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Climate Change & Global Warming

Climate Change Week in Review Week Ending January 12, 2018

Climate Change Week in Review Week Ending January 12, 2018

  None of the four points discussed below is a scientific finding, or a technological development. This may be our

Wellness

How to let go of your financial baggage in order to set a budget that *works*

How to let go of your financial baggage in order to set a budget that *works*

Last week, you took a good, hard look at your spending habits.
On paper, that budget you just put together looks pretty straightforward.
You can’t ever take emotion out of the financial equation completely, but the key is being able to identify when your emotions are beginning to cloud your judgment.
Keep reading for your 3-step plan to keeping your emotions in check in order to stay in control of your financial situation.
Identify your baggage First off, think about what financial security means to you.
If you’re really struggling to take control, it may be time to talk to a therapist.
He or she can help you get to the root of your bad money habits and identify where your insecurity around money is really coming from.
In either case, they’ll be able to help you work through the emotions behind your spending—and make a (realistic) plan that takes your weaknesses into account.
Either way, connecting with a group of people facing similar circumstances can make the process of getting in control a lot less lonely.
From her early days reporting for Money magazine to hosting a primetime series on CNBC to becoming a Chase Slate Financial Education Ambassador, she’s become a go-to money expert.

Energy

UAE Energy Minister Says Not Concerned With Current Oil Price

UAE Energy Minister Says Not Concerned With Current Oil Price

ABU DHABI, Jan 11 (Reuters) – United Arab Emirates (UAE) Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Thursday he was not concerned with the current oil price. “We are not panicking or see any need to do anything,” Mazrouei said at an oil event in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.
He said there was an oversupply of around 100 million barrels in the market, adding that the market still needed to reduce oil inventories to their five-year average.
In a bid to support oil prices, OPEC member countries and other oil producers in January 2017 began output cuts aimed at lowering the level of oil inventories in OECD industrialised countries to their five-year average.
Mazrouei, current president of producer group OPEC, earlier said that he expected the oil market to balance in 2018 and that OPEC was committed to continuing with its supply cut pact until the end of the year.
He also said he was not worried about a supply shock due to crude output declines in Venezuela and political unrest in Iran. “We are not worried we will have a big shock…we can help each other,” he said.
(Reporting by Rania el Gamal and Stanley Carvalho; editing by Jason Neely) Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone.
All comments are subject to editorial review.
Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.

Conservation & Sustainability

Houston’s city-beautification efforts might also fight future flooding

Houston’s city-beautification efforts might also fight future flooding

On a recent afternoon, Beth White, CEO of the nonprofit Houston Parks Board, steps onto a trail along Brays Bayou in the southeastern part of the city.
There are 12 major bayous in Harris County, connecting 22 watersheds to the Gulf of Mexico.
White is walking near a meandering part of the Brays in the neighborhood of Idylwood.
Parks Board, a local nonprofit that advocates for green space, completed trails here in 2014, adding a kayak ramp and native plants as part of its Bayou Greenways 2020 project.
His research suggests that different natural features, like wetlands and reservoirs, help to mitigate flooding.
The Bayou Greenways project is based on a plan from 1912 to connect Houston’s bayous with park space.
In northeast Houston, the Greens Bayou Wetlands Mitigation Bank, finished in 2016, filters water and provides habitats for native species.
Flood Control planted trees along a river to prevent erosion and is using another creek to study how well prairies soak up floodwaters.
“We’re not primarily a flood-mitigation project,” she says.
After Harvey, Dinn organized a group of neighbors to clean debris out of the bayous.

Climate Change & Global Warming

Tesla’s South Australian super battery beats expectations for first month

Tesla’s South Australian super battery beats expectations for first month

The aspect that has generated the most interest is the battery’s rapid response time in smoothing out several major energy outages that have occurred since it was installed.
Victoria’s government will be tracking the Hornsdale battery’s early performance with interest.
Generation and Consumption Over the full month of December, the Hornsdale power reserve generated 2.42 gigawatt-hours of energy, and consumed 3.06GWh.
Frequency Control Ancillary Services There are eight different Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) markets in the National Electricity Market (NEM).
As the service may have to increase or decrease the frequency, there is thus a total of six contingency markets (three that raise frequency in the timescales above, and three that reduce it).
This is one of the services that the Hornsdale Power Reserve has been providing.
However, unlike contingency services, which essentially wait for an unexpected change in frequency, the response is governed by a control signal, sent from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
This control signal alters the output of the generator such that the supply and demand balanced is maintained.
As can be seen, the output of the battery closely follows the amount of capacity it has enabled in the regulation market.
With the costs and need for frequency control service increasing in recent years, the boost to supply through the Hornsdale power reserve is good news for consumers, and a timely addition to Australia’s energy market.

Alternative Energy

World’s Largest Solar Plant Secures Key Milestone in Development

World’s Largest Solar Plant Secures Key Milestone in Development

South Australia—home to the world’s largest battery—is one step closer to also hosting the world’s largest solar thermal power plant following developmental approval from the state government.
These plants, also known as concentrated solar plants, consists of a large field of moveable mirrors, or heliostats, that concentrate the sun’s rays to a central tower to heat up salt.
This molten salt then produces superheated steam to drive a generator’s turbines.
The advantage of this type of power plant is how it can store several hours of energy, allowing for power usage when needed.
South Australia, in contrast to the pro-coal federal government, has invested heavily in renewable energy in recent decades.
Tesla’s Massive Australian Battery Responds to Coal Power Outages in Milliseconds https://t.co/Ljpcdcwo4Q @Tesla… https://t.co/GBhK7zlQ2I — EcoWatch (@EcoWatch) 1514482458.0 SolarReserve—the same company that operates the 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant in Nevada, the world’s first utility-scale solar thermal power plant—boasts that Aurora’s massive 1,100 megawatt-hours of storage will provide eight hours of full load power after dark. “This means that, from storage (its ‘salt battery’) alone, Aurora will be capable of powering South Australia far in excess of State Government buildings, the equivalent of over 230,000 homes for eight hours, or around 35 percent of all of the households in South Australia,” the company said. “It is a significant step in the development of the Aurora solar thermal power station, which will bring clean power generation technology to South Australia,” he said.
“The remarkable story of the transition of Port Augusta from coal to renewable energy … is also a preview of the future of power generation around the world … Aurora is an example of how sustainable solutions are able to foster new industries and create new jobs for South Australia.” “It’s fantastic that SolarReserve has received development approval to move forward with this world-leading project that will deliver clean, dispatchable renewable energy to supply our electrified rail, hospitals and schools and other major government buildings,” Picton said.

Alternative Energy

‘Tide Is Turning’: Cheers Erupt for NYC’s Suit Against Fossil Fuel Giants and Divestment

‘Tide Is Turning’: Cheers Erupt for NYC’s Suit Against Fossil Fuel Giants and Divestment

Climate advocates hailed what they say is a “watershed” moment on Wednesday following two announcements by New York City: that the city would seek to divest its pension funds from fossil fuels within five years, and that it filed suit against give five fossil fuel giants for their role in driving the climate crisis.
Following through on that promise, a statement from the city released Wednesday says that he and Mayor Bill de Blasio “will submit a joint resolution to pension fund trustees” to begin the steps needed to purge the funds from the dirty industry, which will first entail an analysis on the financial impacts to be carried out by the City Comptroller’s Bureau of Asset Management. “We’re bringing the fight against climate change straight to the fossil fuel companies that knew about its effects and intentionally misled the public to protect their profits,” de Blasio said in a statement.
Daniel Zarrilli, the city’s senior director of Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience officer, echoed that statement, saying, “Today, after a decades-long pattern of deception and denial by fossil fuel companies, New York City is holding them to account.
By seeking damages for the investments necessary to protect New Yorkers from the impacts of climate change, and divesting our pension funds from fossil fuel reserves, we are taking the largest action by any city to confront the growing climate crisis and demonstrate the leadership necessary to win this fight against fossil fuels and the damages they’ve caused.”
McKibben said in a statement, “New York City today becomes a capital of the fight against climate change on this planet.”
The city’s move also follows New York State’s announcement last month that it was putting forth a “a de-carbonization roadmap” that included divesting from fossil fuels.
With NYC becoming the first major U.S. city to call for divestment—a call more than 800 institutions have heeded—and a growing number of municipalities filing suit against the industry, climate activists say it’s clear “the global tide is turning.” “The signal is clear,” McKibben added in an op-ed. “The oil industry is not the future, it’s the past.

Organic Living

Op-Ed: Recycling Must Be Included in Infrastructure Bill

Op-Ed: Recycling Must Be Included in Infrastructure Bill

At the top of manufacturers’ needs is access to good, consistent, high-quality feedstocks to make into new products.
That means including funding for improved recycling in the infrastructure bill as a way to ensure long-term reliable supply created right here at home.
That’s where recycling comes in.
As materials move through that cycle, they create jobs every single step of the way.
Better recycling is all we need to create even more jobs and to revitalize more U.S. companies.
That means we’re missing out on 22 million tons of recyclables that could be delivering powerful economic and environmental impacts.
Further, Congress should use this infrastructure bill to move the country toward a more circular economy, one in which manufacturers design and produce products with the intent of reusing materials again in the future.
Do you know who is already making these kinds of bold moves?
This administration can champion American corporations as they work with government, cities and towns, and nonprofits to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.
Today, there are 30 major corporations — The Recycling Partnership’s corporate funders — that collectively have leveraged more than $27 million to improve recycling in more than 500 cities and towns across the nation.

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Conservation & Sustainability

Houston’s city-beautification efforts might also fight future flooding

Houston’s city-beautification efforts might also fight future flooding

On a recent afternoon, Beth White, CEO of the nonprofit Houston Parks Board, steps onto a trail along Brays Bayou in the southeastern part of the city.
There are 12 major bayous in Harris County, connecting 22 watersheds to the Gulf of Mexico.
White is walking near a meandering part of the Brays in the neighborhood of Idylwood.
Parks Board, a local nonprofit that advocates for green space, completed trails here in 2014, adding a kayak ramp and native plants as part of its Bayou Greenways 2020 project.
His research suggests that different natural features, like wetlands and reservoirs, help to mitigate flooding.
The Bayou Greenways project is based on a plan from 1912 to connect Houston’s bayous with park space.
In northeast Houston, the Greens Bayou Wetlands Mitigation Bank, finished in 2016, filters water and provides habitats for native species.
Flood Control planted trees along a river to prevent erosion and is using another creek to study how well prairies soak up floodwaters.
“We’re not primarily a flood-mitigation project,” she says.
After Harvey, Dinn organized a group of neighbors to clean debris out of the bayous.

Conservation & Sustainability

I Think I’m Going to Kathmandu: Citizen Science for Freshwater in Nepal

I Think I’m Going to Kathmandu: Citizen Science for Freshwater in Nepal

Now that I am settling in at The Nature Conservancy, I see more potential to develop citizen science platforms.
The Water Problem in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley There has been recent and widespread interest, within both the Nepali government and the international community, in the further development of groundwater resources for irrigation, municipal, and industrial uses in the Kathmandu Valley.
In general, community-based monitoring and development efforts help identify water supply vulnerabilities and serve as the foundation for developing mitigation and/or adaptation measures.
A Case Study for Kathmandu Valley Since data collection is expensive, it is a clear limiting factor for resource management in Nepal and across much of the Global South.
In Kathmandu Valley, we’re trying to use mobile technology and establish a citizen science (i.e. community based) network for monitoring hydrology related data (e.g. groundwater levels, groundwater quality, flow from stone spouts, streamflow, precipitation).
My short hands-on experience while visiting the Chisopani regional school in Nepal is part of a broader partnership with Smartphones4Water where local stakeholders and citizen scientists are trained to perform hydrological measurements.
These measurements include monitoring groundwater levels, estimating spring and stream discharge, and assessing water quality with simple testing strips.
When possible, we engage local students in grades 6 through 12 and emphasize employing women for the collection of new hydrologic data.
What Is the Role of Citizen Science for Conservation?
Given The Nature Conservancy’s growing commitment to helping develop connections between nature AND people, citizen science really could serve as a long-lasting and impactful approach to monitoring, informing and targeting conservation where it matters most.

Conservation & Sustainability

What If All Maps Were Secret?

What If All Maps Were Secret?

But I’m a geographer who works in a country where all of the maps were once secret.
One day I went to do a survey in Long Duhung, a small remote village in East Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo in Indonesia.
I asked one of villagers why the river was so brown, and he said an industrial oil palm plantation created some deforested areas near the village.
How come policy makers were approving logging and plantations in the village forest areas?
At The Nature Conservancy, I’m one of the people who helps turn geographic data into a flat map with the least amount of distortion, so you can look at an online or paper map and find what you are looking for.
In East Kalimantan, we use spatial data to help logging concessions sustainably manage their forests.
But leaders have been slow in using accurate maps for planning and policy decisions.
In East Kalimantan and throughout Borneo, primary forest and good condition of secondary forest are often given to oil palm concessions without a good baseline from spatial information.
A large part of my work at the Conservancy involves creating tools to share maps and GIS data, to make sure the maps used for conservation and land-use planning are accurate.
My colleagues and I developed a WebGIS that provides spatial data layers for decision makers and the public in East Kalimantan’s Berau district.

Conservation & Sustainability

The Ultimate Winter Wildlife Guide: Enjoy and Understand Creatures in the Cold

The Ultimate Winter Wildlife Guide: Enjoy and Understand Creatures in the Cold

Is winter bird feeding good or bad for birds?
Do you want to spot a snowy owl, or track wildlife in the snow?
Here is a digest of our winter wildlife content, with stories on how wildlife survives and thrives in the winter, and others on fun winter wildlife experiences for you.
A naturalist can find interesting critters at any season, but I’ve always found winter adventures to be some of the best (and most family friendly).
Following tracks is often the best way to learn habits of undisturbed wildlife.
Winter is not the off-season for birding.
(Okay, at least not until next winter.)
And there are some bird species that you really can only realistically find in winter.
Many bird species make use of a variety of shelters – from tree cavities to old shoes – to survive a cold winter’s night, as Joe Smith reports.
One plant in particular is deadly to ungulates, last year killing dozens of elk and an unknown number of mule deer in Idaho alone.

Conservation & Sustainability

As Mass Coral Bleaching Occurs More Frequently, Hopes For Recovery Fade, Study Finds

As Mass Coral Bleaching Occurs More Frequently, Hopes For Recovery Fade, Study Finds

A team of researchers analyzed rates of coral bleaching around the tropics over the past four decades, events that most often occur when seawater becomes too warm for coral to remain healthy.
Scientists discovered that in the 1980s, severe coral bleaching events occurred only about once every 25 to 30 years.
But, in the six years after 2010, the rate between bleachings plummeted, and mass events now occur about once every six years.
While reefs that bleach ― so named because once-colorful corals turn white ― aren’t immediately killed, many of the creatures die in the intervening days and weeks.
Some corals, however, are able to recover if ocean temperatures return to normal and they’re given enough time to build up their health.
But it usually takes 10 to 15 years for the fastest-growing species to recover, the paper states, and “far longer for the full complement” on a reef.
The shorter time-frame between mass bleachings reported in the paper makes such recovery increasingly difficult, the authors write, and our rapidly warming world doesn’t seem likely to give corals a respite.
And if greenhouse gas emissions ― the prime driver of global warming and, in turn, coral bleaching ― remain unchecked, warming will skyrocket.
“The climate has warmed rapidly in the past 50 years, first making El Niños dangerous for corals, and now we’re seeing the emergence of bleaching in every hot summer.” The paper concludes on a somber note and urges global action to address climate change.
“Our analysis indicates that we are already approaching a scenario in which every hot summer, with or without an El Niño event, has the potential to cause bleaching and mortality at a regional scale,” the authors write.

Conservation & Sustainability

The Race North

The Race North

Give them a few warm days in spring and they will begin to grow.
In the desert Southwest, creosotebush is not found where the temperatures fall below -4 F (-20 C) on any night of the year.
So, with the ongoing warming of our climate, it makes sense that plants will respond.
One might expect that many species might be found in more northerly locales, or higher on mountain slopes, in warmer conditions.
For forests, the response to higher temperatures is not immediate.
A big, old tree can hang on for many years after its optimal conditions are lost, simply because it’s there, it’s well established, and it can shade the saplings of species that might be expected to outcompete it.
With climate change, the new trees that replace them are likely to be different species, and eventually the entire forest composition may shift.
Most forest species can disperse northward at rates of about 300 feet (0.1 km) per year.
Most projections of future climate indicate that dispersal rates in excess of 3000 feet (1.0 km) per year will be needed for trees to keep up.
Those that fall behind are likely to be lost as a component of future forests and perhaps entirely.

LATEST FROMClimate Change & Global Warming

Climate Change & Global Warming

Climate Change Week in Review Week Ending January 12, 2018

Climate Change Week in Review Week Ending January 12, 2018

  None of the four points discussed below is a scientific finding, or a technological development. This may be our

Climate Change & Global Warming

Tesla’s South Australian super battery beats expectations for first month

Tesla’s South Australian super battery beats expectations for first month

The aspect that has generated the most interest is the battery’s rapid response time in smoothing out several major energy outages that have occurred since it was installed.
Victoria’s government will be tracking the Hornsdale battery’s early performance with interest.
Generation and Consumption Over the full month of December, the Hornsdale power reserve generated 2.42 gigawatt-hours of energy, and consumed 3.06GWh.
Frequency Control Ancillary Services There are eight different Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) markets in the National Electricity Market (NEM).
As the service may have to increase or decrease the frequency, there is thus a total of six contingency markets (three that raise frequency in the timescales above, and three that reduce it).
This is one of the services that the Hornsdale Power Reserve has been providing.
However, unlike contingency services, which essentially wait for an unexpected change in frequency, the response is governed by a control signal, sent from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
This control signal alters the output of the generator such that the supply and demand balanced is maintained.
As can be seen, the output of the battery closely follows the amount of capacity it has enabled in the regulation market.
With the costs and need for frequency control service increasing in recent years, the boost to supply through the Hornsdale power reserve is good news for consumers, and a timely addition to Australia’s energy market.

Climate Change & Global Warming

Macron urges Chinese people to “make our planet great again” – in Mandarin

Macron urges Chinese people to “make our planet great again” – in Mandarin

French president did not announce any new climate initiatives with Xi Jinping on China visit, but his efforts to learn the language went viral French president Emmanuel Macron charmed the Chinese public by delivering his climate slogan “make our planet great again” in Mandarin during a three-day visit to China.
Parce que le climat parle à tout le monde : “Make our planet great again” … en chinois.
pic.twitter.com/C6UTeP16Nr — Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) January 8, 2018 Observers hoping for new climate change initiatives were disappointed by a joint statement from Macron and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, however.
Climate activists have pinned high hopes on the two leaders to renew political momentum for the international climate treaty that aims to limit global temperature rise within 2C, despite the White House.
Report: Macron summit touts green finance progress – despite Trump Yet in their joint statement, released by Xinhua News Agency on Wednesday, Macron and Xi focused on what was already agreed.
The two reassured each other they would “deepen cooperation” on environment and climate change, and applauded each other’s recent achievements: the Paris One Planet Summit hosted by France and soft launch of a national emissions trading scheme in China.
Both sides expressed satisfaction with progress that had been made on green financing since China hosted the G20 summit in Hangzhou in 2016, according to the statement.
As a demonstration of the two countries’ commitment to multilateralism, Xi and Macron said they will “keep constructive dialogues on international treaties”, including biodiversity, nature conservation and protecting marine life.
Li Shuo, a senior climate campaigner with Greenpeace, said the dialogue “strikes the right tone for this critical year of climate action, when over 190 nations are expected to work out detailed rules to implement Paris Agreement.
“Going forward, a Sino-France alliance is critical in effectively implementing the Paris Agreement and strengthening global climate ambition.” Among a string of business deals with China Macron secured during his visits, cooperation deals on nuclear and aviation were framed as means to tackle climate change by some Chinese observers.

Climate Change & Global Warming

Climate portfolio back in UK cabinet after May’s reshuffle

Climate portfolio back in UK cabinet after May’s reshuffle

Key appointments: Greg Clark stays as secretary of state for the department of business, energy and industrial strategy (Beis) Climate minister Claire Perry remains in her role, but will now attend cabinet Environment secretary Michael Gove, international trade secretary Liam Fox, and foreign secretary Boris Johnson, all kept their jobs After much speculation, Beis secretary of state Greg Clark today kept his role as secretary of state for Beis.
The biggest change was for climate change minister Claire Perry who won a slight promotion and will now attend cabinet meetings as minister of state at the department for business, energy and industrial strategy (Beis).
Perry, the MP for Devizes in Wiltshire since 2010, was appointed climate minister in June last year.
UK: Government details coal power phase-out strategy Perry has made a couple of notable announcements during her seven months as climate minister.
In October 2017, the department published the long-awaited Clean Growth Strategy, which set out how the government hopes to meet its climate targets and reduce emissions.
Analysts have warned that new policies “need to progress quickly” if the government is going to meet its carbon budgets.
In November, Perry joined Canada’s minister of environment Catherine McKenna at the UN climate talks in Bonn to announce the launch of the Powering Past Coal Alliance.
The alliance of countries, states and regions committed to closing coal power plants that don’t have carbon capture and storage technology was largely welcomed in Bonn.
But environmentalists warned the announcement was “only the start of the journey”, and urged countries to specify how they would reduce their reliance on coal.
The plan was met with cautious optimism by environmentalists, though it was seen as “a missed opportunity” to remove coal generation from the UK‘s energy mix at an earlier date.

Climate Change & Global Warming

British MPs Demand a “Latte Levy” on Disposable Coffee Cups

British MPs Demand a “Latte Levy” on Disposable Coffee Cups

‘Latte levy’ of 25p urged by MPs in bid to cut cup waste By Roger Harrabin BBC environment analyst 5 January 2018 MPs are calling for a 25p “latte levy” on disposable coffee cups – and a total ban unless recycling improves.
A report by the Environmental Audit Committee says the tax should be used to improve the UK’s recycling and reprocessing facilities.
In response, Starbucks said it would try out a 5p cup charge in 20 to 25 central London outlets.
“We will begin the trial in February and initially it will last for three months,” the firm said, adding that it continued to offer a 25p discount to customers who brought their own reusable cups.
The government agrees plastic waste is a problem and will seek evidence on a tax on single-use plastics.
‘Revolution’ needed The committee’s chair, Mary Creagh MP, said: “The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year – that’s enough to circle the planet five and a half times.
“Almost none are recycled and half a million a day are littered.
Coffee cup producers and distributors have not taken action to rectify this and government has sat on its hands.
“The UK’s coffee shop market is expanding rapidly, so we need to kick start a revolution in recycling.” … Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42564948 Concerns about recycling and waste disposal have risen in Europe, since China banned imports of foreign waste back in October.
Waste and recycling is a sensitive issue in Britain, substantial quantities of waste which is supposed to be recycled seems to end up in landfill or incinerators.

Climate Change & Global Warming

Climate Change Week in Review Week Ending January 5, 2018

Climate Change Week in Review Week Ending January 5, 2018

  Geologists now say that the bottom of the ocean itself is sinking. In a striking finding reported this week,

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