Donald Trump – A major threat to the environment?


Climate Change, while extremely important, is but one reason to fear a Trump administration for there is racial, gender and sexuality abuse which is being encouraged to increase, then there is the nuclear option, for can Trump be trusted with the codes.

Trump is one total disaster for the world, environmental sustainability and the existence of any living entity.

Opher's World

Donald Trump may turn out to be a major threat to the world’s environment, putting hundreds of thousands of species under threat, promoting major climate change and putting many communities at risk of such things as flooding, drought, extreme weather, hurricanes, crop failures and starvation. This could result in mass migrations of people and mass extinctions of plants and animals.

President elect Trump claims that manmade climate change is a hoax. He is threatening to pull out of the Paris agreement and reverse the Green Energy programmes. He says that he will promote economic growth by returning to fossil fuel programmes (coal, oil and gas), reopen plants and to hell with the carbon dioxide output or pollution.

He is solely concerned with the economy and jobs. The environment is not an issue.

This runs contrary to all the evidence accumulated on climate change. In the long term it will not only…

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Oslo trash incinerator starts experiment to slow climate change | Reuters


Oslo’s main waste incinerator began the world’s first experiment to capture carbon dioxide from the fumes of burning rubbish on Monday, hoping to develop technology to enlist the world’s trash in slowing global warming.

Source: Oslo trash incinerator starts experiment to slow climate change | Reuters

Climate change may knock seafood off the menu


Original post from Climate News Network

‘……………..By Tim Radford

Pink salmon is one of the species jeopardised by the impact of carbon dioxide emissions. Image: NOAA Fisheries via Flickr.com
Pink salmon is one of the species jeopardised by the impact of carbon dioxide emissions.
Image: NOAA Fisheries via Flickr.com

Researchers warn of a serious threat to fish, mussels and other marine species as carbon dioxide acidifies the world’s waters and increases temperatures.

LONDON, 7 July, 2015 – Pink salmon – the smallest and most abundant of the Pacific salmon species, and a supper table mainstay in many parts of the world – may be swimming towards trouble.

And they are not the only dish likely to disappear from the menu. Mussels, oysters, clam and scallop could all become scarcer and more expensive as the seas become more acid. And as the world’s waters warm, fish will start to migrate away from their normal grounds at an ever-increasing rate.

New research shows that as the world’s waters acidify because of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, the pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) could become smaller and less likely to survive.

Potentially problematic

Previous studies have repeatedly and consistently explored potentially problematic consequences of change in the pH value of the world’s oceans. The higher the carbon dioxide concentrations in the air as a consequence of the burning of fossil fuels, the greater the change in oceanic acidity levels.

But researchers at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and colleagues looked at the special problems of freshwater fish.

Only about 0.8% of the world’s water is fresh – that is, found in lakes and rivers – but freshwater species represent 40% of all fishes. Salmon spawn and the young are reared in fresh water, before taking to the seas to mature, then returning to repeat the cycle.

The Vancouver scientists report in Nature Climate Change that they tested very young embryos in water at acidity levels expected at the end of this century, and observed them for 10 weeks.

They found that these laboratory-reared salmon were smaller, and their ability to smell was reduced, which could mean problems in returning to their spawning grounds or for scenting danger and responding to it.

“It is not too late for society to benefit greatly from immediate reductions in CO2 emissions”

At the age of seaward migration, they were less able to use oxygen in their muscles, which promised problems finding food, evading predators or making long journeys.

“The increase in carbon dioxide in water is actually quite small from a chemistry perspective, so we didn’t expect to see so many effects,” said Michelle Ou, lead author of the study. “The growth, physiology and behaviour of these developing pink salmon are very much influenced by these small changes.”

Salmon aren’t the only freshwater fish at risk from climate change. Research published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry reveals that a rise in water temperatures of 5°C could make common pesticides and industrial contaminants ever more toxic.

Ronald Patra, an environmental scientist at the Department of Planning and Environment in New South Wales, Australia, and colleagues tested rainbow trout, silver perch, rainbowfish and western carp gudgeon at temperatures higher than optimum for the species and in the presence of endosulfan, chlorpyrifos and phenol − all of which wash into waterways from the land.

Results varied according to pollutant, species and temperature, but, overall, all three chemicals became increasingly toxic as water temperatures rose.

Future toxicity

On the coast of Mangalore in southwest India, where mussel farming has become a growing industry, researchers decided to test future toxicity conditions for the green mussel.

The Society of Experimental Biology meeting in Prague learned that the bivalves were raised in high temperature and low salt conditions and exposed to toxic algae and bacteria of the kind that might be expected in a changing climate, which in turn affected the timing of the monsoon in ways that could lower seawater salinity.

“This is likely to increase the chance of outbreaks of toxic plankton blooms and make farming bivalves such as mussels increasingly challenging,” the meeting was told.

But changes to water chemistry – once again, the shift in pH values as yet more carbonic acid builds up in the seas – create problems enough for the commercial shellfisheries.

Wiley Evans, research associate at the Ocean Acidification Research Centre of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and colleagues report in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS Onethat shellfish farmers off the Alaska coast might, at extra expense, have to start modifying the sea water in their hatcheries because, the researchers reported, they expect “significant effects” from acidification by 2040.

The scientists monitored for 10 months the effects of water chemistry changes on oyster, clam, scallop and other shellfish larvae.

Alaska – with a limited growing season, melting glaciers that affect salinity, and with colder waters that more readily dissolve carbon dioxide – is a special case.

But in general, as researchers have repeatedly found, increasingly corrosive waters would make it more difficult for shellfish to exploit the calcium carbonate minerals needed to make shells.

Shellfish spend their maturity in one spot, whereas fish can and do shift their grounds when the conditions become uncomfortable − with consequences for established commercial catches such as sardines and sea bass.

Likely to migrate

But a 5°C average warming in global atmospheric temperatures – and climate scientists have repeatedly warned that this is possible before 2100 – means that fish are likely to migrate away from their existing habitats considerably faster than they are doing now.

Jean-Pierre Gattuso, of the Oceanological Observatory in Villefranche, France, and colleagues looked at the evidence on a global scale and report in Science journal that, without attempts to mitigate global warming, the oceans and the creatures in them will be seriously affected by temperature changes and acidification.

This is very bad news for the millions of people in the communities that depend on the seas for a living.

“On a positive note, we still have options to substantially reduce these impacts now, but the longer we wait the fewer and fewer options we have,” warns co-author William Cheung, of the fisheries centre at Canada’s University of British Columbia.

Commenting on the research, Jason Hall-Spencer, a professor of marine biology at Plymouth University in the UK, said: “This review screams at me that the evidence is in, and it is not too late for society to benefit greatly from immediate reductions in CO2 emissions.” – Climate News Network   ……………’

Will EPA Heed the Pope’s Call to Save Our Oceans?


Reblogged from Centre of Biological Diversity

The Huffington Post, June 30, 2015

Will EPA Heed the Pope’s Call to Save Our Oceans?
By Miyoko Sakashita

When it comes to saving our oceans, I’m wondering: What would Pope Francis do?

With his sprawling encyclical on the fate of our planet this month, the pope became an unexpected revolutionary. I never thought I’d see bold environmental leadership arise from this powerful, historically conservative institution.

By now, everyone knows about his call to fight climate change, ocean acidification, pollution and loss of the planet’s biodiversity.

Pope Francis opened a unique opportunity for a renewed environmental movement with his landmark encyclical Laudato Si, or “On Care for our Common Home.” Now the burden is on society to seize this moment and for the United States to robustly regulate carbon dioxide – the chemical compound that is warming our atmosphere and acidifying our oceans – as the powerful pollutant that it is.

The pope observes that the wealthy countries that have plundered and degraded the natural world “because of short-sighted approaches to the economy, commerce and production” have the greatest duty to clean it up — starting with the United States, among the world’s top carbon dioxide emitters.

“Carbon dioxide pollution increases the acidification of the oceans and compromises the marine food chain. If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us,” the pope wrote.

Despite the growing climate crisis, the U.S. government barely even recognizes carbon dioxide as a pollutant, let alone one that it is serious about regulating in meaningful way. Despite some improvements, the federal government’s regulation of carbon pollution has been timid under the Clean Air Act. We’re still a far cry from cutting carbon dioxide in a way that will help us avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis.

So imagine if the EPA were emboldened like Pope Francis we could use the full extent of existing laws such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and others to solve these problems.

During the heyday of environmental law reforms of the mid-1970s, Congress also passed another, broader law to act as a backstop when other measures fail: the Toxic Substances Control Act. So we at the Center for Biological Diversity, along with Dr. Donn Viviani – a retired scientist who headed the Climate Policy Assessment Division at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – have just formally petitioned the federal government to broadly regulate CO2 under the TSCA.

We lay out a litany of problems that carbon pollution is causing in our oceans as it increases their acidity, from the oxygen-deprived dead zones to widespread weakening of corals and shellfish that are unable to create the carbonate coverings they need for protection, problems that ripple up and down the food chain.

Our first-of-its-kind petition to regulate carbon dioxide as a toxic substance gives the Obama administration an opportunity to show important leadership on this global challenge just as international negotiators prepare for the Paris climate talks this December.

This is an urgent problem requiring immediate action, as the pope indicated: “Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost forever. The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity.”

Nowhere is that more clear than in our oceans, which are collecting about 30 percent of our carbon emissions and becoming more acidic in the process and weakening the basic building blocks of life.

“Particularly threatened are marine organisms which we tend to overlook,” the pope noted, “like some forms of plankton; they represent a significant element in the ocean food chain, and species used for our food ultimately depend on them.”

He’s right: When we save the oceans and all the life they hold, we save ourselves and a viable future for generations to come. Who can argue against that?

Society has solved difficult social and environmental problems in the past, and we can all work to fix this one. Now we need to call on EPA for bold leadership to do the right thing.

Follow Miyoko Sakashita on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EndangeredOcean

Copyright ©2015 TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc.

This article originally appeared here.

These Tiny Bubbles May Save the Planet


Original post from  Bloomberg Business

‘…………..In episode 4 of The Spark, carbon-absorbing nanobubbles could be the key to cutting greenhouse-gas emissions.

There are two ways to cut down on our greenhouse-gas emissions: Reduce the amount we make or limit how much of what we make actually gets into the atmosphere.

 It’s the second solution that researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory want to tackle with cute caviar-sized bubbles that can absorb carbon dioxide.
Photographer: Alan Jeffries/Bloomberg

 

The polymer bubbles are filled with the entirely pedestrian ingredient of baking soda, long known to absorb carbon dioxide, but it’s the bubbles themselves that are the breakthrough. They’re permeable, which means that CO2 gets trapped and absorbed by the baking soda solution inside them. In theory, you could affix the bubbles to the inside of a power plant smokestack and trap the CO2 before it is released into the atmosphere.

Photographer: Alan Jeffries/Bloomberg

 

They’re also reusable. The CO2 can be released again by heating the bubbles in a sealed container. The released CO2 can be kept in tanks or safely pumped back underground while the bubbles can go back into the smokestack and start their world-saving job all over again.

Bloomberg’s profile of Lawrence Livermore’s carbon-capturing technology is the latest installment of The Spark, which looks at innovators finding solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.  ………….’