EPA wants to toughen ozone rules
Louisville among affected areas
By James Bruggers
Just when Louisville thought it had met the federal clean-air standard for smog, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to toughen the rules.
And the plan that EPA administrator Stephen Johnson proposed for ozone levels yesterday could keep the Louisville Metro area out of compliance until at least 2020.
Communities that fail to meet federal ozone standards can find it harder to attract new industries or expand existing ones, and they also must go through more rigorous transportation planning.
"I have concluded the current standard is insufficient to protect public health," Johnson said.
Based on the most recent EPA data, 24 counties in Kentucky and 26 in Indiana – and hundreds nationwide – might have to further cut ground-level ozone, a lung irritant that is especially troublesome to children, the elderly, and people with medical problems.
If the standard were in place today, the Louisville area would have reached or exceeded the proposed standard on as many as eight to 15 days already this year, according to an analysis by the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District.
That compares to four days so far under the existing standard. If adopted, the standard could provide relief to people like Marian Vasser, who is among thousands of people in the Louisville area who suffer from asthma and other lung ailments.
"There are times when I may be walking -- sometimes I have to wear a mask," said Vasser. "There are times when I go in the house, I don't go back outside. I have no energy. I lie down and go to sleep."
The EPA said there would be a 90-day public comment period.
Communities would have until between 2013 and 2030 to comply, depending on the severity of their ozone problems. The agency expects a final adoption of the new rules by March 12, 2008.
Environmentalists responded to Johnson's proposal yesterday by calling for an even tougher standard.
They accused the EPA of ignoring the most stringent recommendation of its scientific staff.
But some industries advocated no change, saying the proposal would hurt the economy.
"There is no need to change the current standard because it is working as intended and air quality is improving," said Charles T. Drevna, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association executive vice president, in a statement.
Carmen Hickerson, a spokeswoman for Greater Louisville, Inc., the metro chamber of commerce, said that if the standard is made more stringent, Louisville businesses would work with the community to come into compliance, as they have done before.
Businesses already have spent millions of dollars on required or voluntary pollution controls, she said.
Proposal too lax?
Louisville's decades of work to cut smog have been successful.
The five-county metro area comprised of Jefferson, Bullitt and Oldham counties in Kentucky, and Clark and Floyd counties in Indiana is about to be declared in compliance with the existing standard, 84 parts per billion, measured over eight-hour periods.
Johnson is proposing taking the level as low as 70 parts per billion, or possibly setting it at 75 parts per billion.
But in a move that irritated environmentalists, he also invited comments from people or industries that don't believe the standard should be changed at all. They say that means Johnson is willing to put politics ahead of science – something the Clean Air Act does not allow when setting air quality standards.
During a conference call with reporters, Johnson said he made what he believed was the best decision based on available science.
But Carolyn Embry, who follows air quality issues for the American Lung Association of Kentucky, said scientific studies show harmful health effects from ozone even at below the levels Johnson proposed.
She said Johnson wasn't listening to his own scientists. In January, a group of EPA scientists recommended a standard as low as 60 parts per billion.
How to cut ozone
Ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds mix with sunlight on hot, still days.
In Jefferson County alone, cars, trucks and other motor vehicles are responsible for about 31 percent of the nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds that produce ozone, while industrial plants are responsible for about 40 percent.
The rest includes trains, boats, airplanes, lawn-care equipment, and small businesses such as dry cleaners, auto body shops and printing shops.
Art Williams, director of the Louisville air district, and regulators for the states of Kentucky and Indiana, said national actions by the EPA to reduce pollution from power plants, diesel engines and even lawn-care equipment would help communities clean their air.
But data from the EPA suggests that Louisville area would have to take additional steps to comply with the proposed ozone standard.
Williams said the Louisville district anticipated a tougher standard, and is already developing new programs to reduce the pollutants that form ozone.
Possible measures could include limiting how long diesel-engine vehicles can idle, encouraging diesel engine upgrades, reducing emissions at Louisville International Airport, and improving mass transit.
Scott Deloney, a planning and policy section chief with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, said his agency will closely look at whether science supports the EPA's proposal. He said the state agency would submit its conclusion to the EPA during the comment period.
John Lyons, director of the Kentucky air agency, said states wouldn't have to make recommendations for two years, by which time air quality could have improved enough to exempt more counties from the proposed standard.
"We're not sure where this is going to fall out," Lyons said. For Casey Henry, a recent duPont Manual High School graduate and competitive runner who suffers from asthma, improvements couldn't come soon enough.
"This is one of the worst places to be if you have asthma," she said.
Reporter James Bruggers can be reached at (502) 582-4645.
Here are the number of days during 2005, 2006 and through today that monitors in the five-county Louisville area registered ozone levels at or above the lower and upper range of the proposed ozone standard.
70 PARTS PER BILLION 75 PARTS PER BILLION
2005 2006 2007* 2005 2006 2007*
7601 Bardstown Road 21 5 15 8 3 5
Oldham County 47 25 15 33 11 8
Clark County, Ind. 33 7 no data 15 4 no data
New Albany, Ind. 23 14 9 12 7 6
Shepherdsville 22 6 10 8 1 5
7201 Watson Lane 31 11 13 17 7 8
1918 Mellwood Ave. 11 2 10 3 1 5
*Year to date
Source: Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District, Data comes from LMAPCD, Indiana Department of Environmental Management and Kentucky Division for Air Quality
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There are "standards" and measurements in place that inform the Metro when a day is likely to be an "Ozone Alert Day." When these Ozone Alerts are issued, there are certain activities & practices that can be done in order to decrease the level of pollutants produced. Generally, these actions seem to be directed at you and me - ordinary citizens who wish to see the amount of emissions reduced. But these directions/advisories need to become MANDATORY - mandatory for individuals AS WELL AS FOR BUSINESSES. ALL should sacrifice; ALL should be impacted by these temporary "inconveniences." (Actually, these inconveniences should be incorporated into our ordinary "way of life" day-to-day.)
These steps to curb pollution on Ozone Alert Days should be ENFORCED by means of fines.
If one should reduce emissions by avoiding use of gas mowers, any business or government ALSO needs to comply. One big ol' gas mower operated by the Parks department on an Ozone Alert Day puts out substantially MORE emissions than the much smaller mowers used by home owners in my area. So it doesn't make sense for John Q. Public to avoid cutting his grass to improve the air, while the Highway Department and the Parks Department and So-And-So Lawn Service are all out there belching tons of smoke and emissions all across the Metro. Business as usual - on a day that ISN'T usual.
Drive-through windows should not be merely discouraged on alert days; they should be CLOSED. No bank, pharmacy, or restaurant should be allowed to operate these windows when citizens are told to not use them. DUH!
ALL SHOULD BE PROHIBITTED FROM ENGAGING IN THE ACTIVITIES THAT ARE TO BE AVOIDED ON OZONE ALERT DAYS. - AND FINED IF THEY DON'T.
If we ALL practiced the "avoidances" during alerts, this may reduce the stink enough that no further tightening would need to be imposed on some of our manufacturers.
Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:03 am
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if they are burried deep enough they are but if get attacked not very green then
Bush was saying uranium power plants are "green" friendly.
Let's hope it's not too late to save my favorite planet.
Putting Solar Energy On A Sound Footing
8th June 2007
University of Utah physicists developed small devices that turn heat into sound and then into electricity. The technology holds promise for changing waste heat into electricity, harnessing solar energy and cooling computers and radars.
"We are converting waste heat to electricity in an efficient, simple way by using sound," says Orest Symko, a University of Utah physics professor who leads the effort. "It is a new source of renewable energy from waste heat."
Five of Symko’s doctoral students recently devised methods to improve the efficiency of acoustic heat-engine devices to turn heat into electricity. They will present their findings on Friday, June 8 during the annual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center hotel.
Symko expects the devices could be used within two years as an alternative to photovoltaic cells for converting sunlight into electricity. The heat engines also could be used to cool laptop and other computers that generate more heat as their electronics grow more complex. And Symko foresees using the devices to generate electricity from heat that now is released from nuclear power plant cooling towers.
The project has received $2 million in funding during the past two years, and Symko hopes it will grow as small heat-sound-electricity devices shrink further so they can be incorporated in micromachines (known as microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS) for use in cooling computers and other electronic devices such as amplifiers.
Using sound to convert heat into electricity has two key steps. Symko and colleagues developed various new heat engines (technically called "thermoacoustic prime movers") to accomplish the first step: convert heat into sound.
Then they convert the sound into electricity using existing technology: "piezoelectric" devices that are squeezed in response to pressure, including sound waves, and change that pressure into electrical current. "Piezo" means pressure or squeezing.
Most of the heat-to-electricity acoustic devices built in Symko’s laboratory are housed in cylinder-shaped "resonators" that fit in the palm of your hand. Each cylinder, or resonator, contains a "stack" of material with a large surface area – such as metal or plastic plates, or fibers made of glass, cotton or steel wool – placed between a cold heat exchanger and a hot heat exchanger.
When heat is applied – with matches, a blowtorch or a heating element – the heat builds to a threshold. Then the hot, moving air produces sound at a single frequency, similar to air blown into a flute.
"You have heat, which is so disorderly and chaotic, and all of a sudden you have sound coming out at one frequency," Symko says.
Then the sound waves squeeze the piezoelectric device, producing an electrical voltage. Symko says it’s similar to what happens if you hit a nerve in your elbow, producing a painful electrical nerve impulse.
Longer resonator cylinders produce lower tones, while shorter tubes produce higher-pitched tones.
Devices that convert heat to sound and then to electricity lack moving parts, so such devices will require little maintenance and last a long time. They do not need to be built as precisely as, say, pistons in an engine, which loses efficiency as the pistons wear.
Symko says the devices won’t create noise pollution. First, as smaller devices are developed, they will convert heat to ultrasonic frequencies people cannot hear. Second, sound volume goes down as it is converted to electricity. Finally, "it’s easy to contain the noise by putting a sound absorber around the device," he says
Agricultural Land Used As A Carbon Sink
8th June 2007
The huge potential of agricultural soils to reduce greenhouse gases and increase production at the same time has been reinforced by new research findings at NSW Department of Primary Industries’ (DPI) Wollongbar Agricultural Institute.
Trials of agrichar - a product hailed as a saviour of Australia’s carbon-depleted soils and the environment - have doubled and, in one case, tripled crop growth when applied at the rate of 10 tonnes per hectare.
Agrichar is a black carbon byproduct of a process called pyrolysis, which involves heating green waste or other biomass without oxygen to generate renewable energy.
Tim Flannery, Australian of the Year and renowned scientist, conservationist, writer and explorer, is a major advocate of agrichar and pyrolysis.
In The Bulletin magazine, Flannery recently ranked “fostering pyrolysis-based technologies” fourth among his five steps for saving the planet, because they convert crop waste into fuel and agrichar which can be used to enhance soil fertility and store carbon long-term.
NSW DPI senior research scientist Dr Lukas Van Zwieten said soils naturally turn over about 10 times more greenhouse gas on a global scale than the burning of fossil fuels.
“So it is not surprising there is so much interest in a technology to create clean energy that also locks up carbon in the soil for the long term and lifts agricultural production,” he said. The trials at Wollongbar have focused on the benefits of agrichar to agricultural productivity.
“When applied at 10t/ha, the biomass of wheat was tripled and of soybeans was more than doubled,” said Dr Van Zwieten.
“This percentage increase remained the same when applications of nitrogen fertiliser were added to both the agrichar and the control plots.
“For the wheat, agrichar alone was about as beneficial for yields as using nitrogen fertiliser only.
“And that is without considering the other benefits of agrichar.”
Regarding soil chemistry, Dr Van Zwieten said agrichar raised soil pH at about one-third the rate of lime, lifted calcium levels and reduced aluminium toxicity on the red ferrosol soils of the trial.
“Soil biology improved, the need for added fertiliser reduced and water holding capacity was raised,” he said.
The trials also measured gases given off from the soils and found significantly lower emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide (a greenhouse gas more than 300 times as potent as carbon dioxide).
NSW DPI environmental scientist Steve Kimber said an added benefit for both the farmer who applies agrichar and the environment is that the carbon in agrichar remains locked up in the soil for many years longer than, for example, carbon applied as compost, mulch or crop residue.
“We broadly categorise carbon in the soil as being labile (liable to change quickly) or stable – depending on how quickly they break down and convert into carbon dioxide,” he said.
“Labile carbon like crop residue, mulch and compost is likely to last two or three years, while stable carbon like agrichar will last up to hundreds of years.
“This is significant for farmer costs because one application of agrichar may be the equivalent of compost applications of the same weight every year for decades.
“For the environment, it means soil carbon emissions can be reduced because rapidly decomposing carbon forms are being replaced by stable ones in the form of agrichar.”
Unfortunately, agrichar is not widely available. BEST Energies Australia, a company involved with NSW DPI in the trials, has a pilot plant at Gosford which is producing minimal amounts for research purposes.
“We are hoping the technology will take hold and pyrolysis plants will be built where there is a steady stream of green or other biomass waste providing clean energy that is carbon negative,” Dr Van Zwieten said.
“But until pyrolysis plants are up and running, the availability of agrichar for farmers will be scarce.”
House Appropriations Panel Rejects 08 Funding To Expand SPR-2Last update: 6/6/2007 6:46:39 PMWASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--The U.S. House Appropriations Committee rejected on Wednesday the Bush administration's request for funding to double the capacity of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and instead boosted funding for research and development into clean energy technologies. The Department of Energy earlier this year began expanding the SPR in a two-stage process from around 727 million barrels of crude now to 1.5 billion barrels by 2027, selecting prospective sites for expansion. WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--The U.S. House Appropriations Committee rejected on Wednesday the Bush administration's request for funding to double the capacity of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and instead boosted funding for research and development into clean energy technologies. The Department of Energy earlier this year began expanding the SPR in a two-stage process from around 727 million barrels of crude now to 1.5 billion barrels by 2027, selecting prospective sites for expansion. Kirsten Brost, Appropriations Committee spokeswoman, said in a statement that the panel rejected the Department of Energy request for $168 million for administration costs for the expansion, "to instead invest in conservation measures and alternative fuels." The committee boosted total energy spending for fiscal year 2008 to $31.6 billion, $1.1 billion more than President Bush requested. It approved spending of $1.9 billion for research and development of technologies that it said would reduce the country's dependence on foreign sources of crude and cut greenhouse gases, almost $640 million more than the administration sought. Department of Energy spokeswoman Megan Barnett said doubling the size of the SPR would provide an additional layer of protection for the nation's long-term energy security. "We will continue to work with Congress on this important matter that will help ensure that adequate fuel supplies are available to the American people in the case of a severe supply disruption," Barnett told Dow Jones Newswires. The current SPR holds the approximate equivalent of 55 days of net imports while expansion of its capacity to 1.5 billion barrels would provide almost 100 days of net import protection, she said. Solar energy, biomass, vehicle technology and carbon dioxide sequestration research and development all saw increased levels of funding. The panel also cut funding for the President's Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, which would create a cartel of suppliers of enriched nuclear fuel as part of an anti-proliferation effort. Instead, the Appropriations Committee approved $100 million to establish an International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear fuel bank to create a reliable source of nuclear fuel for countries. "It is unnecessary to rush into a plan that continues to raise concerns among scientists and has only weak support from industry given that there are reasonable options available for short-term storage of nuclear waste and that this project will cost tens of billions of dollars and last for decades," Brost said. -By Ian Talley, Dow Jones Newswires, 202 862 9285; email@example.com Kirsten Brost, Appropriations Committee spokeswoman, said in a statement that the panel rejected the Department of Energy request for $168 million for administration costs for the expansion, "to instead invest in conservation measures and alternative fuels." The committee boosted total energy spending for fiscal year 2008 to $31.6 billion, $1.1 billion more than President Bush requested. It approved spending of $1.9 billion for research and development of technologies that it said would reduce the country's dependence on foreign sources of crude and cut greenhouse gases, almost $640 million more than the administration sought. Department of Energy spokeswoman Megan Barnett said doubling the size of the SPR would provide an additional layer of protection for the nation's long-term energy security. "We will continue to work with Congress on this important matter that will help ensure that adequate fuel supplies are available to the American people in the case of a severe supply disruption," Barnett told Dow Jones Newswires. The current SPR holds the approximate equivalent of 55 days of net imports while expansion of its capacity to 1.5 billion barrels would provide almost 100 days of net import protection, she said. Solar energy, biomass, vehicle technology and carbon dioxide sequestration research and development all saw increased levels of funding. The panel also cut funding for the President's Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, which would create a cartel of suppliers of enriched nuclear fuel as part of an anti-proliferation effort. Instead, the Appropriations Committee approved $100 million to establish an International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear fuel bank to create a reliable source of nuclear fuel for countries. "It is unnecessary to rush into a plan that continues to raise concerns among scientists and has only weak support from industry given that there are reasonable options available for short-term storage of nuclear waste and that this project will cost tens of billions of dollars and last for decades," Brost said. -By Ian Talley, Dow Jones Newswires, 202 862 9285; firstname.lastname@example.org (END) Dow Jones Newswires
Pelosi Statement on Legislation Addressing Energy Independence and Global WarmingLast update: 6/5/2007 7:41:00 PMWASHINGTON, June 5, 2007 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on legislation addressing energy independence and global warming: "Any legislation that comes to the House floor must increase our energy independence, reduce global warming, invest in new technologies to achieve these goals and create good jobs in America. "Any proposal that affects California's landmark efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or eliminate the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions will not have my support." SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House
Brendan Daly or Nadeam Elshami of Office of the Speaker of the House, +1-202-226-7616Copyright (C) 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved
seems headed that way
Maybe once the blame game is over, developing countries may do something.
Global warming 'is three times faster than worst predictions'
By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
Published: 03 June 2007
Global warming is accelerating three times more quickly than feared, a series of startling, authoritative studies has revealed.
They have found that emissions of carbon dioxide have been rising at thrice the rate in the 1990s. The Arctic ice cap is melting three times as fast - and the seas are rising twice as rapidly - as had been predicted.
News of the studies - which are bound to lead to calls for even tougher anti-pollution measures than have yet been contemplated - comes as the leaders of the world's most powerful nations prepare for the most crucial meeting yet on tackling climate change.
The issue will be top of the agenda of the G8 summit which opens in the German Baltic resort of Heiligendamm on Wednesday, placing unprecedented pressure on President George Bush finally to agree to international measures.
Tony Blair flies to Berlin today to prepare for the summit with its host, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. They will discuss how to tackle President Bush, who last week called for action to deal with climate change, which his critics suggested was instead a way of delaying international agreements.
Yesterday, there were violent clashes in the city harbour of Rostock between police and demonstrators, during a largely peaceful march of tens of thousands of people protesting against the summit.
The study, published by the US National Academy of Sciences, shows that carbon dioxide emissions have been increasing by about 3 per cent a year during this decade, compared with 1.1 per cent a year in the 1990s.
The significance is that this is much faster than even the highest scenario outlined in this year's massive reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - and suggests that their dire forecasts of devastating harvests, dwindling water supplies, melting ice and loss of species are likely to be understating the threat facing the world.
The study found that nearly three-quarters of the growth in emissions came from developing countries, with a particularly rapid rise in China. The country, however, will resist being blamed for the problem, pointing out that its people on average still contribute only about a sixth of the carbon dioxide emitted by each American. And, the study shows, developed countries, with less than a sixth of the world's people, still contribute more than two-thirds of total emissions of the greenhouse gas.
On the ground, a study by the University of California's National Snow and Ice Data Center shows that Arctic ice has declined by 7.8 per cent a decade over the past 50 years, compared with an average estimate by IPCC computer models of 2.5 per cent.
In yesterday's clashes, masked protesters hurled flagpoles, stones and bottles and attacked with sticks forcing police to retreat. The police said they were suffering "massive assaults" and that the situation was "very chaotic". They put the size of the demonstration at 25,000; organisers said it was 80,000.
Further reading: Go to pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0700609104
Also in this section
NASA Head Criticized For Remarks On Global WarmingLast update: 5/31/2007 1:48:05 PMWASHINGTON (AP)--The head of NASA drew criticism from scientists when he said he was not sure global warming was a problem and added that it would be "arrogant" to assume the world's climate should not change in the future. "I have no doubt that global - that a trend of global warming exists," NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said in a taped interview that aired Thursday on National Public Radio. "I am not sure that it is fair to say that is a problem we must wrestle with." "I guess I would ask which human beings, where and when, are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now, is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that's a rather arrogant position for people to take," Griffin said. Jerry Mahlman, a former top scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who is now at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said Griffin's remarks showed he was either "totally clueless" or "a deep anti-global warming ideologue." James Hansen, a top NASA climate scientist, said Griffin's comments showed "arrogance and ignorance," because millions of people will likely be harmed by global warming in the future. White House science adviser Jack Marburger said he was not disturbed by Griffin's remarks, but distanced them from President George W. Bush, who on Thursday announced an international global warming proposal. "It's pretty obvious that the NASA administrator was speaking about his own personal views and by no means representing or attempting to represent the administration's views or broader policy," Marburger told The Associated Press. "He's got a very wry sense of humor and is very outspoken." NASA spokesman David Mould said the radio interviewer was trying to push Griffin into saying something about global warming. NASA's position is that it provides scientific data on the issue, but policy makers are the ones who decide, he said. (END) Dow Jones Newswires
Research Finds That Earth's Climate Is Approaching `Dangerous' PointLast update: 5/31/2007 12:49:00 PMNEW YORK, May 31, 2007 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- NASA and Columbia University Earth Institute research finds that human-made greenhouse gases have brought the Earth's climate close to critical tipping points, with potentially dangerous consequences for the planet. From a combination of climate models, satellite data, and paleoclimate records the scientists conclude that the West Antarctic ice sheet, Arctic ice cover, and regions providing fresh water sources and species habitat are under threat from continued global warming. The research appears in the current issue of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. Tipping points can occur during climate change when the climate reaches a state such that strong amplifying feedbacks are activated by only moderate additional warming. This study finds that global warming of 0.6 degrees C in the past 30 years has been driven mainly by increasing greenhouse gases, and only moderate additional climate forcing is likely to set in motion disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet and Arctic sea ice. Amplifying feedbacks include increased absorption of sunlight as melting exposes darker surfaces and speedup of iceberg discharge as the warming ocean melts ice shelves that otherwise inhibit ice flow. The researchers used data on earlier warm periods in Earth's history to estimate climate impacts as a function of global temperature, climate models to simulate global warming, and satellite data to verify ongoing changes. Lead author James Hansen, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, concludes: "If global emissions of carbon dioxide continue to rise at the rate of the past decade, this research shows that there will be disastrous effects, including increasingly rapid sea level rise, increased frequency of droughts and floods, and increased stress on wildlife and plants due to rapidly shifting climate zones." The researchers also investigate what would be needed to avert large climate change, thus helping define practical implications of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. That treaty, signed in 1992 by the United States and almost all nations of the world, has the goal to stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gases "at a level that prevents dangerous human-made interference with the climate system." Based on climate model studies and the history of the Earth the authors conclude that additional global warming of about 1 degree C (1.8 degrees F) or more, above global temperature in 2000, is likely to be dangerous. In turn, the temperature limit has implications for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), which has already increased from the pre-industrial level of 280 parts per million (ppm) to 383 ppm today and is rising by about 2 ppm per year. According to study co-author Makiko Sato of Columbia's Earth Institute, "the temperature limit implies that CO2 exceeding 450 ppm is almost surely dangerous, and the ceiling may be even lower." The study also shows that the reduction of non-carbon dioxide forcings such as methane and black soot can offset some CO2 increase, but only to a limited extent. Hansen notes that "we probably need a full court press on both CO2 emission rates and non-CO2 forcings, to avoid tipping points and save Arctic sea ice and the West Antarctic ice sheet." A computer model developed by the Goddard Institute was used to simulate climate from 1880 through today. The model included a more comprehensive set of natural and human-made climate forcings than previous studies, including changes in solar radiation, volcanic particles, human-made greenhouse gases, fine particles such as soot, the effect of the particles on clouds and land use. Extensive evaluation of the model's ability to simulate climate change is contained in a companion paper to be published in Climate Dynamics. The authors use the model for climate simulations of the 21st century using both "business-as-usual" growth of greenhouse gas emissions and an "alternative scenario" in which emissions decrease slowly in the next few decades and then rapidly to achieve stabilization of atmospheric CO2 amount by the end of the century. Climate changes are so large with "business-as- usual," with additional global warming of 2-3 degrees C (3.6-5.4 degrees F) that Hansen concludes "'business-as-usual' would be a guarantee of global and regional disasters." However, the study finds much less severe climate change - one-quarter to one-third that of the "business-as-usual" scenario - when greenhouse gas emissions follow the alternative scenario. "Climate effects may still be substantial in the `alternative scenario,' but there is a better chance to adapt to the changes and find other ways to further reduce the climate change," said Sato. While the researchers say it is still possible to achieve the "alternative scenario," they note that significant actions will be required to do so. Emissions must begin to slow soon. "With another decade of 'business-as- usual' it becomes impractical to achieve the 'alternative scenario' because of the energy infrastructure that would be in place," says Hansen. For related images and more information on this story, please visit on the Web: For more information about the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Columbia University Earth Institute visit:
Leslie McCarthy, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, +1-212-678-5507Copyright (C) 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved
LIVE EARTH JAPAN REVEALEDLast update: 5/29/2007 11:15:00 AMSpecial Kyoto Broadcast Event, Artist Lineups and Ticketing Information Announced Today Tokyo Concert and Kyoto Event Part of the 24-Hour, 7-Continent Concert Series to Combat Global Warming Expected to Reach Over 2 Billion People on 7/7/07 Tickets Go On Sale Saturday, June 9 TOKYO, May 29, 2007 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Live Earth Founder and Producer Kevin Wall joined with Tatsu Kitagawa, the principal of Live Earth Japan office, at a press conference today to announce the artist lineup and ticketing information for Live Earth Japan. Wall announced that Japan is the only country hosting two events as part of the 24-hour, 7-continent Live Earth concert series to combat global warming. Makuhari Messe in Tokyo will host a daylong official Live Earth concert. A special broadcast event will be held at the To-ji Buddhist Temple in Kyoto later in the day. Live Earth will begin in Sydney, Australia on July 7, 2007 and continue across all 7 continents with official concerts in Tokyo, Japan; Shanghai, China; Johannesburg, South Africa; London, United Kingdom; Hamburg, Germany; Istanbul, Turkey; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, before concluding in New York, United States.
Live Earth Tokyo will feature the following acts live on stage: AI Ai Otsuka Ayaka Cocco Genki Rockets Kumi Koda Linkin Park Rihanna Rize And others to be announced at a later date.The special Kyoto broadcast event will feature the following acts live on stage:
Michael Nyman Rip Slyme Yellow Magic Orchestra And others to be announced at a later date.Tickets for Live Earth Tokyo at Makuhari Messe go on sale June 9. Additional information is available at TELEDOME, a 24-hour telephone information service that provides information on the event and how to purchase tickets - 0180-993-717. Live Earth Tokyo tickets are JY10,000 and can be purchased in the following ways:
-- PIA - order via mobile at 0570-02-9535 -- Lawson - order via mobile 0570-084-637 (*L code is not required) -- CN Playguide - 0570-08-9922 -- Ticket Navi - order via and pickup at any convenience store (Lawson, FamilyMart, 7-11, Sunkus, etc.) -- eplus - order via Ticket prices for the special music event in Kyoto is: SS/JPY15, 000, S/JPY9, 000, A (standing) /JPY7, 000. Kyoto tickets are available exclusively via eplus internet access -- . The information service of the Kyoto event is: 0570-06-9985 (from 30th May). Event organizers encourage all ticket buyers to use public transportation to get to the venue. Live Earth was founded by Kevin Wall, who served as Worldwide Executive Producer of the Live 8 concert series in 2005. Live Earth will bring together more than 100 of the world's top music acts to inspire an audience of over two billion people to trigger a mass movement to combat global warming. Live Earth seeks to inspire its global audience to make meaningful and lasting changes in their lives and spur action by corporations and governments to turn the tide on global warming. "Live Earth is about engaging an unprecedented audience with solutions to the climate crisis, said Wall. "This blockbuster lineup of chart-topping Japanese and international music acts will help Live Earth reach its goal by attracting a huge audience in Japan, Asia and the rest of the world." Live Earth marks the beginning of a multi-year campaign led by the Alliance for Climate Protection and other international non-governmental organizations to move individuals, corporations and governments to take action to solve global warming. Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore is the Chair of the Alliance for Climate Protection and a Partner of Live Earth. "Live Earth is taking place across all seven continents because the climate crisis affects us all -- and all of us must be a part of the solution," Gore said. "Live Earth will engage individuals, corporations and governments to take action against the climate crisis." Exclusive online media partner MSN is helping Live Earth reach people in every corner of the globe. Live Earth Tokyo will be streamed live on 7/7/07 at . MSN's 39 localized web portals worldwide attract 465 million monthly users. Live Earth Japan will be broadcast on NHK and Fuji Television Broadcast Company, and to more than 100 countries worldwide as part of the global television feed. The Live Earth production team will implement new "green event" guidelines that will address the major areas of impact of live events, including recycling, food and beverages, packaging, transportation, energy, water usage, and the event site itself. From power generation at the concerts to garbage generated by concert goers, Live Earth will seek to "design out" waste and become the model for future live events. smart has joined Live Earth as an Official Partner. Its motto "Open your mind" summarizes smart's approach to building cars, and it's this thinking that has resulted in arguably the most ecologically-sound and environmentally-relevant car of our time: the smart fortwo. Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (PHG) is a global leader in healthcare, lifestyle and technology, delivering products, services and solutions through the brand promise of "sense and simplicity". Philips, as the world's leading lighting supplier, joins Live Earth as Global Lighting Partner. Philips has put environmental product improvement at the heart of its business with its EcoDesign program since 1994 and is increasing its green product range year-by-year. The company was the first to introduce the energy saving light bulb back in 1980 and is already campaigning together with the lighting industry, NGOs, energy suppliers, governments and retailers to switch to energy saving lighting in streets, offices, buildings and homes, as soon as possible. Live Earth is being produced globally by Control Room, of which Kevin Wall is the CEO. Control Room has produced and distributed more than 60 concerts since its founding in 2005 featuring Beyonce, Madonna, Green Day and the Rolling Stones, among others. For more information, visit and . SOURCE Live Earth
Live Earth Global Headquarters, Yusef Robb, +1-323-384-1789, email@example.com, orLive Earth Japan Office, Miyairi \ Sano, firstname.lastname@example.org
Philips Exec Supports Call To Ban Incandescent Light BulbsLast update: 5/23/2007 11:46:54 AMAMSTERDAM (Dow Jones)--The chief executive of Royal Philips Electronics NV's (PHG) lighting division said Wednesday he supports the call of the Dutch government to ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs. Dutch Minister of Environmental Affairs Jacqueline Cramer said on Monday that she would propose that the government ban the sale of the traditional bulbs in four years. This "clear signal is very good" and in line with guidelines that Philips set for itself," Theo van Deursen said in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires. The increasing demand and interest for energy-efficient lighting sources is helping to boost sales and profitability at Philips' lighting business, he noted. Energy-saving light bulbs cost more than incandescent light bulbs and have "above-average margins," Van Deursen said. Philips Lighting unit targets a margin on earnings before interest, taxes and amortization, or Ebita, of around 12%, and an annual comparable sales growth of 6%. During the first quarter of the year, Philips Lighting posted an 8% comparable sales growth, partly attributable to the demand for energy-efficient light bulbs. Van Deursen said that the demand for these products is accelerating and that Philips Lighting might surpass its sales target this year. -By Mathijs Schiffers, Dow Jones Newswires; +31-20-5890270; email@example.com (END) Dow Jones Newswires
Centex Homes Offers Sharp Solar Electricity Systems in New Home Development in Naples, FloridaLast update: 5/22/2007 9:00:24 AMSolar Panels and Battery Back-Ups Installed on 89 Homes in New Community HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., May 22, 2007 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Centex Homes will offer solar electricity systems from Sharp, the world's leading provider of solar cells, on 89 homes in The Quarry, a new community north of Naples, Florida. Sharp solar systems will be offered on several single-family and estate homes in two "solar neighborhoods" within The Quarry community, designed to augment the power supplied to each home from the grid. "Centex is committed to balancing land conservation with responsible development, and The Quarry is being built on that principal," said Paul Rondeau of Centex Homes. "We are proud to take the lead in building homes equipped with solar power and encourage other developers to follow suit in bringing the long term benefits of solar to homeowners." The 2.1-kilowatt systems will help owners control monthly utility costs, especially during times of peak energy consumption, such as during the day in summer months. Each system will also have eight garage-housed 100-amp-hour batteries that will power critical loads like a refrigerator, microwave and a few outlets in case of a power failure. Construction of the homes will take place over the next three to five years. "Centex's primary reason for choosing solar energy was to build a development that operates in harmony with the natural habitat, but homeowners will also enjoy the long-term benefit of lower electricity costs," said Ron Kenedi, vice president, Solar Energy Solutions Group, Sharp Electronics Corporation. Sharp's Solar Energy Solutions Group is a unit of Sharp Electronics Corporation, the U.S. subsidiary of Sharp Corporation, Osaka, Japan. Sharp is the world market leader in solar panel production, with annual worldwide production capacity of 710 MW, and offers both standard and integrated roof modules for home applications. Sharp also is the U.S. market leader and maintains solar panel assembly operations at its manufacturing facility in Memphis, TN. The solar manufacturing facility assembles a variety of panels for residential and commercial installations. Further information on Sharp's commitment to solar energy, its product line, and the ways in which Sharp makes it easy to go solar is available online at . Sharp Electronics Corporation is the U.S. subsidiary of Japan's Sharp Corporation, a worldwide developer of one-of-a-kind home entertainment products, appliances, networked multifunctional office solutions, solar energy solutions and mobile communication and information tools. Leading brands include AQUOS(R) Liquid Crystal Televisions, 1-Bit(TM) digital audio products, SharpVision(R) projection products, Insight(R) Microwave Drawers(R), and Notevision(R) multimedia projectors. For more information visit Sharp Electronics Corporation at . SOURCE: Sharp Electronics Corporation
I remember you talking about that... excellent way to help out.
Real problem on our hands...
“This is serious,” said Corinne Le Quéré, of the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), two of the world’s leading environmental research centres. “This is the first time that we’ve been able to say that climate change itself is responsible for the saturation of the Southern Ocean sink. “With the Southern Ocean reaching its saturation point more CO2 will stay in our atmosphere. Since the early 1980s the carbon sink hasn’t changed. In the same period the emissions have gone up by 43 per cent.”