GOP rep introduces bill to gut EPA | TheHill

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/240826-gop-rep-introduces-bill-to-gut-epa

Republican from Texas introducing bill dismantling EPA to do “right” by “hard working” citizens. Excerpt follows:

The measure would force the EPA to close all of its field offices, sell or lease certain properties, cut various climate change programs and stop its environmental justice activities.

It would also stop the EPA from regulating ground-level ozone and from limiting the greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and power plants, the subject of the most controversial EPA programs recently.

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Climate change could make Greenland green by 2100 – Climate Change – Environment – The Independent

Reporting by John Van Radowitz on the greening of Greenland:

Today only four indigenous tree species grow on the large island, confined to small areas in the south. Three-quarters of Greenland, the world’s most sparsely populated country, is covered by a barren ice sheet.
But by the year 2100 swathes of verdant forest could be covering much of its land surface. “Greenland has…the potential to become a lot greener,” Professor Jens-Christian Svenning, from Aarhus University in Denmark, said. “Forest like the coastal coniferous forests in Alaska and western Canada will be able to thrive in fairly large parts of Greenland… with trees like sitka spruce and lodgepole pine. It will provide new opportunities for the Greenlanders.”
Research showed that with expected levels of warming, a majority of 44 species of North American and European trees and bushes will be able to thrive in Greenland.
The transformation is likely to alter Greenland’s ecosystem, leading to the loss of Arctic animals and plants. On the other hand there could be significant commercial possibilities linked to forestry, agriculture and tourism.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/climate-change-could-make-greenland-green-by-2100-8786840.html

Arctic Ice Ponds normal summer melt | Alaska Dispatch

Not debunking climate change but explanation necessary as far as ice ponds normal melt. Photo from K. Hansen.

image

“The formation of melt ponds has always been a key feature of the summer season on sea ice,” the statement said, before going into a lengthy explainer about how such ponds come to form, before getting down to brass tacks and addressing the question: Was the pond caused by global warming?

“No, not specifically,” the researchers wrote. “These melt ponds are a normal part of the seasonal cycle of the sea ice. With respect to global warming, we are more concerned when we see warm air temperatures in the winter that inhibit ice growth and the appearance of heat in the ocean that would melt the bottom surface of the ice.”

The recent hullabaloo over the North Pole melt pond is similar to what happened back in July when bloggers and other media latched onto a near-cloudless satellite image of Alaska, a once-in-a-blue-moon photograph taken during this summer’s record-breaking heat wave. In that case, as well, pundits ignored long-term trends and instead relied on a single poignant image to make their point.

Meanwhile NOAA’s 2012 “State of the Climate” report, released this week, highlighted another record-breaking instance in the history of the Arctic — last year’s low ice extent, which surpassed the previous record with weeks left in the summer melting season. Global surface temperatures in 2012 were about 0.3-degrees above the 1981-2010 average, making 2012 among the 10 hottest on record globally.

Meanwhile, last year’s Arctic sea ice extent joined other recent years as among the most dismal. Oddly enough, the one region not suffering from extended ice decline is the Bering Sea in winter, which has frozen fast and caused problems for industry vessels and subsistence hunters into the summer months.

The Arctic ice pack this year so far is looking more promising, with the National Snow and Ice Data Center reporting that melt was a little behind the record-shattering 2012 rate, at least in early July. The center also warned, though, that July is the most aggressive month in terms of ice melt, and air temperatures in the first half of July were 2-9 degrees above normal across much of the Arctic.

Curiously enough, despite that epic heat wave around Alaska, including one of the warmest months on record for Barrow, America’s northernmost city, the ice in the waters surrounding Alaska remained the most stubborn in the entire Arctic Ocean.

Still, despite the often-confusing information, it’s apparent that the Earth as a whole is gradually growing warmer, and the effects are particularly pronounced in the Arctic. The snow-and-ice center recently began using a new, updated average by which it will measure sea ice extent, since the years since the millennium have see an such a steep decline in overall levels, skewing the numbers lower, creating a “new normal.”

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130808/arctic-ice-melting-rapidly-some-signs-are-false-alarms

Reliably unpredictable

Extreme weather patterns merit action on a micro & macro scale. 2013 had tge coldest Easter on record in England/UK. Droughts, floods in USA are more frequent and severe. Treaties address these problems by focusing on ways country states can reduce their carbon emissions (CE). As with Kyoto signatories, we have seen drops in carbon production, e.g., in UK and elsewhere. However, a pattern is emerging, i.e., decreased emissions are often followed by decreases in domestic manufacturing. As with the case of Britain, this decrease has happened along side the building up of financial, banking sectors in their economy. This strategy is emerging as a pattern along with austerity, high unemployment and debt. When looking at spending trends we see carbon emission increases shift to developing countries, a decrease in CE from UK is accompanied by increased in carbon footprint by consumers importing products once made locally. So what appears to be positive results in reducing CE are actually increases in CE elsewhere. Here is an excerpt from The Guardian on climate change (or if you dislike that term rather call it – “increases in weather patterns producing droughts and floods as well as extreme temperatures and rising seas and lower lake levels. “:
Our weather, always unpredictable, is now  becoming increasingly harder to forecast short term. The challenge for meteorologists is to explain these unexpected outbreaks of climatic unpleasantness. “There is no doubt that the recent weather has been highly changeable – on both sides of the Atlantic,” said meteorologist Nicholas Klingaman of Reading University. “We have blizzards and flooding. America has had droughts and scorching temperatures.” Nor is it difficult to pinpoint the immediate cause, Klingaman said. The problem lies with the jet stream, a narrow band of strong winds that sweeps round the planet between the tropics and the Arctic. “Its behaviour has changed dramatically in the past few years and has produced these lengthy bouts of extreme weather. The real question, of course, is an obvious one: why has the jet stream changed its behaviour?” The answer is very worrying, for it transpires that meteorologists may find it increasingly hard to make long-term assessments of future weather with their former confidence. The planet’s weather systems are being stirred and shaken and the cause is closely linked to climate change, the result of the trillions of tonnes of carbon that we have been pumping into our atmosphere…” Read on @: http://m.guardiannews.com/uk/2013/apr/07/science-behind-britain-coldest-easter

Bombay duck is dying. Blame fishing, warming

An article from The Times of India explores the effects of climate change & ocean waters warming on fish stocks and the fishing and culinary industries. Here is an excerpt from the article followed by a link for those who want to read more. “…Of most concern perhaps is the fate of the state’s famous Bombay duck. As with other fish, catch rose through the 1960s and ’70s due to increased mechanized fishing. But the five-year average of annual landings of the fish has reduced by more than a third from 30,000 tonnes in the 1980s to around 20,000 tonnes now, according to CMFRI. Fishing pressures may also be causing this fish to mature earlier, producing fewer eggs. Only a few, low-value species saw an increase.: sardine (taarla) catch went up by 142%, mackerel (bangda) by 133% and tuna by 70%. Until the late 1990s, sardines and mackerel were rarely found north of Ratnagiri. If the decline continues, the new home for Bombay duck, albeit a different species, may be West Bengal; catch of the fish has increased in that state as well as in Orissa as fisheries in the east have developed in recent years. Silver pomfret has also been severely affected, with its five-year average of annual landings dropping almost 80% from 24,000 tonnes in the 1980s to just over 5,000 tonnes in recent years, said Deshmukh. In fact, of 25 important fish stocks in the state, only two species are still abundant, found a CMFRI assessment from 2007 to 2011. More than half are in decline. The drop in stocks is due to overfishing and the increased demand for certain seafood. Fish stocks here can sustain around 8,000 boats with reasonable profit, according to CMFRI estimates, but the actual number of boats plying the region is over 17,000. Of these, around 5,600 are trawlers ”almost twice” the optimal number. Boats are also catching younger, smaller fish, giving populations less of a chance to reproduce. Climate change may add to the pressures on local stocks. Larger fish tend to be more sensitive to environmental changes…” http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-03-09/flora-fauna/37580464_1_bombay-duck-fish-stocks-species