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Germany, UK and Poland top dirty 30 list of EU coal-fired power stations

Guardian climate change - 3 hours 21 min ago

Environmental study highlights health affects from pollution, with Germany coming top, and the UK third in total coal consumption

The UK and Germany lead a list of the EUs most polluting coal-fired power stations compiled by environmental campaigners, who say coal emissions are undermining efforts to combat climate change. Both countries have nine of the so-called dirty 30 and the campaigners say coal burning is increasing due to the relatively low price of the fuel compared to gas.

Germany and the UK are the self-declared climate champions of the EU, says the new report. However, Germany uses more coal to generate electricity than any other EU country, while the UK comes third in absolute coal consumption for power after Poland. The report argues current EU policy on climate, energy and air pollution in the power sector is not strong enough to achieve the switch from coal to renewable energy and energy efficiency.

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Categories: News

George Osborne defeated in attempt to weaken UK carbon budget

Guardian climate change - 5 hours 49 min ago

Ed Davey says legally-binding target for 2023-2027 the most ambitious in the developed world will not change

The chancellor, George Osborne's hopes of weakening the UK's carbon budget for the next decade were quashed on Tuesday when Lib Dem energy secretary, Ed Davey, said the target would not be changed.

The legally-binding target of a 50% across 2023-2027 against 1990 levels, the most ambitious in the developed world was agreed three years ago after a huge political battle between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, with David Cameron having to intervene in the target's favour.

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Categories: News

Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert

Guardian climate change - Mon, 21/07/2014 - 22:00

Study shows red meat dwarfs others for environmental impact, using 28 times more land and 11 times water for pork or chicken

Beefs environmental impact dwarfs that of other meat including chicken and pork, new research reveals, with one expert saying that eating less red meat would be a better way for people to cut carbon emissions than giving up their cars.

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World breaks temperature record for June after hottest May

Guardian climate change - Mon, 21/07/2014 - 18:19
Last month's average global temperature was 16.2C, 0.7C higher than 20th-century average, says NOAA

The globe is on a hot streak, setting a heat record in June after it also broke the record for May.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced on Monday that last month's average global temperature was 16.2C (61.2F), which is 0.7C higher than the 20th-century average. It beat 2010's record by one-twentieth of a degree.

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Climate models accurately predicted global warming when reflecting natural ocean cycles | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian climate change - Mon, 21/07/2014 - 14:00

A new study shows that when synchronized with El Niño/La Niña cycles, climate models accurately predict global surface warming

Predicting global surface temperature changes in the short-term is a challenge for climate models. Temperature changes over periods of a decade or two can be dominated by influences from ocean cycles like El Niño and La Niña. During El Niño phases, the oceans absorb less heat, leaving more to warm the atmosphere, and the opposite is true during a La Niña.

We can't yet predict ahead of time how these cycles will change. The good news is that it doesn't matter from a big picture climate perspective, because over the long-term, temperature influences from El Niño and La Niña events cancel each other out. However, when we examine how climate model projections have performed over the past 15 years or so, those natural cycles make a big difference.

When the phase of natural variability is taken into account, the model 15-year warming trends in CMIP5 projections well estimate the observed trends for all 15-year periods over the past half-century.

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Paterson's 'green blob' tirade reveals the right's problem with climate change

Guardian climate change - Mon, 21/07/2014 - 13:56

Action on global warming looks like communism to a right wing fringe, resulting in denial, paranoia and delay

When the foundation of your world view is crumbling under the weight of inconvenient truths, you can do one of two things: revise your world view or descend into paranoia.

The extraordinary outburst by the recently sacked environment secretary Owen Paterson is the latter choice. His unburdening is peppered with the language of conspiracy, decrying a "powerful self-serving caucus" of environmentalists and warning of "a mutually supportive network of environmental pressure groups... who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape."

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Climate change is far from the only cause of a rapid rise disasters | Doug McNeall

Guardian climate change - Mon, 21/07/2014 - 10:58

The world's population has nearly doubled in four decades, putting more people and more money in harm's way

A recent World Meteorological Organisation report described the frightening increase in weather and climate related disasters that occurred over the last four decades. Floods became more frequent and costly, hurricanes caused more damage. Drought killed hundreds of thousands and blighted the lives of millions, and heat waves emerged as a new threat.

A casual reader of the resulting Guardian story might be forgiven for thinking that the rapid rise in disasters was due solely to climate change, but in truth it had as much to do with a rapidly-changing human world as it did changes in the weather. Whats more, ignoring the contribution of changes in human systems could hamper efforts to blunt the worst impacts of climate change.

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Abbott praised for fighting 'green blob' by former UK environment minister

Guardian climate change - Mon, 21/07/2014 - 04:08

Australian leader has the courage to fight 'self-serving' green lobby, says sacked minister

The recently fired British environment minister, Owen Paterson, has praised Tony Abbott for confronting the powerful, self-serving caucus of green groups.

Paterson who was removed from cabinet last week by the UK prime minister, David Cameron labelled conservation groups the green blob and said they were highly paid globetrotters who besieged him with demands while he was the environment secretary.

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