent monitoring agency. But nuclear opponents fear that even this agency could devolve into a vicarious agent of the nuclear lobby.

Arundhati Roy, the novelist and political activist, says that the government lacks the know-how needed to safely operate nuclear power plants. "The Indian government has shown itself incapable of even being able to dispose of day to day garbage, let alone industrial effluent or urban sewage," she scoffed in a message of solidarity to opponents of the plant in Kudankulam. "How does it dare to say that it knows how to deal with nuclear waste?"

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 23rd, 2012 at 03:33:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IEA: Renewables To Equal Coal by 2035 | American Solar Energy Society

Water is essential to the production of energy, and the energy sector already accounts for 15% of
the world's total water use. Its needs are set to grow, making water an increasingly important
criterion for assessing the viability of energy projects. In some regions, water constraints are already
affecting the reliability of existing operations and they will introduce additional costs. Expanding
power generation and biofuels output underpin an 85% increase in the amount consumed (the
volume of water that is not returned to its source after use) through to 2035.

"Our analysis shows that in the absence of a concerted policy push, two-thirds of the economically
viable potential to improve energy efficiency will remain unrealised through to 2035. Action to
improve energy efficiency could delay the complete `lock-in' of the allowable emissions of carbon
dioxide under a 2°C trajectory - which is currently set to happen in 2017 - until 2022, buying time to
secure a much-needed global climate agreement. It would also bring substantial energy security and
economic benefits, including cutting fuel bills by 20% on average," said Fatih Birol, IEA Chief
Economist and the WEO's lead author.

WEO-2012 presents the results of an Efficient World Scenario, which shows what energy efficiency
improvements can be achieved simply by adopting measures that are justified in economic terms.
Greater efforts on energy efficiency would cut the growth in global energy demand by half. Global oil
demand would peak before 2020 and be almost 13 mb/d lower by 2035, a reduction equal to the
current production of Russia and Norway combined. The accrued resources would facilitate a
gradual reorientation of the global economy, boosting cumulative economic output to 2035 by
$18 trillion, with the biggest gains in India, China, the United States and Europe.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Nov 24th, 2012 at 06:16:47 AM EST
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