Can wind energy help save birds?

The effects of climate change are already here and recent studies show it may be getting worse. Last week, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released a report concluding that 2012-2013 was the largest annual leap in greenhouse gas concentrations in three decades. These findings have serious implications for the severity of climate change, and Audubon scientists are predicting an extreme impact on bird species across the U.S in a newly released Climate Change Report.

The Brown Pelican. Credit: Audubon

The Audubon Society’s findings are shocking: Nearly half of all bird species in North America are at great risk of extinction due to climate change. Audubon conducted an extensive seven year study, entailing a breeding survey to determine “climatic suitability” for each bird species in North America. Audubon scientists then used greenhouse gas emission scenarios to map bird migration changes over time. As temperatures increase, Audubon predicts many bird species’ suitable habits will greatly shrink.

314 bird species in North America could lose more than 50% of their current habitat range by 2080 if no action is taken to combat climate change. The Brown Pelican, Eastern Whip-poor-will, and Orchard Oriole and are just a few of the many bird species greatly impacted by climate change here in the Southeast.

One of the major solutions the Audubon Society presents is reducing carbon pollution that causes global warming. Fossil fuel power plants are one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions in our atmosphere and the major driver of climate change. That’s where clean energy comes into play. Renewable electricity, like solar and wind, could greatly lower carbon emissions and play a major role in protecting these birds species at risk. Read more…

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday kicks off 24 Hours of Reality

This blog was written by SACE Communications Intern, Kelsey Adler, and SACE Communications Coordinator, Jeannie McKinney.

“True change happens when we embrace reality.”

Such is Climate Reality’s mission statement, an aptly named project begun by Nobel Laureate (and former U.S. Vice President) Al Gore in 2006. Each year for the past 3 years, Climate Reality has organized an event called 24 Hours of Reality, a live-streamed multimedia show dedicated to informing the public and inspiring activism for climate change. Famous special guests – like Mark Ruffalo and Jason Mraz – are a big pull for the event. But will you be tuning in? Read more…

Tags: , , , , , ,

El Costo del Cambio Climático para Miami Beach…

La Comisión de la Ciudad de Miami Beach acaba de aprobar un incremento del 84% en tasas municipales que financian infraestructuras destinadas a combatir los efectos del incremento del nivel del mar sobre la ciudad. A partir del 1 de Octubre, estas tasas mensuales pasaran de los actuales $9.06 a tener un valor de $16.67, independientemente de la vivienda es que se resida, ya sea un pequeño condominio o una gran mansión.

Se prevé que la tasa podría llegar hasta los $27.38 al mes para los próximos años, ya que la Ciudad necesitara alrededor de 300 millones de dólares para instalar bombas de extracción de agua. Para ello, la Ciudad realizara tres emisiones de bonos, cada una por importe de 100 millones para financiar estos trabajos, lo que consecuentemente originara mayores tasas.
Eso sí, la Comisión se ha comprometido a revisar la fórmula de cálculo de la tasa para hacerla “más equitativa” el año que viene. Y ya puestos, también se ha comprometido a investigar si existe posibilidad de financiación federal para reducir el valor de la tasa.

Lo más significativo del incremento de este tipo de tasas (además de su elevada cantidad y de su aplicación indiscriminada a todos los residentes de Miami Beach) es la confirmación de que el Cambio Climático si tiene un coste, y en el caso de Miami Beach, este coste es y va ser a cada vez más alto.

Tags: , , , ,

Arctic Ice is Melting

The Seas are Rising

This post is part three of our climate change blog series, Clean Energy Girl Goes to Norway. Click here to find part one and part two.

Before continuing with a further recap of the meetings we’ve been having in Norway, I wanted to pause and give you some background to explain why we have all come together for this project. Those concerned with climate change and its impacts are constantly thinking about how to ensure that science is informing policy decisions. That’s why Florida scientists recently met with Governor Rick Scott: to share climate science in the hope it will inform policy decisions.

This is also the point behind the Arctic Program and the overall work of The Institute on Science for Global Policy (ISGP). The idea is to bring US and Norwegian citizens together for an expedition to the Arctic. Participants will see with their own eyes how climate change is altering this fragile environment. Read more…

Tags: , , , , , , ,

U.S. Offshore Wind Power Advancing Off Of Drawing Boards And Into The Water, New DOE Report Says

This guest post was written by Kit Kennedy, Director of Energy and Transportation for Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The piece originally appeared in NRDC’s blog Switchboard on September 3, 2014. You can access it here.

Could the U.S. go from being nowhere on offshore wind power to having over a dozen projects built over the next five to seven years? That’s a very real possibility, according to a report just released by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The report, prepared by Navigant Consulting, is DOE’s third annual Offshore Wind Market and Economic Analysis. And it assesses the progress the country has made in building the offshore wind power industry that holds out a whole host of benefits for us all.

The best news the report contains is that here, in the U.S., there are 14 projects in what Navigant sees as advanced stages of development, representing almost 4.9 gigawatts of electricity. These projects are geographically diverse.

DOE's new Offshore Wind Market and Economic Analysis report shows 14 projects around the country in advanced stages of development. (map courtesy of DOE.)

Read more…

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Climate Change Arctic Program Discussion in Norway

This post is part two of our climate change blog series, Clean Energy Girl Goes to Norway. You can read part one here.

Kistefos Museum

Greetings from Norway! As I mentioned earlier, I’ve joined other concerned citizens from across the world to help plan an expedition to the Arctic, in our attempt to better understand how we can react to climate change. After a relatively short flight from Newark to Oslo, the rest of the U.S. delegation and I are settled in at Ovre Vang Gard in Jevnaker, Norway. I’m excited to be working with a group from all over the U.S., including Alpena, Michigan; Whittier, California; Toms River, New Jersey; Tuscon, Arizona and St. Petersburg Florida.

Upon our arrival, we were treated to a wonderful tour of Kistefos-Museet, a pulp mill closed in the 1950s and sculpture park which includes my personal favorite a sculpture by Fernando Botero.

I particularly enjoyed a Fredrick Raddum called Teddy – Beast of the Hedonic Treadmill, pictured below. It seemed appropriate to a discussion of climate change when so many people have their head in the sand or elsewhere…….

Teddy – Beast of the Hedonic Treadmill

Read more…

Tags: , , , , , ,

2013 Año Record en Niveles de Impacto de Gases de Efecto Invernadero sobre la Atmosfera y los Océanos

La Organización Meteorológica Mundial (OMM) acaba de hacer público su “Boletín sobre Gases de Efecto Invernadero.” Según el Boletín, la concentración de dióxido de carbono, el principal culpable del calentamiento global, se elevó a 396 partes por millón el año pasado. Este incremento supuso un alza de 2,9 partes por millón entre 2012 y 2013, el mayor incremento anual en 30 años, según el informe. El crecimiento en  concentración de N2O (óxido nitroso) en el último año es menor que la observada en 2012 pero comparable al crecimiento medio de los últimos 10 años. Finalmente el metano atmosférico (CH4) continúo incrementándose a un nivel similar al de los últimos 5 años.

Un elemento quizás más preocupante puesto de manifiesto en el informe es la posibilidad de que estos incrementos de concentración de CO2 se pueden deber, no solo al incremento de emisiones per se, sino también a una reducción en la capacidad de absorción de CO2 por parte de la Biosfera. La última vez que se observó este fenómeno fue en 1998 cuando se produjo una gran eliminación de biomasa por causa de incendios junto a la ocurrencia del fenómeno climático del Niño. Los científicos del OMM especulan con la posibilidad de que la Biosfera haya llegado a su límite de absorción, pero todavía no se disponen de pruebas concluyentes para sostener esta hipótesis. Read more…

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2013 Sets Record in Atmospheric CO2, Makes Biggest Leap Since 1980s

The results are in and they are sobering: last year was the largest annual leap in greenhouse gas concentrations (from 2012 to 2013) that we’ve seen since the 1980s, and continued the annual trend of setting a new record each year for the highest greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere than ever before in human history. This news was reported today by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in their annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.

While the increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration in the atmosphere is not particularly surprising, given its nearly perpetual upward trend, it is concerning that there was such a large leap in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) from 2012 to 2013. The jump from 393.1 parts per million (ppm) in 2012 to 396.0 ppm in 2013 represents a change of 2.9 ppm, a rate of increase not seen since 1984. This jump is both disappointing and alarming as it shows that the global economy continues to ignore the severity of global warming and is actually increasing GHGs more now than in the 1980s, when climate science was a much more obscure and less understood issue. Read more…

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Big News on BP

 This is a guest post from our partners at Gulf Restoration Network originally published on Friday, September 5. The ongoing impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster go to show that offshore drilling is extremely risky and when accidents happen, they can leave catastrophic impacts for many years. While the Gulf disaster is still playing out, the Obama Admnistration is moving to open the Mid- and South Atlantic to offshore drilling, an area currently protected from the offshore oil & gas industry. Let the ongoing events in the Gulf remind us why we should not allow offshore drilling to take place off our coasts and jeopardize our and coastal economy and way of life.

Last Thursday, a federal judge ruled that BP’s actions leading to the 2010 drilling disaster were grossly negligent, which means that we’re one step closer to seeing billions of dollars in BP fines for the restoration of the Gulf. This is a huge victory for GRN, our allies and supporters like you, who have worked for over four years to ensure that BP be held accountable for their actions. But even as a judge finds them “reckless,” BP is trying to wiggle their way out.

Take action today to tell BP to pay for their damage to the coast.

Following the decision, BP immediately announced its plan to appeal. And its professional spin doctors are already on the job. This week, at the Society for Environmental Journalists conference, BP’s Geoff Morrell suggested that BP was being blamed for damages “conjured up by opportunistic advocacy groups.” Read more…

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Clean Energy Girl heads to Norway to plan Arctic expedition…..

This post is part one of our climate change blog series, Clean Energy Girl Goes to Norway. You can read part two here.

Clean Energy Girl is embarking on an adventure!!

In a continuing pursuit to educate the public and policymakers about the need for immediate action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are forcing harmful changes in our climate, I’m headed to Norway for meetings sponsored by the Institute on Science for Global Policy (ISGP) and their Climate Change Arctic Program (CCAP).

Along with St. Petersburg City Council member Darden Rice, I am part of a group planning an expedition to the Arctic – a place extremely vulnerable to climate change – in the summer of 2016 aboard the Lindblad National Geographic Expedition.

The goal of the expedition is to help people learn how scientific and policy discussions around climate change impact personal, local, and regional decisions. For instance, sea level rise is more important to people from Pinellas County and St. Petersburg – where I live – than it may be to the other communities such as Tuscon, Arizona or Whittier, California who will also be participating in the expedition.

Read more…

Tags: , , , , ,