Climate change and Global Warming

Google.org project to alleviate global warming

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 16, 2006

Blog

Google earthday 2013 logo is a great way to experience our planet earth!


The ambitious founders of Google, the popular search engine company, have set up a philanthropy, giving it seed money of about $1 billion and a mandate to tackle poverty, disease and global warming.

But unlike most charities, this one will be for-profit, allowing it to fund start-up companies, form partnerships with venture capitalists and even lobby Congress. It will also pay taxes.

One of its maiden projects reflects the philanthropy’s nontraditional approach. According to people briefed on the program, the organization, called Google.org, plans to develop an ultra-fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid car engine that runs on ethanol, electricity and gasoline.

The philanthropy is consulting with hybrid-engine scientists and automakers, and has arranged for the purchase of a small fleet of cars with plans to convert the engines so that their gas mileage exceeds 100 miles per gallon. The goal of the project is to reduce dependence on oil while alleviating the effects of global warming.

Read the full article at

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/14/technology/14google.html?ei=5089&en=d6861c984c09b3e7&ex=1315886400&partner=rssyahoo&emc=rss&pagewanted=print

 

Climate change and Global Warming

Economists Worried?

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 10, 2006

Blog

The Economist writes in a survey:

"This survey will argue that although the science remains uncertain, the chances of serious consequences are high enough to make it worth spending the (not exorbitant) sums needed to try to mitigate climate change. It will suggest that, even though America, the world's biggest CO2 emitter, turned its back on the Kyoto protocol on global warming, the chances are that it will eventually take steps to control its emissions. And if America does, there is a reasonable prospect that the other big producers of CO2 will do the same." ..........

........ Arctic sea ice, for instance, is melting unexpectedly fast, at 9% a decade. Glaciers are melting surprisingly swiftly. And a range of phenomena, such as hurricane activity, that were previously thought to be unconnected to climate change are now increasingly linked to it.

Read the full article at

 http://www.economist.com/surveys/displaystory.cfm?story_id=7852924

 

Climate change and Global Warming

A Greener Way to Fly

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 05, 2006

Blog

Expedia.com®,  became the first online travel agency to offer travelers the ability to purchase carbon offsets -- carbon dioxide reduction measures used to help cancel out the greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming.
Expedia® is offering the service through TerraPass, the leading
retailer of greenhouse gas reduction projects in the U.S.

"Expedia is dedicated to promoting responsible tourism, and we're
proud to extend environmentally conscious options to our travelers,"
said Steven McArthur, President, Expedia® North America Leisure
Travel Group. "We are committed to making a positive impact on
travel and tourism through industry advocacy, destination support
and the promotion of responsible tourism. Offering TerraPass carbon
offsets is just one way we invite our customers to join us in this
endeavor."

Airline travel currently accounts for about 13 percent of U.S.-
transportation-based emissions of carbon dioxide, the primary
greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. To help address this,
Expedia is partnering with TerraPass to make it simple for
environmentally conscious travelers to be carbon-balanced travelers
by purchasing a TerraPass from Expedia as part of their trip.

Expedia travelers can now pay a small fee to sponsor a measured,
verified reduction in greenhouse gas emissions directly proportional
to the emissions created by their plane flight. TerraPass funds
domestic clean energy projects, such as wind farms, innovative "cow
power" methane capture plants on American dairies, and the
retirement of carbon offsets on the Chicago Climate Exchange.

One year ago Expedia formed the World Heritage Alliance in partnership with the United Nations Foundation to support sustainable tourism to World Heritage sites.

Expedia.com travelers can choose from three levels of TerraPass to
purchase during the process of booking a flight or package, or as a
standalone component on Expedia's Activities page (
http://www.expedia.com/activities ). Prior to checkout, Expedia
customers will be offered a chance to purchase a TerraPass that
funds enough clean energy to balance out the CO2 emissions caused by
their flights.

For example, a typical flight from New York to Los Angeles creates
about 2,000 lbs. per passenger of carbon dioxide (CO2), the
principal greenhouse gas. Pricing starts at $5.99 to offset about
1,000 lbs of CO2, the approximate amount per passenger emitted by a
2,200 mile round-trip flight. A TerraPass to cover cross-country and
international flights is $16.99 for up to 6,500 flight miles, and
$29.99 for up to 13,000 flight miles. Travelers who purchase a
TerraPass for cross-country or international flights will receive a
luggage tag that indicates their contribution to green travel.
Travelers who purchase a TerraPass for short-haul flights will
receive a decal.

Expedia is offering TerraPass to its customers at cost, so all
proceeds will go towards TerraPass' greenhouse gas reduction
efforts.  For more
information, visit http://www.expedia.com/activities

 

Climate change and Global Warming

Siachen Science Park

Posted by Susan Sharma on July 07, 2006

Blog

Troop withdrawal from Siachen is still to be resolved but Indian and Pakistani scientists have begun pushing for a geosciences lab to study the glacier and eventually convert it into a science park.

With them are scientists from the US and Canada. Separate meetings are being held in Islamabad and Dehra Dun to develop a suitable work plan for researching the high Karakoram ranges in what is being referred to as the "Siachen Science Laboratory."

What has given impetus to the initiative, according to geologist John H Shroder of the University of Nebraska, is the October 8, 2005, earthquake in Kashmir. "It was a message from the gods that India and Pakistan need to have urgent cross-border dialogue,'' he said. The little-understood Himalayas are rapidly changing due to human intervention. The still provide sustenance for over a billion-plus south Asians by ensuring fresh water and energy security. But there are dangers -- retreating glaciers, rivers changing course, dams triggering earthquakes -- and geo-scientific research is vital.

Already, the initiative has faced roadblocks. A joint "Science for Peace" international conference, funded by the US National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research of the US Navy, was to be held in Islamabad in May. Over 100 researchers from the US, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Italy, Afghanistan, Germany, and China were to attend. But at the last minute, Pakistan withdrew official recognition for the event.

Undeterred, the key organisers of the event, the University of Nebraska, Omaha, organised separate meetings, one of Pakistani scientists in Islamabad, and one of Indians in Dehra Dun early this week. Together, they have tried to formulate a "collaborative research agenda for Indo-Pak scientific activities in the western Himalayas."

Topping the agenda are:

• Assessing seismic hazards

• Studying the impact of climate change on Himalayan ice

• Document glacial changes

The earthquake was a wake-up call, for it came as a surprise that the Muzaffarabad faultline turned out to be active, says Shroder. Researchers don't want to be caught napping and hope to install a dense network of seismic stations across the mountains to understand earthquake risks.

The advice to the scientists from Shroder, who has researched the Karakoram for some 40 years, was not to get disheartened by the unique logistical hardships of the region. "Just keep pushing the edges, and little by little good science can be done. There can't be a better natural earth science laboratory than the high Himalayas," he told the Dehra Dun meeting.

 Concurring with him is Baldev R. Arora, director of the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehra Dun. He says enough blood has been shed, and now the time has come for "the science for peace initiative to take off" for the good of all Himalayan neighbours.

 Report from Indian Express, 4th July 2006

 

Climate change and Global Warming

Evolution and Climate change

Posted by Susan Sharma on July 06, 2006

Blog

How is it possible for one species to give rise to more than one subsequent species?

One process by which this can occur is through the dividion of a population into two or more smaller populations by a geographical barrier. If the environments of the respective populations differ, different traits will be selected for in each, and the evolution of these populations will follow different courses. As the two groups become isolated from each other, they would stop sharing genes, and eventually genetic differences would increase until members of the groups can no longer interbreed. At this point, they have become separate species and the speciation is complete. Through time, these two species might give rise to new species, and so on through millenia.

 Another process that may give rise to speciation is climate change. When climate changes, species try to follow the climate they are adapted for. Hence they move around the landscape to stay in the same climate space. When they do that, some populations that are left behind might get isolated enough to spur morphological (physical) or genetic changes. One may get a species or population trapped in a region where climate is changing, which would induce a selective force to make them change or become extinct.

 Excerpts from article by Dr.V.B.Kamble

at http://www.vigyanprasar.gov.in

 

Climate change and Global Warming

Major challenge facing the World

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 02, 2006

Blog

"I think climate change is the major challenge facing the world. I have waited until the proof was conclusive that it was humanity changing the climate.

The thing that really convinced me was the graphs connecting the increase of carbon dioxide in the environment and the rise in temperature, with the growth of human population and industrialisation. The coincidence of the curves made it perfectly clear we have left the period of natural climatic oscillation behind and have begun on a steep curve, in terms of temperature rise, beyond anything in terms of increases that we have seen over many thousands of years."

David Attenborough

Excerpts from an interview published on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 by the Independent/UK http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article570935.ece

 

Climate change and Global Warming

Message to all polluters!

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 29, 2006

Blog

Watch the short video at the following link. It plays well at our internet speeds too!

A message to the world's greatest polluter.

http://www.stopglobalwarming.org/sgw_feature.asp?id=0

Climate change and Global Warming

Climate change-impact at local level

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 28, 2006

Blog

Discovery channel is showing a one hour program "Climate Change -an untold story". The feature has four documentaries made in India.

  1. "Climate's First Orphans"-by Nila M Panda tells the story of thousands of homeless villagers living around the coastal districts of Orissa, whose existence has been wiped out by the rising sea level
  2. "The Weeping Apple Tree" by Vijay Jodha illustrates the complex issue of climate change by focussing on the shifting apple growing belt in Himachal Pradesh.
  3. "A Green Agony" by Geeta Singh explores the unique eco-system of the Sunderbans and analyses the impact of global climate change on this coastal zone.
  4. "A Degree of Concern" by Syed Fayaz looks at the implications of the climate change on glaciers and how artificial glaciers could improve water supply in Ladakh.

Climate change and Global Warming

"An Inconvenient Truth"

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 19, 2006

Blog

Former Vice president of the U.S.A Al Gore has produced the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" which premiered in May 2006.

"Al Gore strips his presentations of politics, laying out the facts for the audience to draw their own conclusions in a charming, funny and engaging style."

Paramount'd Classics has committed five percent of their domestic theatrical gross for the film with a minimum guarantee of $500,000 to be donated to a new bipartisan climate effort, Alliance for Climate Protection. Alliance for Climate Protection will campaign to motivate a critical mass of the public and influential constituencies to demand action to cut U.S emissions and to make solving global warming a national political imperative.

More details on http://www.wildbytes.tv/index.aspx?vid=wnjx6KETmi4

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