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#21 grog

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 05:35 PM

Arctic reaches a 'new normal'
 
 
 
 
 
Jan 15, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
The Arctic environment has reached a "new normal", characterized by thinner sea ice covering less of the surface area, shorter and less extensive winter snow cover, less ice mass in Greenland and Arctic glaciers, and warmer sea surface and permafrost temperatures. That conclusion represents the work of 85 scientists from 12 countries who prepared the 12th annual Arctic Report Card for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It was released at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in New Orleans in December.
 
Jeremy Mathis of NOAA told reporters at AGU that changes in the Arctic affect not only that region, but "will impact all of our lives". They will result in more extreme weather events, higher food prices and climate refugees. Although there were fewer weather anomalies in the Arctic in 2017, compared with the record-breaking warming of 2016, he said, "the Arctic shows no signs of returning to the reliably frozen state it was in just a decade ago".
 
Arctic temperatures continue to rise at double the rate of the rest of the planet, NOAA reports. For the year ending September 2017, the average Arctic surface air temperature was the second warmest since 1900, after 2016.
 
Specifically, reported NOAA's Emily Osborne at AGU, the average Arctic air temperature was 1.6o C above the long-term average from 1981 to 2010. The record summer temperatures of 2016 were followed by the lowest recorded winter sea ice maximum since satellite observations began in 1979, she said. The cooler summer of 2017 resulted in the minimum sea ice cover being ranked eighth lowest on record, she explained, adding that 10 of the lowest observed sea ice minima occurred in the past 11 years.
 
The remaining sea ice is much younger, more fragile and more prone to melting than in the past, Osborne noted. The report card says that only 21% of the 2017 ice cover was older than one year, and so thicker. In 1985 this figure was 45%. More exposed seawater means more absorption of radiant energy from the Sun, leading to warmer water, and additional melting of the remaining ice.
 
The August 2017 sea surface temperatures in the Barents and Chukchi Seas were as much as 4o C warmer than average, NOAA reported. The higher temperatures contributed to a delayed freeze-up in those regions in the autumn.
 
Turning to land, Vladimir Romanovsky of the University of Alaska Fairbanks reported at AGU that the Eurasian Arctic experienced above-average snow cover in 2017, while North America's Arctic had less than average snow cover and earlier snow melt, continuing a trend of 11 of the past 12 years. The Greenland ice sheet has been measured since 2002, he said. It experienced less melting than average in 2017, compared with the previous nine years, but remains nevertheless a major contributor to sea level rise.
 
The Arctic Report Card covers many additional topics, including fisheries, wildfires, greening of the tundra and primary productivity (at the base of the marine food web).
 
 
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#22 Mario Milano

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 06:09 PM

 

Less Talk, More Action Is Needed On Climate Change From Wealthy Nations
 
 
 
 

 

 What is really needed is a straight jacket for doomsday cultist  Al Grog


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#23 grog

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 06:35 PM

Landmarks at risk from climate change, expert review warns
 
 
 
 
January 15, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
Some of Scotland's most historic landmarks have been found to be at very high levels of danger as a result of climate change, according to an expert survey.
 
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has published a "groundbreaking" report which identifies 28 sites as being at the most risk against natural hazards.
 
Among them include Fort George in the Highlands, Kisimul Castle off of Barra's coast and Incholm Abbey in the Firth of Forth.
 
Ewan Hyslop, head of technical research and science at HES, said: "Climate change poses a number of very real threats to Scotland's historic environment, from an increased frequency of extreme and unpredictable weather events to rising sea levels.
 
"As well as this, average rainfall in Scotland has risen by more than 20% since the 1960s, with historic buildings particularly susceptible to the accelerated decay this can cause.
 
"It is important we're well-equipped to deal with these challenges and the climate change risk assessment report enables us to better understand the risks we face and enhance the knowledge we have to help protect and preserve Scotland's historic environment for future generations."
 
In total, the assessment identified the most "at-risk" of more than 300 sites of national and international importance in the care of the body.
 
There were 160 of such found to be at a high level of danger as a result of climate change.
 
Factors highlighted as contributing to the risk of natural hazards include rising sea levels, increasing temperatures and higher intensity of rainfall.
 
Information from the report will be used to prioritise investment through conservation and maintenance programmes to manage the climate change risk to the historic places.
 
The report outlines a new approach for assessing such risks from natural hazards at the forefront of the analysis.
 
It is also the first time that a heritage-focused organisation has collaborated in this way to use a combination of datasets from other public bodies - including the British Geological Survey and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency - to inform management of climate change risk.
 
Mr Hyslop added: "This report places Scotland at the forefront of the global challenge to tackle climate change as we lead the way in the adaptation of the historic environment by working with partners to share expertise and guidance with the wider sector to enhance resilience against current and future changes to our climate."
 
One of four case studies featured in the report is Blackness Castle, which provides an example of how the risk assessment data and methodology can be used to mitigate against specific risks.
 
The fortress on the Firth of Forth has been determined to be at high risk from a number of natural hazards, including coastal erosion and flooding.
 
To protect against these hazards, HES have implemented the construction of a retaining shore-front wall to prevent damaging wave action.
 
 
 
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#24 Mario Milano

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 06:39 PM

Insane cultist Al Grog is trying to turn this forum into Al Gores personal forum.......fucking insane spammer


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#25 grog

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 09:35 AM

Replacing wood burning energy for coal will worsen climate, claim MIT
 
 
 
 
 
16/01/2018
 
 
 
 
 
Researchers from MIT Sloan School of Management have found that wood pellets burned in European and UK power plants, such as the Drax facility in North Yorkshire - which has transitioned some of its coal power generation capacity to wood pellets with the support of UK government subsidies - actually emit more CO2 per kilowatt hour than that generated by coal.
 
This is because wood is both less efficient at the point of combustion and has larger processing and supply chain emissions than coal. Their research shows that using wood instead of coal in power generation increases the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, worsening climate change until-and only if-the harvested forests regrow.
 
US forests are a main source for EU wood pellet imports, which have been rising as demand has grown. These forests grow back slowly, so it takes a long time to repay the initial "carbon debt" incurred by burning wood instead of coal.
 
For forests in the central and eastern US, which supply much of the wood used in UK power plants, the payback time for this carbon debt ranges from 44 to 104 years, depending on forest type-and assuming the land remains forest. If the land is developed, or converted to agricultural use, then the carbon debt is never repaid and grows over time as the harvested land emits additional carbon from soils.
 
The research was conducted with the use of a system dynamics model, based on the award-winning Climate Rapid Overview and Decision Support (C-ROADS) simulator. Launched in 2008, the model was reviewed by an external scientific review committee, chaired by Sir Robert Watson, former Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A summary of their review can be accessed here.
 
The researchers also explored an increasingly common scenario in which hardwood forests harvested for bioenergy are replaced with faster-growing loblolly pine plantations. Surprisingly, replanting with fast-growing pine plantations worsens the CO2 impact of wood because managed plantations do not sequester as much carbon as natural forests.
 
They found that continued growth in wood use, as many predict, will worsen climate change throughout the rest of this century, or longer. This is because the first impact of substituting wood for coal in power generation is an increase in CO2 emissions.
 
Even if the forests eventually regrow, notes Prof. Sterman, each year the new carbon debt from increased harvest and combustion outweighs the regrowth, just as borrowing more on a credit card each month than one is able to pay back will steadily increase what he or she owes. For countries using wood bioenergy as a component of their climate policies this could take them backwards.
 
Indeed, bioenergy from wood made up 44% of the EU's renewable energy production in 2015.
 
"A molecule of CO2 emitted today has the same impact on the climate whether it comes from coal or biomass," says Prof. John Sterman. "Declaring that biofuels are carbon neutral, as the EU, UK and others have done, erroneously assumes forest regrowth happens quickly and fully offsets the emissions from biofuel production and combustion. One way to address the challenges raised in this study would be to count emissions where they occur, for example, at a power plant, and monitor and count carbon removed from the atmosphere by regrowth on the harvested land."
 
Critically, the analysis doesn't support continued coal use as it is the most carbon intensive fuel and a major contributor to climate change.
 
The researchers stress energy efficiency, solar, wind and storage as the cheapest, safest, and quickest ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions while meeting energy needs.
 
 
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#26 grog

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:26 AM

When and how humans triggered a new geological epoch
 
 
 
 
January 16, 2018
 
 
 
 
Rocks fused with plastic, first discovered on a Hawaiian beach in 2014, could be one of the geological proofs needed to declare that human activity has triggered a new geological epoch, called the Anthropocene(Credit: P. Corcoran et al/GSA TODAY  2014)
 
There's no doubt that humans have had a powerful impact on the planet, but some scientists believe the effects are so clear and widespread that our current time period should be declared the dawn of a new geological epoch - the Anthropocene. On the path to being formally recognized, a new study has proposed a start date for the new epoch, and outlined where geological evidence could be found to support it.
 
Conventional thinking has us currently living in the Holocene epoch, which began 11,700 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. But the world has changed a lot in that time, especially in the last few centuries as human activity has ramped up and started messing with Earth's climate and geology. The situation has gotten to the point where an international team of scientists, calling themselves the Anthropocene Working Group (AWG), has called for a new epoch to be officially declared.
 
That's no trivial thing. Epochs usually last on the order of many thousands to millions of years, and their transitions are marked in the geological record as observable changes in the chemistry of the rocks, caused by events like volcanic eruptions, asteroid impacts and climate change. Has human activity really left a footprint of that scale?
 
The AWG argues that our impact on the planet is just as marked as any of the other transitional events. Even if every last human vanished tomorrow, we've already left an imprint that will persist until the Sun swallows the Earth. Future archaeologists will be digging up layers of rock pockmarked with asphalt and concrete, colorful stones fused with hardened plastic, and brand new minerals formed as a result of pollution and human activity.
 
An artificial mineral known as Simonkolleite, formed when zinc slag is weathered, could be a geological marker of a new human-induced epoch, called the Anthropocene(Credit: RUFF)
 
That sounds like more than enough evidence for the existence of the Anthropocene, but before it can be formally recognized in the Geological Time Scale, a "golden spike" needs to be identified. That's a reference sample of rock layers (or strata) where those key markers are different from earlier layers, clearly showing the transition between two time periods.
 
While the roots of this new epoch may have been laid as early as the Industrial Revolution, the AWG's work has now identified that the Anthropocene's clearest starting point probably lies around the early 1950s. Physical, chemical and biological markers associated with human activity skyrocket around that time, including the radionuclide fallout left over from nuclear testing and the carbon chemistry changes caused by increased burning of fossil fuels.
 
A new report from the AWG suggests that these markers should be visible in strata around the world, and the best place to find a golden spike would be on the beds of oxygen-starved seas and lakes, in glacial ice, and preserved in the growth rings of trees and coral.
 
"This study considers those environments in which the very short history of the Anthropocene is best recorded," says Colin Waters, lead researcher on the study. "In addition to such traditional geological strata, we have also considered human-generated deposits, sediments accumulating in lakes, estuaries and deltas, peat bogs, cave mineral deposits and even biological hosts such as corals and trees. The presence of annual layers or growth rings within many of these provides geologically unprecedented accuracy in the placement of the primary reference marker, wherever this might be ultimately chosen."
 
The researchers say they are spoiled for choice in terms of finding a golden spike. Once this is collected and studied, the team plans to move forward with a formal proposal to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, which will then vote on whether the Anthropocene is accepted as an official epoch in the history of Earth.
 
The study was published in the journal Earth-Science Reviews.
 
 
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#27 grog

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:29 AM

 
"which began 11,700 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age"
 
 
This leads us to the 6000 Year Cult.
 
Members are clustered in North America.

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#28 Mario Milano

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 01:23 PM

"which began 11,700 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age"
 
 
This leads us to the 6000 Year Cult.
 
Members are clustered in North America.


You are nuts
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#29 Mario Milano

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 01:25 PM

Seriously dude seek help...the globull warming cult has fcked your head up
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#30 grog

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:47 PM

China opens the world's largest air purifier in a battle against smog
 
 
At 100 metres tall, this air purifier has already crunched 10 million cubic metres of clean air
 
 
 
 
 
16 Jan 2018
 
 
 
 
 
Air pollution is a big problem in many big cities. By 2050 it's estimated that 6.6 million people will die each year due to air pollution. In China, a country with numerous cities with populations well over the 15 million people mark, air pollution has compounded itself to a point where its a deadly problem killing around 1.8 million people per year as of 2015.
 
To help solve this problem, China has built the world's biggest air purifier in Xian, Shaanxi province. At over 100m tall, the experimental tower has already managed to improve air quality in the region. Lead scientist on the project, Cao Junji, claims the city has seen an improvement in air quality over an area of 10 square kilometres over the past few months, with the tower producing 10 million cubic metres of clean air a day since its opening.
 
The tower is still undergoing testing by researchers at the Institute of Earth Environments at the Chinese Academy of Sciences to track its effectiveness. Cao's research team set up over a dozen pollution monitoring stations around the tower's effective area to track just how much of an impact it's having on the city's air quality.
 
According to their research, there was a 15% reduction in the fine PM2.5 particles found in smog during heavy pollution. These particles are believed to be the worst offenders when it comes to health problems caused by air pollution. However, these results are still deemed preliminary as the team plans to continue assessing the facility's overall performance, releasing more detailed data around March.
 
This isn't the first smog-cleaning tower built in China, another seven-metre tower was constructed in Beijing last year and produces around eight cubic metres of clean air per second. However, this purifier was powered by electricity which, in China, is predominantly produced from coal-fired power plants. Not particularly handy for trying to clean the air.
 
This new tower, however, runs on very little power thanks to its efficient air scrubbing method. Xian's tower works by sucking polluted air into its glasshouse structure and heating it up via solar energy. The hot air then rises through the tower, being scrubbed by multiple layers of cleaning filters. While some power is used to suck air in initially, the rest is simple physics.
 
"It barely requires any power input throughout daylight hours," Cao explains. "The idea has worked very well in the test run."
 
 
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#31 grog

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 06:22 PM

East China Sea oil tanker disaster: what it means for the environment
 
Ship was carrying 136,000 tons of oil that now threatens to pollute some of China's most important fishing waters
 
 
 
 
16 Jan 2018
 
 
 
 
The Iranian oil tanker Sanchi sank off the coast of Shanghai on Sunday, after a week of burning and sending plumes of smoke hundreds of metres into the air. Only three bodies of the 32 sailors were recovered. The ship was carrying 136,000 tons, or about 1 million barrels, of oil, that now threatens to pollute some of China's most important fishing waters.
 
What was Sanchi transporting?
 
The oil tanker was carrying condensate oil, which differs considerably from the thick black oil slicks typically associated with a spill. Instead, the colourless oil is a liquid only under certain conditions and is partially soluble in water, making it much harder to separate and detect.
 
Oil spill from the submerged Iranian oil tanker off East China coast is expanding, and will spread northward due to wind and sea currents, a statement from China's State Oceanic Administration warns on Monday (Photo via Xinhua) pic.twitter.com/7kF0Elo1wq
 
How much oil leaked?
 
Currently, it is impossible to gauge exactly how much condensate ended up in the water. Some of it burned off and some probably evaporated, but any oil still onboard when the ship sank will slowly leak out over time and be difficult to contain.
 
What will the impact be on the local environment?
 
The condensate that leaked into the water could potentially wreak havoc on local fish spawning grounds and the Sanchi sank in the migratory path of the humpback whale, according to Greenpeace.
 
While there will not be black beaches covered in oil, condensate is toxic when inhaled and on the skin and is described as "toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects".
 
Iranian oil tanker sinks off China as official says no hope of survivors
 
Another concern is the fuel that was powering the Sanchi. The day after it sank, China's State Oceanic Administration reported two oil slicks, one nearly 15km long and another about 18km long, although it is unclear if these are from the cargo or the fuel tanks.
 
"Given that the fuel tanks in these sorts of vessels are located close to the engine room, it is likely that the fuel tanks have remained intact since the initial collision," said Paul Johnston, a research fellow at the University of Exeter.
 
"It is possible that we will see chronic low volume leakage over a period of time at the seabed. ... Impact would remain relatively local."
 
What could China have done differently?
 
There were two competing goals in dealing with the tanker: putting out the fire in an effort to rescue the crew, or allowing as much oil as possible to burn off to limit polluting the waters. In the end, there was a mixture of both.
 
The National Iranian Tanker Company, the firm that operated the ship, had two ships nearby and a spokesman for the company wondered why Chinese fire fighting boats were using water to douse the flames when foam would be more effective.
 
While the blaze was still burning the Iranian Merchant Mariners Syndicate, an industry group, voiced frustration at the lack of progress in putting out the fire, and said it was "clear that the Chinese are not cooperating enough".
 
Other criticised Chinese efforts to subdue the fire, and suggested a plan that would have assumed the entire crew had no hope of rescue.
 
Yu Zhirong, a former deputy of the East China Sea unit of China Marine Surveillance, told business magazine Caixin the Sanchi should have been bombed or torpedoed, causing an explosion that would burn up the remaining oil and limit the amount the seeped into the ocean.
 
Allowing the ship to sink was described as the "worst-case scenario".
 
What happens now?
 
China has announced it will conduct an investigation into the incident, although there is no sense when a report will emerge and how detailed it will be. Greenpeace has called on China to assess how much oil spilled into the ocean and take "appropriate containment and clean up measures".
 
 
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#32 grog

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 10:43 AM

One year since Trump's inauguration: The impact on carbon markets
 
 
 
 
January 17, 2018
 
 
 
 
In his election campaign, Donald Trump vowed to wipe out Obama's climate change legislation. Trump promised to pull out of the Paris Agreement, roll back the Clean Power Plan, virtually get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and "end the war on coal."  After one year in office it is safe to say that Trump is attempting to fulfil the climate policy promises he made during the campaign.
 
Still, the carbon team at Thomson Reuters sees no immediate impact on carbon markets around the world, or even in the U.S. for that matter, following the Washington U-turn. Emissions trading systems are national or regional, and governed by rules out of the Trump administration's purview. The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is a European project, the South Korean and the Chinese ETS's are national systems, and the markets operating in the US (Western Climate Initiative (WCI), whose main participant is California, and the program among nine eastern states, known as RGGI) are both governed by non-federal rules.
 
Developments in these markets last year were independent of the change in the U.S administration. Some 6.3 Gt worth of emission allowances and offsets were traded in the various national and regional compliance markets in 2017, an increase of almost 5 percent compared to last year, mainly due to increased trading in WCI, including the scope expansion with Ontario joining the trading scheme. At the same time, the traded value increased by 22 percent to over €41 bn, brought about from increasing prices in the EU ETS, WCI, South Korea and New Zealand.
 
2017 brought important changes to the policy rules governing carbon markets around the world, preparing them for the future:
 
European policymakers in November struck a deal on major reform of the EU ETS after two and a half years of negotiations. The reform sets the rules for the fourth trading phase (2021-2030) and aligns the ETS with the block's 2030 climate ambitions. The reform will considerably tighten the carbon market balance from 2019 onwards and gradually lift prices from today's levels of € 8/t to € 23/t in 2030 according to Thomson Reuters Point Carbon forecasts. The reform also includes a massive cancellation of 2.4 billion surplus allowances -a real signal of long term climate ambition from European policymakers.
 
California state legislators in September passed a law extending the state's carbon market through 2030. We attribute the WCI's gains in 2017 to market participants appreciating the clarification that the regional carbon market will continue throughout the next decade.
 
China announced the launch of its national ETS in December 2017. The scheme will be the world's largest, almost double in size of the EU ETS (~3.5 Gt vs ~1.8 Gt). Initially covering the power sector, the system is set for an eventual expansion to other sectors in a phased approach as the system moves beyond the initial test phase.
 
In addition to the three largest schemes, 2017 saw reform processes underway in several jurisdictions, like South Korea and New Zealand. Kazakhstan has decided to restart its trading system, Mexico is developing its scheme and Colombia is also embracing emissions trading.
 
Hæge Fjellheim, Head of Carbon Research at Thomson Reuters Commodities Forecasts and Research says: "Carbon markets continue to be the climate change mitigation instrument of choice in many parts of the world. 2017 saw the launch of the world's largest ETS in China and the adoption of major reforms in the EU and California emission trading systems, tightening these markets and providing direction towards 2030."
 
She adds "While the Trump effect is not tangible yet, over time, the lack of commitment from the U.S. could wear on its international counterparts and influence their willingness to step up mitigation ambition in the next years Paris review cycle."
 
Frank Melum, Global Carbon Manager at Thomson Reuters says that "California's extension of its ETS was expected regardless of who was in the White House. However, climate change inaction at the federal level likely increased California legislators' perceived need to strengthen their state's flagship emission reduction program. The bill extending it and thereby creating market certainty for another decade may not have passed as quickly or by as large a margin had it not been an opportunity to show a progressive California in the face of a backward federal administration".
 
 
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#33 grog

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 11:08 AM

Green bonds are taking off - and could help save the planet
 
 
 
 
 
17 JAN 2018
 
 
 
 
 
The "tragedy of the horizons," a term coined by Canada's Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has been haunting the financial sector ever since climate change began posing serious threats to the planet.
 
As Carney put it: Can the financial sector address long-term climate change problems when most investments are made for the short term?
 
Behavioural economics has shown us that people lack the ability to think long term, and this has been the Achilles heel in our fight against climate change. However, there's now evidence that the "tragedy of the horizons" could be overcome due to changes in both our behaviour and our financial system.
 
Over the past few years, the idea of business-as-usual in the financial sector has been questioned by many. The wisdom so far has been to invest in what provides us with the lowest risk and has long-term stability. 
 
However, in the age of climate change, notions of risk and stability are constantly changing. 
 
Today, investors assess risk not just in terms of financial risk, but also social, environmental and governance (ESG) issues that may be critical to financial returns. Investors are demanding that investment firms start to factor in ESG components. 
 
Green bonds changing financial sector
 
Green bonds, debt finance tools that have traditionally been used to raise long-term capital with low risk, may be answering the call for behavioural change in the financial sector.
 
Ever since the Industrial Revolution, bonds have played a critical role in financing infrastructure in cities and towns. A green bond transforms these infrastructure-related investments into low-carbon, climate change-resilient alternatives. Green bonds don't just have the capacity to address risk and stability in a way that considers the long-term impact of climate change - they can also change the way we think about money and returns as well.
 
With $100bn invested in green projects in 2017 alone, socially responsible investment products like green bonds have the potential to create massive change.
 
Green bonds not only provide similar financial returns as regular bonds, but also allow for a bonus "green" return from their investments. These bonus moral incentives could finally be starting to create a social and environmental conscience in the financial sector. Indeed, as more investors push for green bonds, climate change awareness continues to grow.
 
That means investors, and the financial sector as an extension, are starting to think long term about climate change. What's even more exciting is that the transformation to a low-carbon financial system is happening simultaneously around the world. 
 
Several countries are issuing what are known as green economy road maps. Private sector green bonds are on the rise, and the process of divestment from fossil fuels has begun. 
 
Impact on global financial system
 
There is now momentum for innovation in the financial sector, and it's changing how we think about our traditional investment portfolios, banking, credit and even fintech.
 
For a long time, socially responsible investing and its products were a niche market. However, with the advent of the green bond, this niche market is transitioning to the mainstream. According to the Climate Bonds Initiative, the market has surpassed the $100bn mark, with $116.8bn being issued in 2017 alone. That's substantially more than the money that flows across global borders as official developmental aid for tackling climate change.
 
To really understand the magnitude of the impact of green bonds, let's look at the size of the market. 
 
Currently, climate-aligned bonds are estimated to total $895bn, which is a $201bn increase from the previous year. Out of that $895bn, approximately $221bn are labelled as green bonds. This growth is encouraging, but there's room for a much larger market given the increasing number of extreme weather events linked to climate change.
 
As those major floods and monster hurricanes continue, industries like the insurance sector will be less likely to take on clients or insure assets that do not meet climate change resilience standards. This is where having low-carbon, infrastructure-related investments from green bonds in a climate-resilient economy will make a big difference. 
 
Interestingly, governments and public institutions account for almost 68% of this amount, and developing countries such as China are currently leading the market. This exponential growth points to two things: governments have a key role to play in the transitioning of this market, and perhaps this transition will be driven by emerging economies like China's.
 
The regulatory impact
 
So how much of an impact can government pressure have on the shift to a low-carbon economy? Looking at China as an example, our previous study at the University of Waterloo shows such pressure has indeed resulted in creating both financial and sustainability improvements in the credit businesses of Chinese banks.
 
Under the Chinese Green Credit Guideline Policy, banks reduced how much environmental risk they were exposing themselves to, especially when lending to their clients. 
 
The guidelines forced banks to become financially and environmentally prudent in addressing climate change risks. The study found that there were improvements in both financial and sustainability performances, and the common linkage was the institutional impact of the Chinese public policy.
 
The ConversationIf such regulatory pressure can be replicated in the green bond market, it could bring about a low-carbon economy. Furthermore, green bonds could soon be subject to standardisations and certifications. With increasing fears of "green-washing" and concerns from investors about being misled by the green label, regulating the market would be beneficial - and could ensure green bonds continue to play an important role in fighting climate change.
 
 
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#34 grog

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 01:22 PM

Adnoc Expand Carbon Capture to Reduce Environmental Footprint and Enhance Oil Recovery
 
 
 
 
January 17, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
With help of Carbon Capture, Use & Storage, ADNOC aspires to achieve up to 70% ultimate oil recovery rate from its fields.With help of Carbon Capture, Use & Storage, ADNOC aspires to achieve up to 70% ultimate oil recovery rate from its fields.
 
 
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is planning to significantly expand its use of Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS) technology to meet a six-fold increase in the utilization of CO2, for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), over the next 10 years. The volume of the greenhouse gas safely locked away underground will be equivalent to the CO2 emitted by more than one million motor vehicles each day.
 
To meet the increased demand for CO2, which will be injected into Abu Dhabi's maturing oil reservoirs, ADNOC has drawn up ambitious plans to capture the greenhouse gas from its own operations. ADNOC aspires to achieve up to 70 per cent ultimate oil recovery rate from its reservoirs, which is twice as much as the global average, applying conventional recovery methods.
 
To date, ADNOC has stored approximately 240,000 metric tons of CO2, collected from Emirates Steel Industries (ESI), by injecting it into its reservoirs at Rumaitha and Bab oilfields to bolster oil recovery.
 
Starting in 2021, ADNOC will gradually increase the utilisation of CO2, expecting to reach 250 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscfd) by 2027 by capturing additional CO2 from its gas processing plants and injecting it into different onshore oil fields.
 
Abdulmunim Saif Al Kindy, Director of ADNOC's Upstream Directorate and Chairman of Al Reyadah said: "As we push forward plans to create value by maximizing oil recovery over the life time of our fields, we will increasingly utilise a range of Enhanced Oil Recovery technologies, of which carbon capture, use and storage is not only good for the environment but also makes sound business sense.
 
"Replacing rich gas with CO2 injection into ADNOC's maturing fields will allow the more productive use of valuable clean-burning natural gas, whether for power generation, desalination or as petrochemicals' feedstock. This is a prime example of how clean technology can be integrated with traditional energy to optimize resources and reduce the environmental footprint."
 
In the oil industry, CCUS technology works in three stages. Carbon dioxide is first captured on site, then it is compressed and dehydrated. Finally, it is transported via a pipeline for injection into oilfields, where it can be leveraged to enhance oil recovery. Using primary and secondary (waterflood) recovery techniques, between 30-35 per cent of oil are recovered on a global average. Including waterflood, ADNOC achieves up to 50% recovery rate from its fields. EOR techniques, such as the use of CO2 and CCUS, can help increase recovery to up to 70 per cent.
 
The International Energy Agency (EIA) believes carbon capture and storage technologies have a key role to play in realising a sustainable, climate-friendly future energy scenario and are expected to account for about one sixth of required emissions reductions by 2050.
 
ADNOC was the first National Oil Company to pilot CO2 injection for EOR in 2009. In 2016 ADNOC joined forces with Masdar to launch Al Reyadah, the first commercial-scale CCUS facility in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA). Al Reyadah is now fully owned by ADNOC and integrated into ADNOC Onshore.
 
 
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#35 grog

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 02:07 PM

US unilateralism makes tacking climate change harder, WEF warns
 
Donald Trump's time in office has coincided with huge increase to all five eco risks surveyed
 
 
 
 
 
17 Jan 2018
 
 
 
 
 
The World Economic Forum delivered a strong warning about Donald Trump's go-it-alone approach to tackling climate change as it highlighted the growing threat of environmental collapse in its annual assessment of the risks facing the international community.
 
In the run-up to the US president's speech to its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, next week, the WEF avoided mentioning Trump by name but said "nation-state unilateralism" would make it harder to tackle global warming and ecological damage.
 
The WEF's global risks perception survey showed Trump's arrival in the White House in 2017 had coincided with a marked increase in concern about the environment among experts polled by the Swiss-based organisation.
 
It said all five environmental risks covered by the survey - extreme weather events, natural disasters, failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, and human-made natural disasters - had become more prominent.
 
"This follows a year characterised by high-impact hurricanes, extreme temperatures and the first rise in CO2 emissions for four years. We have been pushing our planet to the brink and the damage is becoming increasingly clear.
 
"Biodiversity is being lost at mass-extinction rates, agricultural systems are under strain, and pollution of the air and sea has become an increasingly pressing threat to human health."
 
Trump has threatened to withdraw the US from the 2015 Paris agreement under which nations agreed to take steps to limit the increase in global temperature. He has said the commitments made by his predecessor, Barack Obama, would damage the American economy.
 
Other states have said they will keep to the pledges made in Paris, an approach supported by the WEF.
 
"A trend towards nation-state unilateralism may make it more difficult to sustain the long-term, multilateral responses that are required to counter global warming and the degradation of the global environment," it said.
 
The survey said the extreme weather events in 2017 included unusually frequent Atlantic hurricanes, with September the most intense month on record. It was also the most expensive hurricane season.
 
It added that when data was finalised, 2017 would be among the three hottest years on record, and the hottest without an El Niño, the Pacific Ocean climate cycle that affects the world's weather.
 
Biodiversity loss was occurring at mass-extinction rates, the WEF said, noting that the populations of vertebrate species declined by an estimated 58% between 1970 and 2012.
 
"Globally, the primary driver of biodiversity loss is the human destruction of habitats including forests - which are home to approximately 80% of the world's land-based animals, plants and insects - for farming, mining, infrastructure development and oil and gas production."
 
Stronger than expected growth in 2017 meant economic risks were seen as less pressing, but the WEF said the upbeat picture masked continuing underlying concerns, including unsustainable asset prices; high levels of indebtedness, particularly in China; and continuing strains in the global financial system.
 
The survey warned there would be limited policy firepower in the event of a new crisis. It said the disruption caused by automation, a buildup of protectionist pressures against a backdrop of rising nationalist and populist politics and growing cybersecurity risks.
 
The WEF said cyber attacks against businesses had almost doubled in five years, and incidents that would once have been considered extraordinary are becoming increasingly commonplace. The financial impact of cybersecurity breaches was rising, and some of the largest costs in 2017 related to ransomware attacks.
 
In a joint foreword to the report, Klaus Schwab, the WEF's founder and Børge Brende, the former foreign minister of Norway and current president of the WEF, said: "We have to work together - that is the key to preventing crises and making the world more resilient for current and future generations. Humanity cannot successfully deal with the multiplicity of challenges we face either sequentially or in isolation."
 
 
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#36 grog

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 02:37 PM

Climate breakdown: Environmental threats once again top global risk survey
 
 
 
 
 
17 January 2018
 
 
 
 
 
Growing threat of extreme weather, ecosystem degradation, and climate change could cause 'runaway collapse' in complex global systems, experts fear
 
The environment has once again ranked as the most pressing global risk in the annual Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS) from the World Economic Forum, underlining the concern felt by economic experts at the rapid rate of change in the natural world.
 
As in 2017, the 2018 GPRS saw all five environmental risk factors - extreme weather, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, major natural disasters, man-made environmental disasters, and the failure of climate change mitigation and adaption - ranked highly, both in terms of their likelihood and impact over a 10-year horizon.
 
The annual survey, which was published ahead of next week's Davos Summit, questioned nearly 1,000 risk managements experts about the threats facing the planet in 2018.
 
Out of 30 risks, extreme weather was singled out as the single most prominent threat facing the world in terms of likelihood. It was followed by natural disasters, cyberattacks, data fraud or theft, and failure of climate change mitigation and adaption.
 
"Extreme weather events were ranked again as a top global risk by likelihood and impact," Alison Martin, group chief risk officer at Zurich Insurance Group, warned. "Environmental risks, together with a growing vulnerability to other risks, are now seriously threatening the foundation of most of our commons. Unfortunately we currently observe a 'too-little-too-late' response by governments and organisations to key trends such as climate change."
 
Meanwhile, the majority of experts surveyed reported a heightening of all risks this year, with 59 per cent pointing to an intensification of risks, compared to just seven per cent reporting declining risks.
 
Part of the rising concern over global risks is due to the growing complexity and interconnectedness of our global systems, the WEF said, where "sudden and dramatic breakdowns - future shocks - become more likely". Such "future shocks" could include the simultaneous collapse of food supply chains around the world, or AI-piloted drone ships decimating global fish populations.
 
"When risk cascades through a complex system, the danger is not of incremental damage but of 'runaway collapse' or an abrupt transition to a new, suboptimal status quo," the WEF warned.
 
Alongside the pressing dangers of changes to the world's climate and natural systems, risk experts also reported a surge in geopolitical concerns, with 93 per cent saying they expect political or economic confrontations between major powers to worsen and almost 80 per cent expecting an increase in risk associated with war between global powers.  
 
"This is perhaps the first generation to take the world to the brink of a systems breakdown," WEF founder and chairman Professor Klaus Schwab said in the report's preface. "There are many signs of progress and many reasons for hope - but we still lack the momentum and the necessary depth of collaboration to deliver change on the scale required."
 
The news follows a year in which environmental disasters have dominated global headlines. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria caused widespread destruction across the US and Caribbean, while huge floods devastated large parts of India and Africa. As a result, 2017 is likely to be the most expensive year on record for insurers.
 
However, experts argued the relative strength of the global economy - economic risks featured less prominently in this year's survey compared to previous years - offers world leaders a "golden opportunity" to focus on tackling the systemic and environmental risks the world faces.
 
"A widening economic recovery presents us with an opportunity that we cannot afford to squander, to tackle the fractures that we have allowed to weaken the world's institutions, societies and environment," Schwab said in a statement. "We must take seriously the risk of a global systems breakdown. Together we have the resources and the new scientific and technological knowledge to prevent this. Above all, the challenge is to find the will and momentum to work together for a shared future."
 
Today's report underscores the extent to which environmental risks have shot up the mainstream agenda in the last decade. The first GRPS report in 2008 ranked asset price collapse as the most pressing threat for the world economy, with environmental risks failing to feature at all in the top five. Now environmental issues dominate the global risk agenda.
 
But the rising concern over environmental dangers is a double-edged sword. It not only reflects the acceptance of climate risks in mainstream discussion, but the ever-increasing threat it poses as  time runs out to tackle the problem before hopes of limiting temperature increases to well below 2C disappear.
 
"It's not yet too late to shape a more resilient tomorrow, but we need to act with a stronger sense of urgency in order to avoid potential system collapse," Zurich Insurance Group's Martin urged.
 
With a planet apparently "on the brink" of ecological, humanitarian and economic disaster - and evidence mounting that dangerous levels of climate change will accelerate this century unless urgent action is taken - let us hope the leaders at Davos and beyond are listening.  
 
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#37 grog

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 03:09 PM

Climate Innovations Exchange Kicks off in Abu Dhabi
 
 
 
 
 
January 17, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
CLIX invited entrants to demonstrate innovative thinking and leverage technology to develop solutions in one of three key areas: agriculture, clean mobility and air quality.CLIX invited entrants to demonstrate innovative thinking and leverage technology to develop solutions in one of three key areas: agriculture, clean mobility and air quality.
 
 
The Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX) kicked off on Tuesday, January 16, at the World Future Energy Summit 2018, running from January 15 to 18, as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. CLIX is being held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and is hosting 27 entrepreneurs and innovators in the areas of sustainable agriculture, clean mobility and air quality.
 
 
In his keynote speech, His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said that innovation and technology play an important role in solving a range of today’s sustainability issues. “Innovation and technology generate a wide range of socio-economic values and create jobs, and this is why innovation is at the heart of our development agenda to drive our economic diversification objectives,” he said.
 
Al Zeyoudi added that to keep pace with the nationwide drive towards innovation and to help realize the National Climate Change Plan 2050, MOCCAE announced CLIX last October, as a platform that aims to realize innovative ideas to solve the unique challenges faced today, by connecting global entrepreneurs and investors to enable partnerships that will power sustainable climate solutions through knowledge, innovation, and funding.
 
The Minister said that CLIX saw a high-level of interest as it received submissions from 364 applicants from 65 countries. The judges panel, after carefully examining every application to determine their fulfillment of the pre-announced requirements, selected 27 applicants to present their ideas at CLIX.
 
He further added that “The high level of interaction we see here today between emerging entrepreneurs and investors and the quality of ideas being presented before us are clear indications to the prominent contribution the UAE makes in supporting innovation and providing applicable solutions to address climate challenges. I am proud to see that the largest number of applicants per country came from the UAE.
 
“Funding has always been a hurdle for the adoption and pursuance of sustainability goals.  The inaugural edition of CLIX seeks to provide financing and investments, valued at AED 1.1 million, to excelling startups, and AED 9 million to make the selected proposals a reality.”
 
Highlighting the importance of enabling and engaging the youth, Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs, said: “Abu Dhabi has become an exemplary sustainability model, as it is committed to deploying sustainability solutions and carrying out high-level events that ensure a more prosperous future. One of these events is Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. This year, ADSW is all about youth, and for good reasons. If we want our largest population and our greatest assets – Youth – to succeed in building our world for today and tomorrow, we must engage them now in the end-to-end solution making in our systems. Sustainability is as much a mindset about investing in the young people who will be our future as it is the natural resources we use to fuel it.”
 
Al Mazrui urged CLIX participants to take advantage of the platform to connect and set things in motion.
 
CLIX invited entrants to demonstrate innovative thinking and leverage technology to develop solutions in one of three key areas: agriculture, clean mobility and air quality. A panel of judges selected the semi-finalists over three rounds of assessment based on the challenges, solutions, innovations, technology and business models outlined in the submissions.
 
The semi-finalists will pitch to prospective investors at CLIX during WFES 2018, before being narrowed down to three finalists per category during the fourth round of assessment. At the event, investors will focus on five main elements of the pitches: concept and product, feasibility, target market, financials and the team.
 
 
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#38 grog

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 05:18 PM

China's CO2 concentration growth lower than global average in 2016: report
 
 
 
 
January 17, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
Most places in China witnessed a lower increase of carbon dioxide concentration in 2016 than the global average, Xinhua reported Tuesday, quoting a recently released Greenhouse Gas (GHG) report by a Chinese meteorological authority.
 
The 2016 China GHG Bulletin by China Meteorological Administration (CMA) echoes the data in the 2016 World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Bulletin released on October 30, 2017. The WMO report said the year of 2016 saw a substantial growth of global carbon dioxide concentration, about 3.3ppm, which is higher than the global average of 2.16ppm from 2010 to 2016.
 
In 2016, the CO2 concentration of the mainland reached 402.5±4.5ppm on average, but the concentration growths in most parts of China were lower than the global average, and there has been a drop in growth over the past five years.
 
The emission of GHG is highly related to how developed the region's economy is, according to CMA. In Tianjin, Beijing, Hebei province, and Yangtze River Delta, where economy is more developed, more carbon dioxide was detected.
 
China started testing for GHG in 1996. Today, there are seven global atmosphere watch programs based in China.
 
 
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