Climate change and Global Warming

Organic farming combats global warming!

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 21, 2008

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Organic farming combats global warming

 

Data from The Rodale Institute’s® long-running comparison of organic and conventional cropping systems confirms that organic methods are far more effective at removing the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, from the atmosphere and fixing it as beneficial organic matter in the soil………..

 

The key lies in the handling of organic matter (OM): because soil organic matter is primarily carbon, increases in soil OM levels will be directly correlated with carbon sequestration. While conventional farming typically depletes soil OM, organic farming builds it through the use of composted animal manures and cover crops………

 

 

"Agriculture and forestry are a very potent sink--they will make the emissions problem easier to get a handle on,”

Organic farming for carbon capture is also compatible with other environmental and social goals such as reducing erosion, minimizing impact on native ecosystems, and improving farmer livelihoods.

 

Source: http://www.newfarm.org/depts/NFfield_trials/1003/carbonsequest.shtml

Climate change and Global Warming

The poor of the world are providing breathing space to the world

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 12, 2007

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The poor of the world are providing breathing space to the world


"We believe India must take a proactive and leadership position on the issue of climate change. It is also important to assert the linkages between increasing weather disasters and climate change. It is clear that while we will never be able to make absolute predictions or direct correlations between events that we see around us and the warming that is now inevitable, there is enough evidence to make connections. For instance, we know that climate change will lead to intensification of tropical cyclone events, like the one in Bangladesh, which has devastated the lives of millions in that country. We also know that rainfall in our world will become more variable – devastating for people dependent on rainfed agriculture. We can already see the rapid melting of glaciers (http://www.downtoearth.org.in/cover_nl.asp?mode=1), which will threaten water security in large parts of the country.


Biofuels are being touted as the new panacea for climate problems. All the biofuel in the world will be a blip on the world’s total fuel consumption. In the us, for instance, it’s agreed that if the entire corn crop is used to make ethanol, it will replace only 12 per cent of current gasoline—petrol—used in the country.If we factor in fuel inputs that go into converting biomass to energy—from diesel to run tractors, natural gas to make fertilizers, fuel to run refineries—biofuel is not energy-efficient. It is estimated that only about 20 per cent of corn-made ethanol is ‘new’ energy. This reckoning does not account for the water it will take to grow this new crop. There are fears that rainforest might be cut to expand biofuel crop cultivation; this will contribute substantially to climate change.


So how should biofuel be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Any strategy must be founded on an understanding that biofuels aren’t substitutes for fossil fuels, they can make a difference if we limit our fuel consumption. If that’s the case, governments should not give subsidies to grow crops for biofuel. They should, instead, invest in public transport that will reduce the number of vehicles on roads. Biofuels should be just for public buses and only if cars get off the road


Biofuels could be a part of the climate solution but only if they are used to help the world’s poor to leapfrog to a non-fossil fuel-based energy future. The poor are today providing the world its only real opportunity to avoid emissions. For, the bulk of renewable energy -80 per cent-is the biomass-based energy used by the poorest to meet their cooking, lighting and fuel needs.

So, the opportunity for a biofuel revolution is not in the rich world’s cities to run vehicles-but in the grid-unconnected world of Indian or African villages, where there is a scarcity of electricity for homes, and generator sets to pump water and to run vehicles. It here that fossil fuel use will grow because there is no alternative. Instead of bringing fossil fuel long distances to feed this market, this part of the world can leapfrog to a new energy future. The biofuel can come from non-edible tree crops-jatropha in India, for example-grown on wasteland.

The irony is that it is the poor in the world who provide us breathing space today. Currently, about 80 per cent of renewable energy is biomass based energy used by the poorest to meet their cooking, lighting and fuel needs. This also provides us the opportunity for a biofuel revolution – reinventing the energy options for millions who are still unconnected to the fossil fuel grid (http://www.downtoearth.org.in/cover_nl.asp?mode=9). In this challenge, our forests can be critical players – planting trees to provide employment, which will also absorb carbon dioxide and increase the sinks for our emissions (http://www.downtoearth.org.in/cover_nl.asp?mode=10).

Source

http://www.downtoearth.org.in/cover.asp?foldername=20071215&filename=news&sid=38&sec_id=9

Climate change and Global Warming

Oil Spill

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 16, 2007

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Oil Spill

This week, November 2007, a massive storm swept into the Black Sea, sinking dozens of ships and breaking apart a Russian oil tanker. Over 1,890,000 litres of thick fuel oil was spilled and initial reports suggest some 30,000 birds may have been killed. Thousands more are covered in oil and face death in the coming weeks.

Over 50 kilometres of Russian coastline are impacted by this oil spill, including critical habitat for migrating and wintering birds.

Climate change and Global Warming

Carbon Credits on google search

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 03, 2007

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Carbon Neutral Search Engine


Google search engine on a black screen? Ji Hain, it serves a great environmental purpose.

The site http://www.carbonneutralsearch.co.uk/ utilizes Google search engine and is in fact no different. However, according to the site, the amount of energy used on each individual computer generated from search queries equates to about one gram of carbon dioxide.

So the premise of the website is that any revenue generated from Google queries on their ’Carbon Neutral Search Engine’ will go to purchase carbon offsets. The website has openly chosen to use ClimateCare.org, a UK based company that allows people from all over the world to purchase carbon offsets and puts the money towards funding sustainable energy projects. The idea is a great one and should be remembered by all those self proclaimed environmentalists there.

As for other environmental bloggers out there,

"We offer websites the opportunity to enhance their listings on the Carbon Neutral Search Engine by either writting about us on their website or blog (subject to Carbon Neutral Search Engine reviews). If you do please forward the details to media@carbonneutralsearch.co.uk. You may also receive a listing in our "In the Media" section of this blog."

if you write about the website and let them know you’ve done so, they will enhance your listing in there search engine. It could result in more traffic to your environmental website if you have one. Besides that, make sure you check it out the next time you have a search, it goes to a great cause and will provide an extra boost to battling  climate change.

 

Climate change and Global Warming

The Green movement

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 29, 2007

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"...without bringing America’s underclass into the green movement, it’s going to get nowhere...

The leaders of the climate establishment came in through one door and now they want to squeeze everyone through that same door.  It’s not going to work.  If we want to have a broad -based environmental movement, we need more entry points.

The green economy has the power to deliver new sources of work, wealth and health to low income people-while honouring the Earth."

                                       -Van Jones, Social Activist, Oakland, Caifornia

Climate change and Global Warming

Artificial glaciers-Ladakh

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 07, 2007

Blog

For 15 years, Chewang Norphel, a retired civil engineer of Ladakh, has been building "artificial glaciers" to make life a little easier for the hard working but poverty-stricken farmers of Ladakh.  He uses a network of pipes to capture and channel precious snowmelt that would otherwise be wasted.  First, water from an existing stream is diverted through iron pipes to a shady area of the valley.  From there, the water flows out to a sloping hill at regular intervals along the mountain slope.  Small stone embsnkments impede the flow of water, creating shallow pools.  During the winter, as temperatures drop, the water in these pools freezes.  Once this cycle has been repeated over many weeks, a thick sheet of ice forms, resembling a glacier. 

Norphel says an artificial glacier scores over a natural one in many ways. " It is closer to the village and at a comparatively lower altitude. "

Norphel can be contacted at Tel: 01982-252151

Climate change and Global Warming

Climate’s refugees

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 18, 2007

Blog

"Each new moon, families in Kanhapur, a coastal Orissa village start packing up. Over the years, the sea has come dangerously close to the villages, swallowing half the houses, forcing people to migrate to higher ground.

Though exact scientific studies are yet to be undertaken, these could well be one of the world’s few ’climate refugees’.  They could be paying the price for somebody else spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Land records show the march of the sea: In 1930, the Satabhaya cluster of seven villages had an area of 320 sq.km; in 2000, it is shown as just 155 sq.km.

Read the full story at Source: http://www.indianexpress.com/printerFriendly/32545.html

 

Climate change and Global Warming

Corals added to IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 13, 2007

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Corals added to IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

For the first time in history, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species includes ocean corals in its annual report of wildlife going extinct.

A comprehensive study of marine life sponsored by Conservation International (CI) and implemented jointly with the IUCN (World Conservation Union) used data from the Galapagos-based Charles Darwin Research Station and other regional institutions to conclude that three species of corals unique to the Galapagos Islands could soon disappear forever.

The Galapagos marine research was conducted by the Global Marine Species Assessment (GMSA), a joint initiative of IUCN and CI launched in 2005 with the support of dozens of experts and research institutions. The GMSA is studying a large portion of Earths marine species to determine the threat of extinction.  What is significant is that climate change and over-fishing two of the biggest threats to marine life are the likely causes in these cases.

Researchers blame climate change for more frequent and increasingly severe El Nio events that have caused dramatic rises in water temperatures and reduced nutrient availability around the Galapagos Islands in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean, off South America. The warmer water harms corals and algae, both of which constitute the structural foundation of unique and diverse marine ecosystems.

Corals build reefs that are habitat for fish and other marine life, and also are a major attraction for divers in the Galapagos, where tourism makes a significant contribution to the local and national economy.

The recovery of algae species following strong El Nio events is harmed by over-fishing of the natural predators of sea urchins, which feed on the algae. Mushrooming urchin populations scour rocks clean of algae, depleting a major food source for other species such as the Galapagos marine iguana.

Marine ecosystems are vulnerable to threats at all scales globally through climate change, regionally from El Nio events, and locally when over-fishing removes key ecosystem building blocks, said Jane Smart, head of the IUCN Species Program. We need more effective solutions to manage marine resources in a more sustainable way in light of these increasing threats.

Source : http://www.conservation.org

Climate change and Global Warming

Weather in Singapore

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 23, 2007

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Singapore is getting hotter and wetter. According to the National Environment Agency, average temperatures in the city-state have risen by between 1º and 1.5º Celsius over the past 50 years. The agency, which suggests that global warming may be the culprit, also reported an increase in rainfall, noting that December 2006 was the wettest on record.

The agency is expected to publish a larger study on Singapore’s future weather conditions sometime next year.

Climate change and Global Warming

Aiding Carbon Credit

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 09, 2007

Blog

State Bank of India (SBI) plans to create financial instruments to aid carbon credit trading and management and fund and advise clients in the eco-friendly business.

The business opportunity is linked to a growing global market in which industrial polluters in developed countries that cross administered emission limits of greenhouse gases fund clean technology projects in developing countries like India and China under a government-monitored trading regime.

SBI said in a statement that analysts peg the global carbon trading market at $100 billion by 2010 and the Indian carbon market has the potential to supply 30-50 per cent of the projected global market of 700 million CERs by 2012.

Source: Hindustan Times, Aug. 8, 2007

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