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FOOTPRINTS #23 – October 2008 - Please forward this newsletter to your friends.
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Filipinos Draw Power From Buried Heat - Washington Post Foreign Service
Geothermal power now accounts for about 28% of the electricity generated in the Philippines. With 90 million people the Philippines has become the world's largest consumer of electricity from geothermal sources. Billions of dollars have been saved here because of reduced need for imported oil and coal.
Unfrozen Tundra - Bryan Walsh
Actual figures of current Greenland ice-melt. If this increasing melt continues to double every year there will be no ice left in 2021. Of course, this is the great unknown - when will it melt - but on today's scenario melt it will.
Nature loss 'dwarfs bank crisis' - BBC News
The global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking crisis, according to an EU-commissioned study. It puts the annual cost of forest loss at between $2 trillion and $5 trillion. The figure comes from adding the value of the various services that forests perform, such as providing clean water and absorbing carbon dioxide.
Video of Alaska’s Eroding Arctic Coast - Andrew C. Revkin
Scientists have provided an extraordinary close-up view of the remarkable rate of erosion along parts of Alaska’s thawing Arctic Ocean coast. The video clip is one month of crumbling, from late June through late July this year, at a point east of Barrow, the northernmost community in the United States. It’s clear that simple thawing is much more of an influence than wave action at this spot.
As well read this on how the melting permafrost is forcing the US to close down some of its early-warning stations in northern Alaska.
On avoiding dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system: Formidable challenges ahead - Scripps Institution of Oceanography
The observed increase in greenhouse gases has committed the world to a warming of 2.4°C above the preindustrial surface temperatures. The committed warming will occur even if concentrations are held at their 2005 levels.
25% (0.6°C) of the committed warming has been realized now. The rest will unfold during this century, determined by the rate of aerosol cooling and by the heat stored in the oceans. Even the most aggressive CO2 mitigation steps as envisioned now can only limit further additions to the committed warming, but not reduce the already committed warming of 2.4°C.
Schwarzenegger to convene global climate summit - Associated Press
Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to invite officials from around the world to form an international alliance of community and regional leaders to combat climate change.
The heat beneath our feet - Sandra McLaren
Geothermal energy from naturally radioactive hot rocks represents an abundant energy source right in our backyard. The Earth is effectively a heat engine, and much of its geological activity is a consequence of heat loss from the deep interior. This heat comes from the decay of naturally occurring radioactive elements like uranium, thorium and potassium, as well as leftover energy from the processes that formed our planet.
Black clouds on the horizon for birds of the world – Science
There has been a precipitous decline of more than 50% in the populations of 20 of the most common North American birds over the past four decades. The trend is an indicator of a serious deterioration in the environment. The drop has extended to the marathon fliers that migrate from North America to tropical and subtropical designations each year. More than half of these migrating species have experienced population declines.
The Queen tackles climate change by buying world's biggest wind turbine off North East coast - Daily Mail
The Queen's estate has purchased the world's biggest wind turbine in a bid to tackle climate change. The 100-metre high turbine will supply 7.5 megawatts of power to the national grid. It is hoped the Queen's involvement will speed up the development of specialist deep water turbines and encourage energy firms to invest in renewable energy. The UK aims to supply 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
Advancing Biomass in California - Joseph Kleinman
In 2006, five months before signing the historic California Global Warming Solutions Act, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an Executive Order establishing a Bioenergy Action Plan. Those actions positioned California as a world leader in the race to develop renewable power and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But what is most troubling is that two years later, the complexities of implementation have become evident. Scientists and legislators, entrepreneurs and environmental activists, municipal agencies and utility managers, all with the best intentions, struggle for enough common ground to keep progress from grinding to a halt. Biomass derives from agricultural, forestry residues and municipal wastes.
Act or the planet is at peril - British Meteorological Office
The world will have to take drastic action within two years to reduce greenhouse pollution if it is to avoid the worst effects of climate change. The study shows that cutting emissions by 3% a year from 2010 offers the only hope of avoiding a global temperature rise of more than two degrees - recognised as the threshold beyond which the worst impacts of sea-level rise and drought become a significant risk. In the early years, responsibility for such deep cuts in emissions would have to be borne by the rich countries, which are responsible for most of the build-up in emissions.
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