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Monitoring of carbon-rich wetlands a focus at UN climate talks
Monday, 11 November 2013 12:24

By Barbara Fraser – Thomas Reuters Foundation – November 6, 2013

New guidelines for calculating carbon emissions from wetlands will provide a more accurate picture of buried treasure — a massive amount of carbon on a scale that is often underestimated and often unnoticed because it is stored underground, experts say. Tropical wetlands, including palm swamps and mangroves, are important carbon sinks, but as much as 80 percent of that carbon is stored in a submerged layer of peat. Because the depth and extent of the peat layer can vary, it is difficult to measure the volume and calculate the amount of carbon stored there. For full story, click here.

Marine plants provide defense against climate change
Monday, 11 November 2013 00:00

PHYS.org – October 31, 2013

Winthrop Professor Carlos Duarte, Director of UWA's Oceans Institute said seagrass, mangrove and salt-march ecosystems ranked among the world's most intense carbon sinks while offering effective coastal defences against , such as the ability to raise the seafloor, dissipate wave energy and prevent flooding. For full story, click here.

Preparing the U.S. for the Impacts of Climate Change
Monday, 04 November 2013 02:13

The White House – November 1, 2013

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to prepare the Nation for the impacts of climate change by undertaking actions to enhance climate preparedness and resilience, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. The impacts of climate change -- including an increase in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, more heavy downpours, an increase in wildfires, more severe droughts, permafrost thawing, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise -- are already affecting communities, natural resources, ecosystems, economies, and public health across the Nation. These impacts are often most significant for communities that already face economic or health-related challenges, and for species and habitats that are already facing other pressures. Managing these risks requires deliberate preparation, close cooperation, and coordinated planning by the Federal Government, as well as by stakeholders, to facilitate Federal, State, local, tribal, private-sector, and nonprofit-sector efforts to improve climate preparedness and resilience; help safeguard our economy, infrastructure, environment, and natural resources; and provide for the continuity of executive department and agency (agency) operations, services, and programs. For full press release, click here.

Superstorm Sandy's Link To Climate Change: ‘The Case Has Strengthened’
Monday, 04 November 2013 00:00

By Joseph Romm – The Energy Collective – October 30, 2013

One year ago, superstorm Sandy made landfall in New York and New Jersey. It killed more than 100 people, displaced thousands, and inflicted an estimated $65 billion in damages. We’ve written extensively about how global warming worsened the impact of Superstorm Sandy. In particular, a recent study by NOAA researchers found, “climate-change related increases in sea level have nearly doubled today’s annual probability of a Sandy-level flood recurrence as compared to 1950.” On our current CO2 emissions path, the Jersey shore from Atlantic City to Cape May could see Sandy-level storm surges yearly by mid-century! For full story, click here.

Nature vs. nature: Is “green infrastructure” the best defense against climate disasters?
Monday, 28 October 2013 00:00

By Greg Hanscom – Grist – October 28, 2013

A year ago, Northeasterners were bracing for the worst. On Oct. 27, with Superstorm Sandy pinwheeling up the East Coast, Gov. Chris Christie declared  a state of emergency in all of New Jersey. Mayor Mike Bloomberg ordered 375,000 people to evacuate from low-lying areas of New York City, closing schools and shutting down the subway system. Stretching almost 500 miles across, Sandy had morphed into one of the most powerful storms in history, and it was about to body check greater New York. For full story, click here.

Climate change alters timing of spring growth in forests
Monday, 11 November 2013 00:00

Environmental Research Lab – November 1, 2013

Warm winters let trees sleep longer In the temperate zones, vegetation follows the change of the seasons. After a winter pause, plants put out new growth in spring. Research has now brought a new correlation to light: The colder the winter, the earlier native plants begin to grow again. Since warmer winters can be expected as the climate changes, the spring development phase for typical forest trees might start later and later - giving an advantage to shrubs and invasive trees that don't depend on the cold. In the temperate zones, vegetation follows the change of the seasons. For full story, click here.

Climate change risk to one-third of global GDP: Report
Monday, 04 November 2013 00:00

By Katy Barnato – CNBC – October 29, 2013

Around one-third of the world's economy by 2025 will be based in countries at "high" or "extreme" risk from the economic impact of climate change, according to risk consultancy Maplecroft. Thirty-one percent or $44 trillion of output will be based in countries classified as most at risk from climate change in Maplecroft's Climate Change Vulnerability Index, which considered a nation's exposure to extreme weather events over the next 30 years alongside its capacity to cope with the impact. For full story, click here.

IPCC accepts two methodology reports
Monday, 28 October 2013 00:00

Environmental Research Web – October 21, 2013

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has accepted two new Methodology Reports prepared by its Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (TFI). The two reports – the 2013 Supplement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Wetlands (Wetlands Supplement) and the 2013 Revised Supplementary Methods and Good Practice Guidance Arising from the Kyoto Protocol (KP Supplement) – were accepted at the IPCC’s 37th Session, held in Batumi, Georgia, on 14-18 October 2013. For full story, click here.

Supreme Court to Review EPA Authority to Require Greenhouse Gas Permits
Thursday, 24 October 2013 00:00

Van Ness Feldman – October 23, 2013

On October 15, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear challenges to a determination by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) that, under the Clean Air Act, increases in emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from new and modified major stationary sources triggers a requirement for those sources to obtain Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits.  In 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (D.C. Circuit) upheld this EPA determination inCoalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA, 684 F.3d 102.  The Supreme Court has consolidated review of six separate challenges as Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, and will hear one hour of oral argument in its October Term. For full story, click here.

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