Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Arctic sea ice Extent drops to lowest on record and still shrinking


On August 26 it was announced that arctic sea ice extent this summer has dropped to it's lowest level ever recorded, surpassing the previous record in 2007. And summer sea ice melt still has further to go this season with ice extent usually reaching a minimum area in mid September.

"This is a profound — and profoundly depressing — moment in the history of our planet," said Shaye Wolf, climate science director at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. "The sea-ice death spiral, coming during one of the warmest summers in American history, is just one more clear sign of the deepening climate crisis that we ignore at our own peril."

Related: Sea ice volume: Multi-year arctic sea ice reducing dramatically | Climate Code Red Blog: Big call: Cambridge prof. predicts Arctic summer sea ice "all gone by 2015"

Friday, August 24, 2012

Australia puts the chill on hot July

Image: Global temperature anomalies for July 2012 - Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory

July 2012 was the hottest month on record for the continental United States. The heat was also felt up into the Canadian prairies, the Arctic and northern Greenland, Northern Africa, Middle East, Central Europe, Russia, Ukraine and the Antarctic Peninsula. But the temperature record fell short due to a few places like Australia which experienced cold temperature anomalies.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Changes in extent and intensity of wildfire linked to Climate change

A new international scientific study lead by a researcher from the University of Utah links extreme fire weather to increasing temperatures and drought driven by climate change.

The study, lead by geography professor Mitchell Power, found that the extent and intensity of wildfires on a continental and global basis is connected to changing temperatures and climate. The study dismissed the theory that population decline was the primary cause for reduced wildfire during the cooler periods in the last 2000 years arguing "climate change was likely more important than indigenous population collapse in driving this decline."

Monday, August 6, 2012

Further subsidies for Victorian coal by Victorian and Federal Governments



Last week Federal Funding for new Victorian coal fired power station was withdrawn. This week the Federal and Victorian Government announced $90 million in funding for 'clean coal' type demonstration programs to justify continued exploitation of Victoria's brown coal resource. Two steps forward, now two steps back.

On Friday Federal energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson and his State Minister equivalent, Michael O'Brien, announced $90 million funding support for "advanced lignite technologies". These are supposed 'clean coal' technologies to convert the high carbon intensive content of lignite into a product somewhat less carbon intense, to justify continued reliance and addiction to coal technologies and to even justify development of a processed brown coal export industry.