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Environment

Cloud changes could spell bad news

Clouds

Storm clouds have been getting bigger and moving closer to the poles according to Carolyn Gramling in Science: “Since the 1980s, the world has gotten cloudier toward the poles and less cloudy in the midlatitudes; towering thunderclouds have also gotten a bit taller. “Those patterns matched three rather dire climate …

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Next Deepwater Horizon only a matter of time

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response

There is a reason why deep water oil drilling is thought of as a frontier industry.  Drilling through 2.5 miles of rock located beneath just short of a mile (5,100 feet) of water really is at the frontier of our current technology.  At those depths, necessarily working with remote robot …

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The rich are not immune from climate change

Epidemic

The biggest obstacle to tackling runaway climate change is that while prevention involves the richest people in the richest countries giving up their unsustainable lifestyles, the impacts of climate change have been falling largely on the shoulders of the poorest people in the poorest countries. Delegates at a two day …

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Fracking incompatible with climate targets

Fracking well

A new report by the Committee on Climate Change – an independent scientific body that advises the UK government – has warned that hydraulically fractured shale gas is incompatible with the UK government’s self-imposed target of reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. According to Tereza Pultarova in Engineering …

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UK government will miss its own climate targets

Renewables

Following the election of a Tory government in 2015, the UK has quietly dropped any pretence that it will meet 2020 EU climate targets.  However, the government still maintains the fiction that it can achieve its Climate Change Act target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. …

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G20 fossil fuels failure

G20 energy 2016

Energy ministers at last week’s G20 meeting in China failed to agree to set a date to end fossil fuel subsidies.  Previously, the G7 had agreed to end subsidies by 2025.  However, this was something of a fudge as it failed to define what was meant by a subsidy. The …

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Paris agreement guarantees runaway global warming

Air Pollution

The Paris climate agreement has been widely hailed as a success.  This is largely because for the first time the world’s biggest polluter – the USA – is actually a signatory to the agreement.  This said, the reason it is an “agreement” rather than a treaty is precisely because the …

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Why eating bugs is a really bad idea

Insect_food_stall

The human population is expected to climb toward 10bn by mid-century; far outstripping already strained global food supplies.  One proposed means of accommodating these extra people without causing huge famines and mass migrations is to turn to the one lifeform that we have so far been too grossed out to …

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