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Climate Crisis--Daily Newsfeed (June 30, 2006)

Northeast Floods Stir Global Warming Debate
By Jason Szep,
June 29, 2006.

"Images of swamped homes in the U.S. Northeast deepened suspicions over global warming, giving ammunition to scientists and others who say greenhouse gas-spewing cars and factories are fueling extreme weather. Meteorologists cautioned that no one should read too much into one storm. But the Atlantic Ocean is unusually warm for this time of year, they said, creating excess moisture in the atmosphere that can swiftly build a powerful rainstorm. Paul Epstein, associate director of Harvard Medical School's Center for Health and the Global Environment, said the Atlantic is warming faster than scientists projected even a decade ago, and he expects such storms as the one seen this week from Virginia to New York to become common."

House Votes for Expansion of Oil and Gas Exploration 746006d22ee23828&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss .
By Michael Janofski,
The New York Times,
June 30, 2006.

"The House voted on Thursday to approve oil and gas exploration in coastal waters that have been protected from drilling for 25 years. The vote was largely along party lines, 232 to 187, for a measure that would sharply expand efforts to make use of energy supplies beyond the Gulf of Mexico, the only area unaffected by executive branch and Congressional bans on drillingS OThis is really the first major step in producing domestic energy that we have taken in almost 30 years,' said Representative Richard W. Pombo, Republican of California, chairman of the House Resources Committee and the chief sponsor of the bill. Whether the drilling bans are ultimately eliminated depends on the Senate, where the chairman of the Energy Committee, Senator Pete V. Domenici, Republican of New Mexico, has been trying to build support for a measure that would expand oil and gas exploration in the gulf in an area west of Tampa, Fla., known as Lease Sale 181. Mr. Domenici still lacks enough support to win Senate passage of his bill, but he said he was optimistic Othat Congress can do something this year to increase environmentally sound energy production' in the coastal waters, known as the Outer Continental ShelfS One of the strongest opponents of the bill was Representative Sherwood Boehlert, Republican of New York, who echoed many Democratic concerns that the bill was a giveaway to the oil companies and, at best, a short-term solution to a long-term problem."

Going for Green at the World Cup .
By Sam Wilson,
BBC News,
June 29, 2006.

"The World Cup organisers estimate the tournament will generate some 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. But this admission is made not sheepishly, but with a hint of pride. For not only have they gone to great lengths to keep down emissions, they say, but they vow that every molecule created in Germany will be neutralised by projects they are funding elsewhere. It will, in short, be Othe first climate neutral World Cup.'"

Dutch Refinery Diverts CO2 to Commercial Greenhouses 9bf351467c9a3a6&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss .
By Jad Mouawad,
The New York Times,
June 30, 2006. 

"A few miles north of Rotterdam, in a region the Dutch call 'glass city' for its thousands of greenhouses, gardeners like Frank van Os are part of an unconventional experiment by Royal Dutch Shell to curb carbon emissions. Mr. van Os produces four million roses each year, flooding the atmosphere inside his vast glass canopy with pure carbon dioxide to bolster his crop. What is unusual is that he now gets the carbon dioxide piped in directly from Pernis, a Shell refinery that is Europe's largest and typically discharges tons of the gas into the atmosphere every yearS A number of leading oil executives now say that how their industry manages carbon emissions will become as important to their business prospects as replenishing energy reserves."

Rising CO2 Levels Not as Good for Crops as Thought ge=1&utm_source=feed-1&utm_medium=rss .
By Kimani Chege,,
June 30, 2006.

"Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide will boost crop yields by less than half of what was previously predicted, say scientistsS It was thought that this 'fertilisation effect' might offset the negative effects on crops ­ such as increased temperature and reduced soil moisture ­ that climate change is expected to bring. But the new study, led by Stephen Long of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, points out that these conclusions are mostly based on research done in greenhouses or controlled-environment chambers in labs and fields. Long's team surveyed results from a more realistic approach known as Free-Air Concentration Enrichment (FACE), which involves releasing CO2 just above the crops in open fields without interfering with other environmental conditions. They concluded that the CO2 level expected by 2050 would only increase crop yields by about half what was predicted, [and that] Othe damaging effects of rising temperature and decreased soil moisture will not be offset by the fertilisation effect of rising CO2.'"

Scientists Investigate Giant Algae Bloom off Canada's West Coast tp:// -canada-s-west-coast.html .
Agence France Presse,
June 29, 2006.

"A giant growth of algae in the waters off Canada's west coast, so huge it can be seen from space, may be linked to climate change, say scientists who hope to collect samples Friday for analysis.  The growth, called a bloom, became visible in late June on NASA satellite images, said Jim Gower, a physicist with the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sydney, in British Columbia provinceS The bloom is caused by coccolithphore algae, which leave minute amounts of chalk in the water and which scientists believe created the limestone deposits off England known as the White Cliffs of Dover. 'This is the biggest (bloom) we've seen off our coast. We're looking at the White Cliffs of Tofino if this continues,' Gower quipped, referring to a town on the province's remote west coast."

Scientists Find Antarctic Ozone Hole to Recover Later Than Expected . EurekElert!,
June 29, 2006.

"Scientists from NASA and other agencies have concluded that the ozone hole over the Antarctic will recover around 2068, nearly 20 years later than previously believed... For the first time, a model combines estimates of future Antarctic chlorine and bromine levels based on current amounts as captured from NASA satellite observations, NOAA ground-level observations, NCAR airplane-based observations, with anticipated future emissions, the time it takes for the transport of those emissions into the Antarctic stratosphere, and assessments of future weather patterns over Antarctica.The model accurately reproduces the ozone hole area in the Antarctic stratosphere over the past 27 yearsS  International agreements such as the Montreal Protocol, approved in 1987, limit production of ozone-depleting substances. Later changes to those international agreements have completely eliminated legal production of most of these chemicals, though there will be continued emissions of previously produced and stored amounts of those chemicals that are not destroyed or recycled." (For more information about the Antarctic ozone hole: .)

Catastrophic 'Lake Burst' Chills Climate . EurekElert!,
June 29, 2006.

"Ocean circulation changes during the present warm interglacial were more extensive than previously thought, according to new research by the University of East Anglia (UK) and Cardiff University (UK).  The findings, reported in this week's edition of the international journal Science (30 June 2006), prove for the first time that sudden North American 'lake bursts' slowed ocean circulation and cooled the climate approximately 8200 years ago. The groundbreaking research increases our understanding of the complex link between ocean circulation and climate change and highlights the sensitivity of the Atlantic overturning circulation to freshwater forcingS The research team studied a sediment core taken from the seabed of the North Atlantic."

'Made to Break' . Book review by Elizabeth Grossman,
Grist Magazine,
June 29, 2006.

"What could be more American than reaching for something new? The U.S. is, after all, a nation founded on the rejection of tradition and a profound belief in invention. This urge has given us more than two centuries of powerful technology, but has also made Americans the world's most voracious consumers. The propensity to buy, discard, and buy again is no accident, explains Giles Slade in the engaging Made to Break, which chronicles the history and consequences of Americans' obsession with the next new thing."

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