Ohio: Cleveland-area nighttime temperatures indicate warming trend

 

 Michael Scott | Plain Dealer

Is global warming sneaking into Ohio under cover of darkness?

That’s what atmospheric scientists like Jeffrey Rogers, professor and researcher at the Ohio State University, want to know — because nights have been slowly getting warmer here for more than a half-century.

“Nighttime temperatures are coming up, and no one has really been paying attention to them,” Rogers said by telephone from his Columbus office, where he has also served in the unpaid position of state climatologist since 1986.

“Many people think that they will notice a warmer climate by noticing hotter summers or warmer winters,” Rogers said. “Instead, it is nighttime temperatures that could be a first indicator.”

Rogers, a 30-year teaching veteran at OSU, has produced a study that showed a clear trend over at least the last 60 years of Columbus weather records: Nighttime lows have been slowly, but certainly, gaining on daytime temperature high temperature averages.

Atmospheric scientists call that the Diurnal Temperature Range or DTR– the difference between the daytime high and nighttime low. It’s one of the markers that seem to indicate a warming climate, according to some scientists.

In any case, increasing nighttime lows are a virtually uncontested fact among meteorologists, climatologists and other scientists. What remains debatable is why it has been happening.

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Washington: Kirkland Community Invited to Conversation about Climate Protection

Climate change, global warming, and the greenhouse effect may or may not be on the minds of all Kirkland citizens, but the City is hoping to raise awareness and inspire action about how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Kirkland. Through a public participation event, participants will be presented with the City’s climate protection efforts and asked to prioritize what actions they are willing to take to reduce their carbon footprint (a measure of the amount of carbon dioxide produced by a person). 

Using automatic voting devices similar to those on television game shows, participants will answer questions associated with ways to protect the climate through commuting, energy efficiency, waste reduction and more.  The Climate Protection Community Conversation will be held on Tuesday, February 24, 6 to 8:30 p.m., Kirkland City Hall, Council Chambers, 123 5th Avenue.  Due to a limited number of voting devices, reservations are being requested.  Please contact Erin Leonhart, Intergovernmental Relations Manager at 425-587-3009 or eleonhart@ci.kirkland.wa.us This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  to register.  For information about Kirkland’s sustainability (“green”) initiatives, visit www.ci.kirkland.wa.us/kirklandgreen.

EPA sets fuel efficiency hearing

David Shepardson | Detroit News

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to move quickly to consider a request by California and 13 states to impose a 30 percent reduction in tailpipe emissions by 2016 — a measure that would require automakers to dramatically boost the efficiency of light trucks and passenger cars.

The EPA has set a public hearing on the issue on March 5 and will take public comments through April 6.

The hearing comes on the heels of President Barack Obama’s decision last month to order the EPA to reconsider the Bush Administration’s decision to deny California and the other states a waiver under the Clean Air Act to implement new standards.

In a Friday notice about the public hearing, the EPA repudiated its prior denial saying it “significantly departed from EPA’s longstanding interpretation of the Clean Air Act’s waiver provisions and from the agency’s history.”

California had been granted more than 50 waivers over the past 30 years and never received a complete denial. California’s waiver would require automakers to boost fuel economy to a fleetwide 35.7 miles per gallon by 2016 and 42.5 mpg by 2020.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said the agency would conduct an “impartial review” of California’s request.`

“It is imperative that we get this decision right, and base it on the best available science and a thorough understanding of the law,” Jackson said.

Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, said that if the states get EPA approval, they would immediately put their requirements into effect with no changes in the ramp up until 2016.

The standards — drafted in 2004 — were supposed to begin with the 2009 model year.

“Nothing I saw changed the views that I had before is that there’s a lot of great technology that we need to bring on,” Nichols said in an interview this week after touring the Washington Auto Show.

The EPA said the agency is specifically seeking comment on automaker lead time.

California has said its requirements would reduce auto sales by 4.7 percent by 2020 because complying with the new standards would increase the average cost of vehicles. “Our standards are not the problem. Our standards are part of the solution if we do it right,” Nichols said.

Sue Cischke, Ford Motor Co.’ group vice president for sustainability, environment and safety, said the automaker would face significant hurdles in complying.

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Mississippi: Population helping drive climate change concerns

 

PAUL SIMS | Starkville Daily News

Population is one factor driving global climate change concerns, a Mississippi State University professor said Monday.  Dr. Roger King, a William L. Giles Distinguished professor and director of MSU’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, spoke to Starkville Rotarians today from his background as chief technologist for Earth Science Applications with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.  King cited statistics which showed that in mid-2003, some 6.2 billion people inhabited the planet and the United States had about 290 million residents. As of Friday, the global population figure stood at approximately 6.7 billion and the U.S. number was about 305 million.
The global population increase over roughly the last five years is about 474.1 million. Projections show that by 2025, some 8 billion people will live on the Earth.  “According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, scientific evidence confirms that human activities are a discernible cause of a substantial part of the warming experienced over the 20th century. New studies indicate that temperatures in recent decades are higher than at any time in at least the past 1,000 years. It is very unlikely that these unusually high temperatures can be explained solely by natural climate variations,” the report entitled “Climate Change Impacts on the United States” from 2000 reads.
Other documents and information on the subject of global climate change can be found through http://www.climatescience.gov/.
One point King made about the greenhouse effect is that “if it didn’t exist, we wouldn’t exist,” he said. If greenhouse gases were not in place, the planet could not capture heat, King said.   “The plant has got to warm up or we can’t live,” he said.  “It’s very much a system,” he said and noted that it’s important to monitor what happens in systems.  King noted that 2007 was the eighth warmest year on record and ice mass in at least one location is changing.  “It’s a very challenging thing to look at this,” he said.

Bluegrass and the Greenhouse

Campbell Wood | Business Lexington

The United States could yet take the lead in countering global warming, if the U.S. Climate Action Partnership’s Blueprint for Legislative Action (www.us-cap.org) is a sign of things to come. Last June the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008 brought greenhouse gas cap and trade legislation to the Senate Floor for the first time.

Work lays ahead for legislators to shape a bill that will gain passage. Such legislation will have challenges for the Bluegrass State, given that Kentuckians use about 25 percent more electricity than the average American, and over 90 percent of that energy comes from coal-fired power plants.

The U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) includes over 25 major corporations and several leading nonprofit environmental organizations. Their proposals are based on 100 percent consensus from member organizations, said USCAP spokesman Jim Luetkemeyer. Ford, G.E., Alcoa, Dupont, and Duke Energy, all with major operations in Kentucky, are members of USCAP. The Blueprint, released in January, is an urgent 24 pages of proposals for legislation to advance energy efficiencies in the economy through conservation and innovation while also moving the United States and the world as rapidly as feasible to increasing reliance on renewable energy sources. A core recommendation is the establishment of a cap and trade system to “slow, stop and reverse” greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by industries and utilities burning fossil fuels. It includes support measures for vulnerable populations and industry sectors.

In November 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (www.ipcc.ch) stated, “Warming of the climate is unequivocal, as is now evident from observation of increases in average air and ocean temperature, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea levels.” Despite the scientific consensus that global warming is happening and that human activities are a major cause, scientists have found it difficult to convey the gravity of the situation. Global warming effects accrue incrementally, and the public has had a “let’s wait and see” attitude, as though somehow it will be reversible.

Some states and cities across the country have taken initiative, and Lexington has been a part of that trend. “We’ve had an energy team in place since 2003 that deals with city facilities — to be better stewards of taxpayers’ dollars and the environment,” said Tom Webb, environmental compliance coordinator for LFUCG. The team works to cut costs and make energy use more efficient in government buildings and operations. “We signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in 2005 (www.usmayors.org),” Webb said. “That agreement is designed to encourage communities to reduce their carbon foot print — on a local level, since there’s no national legislation on carbon emissions.”

In February of 2008, Lexington joined the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (http://www.iclei.org), which provides a framework along with software solutions to help facilitate reducing the carbon footprint. “We are now in the process of quantifying our emissions for city facilities and the city as a whole,” said Webb. Utility companies have provided the project with gross numbers of electricity consumption for 2005 and 2007, which are being modeled. “Once we get our emissions quantified, we’ll set reduction targets. Then we’ll set up teams and develop a local action plan.”

What is the National Teach-In on Climate Change

“Continued growth of greenhouse gas emissions, for just another decade, practically eliminates the possibility of near-term return of atmospheric composition beneath the tipping level for catastrophic effects.”  —  Hansen et al. 2008

We stand at a unique moment in human history. The window for action on global warming is measured in months, not years. Decisions that we make—or fail to make—in 2009 will have profound impacts not only for our children and grandchildren, but for every human being that will ever inhabit the face of this earth from now until the end of time.

Visit the official site HERE.

February 5th, 2009, at the beginning of the first 100 days of the new administration, the National Teach-In on Global Warming will engage over a million Americans in solutions-driven dialogue. As educators, students and citizens, we owe our nation a focused conversation about the critical decisions that will determine if our descendants will inherit a prosperous or an impoverished planet.

We need your help enlisting thousands of colleges, universities, high-schools, middle schools, faith groups, civic organizations and businesses. Sign up today to organize an educational event at your institution. Help ignite the grassroots movement during the First 100 Days that can change the country, and the future.

THE NATIONAL TEACH-IN ON GLOBAL WARMING 2009
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LAUNCH WEBCAST
“The First 100 Days.” — Join David Orr, Hunter Lovins, Betsy Taylor, Ray Anderson, Billy Parish and Wahleah Johns as they discuss global warming solutions for the first 100 days.

TEACH-IN
Engage the Nation around concrete policy recommendations.

 

  1. Cut carbon 40% below today’s levels by 2020.
  2. Create millions of green jobs: Weatherize, solarize and rewire the nation.
  3. Revitalize America’s economy: Lead the world in renewable technology.
  4. Promote carbon neutral power.

CLIMATE DIALOGUE
The heart of your teach-in should be a round-table dialogue between students and key decision-makers: US Senators and congresspeople, governors, city councilors, mayors and state representatives. This kind of intergenerational dialogue has the power to break through the partisan framing of global warming, and resultant political gridlock, because for young people, this is not about left and right. It is your future at stake, and only you have the moral authority to speak for that future.

100 DAYS OF ACTION
Learn what you can do today… and tomorrow… and tomorrow… and tomorrow. Give the new President the support needed to put the planet on the path to a stable climate.

Advisory Board for The National Teach-In
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Dr. David Orr, Professor of Environmental Studies at Oberlin College.
Dr. Stephen Schneider, Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University.
Dr. Mohan Munasinghe, Vice Chair, U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Dr. James “Gus” Speth, Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Hunter Lovins, President, Natural Capitalism Solutions.
Ross Gelbspan, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author.
Van Jones, founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.
Elysa Hammond, Clif Bar Staff Ecologist.
Dr. Debora Rowe, Prof. of Renewable Energies and Energy Mgmt. at Oakland Community College.
Anthony D. Cortese, Presidents of Second Nature, Co-founder of the AASHE.
Penelope Canan, Professor of Sociology at the University of Central Florida.
Gillian Caldwell, 1Sky Campaign Director.
Dan Worth, Executive Director of the National Association of Environmental Law Societies (NAELS)
Billy Parish, co-founder of the Energy Action Coalition.
Jessy Tolkan, Executive Director of Programs for the Energy Action Coalition.
Dr. Bunyan Bryant, School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan.
Dr. William Moomaw, Prof. of Int. Env. Policy at the Fletcher Sch., Tufts University.
Dr. Jon Isham, Luce Professor of International Environmental Economics at Middlebury College.
Nino Amato, Business man

Wisconsin: UW-Manitowoc to host teach-in on global warming

 

AP

The University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc will hold a teach-in Thursday to educate the public about global warming.

UW-Manitowoc is one of more than 500 schools and organizations nationwide that plan to participate in the National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions.

Ryan Schryver of Clean Wisconsin will give the keynote speech at UW-Manitowoc at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. A series of panel presentations during the day will address activism, science, pollution and food issues related to global warming.

Organizers say holding the teach-in during President Barack Obama‘s first 100 days in office will send a message that the environment should be one of his top priorities.

Community members are invited to attend the events at UW-Manitowoc.

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On The Net:

National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions: www.nationalteachin.org.