THE BLOG
07/22/2013 07:27 pm ET Updated Sep 21, 2013

Climate Change This Week: Climate Shift Looms, Brilliant Wind Turbines, and More!

Global Air Temperatures To Rise Faster Between Now and 2025 say scientists, reports Rob Painting at SkepticalSciencecom, as he reviews several studies. The Pacific Ocean and the atmosphere alternate between positive and negative climate phases, which lasted about 2 and 3 decades, respectively, during the 20th century (although historically they lasted less than 2 decades). During the positive phase, the surface and deep ocean layers don't mix as much, so absorbed heat stays near the surface, warming the air above it. Thus, air temperatures rise during the positive phase from global warming.

We're roughly 15 years into a negative phase right now, where oceanic mixing means much of the heat is being absorbed by deep ocean. But once we transfer into a positive phase - anytime from now, up to the next decade roughly - air temperatures will start rising faster, likely changing rainfall and drought patterns. And you thought this decade was hot...

New Energy-Storing Wind Turbines Are Gamechangers, reports Climate Progress. General Electric's latest Brilliant turbines also produce up to 25% more energy, are bigger, and relatively cheap. Being able to store energy addresses the intermittency of wind, making wind power reliable. And the cost of the energy is equal to that from coal. Now THAT's really a gamechanger....

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Credit Warren Gretz/NREL

Saudi Arabia Sees Win-Win in Solar Boom reports Reuters News, as the price of solar slides and that of oil surges. Investing in solar allows them to save billions of dollars of crude for export while making electricity at less than half the cost. The country plans to install 41,000 megawatts (MW) of solar power over the next 20 years.

Dirty Coal Lies Behind Germany's Clean Energy reports Nick Grealy at the Christian Science Monitor. In the past year, coal supplied over 50% of Germany's energy, as natural gas and wind power output declined. The country is building new coal plants, fueled by lignite, a particularly dirty grade of coal. Yo, Germany, check out GE's new energy storing wind turbines instead - and send your wind output flying!

Sand Dunes, Sea Grasses And Coral Reefs Protect US Shorelines from sea level rise and extreme weather and must be protected, says a new study, reports Wendy Koch at USA Today. 16% of US coastlines are at "high-hazard" risk, and the number of threatened residents could double if natural habitats -- sand dunes, coral reefs, sea grasses, mangroves -- aren't protected. Doing so could be cheaper and more effective than alternatives. 23 of the 25 most densely populated US counties are coastal. Invest in bathing suits, folks!

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Global warming drives episodes of high water temperatures, causing corals to turn white and die, as some have done at this reef in Micronesia. Credit Dan Norton

Notable Quote:

"Stop and think about what it means to say it's too late."

[...to stop further climate change]

OO Tim DeChristopher, countering David Letterman's assertions that it's too late to stop catastrophic climate change and that it's now "all about adaptability." June 25, 2013, on the "Letterman Show", as described in Tim DeChristopher On Letterman: "Stop And Think About What It Means To Be Too Late" On Climate at Climate Progress.

☼☼☼ On the Bright Side ☼☼☼

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OO Cost Of Solar Continues To Plummet due to technological advancements.

OO New Yorkers Burning the Fat - 50 Million Calories, So Far - with New Bike Share Program

OO Obama's Plan for Energy-Efficient Federal Buildings Powered by Clean Energy

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Aerial view of a farm wind turbine array. Credit: Mary Ellen Harte

OO Farmers See Clean Energy Requirements As Opportunities for much needed revenues from leasing land to wind and solar outfits, especially as drought often wrecks their crops.

OO UN Carbon Prices Are Jumping Nearly 40 Percent

OO NASA's Green Fuel Even Stronger And Better Than Former Rocket Fuel

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Credit NASA

OO Obama's Unlikely Climate Change Partner: China - the combo could encourage more nations to also address climate change.

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***** US Climate Change News *****

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OO Rapid Sea Ice And Snow Melt as US, Globe Bakes

OO Palms Springs, CA Wildfire Destroys Homes, Threatens More

OO New Northeast US Heatwave From 'Heat Dome' Grips 21 States, Threatens Health in dozens of cities across two-thirds of the US.

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OO New Gulf Oil Pollution Likely From BP's Deepwater Wreck

OO Extracting US Fossil Fuels Is Unsustainable, Strains National Infrastructure

OO Ongoing Southwest Drought Threatens Farms, Ranches and Dries the Rio Grande

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<<<< Climate Change Round the World >>>>

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OO Japan: Heatwave Sends 2,600 To Hospital With Heat Stroke in the first seven days of July.

OO Hong Kong: 1,600 Die From Pollution So Far in 2013

OO Major Eel Kill in China; Oil Company Suspect

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(((((((( Seeking the Science ))))))))

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OO For About Every 2o F Rise, Sea Levels Could Rise About 8 Feet indicates new study.

OO NASA: Globally June is 2nd Hottest on Record

OO Unusual Eastern US Heatwave Moving East to West, Opposite of Usual Direction and scientists don't know why.

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Greenland ice melt going into the interior of the ice sheet. Credit: CIRES

OO Greenland Incredible Melting From Outside AND Inside - Study

OO Antarctic Peninsula Ice Melt Fastest in 10,000 Years researcher says, warning, "The Antarctic Peninsula has warmed to a level where even small increases in temperature can now lead to a big increase in summer ice melt."

OO As Antarctic Ice Shelves Disappear, Uncovered Marine Ecosystem Changes Dramatically

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The same species of wildflower, wilted, left, and normal, right. Many plant leaves have white undersides (left) that act as heat shields; when the plant wilts from drying out, the underside curls over the leaf, reflecting unwanted light - and its heat - away.

OO Heat Waves Increase Ozone to Hazardous Levels As Plants Stop Absorbing It, closing their pores as heat rises, a new study indicates, with big implications for human health.

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*****Ready to Invest Your Bucks in Solar? Check out Mosaic opportunities here!

☼☼☼Acting Like You Care: The XL Keystone pipeline will make possible far more climate change, but President Obama might okay it anyway. Credo, 350.org and others are asking people to stand up and be counted as nonviolent resisters or help in other ways. I did. If you ever wanted to do something big for your future, now's your chance - here.
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@@@ Climate Change in the Media @@@

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Via Climate Nexus

OO @@ WEEKLY CLIMATE CHANGE VIDEO SERIES!! @@ Entitled "In Case You Missed It" via the good folks at Climate Nexus on Vimeo - select headlines delivered in less than 90 seconds with good graphics. Cool watching -- spread the word!!

@@ At Last, a Green Radio Show to counter the Lush Bimbaugh wasteland. Check out On the Green Front with Betsy Rosenberg at Progressive Radio Network to keep updated on climate change, and other green topics.

To help you understand just what science does and does NOT do, check this out!


Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by these wildflowers and butterfly I photographed recently. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future. If you'd like to join the increasing numbers of people who want to TELL Congress that they will vote for clean energy candidates you can do so here. It's our way of letting Congress know there's a strong clean energy voting bloc out there. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.

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