Archives 2009

THE SCIENCE IS SOLID YET MORE QUESTION GLOBAL WARMING

  by Marita Vera Nov 10, 2009 At the Climate Change Symposium hosted by Northwestern University Thursday, scientists showed how dramatically shrinking glaciers and rising carbon dioxide levels document a warming planet. Keynote speaker Lonnie Thompson, a leading glaciologist and Ohio State University professor, said that many people have yet to witness an immediate change in their environments. “Temperatures…

STALLED COPENHAGEN SUMMIT UNDERSCORES NEED FOR CLIMATE SCIENCE

by Diane Rusignola Dec 08, 2009 With climate talks stalled in Copenhagen over emission cuts by developed nations and no agreement in sight, political leaders from around the world head into the last lap of the latest summit to tackle global warming. But climate scientists keep searching out key clues to underpin what’s at stake and what to…

SEISMIC MESSAGES OF GLOBAL WARMING

by Annie Snider Oct 02, 2009 Seismologist Meredith Nettles’ office is just north of New York City, but her mind is more often on Greenland where she spends part of the year doing field research. As glacial ice melted to its seasonal minimum this year, she watched, not just with satellites and GPS data, but…

RISING OCEANS POSE RISING THREAT TO COASTLINES

by Kristen Minogue Oct 07, 2009 Rising sea levels act as one of the greatest and most feared indicators of global warming, as melting ice crashing into the ocean threatens coastlines with flooding. And researchers warn that oceans are rising much more rapidly than they thought as world leaders wrack their brains for ways to…

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY CONFERENCE HEATS UP CLIMATE CHANGE DEBATE

 Joe Piaskowy/MEDILL Scientists and attendees reflect on communication by Joe Piaskowy Nov 11, 2009 Glaciers are retreating, lakes are drying up and sea levels are rising faster than expected. Extreme weather is on the rise and predicted to become more extreme as global temperatures climb. Yet, paradoxically, scientists realize the evidence of climate change may…

HARNESSING THE SUN FUELS EARTH’S BEST HOPE

by Kristen Minogue Nov 11, 2009 The world needs a solar revolution to enter the era of energy sustainability and avert the floods, droughts and crop losses expected to result from global warming, according to one scientist. But politics, economics and technical hurdles ensure the world will run on fossil fuels for the near future.  Sources of renewable…

GETTING ACCLIMATED: CLIMATE CHANGE GLOSSARY 101

It’s easier to understand climate change– and even to do something about it– if you know a little of the lingo. Top scientists from around the globe agree that the world is heating up at an increasing rate, and understanding the process is essential to halting it. Familiarity with climate terms and phrases can become a…

Breadbasket farmers weigh costs of lost crops in a warming climate

by Annie Snider Oct 8, 2009 Not acting on climate change poses a greater economic threat to American farmers than the controversial climate bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives this summer. That’s the conclusion of a study published Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group in Washington, D.C. Numerous climate studies predict altered rainfall…

CARBON CAPTURE NEEDS A FOREST OF ARTIFICIAL TREES

by Joe Piaskowy Oct 02, 2009 World leaders at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh debated curbs in carbon dioxide emissions but scientists such as Klaus Lackner are pioneering solutions to capture the powerful greenhouse gas that is warming the planet. Significant emissions cuts would have to be undertaken immmediately to make a dent in global warming,…

ANOTHER PLAYER IN THE CLIMATE THREAT: GLOBAL WINDS

by Kristen Minogue Sep 29, 2009 The ozone hole above Antarctica could be posing another threat to the planet. The gap in the atmosphere not only ushers in cancer-inducing ultraviolet rays but may be accelerating global warming as well.  Scientists are just catching on to a shift in the winds that occurs at the ozone…

COMER CONFERENCE SCIENTISTS FIND THE FUTURE OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN ITS PAST

by Annie Sniderand Joe Piaskowy Oct 02, 2009 Each night, from the hill just above the private runway, the climate scientists stared up at the Big Dipper, Orion and the Milky Way – waiting. A flash of light. There it was! The International Space Station shot through the night sky at astonishing speed. The moment…

CLIMATE SCIENTIST WARNS OF UNDERESTIMATED GLOBAL WARMING FORECASTS

University of Chicago climate scientist Raymond Pierrehumbert says that humans have moved well beyond the natural swings of global warming in the environment. We have “shocked the system” and “thrown it way out of equilibrium,” he said during a recent presentation on his home turf of Evanston. Click the link for a slideshow with highlights of his…

THE GREEN DOLLAR DILEMMA

by Kristen Minogue Nov 24, 2009 The founders of Natcore Technology had a vision. They wanted to create a thin film for solar cells that would decrease the amount of silicon manufacturers would need to assemble them, making costs plummet and making the technology more competitive.  But they had trouble winning over potential investors, especially…

EPA WANTS CONTROL OF GREENHOUSE GASES

by Annie Snider Oct 05, 2009 Large industrial greenhouse gas emitters – such as Chicago’s two coal-fired power plants – face new federal regulation under a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal to control global warming. Wednesday’s EPA proposal adds greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide and methane to the emissions the agency regulates. Significantly, according to…

CLIMATE SOLUTIONS NEED NEW POWER AND NEW POWER POLITICS

by Kristen Minogue Nov 10, 2009 Americans would need to return to the energy usage levels of the 1870s – a time without cars, airplanes or electricity – to reduce carbon emissions to levels targeted by industrialized nations for 2050. And that means investing in zero-emissions renewable energy and new technologies. Those are among the challenges that emerged at the Climate Change Symposium, the…

WATER BECOMING AS PRECIOUS AS OIL

by Kathryn Murphy May 19, 2009 Drought. It is a distant thought during the rainy days of a Chicago spring, with streets flooding and one fifth of the world’s fresh water supply sitting in our own backyard. But other areas are casting a covetous eye at Great Lakes water while experts say to start conserving fast.…

SOME ROCKS CAN CLEAN UP CARBON DIOXIDE, RESEARCHERS SAY

by Beth Ulion Feb 03, 2009 Billions of tons of carbon dioxide could be captured by rocks in a natural chemical reaction that humans can speed up, say researchers from Columbia University. Peridotite, a rock found in the Earth’s mantle, is exposed at the surface in many places on the planet. In the Middle East sultanate…

SEA LEVELS RISING AT NEARLY DOUBLE PREVIOUS ESTIMATES DUE TO GLOBAL WARMING

by Maya Linson Jan 29, 2009 Global sea levels could rise nearly 40 inches by the end of the century threatening the Atlantic coast with flooding, according to a recent report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The new estimates nearly double the worst-case scenario presented in 2007 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which…

DRASTIC EMISSION CUTS NEEDED TO AVOID CLIMATE CATASTROPHE

by Beth Ulion Jan 28, 2009 Coastal floods – inland droughts – water shortages – famine. That’s the forecast for global warming.  In a report released Tuesday, the Worldwatch Institute is calling for drastic reductions in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 to avoid these catastrophes. The State of the World 2009 report remained upbeat even though…

CHICAGO: A LEADER IN GREEN MARKETS TO OFFSET CLIMATE CHANGE

                      by Beth Ulion Mar 03, 2009 Chicago is home base for the markets needed to undertake President Barack Obama’s proposed cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gases and lessen the impact of climate change. A cap-and-trade system would essentially put a price tag on carbon dioxide…

POLITICAL CLIMATE WARMS TO CARBON OFFSETS, FARMERS DIG IN

by Hannah Kokjohnand Beth Ulion Mar 18, 2009 President Obama’s call for a mandatory cap-and-trade system that would reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 has Illinois businesses and individuals anticipating tighter pollution limits. As a result, projects that reduce or eliminate carbon dioxide emissions are on the rise.  The volume of new projects is reflected…

CLIMATE ACTION BLUEPRINT RAISES CONCERNS

by Beth Ulion Jan 29, 2009 A group of industry giants and their environmental advocacy partners Thursday issued a Blueprint for Legislative Action calling for an extensive cap-and-trade program and the development of low carbon technologies to address climate change.  But the unusual coalition that formed the U.S. Climate Action Partnership– 26 corporations and five environmental…


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