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New research quantifies what's causing sea level to rise | John Abraham

Guardian climate change - 2 hours 30 min ago

A new paper finds that sea level rise is about half due to melting ice and half due to ocean warming, including 13% from the deepest oceans

There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a study by scientists Sarah Purkey, Gregory Johnson, and Don Chambers was published. This team was responsible for a 2010 paper that was groundbreaking in that it quantified very deep (abyssal) sea warming. This latest paper is, in some respects, a continuation of that work.

The researchers recognized that changes to the sea levels are mainly caused by thermal expansion of ocean waters as they heat, changes to the saltiness of water, and by an increase in ocean waters as ice melts and flows into the sea. The total annual sea level rise is about 3 mm per year the question is, how much of that is from expansion and how much is from melting?

We find a small but measurable contribution from deep-sea warming to the global sea level budget (and hence global energy budget) from 19962006. The ocean warming is estimated directly from highly accurate, full-depth, oceanographic temperature data. The magnitude of the deep warming contribution to sea level below 2000 m is about 13% of the total contribution of the mass trend below 2000 m for that same time period.

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Categories: News

Why are major beverage companies refusing to use recycled cans?

Guardian climate change - 2 hours 30 min ago

Recycling aluminum cans is cheap and it retains the containers quality. So why wont Coke, Pepsi or Budweiser use them?

Imagine an infinitely recyclable product that performs as well as the alternative, costs less to make, and is unquestionably better for the environment. You would bet on its success, wouldnt you?

Novelis, the worlds largest recycler of aluminum, has made that bet. Since 2012 the Atlanta, Georgia-based company has invested half a billion dollars in recycling by building, among other things, the worlds biggest aluminum recycling plant. This $260m high-tech marvel officially opened earlier this month in Nachterstedt, Germany.

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Regreening program to restore one-sixth of Ethiopia's land

Guardian climate change - 4 hours 19 min ago

Tree and shrub-planting program has transformed degraded and deforested land across Africa, with Ethiopia planning to restore a further 15m hectares by 2030

Fifteen years years ago the villages around Abrha Weatsbha in northern Ethiopia were on the point of being abandoned. The hillsides were barren, the communities, plagued by floods and droughts, needed constant food aid, and the soil was being washed away.

Today, Abrha Weatsbha in the Tigray region is unrecognisable and an environmental catastrophe has been averted following the planting of many millions of tree and bush seedlings. Wells that were dry have been recharged, the soil is in better shape, fruit trees grow in the valleys and the hillsides are green again.

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Categories: News

Emissions trading will be back in the game if Direct Action proves ineffective

Guardian climate change - 12 hours 52 min ago

Australias global promise to cut emissions seems certain to test Greg Hunts determination to resist carbon pricing

Greg Hunt vows emissions trading is dead and wont be revived for 20 years or more. But he has quietly given himself the power to bring back a form of carbon trading, and he has advice that if he doesnt use it, Australia cannot meet the climate promises it has made to the world.

The seeds of an emissions trading scheme are buried in the deal Hunt did with crossbench senators. And the power for them to bloom into a new form of carbon trading also rests with him.

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Categories: News

Direct Action is here. Now Tony Abbott can finally move on from doomed tribalism | John Quiggin

Guardian climate change - 13 hours 53 min ago

There are really two debates on climate change: one on action, the other on the semantics of carbon pricing. Both have been resolved, albeit in an unfortunate way

As an economic researcher, most of my work focuses on uncertainty. In particular, I study the problem of unforeseen contingencies, or, in ordinary language, surprises.

As a researcher on climate change and member of the Climate Change Authority, easily the biggest surprise of this year for me was the appearance of Clive Palmer and Al Gore, jointly discussing the problem of climate change.

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How Interstellar made Michael Caine think again about climate change

Guardian climate change - Wed, 29/10/2014 - 19:43
Mother natures going to be fine but we might not be, adds Matthew McConaughey, star of film that addresses humans place in the cosmos

In Christopher Nolans new movie, humanitys hope for survival is pinned on one man: Matthew McConaughey, pilot of a last-ditch mission to find humans a new home as Earth becomes uninhabitable. And in turn, Interstellar, which opens worldwide on 7 November, heads towards cinemas heavy with expectations.

In a year strikingly light on both critical and commercial hits, its down to this three-hour Imax epic to save cinema as the clock ticks on the last quarter. Nolan has millions of devoted fans from his Batman trilogy, plus the rare clout to get studio backing for adult blockbusters which dont feature superheroes. Early screenings have attracted very warm reviews, Oscar buzz and comparisons to Kubricks 2001, whose extended deep space sequences Nolan appears to ape.

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Australia divestment war shows investment is now the main climate change battleground

Guardian climate change - Wed, 29/10/2014 - 13:08

The fallout over Australian National Universitys decision to divest from fossil fuel companies shows the language of climate risk is now in dollars and returns not degrees centigrade

For those following the rapid change in the climate change debate towards a more financial system orientation, a remarkable situation is unfolding in Australia that will act as a pointer to future developments elsewhere.

In response to the fossil fuel free divestment campaign, the pride of the Australian education system, the Australian National University (ANU), finally caved to pressure and decided to engage the services of a socially responsible investment analyst firm to look at climate change issues.

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8 foods you're about to lose due to climate change

Guardian climate change - Wed, 29/10/2014 - 13:00

As worsening drought and extreme weather devastate crops, you may begin seeing global warming when you open your fridge

What does climate change taste like?

Its an odd question, but an increasingly pertinent one. After all, as temperatures rise and extreme weather becomes the norm, many food production systems are becoming threatened. As that trend increases, its worth asking which foods consumers will have to cut back on or abandon entirely.

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12 ways communities will have to adapt to handle climate change

Guardian climate change - Wed, 29/10/2014 - 11:45

Whatever your water crisis, whether drought or flood, these DIY solutions will help you adjust to climate changes new reality

Climate change is making both droughts and flood more frequent and severe. Whether your area is suffering from too much water or too little, here are things you can do to adapt.

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Coalition secures $2.5bn Direct Action plan amid fears over emissions target

Guardian climate change - Wed, 29/10/2014 - 08:47

The Coalition will get its $2.5bn Direct Action climate policy through the Senate after agreeing to investigate the emissions trading policy it has vowed never to introduce, leaving analysts sceptical Australia can achieve its 2020 emission reduction target or deeper long-term cuts.

Environment minister Greg Hunt agreed to an investigation of emissions trading schemes and Australias future greenhouse targets as a gesture of good faith to win the votes of the Palmer United party, even though he insisted the coalition would never, ever support an emissions trading scheme or a carbon tax.

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10 sustainable innovations: from solar-powered suitcases to floating classrooms

Guardian climate change - Wed, 29/10/2014 - 07:00

Tackling global challenges including Bangladeshi floods, water scarcity, fashion waste and death in childbirth, the runners up for the Sustainia awards showcase business innovation

The 2014 Sustainia Awards, chaired by Arnold Schwarzenegger, attracted more than 900 submissions for projects and technologies representing 10 different sectors from food, fashion and, city development to transportation and healthcare. Collectively, these projects are deployed in more than 84 countries.

The runners up for the award are showcased here and the winner will be announced in Copenhagen on Thursday 30 October. The ceremony will celebrate these innovations ahead of the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes (IPCC) anticipated report on climate change, due to be finalised 31 October.

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Categories: News

If we want to make climate action happen we need to hear about the solutions | Mal Chadwick

Guardian climate change - Wed, 29/10/2014 - 05:30

Reports show the biggest threat to progress on climate change is cynicism. Thats why 10:10s #itshappening project showcases positive action happening around the world now

Our efforts to cut carbon emissions arent working and no-one else cares. Give up.

Its not a great thought to start the day, but thats the defeatist message Britain woke up to a couple of weeks ago, when the BBCs Today Programme interviewed newly-sacked climate-sceptic environment secretary, Owen Paterson.

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