Here they are from Time Magazine (Top 10 Green Stories):

1. The Great Midwest Drought

By  Dec. 04, 2012

Danny Wilcox Frazier for TIME

DANNY WILCOX FRAZIER FOR TIME

Drought is the slow-motion natural disaster—the kind that’s easy to overlook as it’s happening—but what hit the U.S. corn belt this summer was so historic that it was impossible to miss. As of mid-October, nearly three-fourths of the U.S. was in some state of drought, and the extreme dryness took a terrible toll on crops. Corn yield per acre is on track to be down 25% below normal, while soybean yields are down by 14%. Approximately 2,500 counties nationwide had to receive some form of disaster relief because of the drought, which is likely to cause retail food prices to rise 3 to 4% next year. Worst of all, the climate change problem is only getting worse, so this year’s drought may just be a taste of what a warmer world has in store for the American breadbasket.

Read more: http://science.time.com/2012/12/04/top-10-science-lists/#ixzz2E92TGkrb

2. The Battle to Label GM Foods

By  Dec. 04, 20120
ROBYN BECK  / Getty Images
ROBYN BECK / GETTY IMAGES

Genetically modified crops are everywhere in the U.S.—some 85% of corn, the staple crop in the U.S. food system, is genetically modified. Though mainstream scientific research says that GM foods are harmless, a growing number of environmentalists still view them with suspicion. Hence California’s Proposition 37,  on the ballot in November,  which would have required the labeling of all foods made with genetically modified ingredients. Though the pro-Prop 37 forces—led by prominent food writers like Michael Pollan—held an early advantage, the proposition ended up losing, thanks in part to tens of millions of dollars in campaign spending by agricultural companies like Monsanto.

Read more: http://science.time.com/2012/12/04/top-10-science-lists/#ixzz2E92cor9L

3. California Puts a Cap on Carbon

By  Dec. 04, 20120

Getty ImagesGETTY IMAGES

Cap and trade died an ignominious death in the U.S. Senate in 2010, when proponents were unable to bust a Republican-led filibuster threat. Even after President Obama’s re-election, federal climate action still seems like a long shot. But ultra-green California is a different story. Six years ago, the state legislature passed Assembly Bill 32, designed to establish a statewide cap on carbon emissions from industry. After years of legislative wrangling and one failed ballot challenge in 2010, the law was at last set to go into effect at the end of 2012. Businesses will need to figure out how to reduce their carbon emissions gradually over the coming decade—and if AB32 is successful without crippling California’s economy, it could pave the way for real federal action on global

Read more: http://science.time.com/2012/12/04/top-10-science-lists/#ixzz2E92nZ7wz

4. The U.S. Oil Boom

By  Dec. 04, 20120
Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images
MATTHEW STAVER/BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

Every U.S. President since Richard Nixon has promised to get America off foreign oil—and yet, American dependence on imported crude only seemed to grow. But in 2012 that changed definitively. Thanks in part to new sources of shale oil in North Dakota and Texas—as well as conservation efforts to reduce oil consumption—the U.S. has enjoyed a major domestic oil boom. By November the country was producing 6.68 million barrels of oil a day, the highest level in 18 years—enough to make it a net exporter of petroleum products. By some estimates, the U.S. might eventually overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer. But the boom has its dark side—shale drilling requires hydrofracking, which may pollute local water supplies.

5. The Battle Over Keystone XL

By  Dec. 04, 20121 Comment
Tom Pennington / Getty Images
TOM PENNINGTON / GETTY IMAGES

The domestic oil boom in the U.S. is getting a big boost from a major new supply of crude imported from the friendly neighboring nation north of the border. But Canadian crude from the oil sands of Alberta—or tar sands, as environmentalists call it—also comes with a heavy environmental cost, both in terms of local water pollution and greater carbon emissions. That led greens to oppose the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have transported hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil sands crude down to the U.S. At the same time, Republicans—and more conservative Democrats—were pushing for the pipeline as another step towards continental energy independence. In the end, President Obama decided to block the project temporarily—but with re-election assured, he may take a second look at Keystone.

6. Arctic Sea Ice Melts to Record Low Levels

By  Dec. 04, 2012Add a Comment
Ice on black sands, Breidarmerkurfjara beach
GETTY IMAGES

Climate change has always happened faster in the Arctic than anywhere else,partly because of a sort of accelerating feedback loop. Reflective ice absorbs less heat than dark sea water, so as ice cover gets smaller and smaller, the water gets warmer and warmer. But what happened to the North Pole in 2012 was record-breaking. Arctic sea ice—the ever-changing cap over the top of the globe—melted this summer to just 1.32 million sq. miles (3.41 sq. km), the lowest level since satellite records began in 1979. This year’s minimum extent is 50% smaller than the average between 1979 and 2000. And the melting is unlikely to stop—scientists believe that the Arctic itself could be ice-free during the summer as early as the end of the decade.  That has an additional effect on warming—white sea ice reflects sunlight back into space, while dark open water absorbs it, further speeding global warming in a feedback process.

7. 2012 on Track to Be the Warmest Year on Record

By  Dec. 04, 2012Add a Comment
Paul Sancya / AP
PAUL SANCYA / AP

Climate change is going to have a number of unpredictable effects, but here’s we know: it’s going to keep getting warmer. We saw that in 2012, which is on track to be the hottest year globally on record, going back well into the 19th century. The winter was particularly hot—normally snowbound parts of the U.S. like Minnesota and North Dakota experienced days of mild temperatures. By the summertime, it was miserable—July was the hottest single month ever in the U.S., which only intensified an unusually brutal drought. The year just past will almost certainly be a record-breaking year—but don’t expect that record to stay unbroken for long.

 

8. Climate Change Goes Missing in the 2012 Election

By  Dec. 04, 2012 Add a Comment
Carolyn Kaster / AP
CAROLYN KASTER / AP

Evidence of global warming was everywhere in 2012—except for the Presidential election. During the campaign, climate change virtually disappeared as an active issue, with Republican Mitt Romney mocking even the suggestion of climate action, while Democrat Barack Obama mostly ignored it. That was chiefly due to the bad economy, which sucked up most of the campaign season’s energy and voter attention. But it was also a mark of how politically polarized climate has become in national politics—and a sign of just how difficult it will be to get the momentum needed to do something at last about what might be the problem facing humankind.

 

9. Offshore Oil Drilling Begins in the Arctic

By  Dec. 04, 2012 1 Comment
Getty Images
GETTY IMAGES

The record melting of Arctic sea ice wasn’t just a sign that climate change was real and happening. It was also an opportunity—ironically, for the very companies responsible for much of that warming. This September, with the blessing of the Obama Administration, Shell began drilling an offshore oil well about 70 miles (113 km) off Alaska’s northern coast. The effort quickly hit a snag: ice in the water led Shell to suspend the operation until the summer of 2013. But make no mistake—there are billions of barrels of oil in those Arctic waters, and the drilling ships will be back. Given the damage a spill could do in the remote and bitterly cold waters of the Arctic, that scares environmentalists.

 

10. Superstorm Sandy Brings Climate Change Home

By  Dec. 04, 20121  Comment

 

top10_greentrends__sandy
CHRISTOS PATHIAKIS / GETTY IMAGES

No, we can’t say exactly how much responsibility man-made global warming bears for the massive storm that slammed into the Northeast at the end of the October, killing over 100, flooding chunks of New York City and leaving more than 8 million people without power. But we do know that climate change—especially because of rising sea levels—is likely to make the Sandys of the future that much more dangerous. One thing should be clear: with nearly 4 million Americans living within a few feet of high tide, we need to better prepare our coastal cities for the storms to come.

A BUSY YEAR!  Read more: http://science.time.com/2012/12/04/top-10-science-lists/#ixzz2E94fczW2

 

Corals under water

NOAA,  November 30, 2012
(Image – Pillar coral stand in the Upper Keys with blue-headed wrasse (NOAA)In compliance with a federal court ordered deadline, and consistent with existing international protections, NOAA Fisheries announced today that it is proposing Endangered Species Act (ESA) listings for 66 coral species, including 59 in the Pacific and seven in the Caribbean. This science-based proposal is more limited than the 2009 original petition that led to a settlement agreement and the court order. In order to ensure robust input, NOAA has been engaging the public since the process began three years ago. Before this proposed listing is finalized in late 2013, there will be a 90-day public comment period during which NOAA will hold 18 public meetings.

Continue reading »

 

New Scientist, 29 November 2012 by Anil Ananthaswamy

Expect more water to lap at your shores. That’s the take-home message from two studies out this week that look at the latest data on sea level rise due to climate change.

The first shows that current projections for the end of the century may seriously underestimate the rise in global sea levels. The other, on the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, looks at just how much of the water stored up there has been moving into the oceans.

Both demonstrate that global warming is a real and imminent threat.

Continue reading »

 

Chris McGrathDr Chris McGrath, Barrister-at-Law and Senior lecturer, School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management

Burn it all. That is the plan in Australia’s new Energy White Paper.

Released yesterday by Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson, it talks about responding to climate change while planning the opposite.

It is true that the Energy White Paper plans to diversify energy production and includes initiatives for renewable energy but this is additional to burning all of our coal and gas reserves.

Continue reading »

 

New satellite images show polar ice coverage dwindling in extent and thickness.   A report from the European Space Agency‘s CryoSat-2 probe 

 Science Editor (guardian.co.ukSea ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a far greater rate than previously expected, according to data from the first purpose-built satellite launched to study the thickness of the Earth’s polar caps.

Preliminary results from the European Space Agency‘s CryoSat-2 probe indicate that 900 cubic kilometres of summer sea ice has disappeared from the Arctic ocean over the past year.

Continue reading »

 

Here is a novel way for responding to sealevel rise.  Just in legislate it out of existence!  This article by Bruce Henderson appeared in the News Observer on May 28.  If you look at the lobby group behind all of this, NC20, you will see that they also claim that internationally renowned researchers such as Stefan Rahmstorf  has been fabricating stories about sea level rise so that big companies such as Munich Re can raise their insurance rates!  This is nutty!

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ABC Environment 8 AUG 2012Michael Mann

THE FIRST SCIENTIST to alert Americans to the prospect that human-caused climate change and global warming was already upon us was NASA climatologist James Hansen. In a sweltering US Senate hall during the hot, dry summer of 1988, Hansen announced “it is time to stop waffling… The evidence is pretty strong that the [human-amplified] greenhouse effect is here.”

At the time, many scientists felt his announcement to be premature. I was among them.

I was a young graduate student researching the importance of natural — rather than human-caused — variations in temperature, and I felt that the ‘signal’ of human-caused climate change had not yet emerged from the ‘noise’ of natural, long-term climate variation. As I discuss in my book,The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, scientists by their very nature tend to be conservative, even reticent, when it comes to discussing findings and observations that lie at the forefront of our understanding and that aren’t yet part of the ‘accepted’ body of scientific knowledge.

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The Wall Street Journal, Aug 7, 2012

It’s time for conservatives to compete with liberals to devise the best, most cost-effective climate solutions.

One scorching summer doesn’t confirm that climate change is real any more than a white Christmas proves it’s a hoax. What matters is the trend—a decades-long march toward hotter and wilder weather. But with more than 26,000 heat records broken in the last 12 months and pervasive drought turning nearly half of all U.S. counties into federal disaster areas, many data-driven climate skeptics are reassessing the issue.

Continue reading »

 

ABC News. July 25, 2012 16:02:54

So far this month, 27.8 millimetres of rain has fallen in the metropolitan area.

The average for July is 169.6 millimetres.

The previous low was when recording first began in 1876 and the city received 61.5 millimetres.

Continue reading »

 
WASHINGTON, July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – For several days this month, Greenland’s surface ice cover melted over a larger area than at any time in more than 30 years of satellite observations. Nearly the entire ice cover of Greenland, from its thin, low-lying coastal edges to its 2-mile-thick center, experienced some degree of melting at its surface, according to measurements from three independent satellites analyzed by NASA and university scientists.

On average in the summer, about half of the surface of Greenland’s ice sheet naturally melts. At high elevations, most of that melt water quickly refreezes in place. Near the coast, some of the melt water is retained by the ice sheet and the rest is lost to the ocean. But this year the extent of ice melting at or near the surface jumped dramatically. According to satellite data, an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface thawed at some point in mid-July.

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