Environment Forum

An ic(k)y accident

By Reuters Staff
January 11, 2010

A penguin stands on the water's edge during a blizzard at Cape Denison, East Antarctica.When you live on the edge of Antarctica, coping with gale force winds, blizzards, snow and ice, the risk of accidents are heightened.

from MediaFile:

CES: Tablets, ereaders, TVs — need power savers?

January 9, 2010

minipakPower sockets that sense when you leave a room and shut down.  Portable hydrogen fuel cells.  Pocket windmills that store electricity. Those were some of the little-noticed green power-savers tucked into a little corner of the otherwise monstrous Consumer Electronics Show floor in Las Vegas.

Voyage around the Americas sees acidification off Alaska

January 8, 2010

boat

Scientists aboard the Ocean Watch, a 64-foot yacht on a year-long voyage circling the Americas, are testing the waters as they go. Instruments on the vessel have picked up evidence of ocean acidification, another result of the spewing of carbon dioxide from tailpipes and smokestacks, they say.
 
Much of  CO2 pollution ends up in the atmosphere, but some is absorbed in the ocean, where it is converted into carbonic acid. The average pH of the word’s oceans is about 8.1 and the lower the reading, the greater the acidity. 
 
Scientists are concerned that if pH levels keep falling ocean waters could eat away the shells of organisms large and small. That would put the web of ocean life at risk, not to mention be a potential disaster for land-loving seafood lovers
   
Ocean Watch has picked up readings of 7.88 in the Gulf of Alaska. Michael Reynolds, the scientist taking the measurements, said the preliminary data may show that the Gulf of Alaska is a primary “sink” for atmospheric carbon.
 
The good news is that readings have returned to normal as the voyage continues off the coast of South America.    

from The Great Debate:

Senate retirements narrow cap-trade window

January 6, 2010

-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own --

kemp
LONDON - Yesterday's announcement by Senator Byron Dorgan (Democrat, North Dakota) that he would not seek a fourth term in November, coupled with today's expected announcement by Senator Chris Dodd (Democrat, Connecticut) that he won't seek a sixth term, will remove two veterans, once secure legislators from the Democratic caucus.
It highlights the mounting problems confronting congressional Democrats facing voters in November's midterms amid high unemployment, a relatively unpopular agenda led by the administration, and concerns about the party's capture by special interests.

Major California port sees greener trucks

January 5, 2010

cleantruckOne of California’s biggest ports has cleaned up its fleet of 8,000 trucks.

Obama gets high marks for green record: environmental group

December 30, 2009

obama_solarPresident Barack Obama came into office with climate change and the environment on his list of top priorities.

Which way will the wind (power) blow in 2010?

December 28, 2009

windturbinesThe United States became the No. 1 wind power market in the world in 2008. But under the credit crisis in 2009, the building of new wind farms slackened and the United States ceded its top global spot to China.

Life in a blizzard

By Reuters Staff
December 28, 2009

It was a cold night with the wind chill reaching -18.4 degrees Celsius. By 5.00 a.m. I’d had enough of being cold and weather beaten by the Katabatic wind smashing the side of my tent and bouncing off my head so I decided to make my way to our base, the Sorensen Hut, for a warm cup of tea and read a couple of pages of my book.

Penguin chatter heralds Antarctica’s ‘White Christmas’

By Reuters Staff
December 26, 2009

Penguins’ chatter outside my tent woke me to Christmas Day in Antarctica, but instead of Santa’s sleigh there was just the usual run to ensure our human waste doesn’t permanently become part of this frozen wilderness.

from Global News Journal:

“Earth to Ban Ki-moon” or how a deal was sealed in Copenhagen

December 22, 2009

cop15Sweden complained that the recent Copenhagen climate change summit was a "disaster." British Prime Minister Gordon Brown described it as "at best flawed and at worst chaotic." Sudan's U.N. ambassador, Abdalmahmoud Abdalhaleem, dubbed the outcome confirmation of a "climate apartheid." For South Africa it was simply "not acceptable."