martes, 20 de enero de 2015

Biodiversity loss, fertilizer use, climate change and land use have all exceeded Earth-System limits

Biodiversity loss, fertilizer use, climate change and land use have all exceeded Earth-System limits
Human activity over the past century and a half has pushed the Earth into critical mode, say scientists. New research published in Science finds four out of nine 'planetary boundaries' have now been crossed. Biodiversity loss, fertiliser use, climate change and land use have all exceeded the point at which the risk of sliding into a "much less hospitable" world becomes high.
Passing any one of the nine critical boundaries risks disrupting the complex and delicate interactions that exist on Earth between the land, ocean, atmosphere, ice sheets and people, says the team of 18 researchers.
Read more at:

viernes, 16 de enero de 2015

2014 is the hottest year registered

Global temperatures were 0.69C (1.24F) above 20th century averages, making 2014 the warmest year in records dating back to 1880, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.
Nine of the 10 warmest years since 1880 have all occurred in the 21st century, with 1998 now ranked as the fourth warmest year on record, the experts said.
The experts have attributed the hot year largely to record high global sea surface temperatures, which were 0.57C (1.03F) above the 20th century average. Land surface temperatures were the fourth highest recorded, at 1C above average.
Six months of 2014 were also record breakers, with a record-warm December finishing off a year which also saw May, June, August, September and October experience new highs.
The new figures confirm expectations announced in early December to coincide with the latest round of UN climate change talks, that 2014 was on track to be one of the hottest, if not the hottest, year on record
Read more at:

jueves, 15 de enero de 2015

New rules to cut methane emissions 40-45% by 2025 compared with 2012 levels in USA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will seek methane cuts from the industry of 40% to 45% by 2025 compared with 2012 levels, according to an administration official not authorized to speak publicly.
 Methane is the second most prevalent gas tied to climate change after carbon dioxide. The gas seeps from wells and the compressors, pumps, pipes and storage tanks that make up the oil and gas production and distribution network.
It’s worrisome because methane is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat because of greenhouse effect. Methane, which leaks from oil and gas wells, accounts for just 9 percent of the USA’s greenhouse gas pollution.
About one-third of the methane emissions come from oil and gas production and transmission.
The White House says it can make the moves under the Clean Air Act, rather than by trying to push legislation through the Republican-controlled congress.
Methane emissions from oil and gas drilling and production and transmission systems are projected to increase because of the breakthroughs in hydraulic fracturing technology that have led to an energy boom. A 2014 study published in the journal Science found that methane was leaking from oil and natural gas drilling sites and pipelines at rates 50 percent higher than previously thought.
Mr. Obama’s new regulations will be designed to curb methane leaks from oil and gas wells, pipelines and valves — the entire fossil fuel drilling, production and transportation system.
Initially, they will apply only to new and modified oil and gas systems.
Read more at: