Tipping points accelerated climate change in the last Ice Age, new research shows

June 27, 2017 by  
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Could reaching environmental tipping points really impact the Earth’s climate all that much? New research from an international team of four scientists says yes. Their study is the first to show that in our planet’s past, gradual changes in carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations led to tipping points that then set off temperature spikes of as much as 10 degrees Celsius in only a few decades. Scientists led by Xu Zhang of the Alfred Wegener Institute were able to show how sudden changes in our climate, or Dansgaard-Oeschger events, came from CO2 concentrations that rose gradually. Researchers had known temperatures shot up thanks to Greenland ice core samples, but they weren’t sure why – and the new study provides some answers. Zhang said in a statement, “With this study, we’ve managed to show for the first time how gradual increases of CO2 triggered rapid warming .” Related: Scientists warn of uncontrollable climate change amid drastic Arctic melt The team drew on a climate model to find how interactions between the atmosphere and ocean currents led to the temperature spike of 10 degrees Celsius, or 18 degrees Fahrenheit, in Greenland during the last Ice Age, which ended around 11,700 years ago. Here’s how it works. Increased CO2 strengthened Central America trade winds, and the eastern Pacific Ocean warmed more than the western Atlantic Ocean. From there more moisture left the Atlantic, so the salinity and density of that ocean’s surface waters increased. These changes resulted in an abrupt amplification of the circulation pattern of the Atlantic, which according to Zhang can lead to sudden temperature increases. Will we see rapid changes if we hit tipping points today? Gerrit Lohmann of the institute and the University of Bremen said, “We can’t say for certain whether rising CO2 levels will produce similar effects in the future, because the framework conditions today differ from those in a glacial period. That being said, we’ve now confirmed that there have definitely been abrupt climate changes in the Earth’s past that were the result of continually rising CO2 concentrations.” The journal Nature Geoscience published the research online this month. Via the Alfred Wegener Institute and New Atlas Images via Coen Hofstede

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Tipping points accelerated climate change in the last Ice Age, new research shows

Cities rebel against Trump by posting climate data his EPA took down

June 26, 2017 by  
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Around two months ago the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President Donald Trump took down climate change information that had been on their website. American cities decided to reinstate the archived data, which has been painstakingly curated for decades, on their own websites – including major urban areas like Chicago , Atlanta, and Houston. Chicago got the Climate Change is Real party started by reposting EPA climate change data on a new city website in May. The banner of their site acknowledges the EPA and other federal agencies for decades of labor on environmental issues, stating, “While this information may not be readily available on the EPA’s website, in Chicago we know climate change is real. We are joining cities around the country to make sure citizens have access to information on climate change. We will continue to take action to adapt to climate threats while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels .” Related: Trump to purge climate change from federal government The city also posted a guide on GitHub enabling other cities to post the data as well, and so far 14 other cities have followed suit. Burlington, Vermont recently became the 14th city to post the data; Mayor Miro Weinberger said in a June 19 statement, “Climate change is real, and deleting federal web pages that contain years’ worth of research does not alter this global, scientific consensus.” The EPA reportedly took the information down for review. Chicago’s GitHub guide for other cities offers “copies of the climate change websites, data, and other information that was unceremoniously removed from the Environmental Protection Agency.” St. Louis, Missouri; New Orleans, Louisiana; and San Francisco, California are among the 14 other cities that have since posted the information. You can see if your city is on the list here . Via Grist Images via Ferdinand Stöhr on Unsplash and screenshot

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Cities rebel against Trump by posting climate data his EPA took down

Volkswagen may offer more electric cars than any other brand

June 26, 2017 by  
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Now that the “dieselgate” scandal is almost over, VW needs to revamp its image and find a new way to appeal to the “green” crowd. Diesel has become a dirty word, so VW is doubling down on its production of electric cars . Over the past year VW has unveiled three new electric concept cars, but a leaked powerpoint slide suggests the automaker has even more up its sleeve than we previously realized. VW recently unveiled its electric car plans during a presentation, which revealed its product plans for the next five years. It was originally believed that the company was only going to release three electric cars, but now we know that up to five new EVs will be released by 2022. All five vehicles will be based on the same MEB platform that was previewed by the concepts. The first model, the production version of the I.D. hatchback, is scheduled to arrive in 2019. Related: Volkswagen confirms it’s bringing back the Microbus Following the arrival of the electric hatchback, VW is going to release a production version of the I.D. Crozz crossover , cleverly named the I.D. Cross. Two other models that we haven’t even heard about, the I.D. Lounge and I.D. AEROe will arrive after the crossover and lastly the Microbus-inspired I.D. Buzz will arrive. It’s expected that all five models will have driving ranges between 200-300 miles, which could be a conservative estimate, since battery technology continues to improve each year. The slide also reveals that the United States will not be recipients of all five new VW EVs. According to the slide, among the vehicles not heading to the U.S. are the small I.D. hatchback and I.D. Cross. Boo! We hope that changes soon. + VW Via Autoblog.nl and Groen7 Images @VW and Autoblog.nl

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Volkswagen may offer more electric cars than any other brand

Macron and Schwarzenegger throw shade at Donald Trump in new climate video

June 26, 2017 by  
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Donald Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” has become infamous – as it casually writes off the other 7.17 billion or so people that share the planet with America. But recently elected French president Emmanuel Macron is calling on Earth’s inhabitants to Make Our Planet Great Again – and he got together with Trump foe Arnold Schwarzenegger to throw a little shade at the American president. Schwarzenegger posted a video of himself and Macron, saying they were talking about a green future. Macron said they’d deliver together “to make the planet great again” – a reference to his new initiative to battle climate change regardless of Trump’s decision to yank America out of the Paris Agreement . Schwarzenegger described Macron as a great leader, a marked contrast on his view of his own country’s president. Related: US states and cities say they’re sticking to the Paris Accord without Trump I was truly honored to meet with President @EmmanuelMacron about how we can work together for a clean energy future. He's a great leader. pic.twitter.com/MSoxjIruup — Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) June 23, 2017 On June 1, when Trump announced America would exit the Paris Agreement, Macron posted a Facebook video reiterating an offer he’d made before: “To all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the President of the United States, I want to say that they will find in France a second homeland. I call on them: come and work here with us, to work together on concrete solutions for our climate, our environment .” (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); #MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain #MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain Posted by Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, June 1, 2017 Shortly after that he launched the Make Our Planet Great Again website, offering information for not only Americans but citizens of the world. Those interested in coming to France to work on climate change can submit their name and email address to receive information on coming. It appears Macron’s getting some big names on board to spread the message. Unless Trump wants a brain drain on his hands, maybe he should start paying attention to science . + Make Our Planet Great Again Via Mashable Images via Emmanuel Macron on Twitter and Gage Skidmore on Flickr

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Macron and Schwarzenegger throw shade at Donald Trump in new climate video

A bipartisan price on carbon? Here’s what to watch for

June 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

The recently formed Climate Leadership Council has signed big founding backers like General Motors, PepsiCo and ExxonMobile in its bid to advance a “carbon dividend” model.

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A bipartisan price on carbon? Here’s what to watch for

Swiss company touts carbon capture breakthrough

June 12, 2017 by  
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Climeworks plans to use the carbon dioxide captured at a facility near Zurich as fertilizer for greenhouses.

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Swiss company touts carbon capture breakthrough

What does Trump’s Paris pull-out mean for green sports?

June 9, 2017 by  
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The time has come for U.S. sports leagues such as the NFL, NBA and NHL to take to the climate advocacy field, argues the founder of Sports and Sustainability International.

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What does Trump’s Paris pull-out mean for green sports?

Trump nominates BP oil spill lawyer as DOJ environmental attorney

June 8, 2017 by  
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Who better to stand for the environment than a lawyer who represented BP after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy? At least, that appears to be President Donald Trump’s logic. This week he nominated Jeffrey Bossert Clark , who has consistently worked against climate action , for the role of Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources at the Department of Justice . Clark is a partner at Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, D.C. Over his career he’s challenged the scientific basis of climate policies , according to InsideClimateNews. His career is littered with work against the environment, not for it. He successfully defended BP after Louisiana parishes challenged the company over their multi-billion settlement of claims over Deepwater Horizon. But representing BP after America’s worst oil spill is just part of it. Related: Trump budget proposes 31% cut to EPA funding Clark represented the United States Chamber of Commerce in lawsuits attacking the government’s power to regulate carbon dioxide emissions . He’s argued in court multiple times it’s inappropriate to form government policies based on scientific consensus given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change . InsideClimateNews said Clark was prominently involved in challenges from industry to the Environmental Protection Agency’s endangerment finding offering a scientific basis for efforts to regulate greenhouse gases . Natural Resources Defense Council Director of the Climate & Clean Air Program David Doniger said of Clark, “He has a long history of opposing climate action for corporate and ideological clients. I would expect that history would require him to recuse himself from cases as over the Clean Power Plan , where he filed an amicus brief against the rule.” In the George W. Bush administration Clark served as deputy assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Justice Department, from 2001 to 2005. Senate confirmation is required for him to serve in the Trump administration . Via InsideClimateNews Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Trump nominates BP oil spill lawyer as DOJ environmental attorney

Hawaii becomes the first state to pass a law committing to Paris agreement

June 8, 2017 by  
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Even if the White House doesn’t honor the Paris climate agreement , individual states aren’t taking the short-sighted move lying down. Hawaii just passed a law committing to all of the provisions of the historic accord, making it the first in what we hope will be one of many states to do so. Governor David Ige signed two bills on Tuesday that aim to make Hawaii greener and cleaner. The first will reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to the same levels laid out in the Paris agreement. The second creates a task force that will help clean up Hawaii’s soil and air. Related: Hawaii aims to be the first state to run entirely on renewable energy Ige took a jab at Trump, stating that “climate change is real, regardless of what others may say.” Hawaii is uniquely positioned to feel the effects of climate change before other states will. Ocean acidification and shore loss are already impacting the state, with sea level rise and a shortage of fresh water already seen throughout the state. Via the New York Times images via Flickr and Wikimedia

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Hawaii becomes the first state to pass a law committing to Paris agreement

After the Paris exit, a call for citizen investors

June 5, 2017 by  
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We have the means to meet or exceed the goals of the Paris Agreement, and we don’t need Washington’s permission to do it.

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After the Paris exit, a call for citizen investors

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