Environmental News: July 16 - July 23, 2009

Quote for the week

“Ideas won’t keep; something must be done about them" - Alfred North Whitehead

Almost extinct Galapagos tortoise mates at 90
From: Eduardo Garcia, Reuters
Date: July 22, 2009 11:04 AM
QUITO (Reuters) - Lonesome George, the last remaining giant tortoise of his kind, may soon be a father to the delight of conservationists. Unhatched eggs have been found in his "bachelor" pen in the Galapagos Islands, his keepers said on Tuesday.
To read this article please visit here.

New Green Living Site Creates Online Community Dedicated To Stop Global Warming
Date: July 22, 2009 -- A new website designed to be the biggest green search engine on the internet, climatarians.org, has been launched by a Dutch entrepreneur and is already creating pre-launch waves in the virtual world.
To read this article please visit here.

Quake, Tsunami Potential High On U.S. West Coast
Date: 22-Jul-09
Author: Reuters
WASHINGTON - Scientists have underestimated the potential for a giant quake and tsunami that could swamp much the U.S. northwest and Canadian west coasts, British and U.S. researchers said on Monday.
To read this article please visit here.

Fuel barges running afoul on the Columbia River
From: Scott Learn, The Oregonian
Date: Tuesday July 21, 2009, 9:18 PM
Fuel barges from Tidewater Barge Lines have been involved in five nighttime incidents on the Columbia River since February 2008, including two accidents involving dam locks and three groundings at the river bottom.
To read this article please visit here.

Global Maritime Organization Acts to Cut Climate Emissions from Ships
Date: July 21, 2009
(ENS) - To help shipping companies reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the International Maritime Organization's Marine Environment Protection Committee agreed Friday to distribute a package of energy efficiency measures for new and existing ships.
To read this article please visit here.

Major Economies 'Ignored' UN Climate Science
NEW YORK, New York
Date: July 21, 2009
(ENS) – When proposing actions to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the world's major economies "ignored" the findings of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning United Nations scientific body that assesses climate change, says that body's top official.
To read this article please visit here.

Florida Bans Commercial Freshwater Turtle Harvest
Date: July 21, 2009
(ENS) - Commercial turtle harvesting is no longer legal in Florida. A final rule that took effect Monday bans most commercial turtle harvesting in public and private waters in Florida - the most restrictive turtle harvest rule in the nation.
To read this article please visit here.

Warmest June on Record for Global Ocean Surface Temperature
ASHEVILLE, North Carolina
Date: July 21, 2009
(ENS) - The world's ocean surface temperature in June rose to its warmest since 1880, breaking the previous high mark set in 2005, according to a preliminary analysis by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville.
To read this article please visit here.

Hydrofluorocarbons, Once a Solution, Now a Problem?
From: David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post
Published July 20, 2009 07:44 AM
Scientists say the chemicals that helped solve the last global environmental crisis -- the hole in the ozone layer -- are making the current one worse.
To read this article please visit here.

Ocean current switch due to warming could be slower than feared
From: AFP via Google News
Published July 20, 2009 09:37 AM
(AFP) – 5 days ago
CHICAGO — The nightmare global warming scenario which provided the plot for a Hollywood blockbuster -- the Atlantic Ocean current that keeps Europe warm shuts down and triggers rapid climate change -- has long worried scientists. But a study published Thursday in the journal Science found it may not occur as quickly as previously feared.
To read this article please visit here.

Do contaminants play a role in diabetes? Evidence is growing.
By Andrew McGlashen
Environmental Health News
Date: July 20, 2009
A Great Lakes study linking a pesticide in fish to diabetes adds to the growing chorus of studies suggesting that environmental contaminants may play a role in the widespread disease.
To read this article please visit here.

Gulf Waters Imperil Tribes' Way of Life In Louisiana Bayous
By Kari Lydersen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Date: Monday, July 20, 2009
As Wetlands Shrink, Oil and Gas Jobs Replace Farming, Fishing and Trapping
U.S. officials estimate that up to 40 square miles of Louisiana wetlands disappear annually and that by 2040 the coast will have receded more than 30 miles.
To read this article please visit here.

At Risk From Rising Seas, Tuvalu Seeks Clean Power
Date: 20-Jul-09
Country: NORWAY
Author: Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
OSLO - The Pacific island state of Tuvalu set a goal Sunday of a 100 percent shift to renewable energy by 2020, hoping to set an example to industrialized nations to cut greenhouse gases it blames for rising sea levels.
To read this article please visit here.

Government Rejects Oil Drilling Deal in Alaska Refuge
Date: 19-Jul-09
Country: US
Author: Yereth Rosen
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has rejected a controversial land trade that would have allowed oil and gas drilling in part of a national wildlife refuge in Alaska.
To read this article please visit here.

Polish Motorboat Owners Make Waves to Save Fis
Date: 19-Jul-09
Country: POLAND
Author: Dagmara Leszkowicz
WARSAW - Owners of motorboats are using their propellers to make waves and help to re-oxygenize a lake outside Warsaw where large numbers of fish have been dying.
To read this article please visit here.

Arctic Mystery: Identifying the Great Blob of Alaska
By Wesley Loy / Anchorage Saturday, Jul. 18, 2009
An unknown blob floats in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska's North Slope
A group of hunters aboard a small boat out of the tiny Alaska village of Wainwright were the first to spot what would eventually be called "the blob."
To read this article please visit here.

Satellites Can Spot Tsunamis: Study
Date: 17-Jul-09
Country: US
Author: Reuters
WASHINGTON - Satellites can spot the leading edge of a tsunami, U.S. government researchers said on Wednesday in a study that might lead to better ways of detecting the giant waves and get people out of their way.
To read this article please visit here.

U.S. Unveils Spy Images Of Arctic Ice In Rare Move
Date: 17-Jul-09
Country: US
Author: Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent
WASHINGTON - In an unusually speedy move, a U.S. government agency released more than a thousand intelligence images of Arctic ice just a few hours after the National Academy of Sciences recommended the action to help scientists study the impact of climate change.
To read this article please visit here.

Obama Adminstration Drops Bush Logging Plan for Western Oregon
Matthew Preusch reports for the Portland Oregonian July 16, 2009.
"The Obama administration is withdrawing a controversial Bush-era logging plan for millions of acres of federal forests in western Oregon.
To read this article please visit here.

43 New Coal Plants Would Escape Climate Bill CO2 Standards
David Sassoon reports for SolveClimate July 16, 2009.
"A new burst of coal-fired power plant construction now underway -- the largest in decades -- will put 43 new coal plants on American soil in the next five years, and all of them will escape the performance standards written into the climate bill now moving through Congress.
To read this article please visit here.

Tropical precipitation heading north
Noreen Parks
Publication Date (Web): July 15, 2009
Scientists unravel rainfall history by studying sediments from Pacific island lake bottoms.
To read this article please visit here.

The Challenge for Green Energy: How To Store Excess Electricity
13 Jul 2009: Report
by Jon R. Luoma
For years, the stumbling block for making renewable energy practical and dependable has been how to store electricity for days when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing. But new technologies suggest this goal may finally be within reach.
To read this article please visit here.

Halfway to Copenhagen, no way to 2 °C
Nature Reports Climate Change
Published online: 11 June 2009 | doi:10.1038/climate.2009.57
Joeri Rogelj, Bill Hare, Julia Nabel, Kirsten Macey, Michiel Schaeffer, Kathleen Markmann & Malte Meinshausen
National targets give virtually no chance of constraining warming to 2 °C and no chance of protecting coral reefs.
To read this article please visit here.