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newsclips -- Newsclips for September 131, 2012 Posted: 13 Sep 2012 16:21:19
ARB Newsclips for September 13, 2012. This is a service of the California Air Resources Board’s Office of Communications. You may need to sign in or register with individual websites to view some of the following news articles. CLIMATE CHANGE Record loss of Arctic ice may trigger extreme weather. Arctic sea ice is shrinking at a rate much faster than scientists ever predicted and its collapse, due to global warming, may well cause extreme weather this winter in North America and Europe, according to climate scientists. Last month, researchers announced that Arctic sea ice had dwindled to the smallest size ever observed by man, covering almost half the area it did 30 years ago, when satellites and submarines first began measuring it. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-arctic-ice-melt-20120912,0,5522231.story?track=rss Obama Administration's Carbon Cap and Trade Program. The Obama administration is developing a cap-and-trade program for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. This is an important development for the renewable-energy industry because carbon credits created from the use of biofuels and wind energy will help meet established national goals. It also is of concern for the northern Plains because coal is used extensively for plant heating and electrical generation, so any reduction in emissions will raise user costs. Posted. http://www.agmrc.org/renewable_energy/climate_change/obama-administrations-carbon-cap-and-trade-program/ JUST ONE BREATH: Changing climate may expand valley fever's impact. Valley fever feeds on heat. And as the average temperature ticks up with each passing decade, experts are concerned that the fungus' footprint and impact are expanding, as evidenced by a rise in cases in areas far outside the hot spots of the Central Valley of California. In the soil, the cocci fungus lives on dead organic matter. Less rainfall and higher temperatures reduce overall vegetation, diminishing soil competition for the hardy fungus, scientists say. Cocci spores survive -- even thrive -- when the environment is drier and hotter since other competitors die off. BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/health/x246651198/JUST-ONE-BREATH-Changing-climate-may-expand-valley-fevers-impact?utm_source=widget_63&utm_medium=latest_entries_widget&utm_campaign=synapse Study: Sea otters' role in kelp forest health could aid in global warming prevention. Santa Cruz -- Monterey Bay's main mascot may turn out to be a secret agent in the fight against climate change. It has long been known that sea otters, nursed back from brink of extinction in the past several decades, provide huge benefits for the vitality of undersea kelp forests. But a pair of UCSC scientists recently found that those benefits extend into the atmosphere, finding a strong connection between otters, kelp and global warming. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_21528927/study-sea-otters-role-kelp-forest-health-could?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com DIESEL EMISSIONS Ryder settlement with state includes $1 million payment. The California Air Resources Board said Ryder System Inc., the Miami-based transportation and supply company, has paid more than $1 million in a settlement for what ARB said was failure to conduct testing and maintain complete records of required annual "opacity" tests on heavy-duty vehicles in its California fleet in 2008-09.Opacity tests are performed to determine whether a truck produces visible smoke from its exhaust. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/12/4813518/ryder-settlement-with-state-includes.html#storylink=cpy http://www.thetrucker.com/News/Stories/2012/9/13/RyderSystempays1milliontoCARBoverfailuretotestmaintainrecords.aspx http://modbee.com/2012/09/12/2370226/ryder-settlement-with-state-includes.html#storylink=misearch Union Pacific to study low-emissions locomotives. Union Pacific said on Monday that it will spend $20 million testing low-emissions locomotives in California. The railroad may eventually test up to 25 locomotives with various low-emissions technology. They include one, to be based in Roseville, Calif., that will use several emissions-reducing technologies, including recirculating its exhaust gasses. The railroad and the California Air Resources Board will analyze the emissions reductions achieved by that locomotive over the next year and a half. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/aug/13/union-pacific-to-study-low-emissions-locomotives/ FUELS 4 Biofuels That Don't Take Food Off People's Tables. As the fuel versus food debate intensifies, Oilprice.com takes a look at the top four advanced, non-food biofuels that may have a long-term potential to become commercially, and hopefully environmentally, viable. The production of advanced biofuels was up this year by some 437 million gallons over last year, but economic challenges remain formidable and technology will be the key to unlocking potential. Perhaps things are so great right now for the advanced biofuels industry, but it will take time and patience to figure out how to appease both the market and Mother Nature. Posted. http://www.cnbc.com/id/49008405 VEHICLES Nissan chief pitches electric taxis to Hong Kong. Nissan President Carlos Ghosn met Wednesday with Hong Kong’s leader to pitch a proposal for the Japanese car maker to supply electric taxis to the southern Chinese city. Ghosn’s visit with Leung Chun-ying is part of an effort to sell Nissan’s electric taxi technology to cities around the world looking to upgrade their taxi fleets to more environmentally friendly models. Earlier this year, New York City chose Nissan’s van-like NV200 to replace older models starting October 2013, with an electric version on the cards for 2017. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-09-12/nissan-chief-pitches-electric-taxis-to-hong-kong Other related articles: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/nissan-chief-pitches-electric-taxis-to-hong-kong-as-it-debates-replacement-for-aging-fleet/2012/09/12/8242da68-fcc7-11e1-98c6-ec0a0a93f8eb_story.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/sep/12/nissan-chief-pitches-electric-taxis-to-hong-kong/ http://www.rdmag.com/News/FeedsAP/2012/09/manufacturing-nissan-chief-pitches-electric-taxis-to-hong-kong/ GREEN ENERGY New study sheds light on dark energy. Dark energy—the mysterious and poorly understood force that scientists have proposed is somehow causing the universe to expand at an accelerating rate—is almost definitely real, according to a new study, which puts the likelihood of its existence at 99.996%. In the mid 1990s, two teams of scientists proposed the existence of dark energy when they observed, while examining distant exploding stars called supernovae, that some of them were less bright than expected. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/lat-sci-sn-new-study-sheds-light-on-dark-energy-20120913,0,7447402.story?track=rss MISCELLANEOUS Environmental Scientist Honored by California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board. Janet Arey, a professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and the Interdepartmental Program in Environmental Toxicology at University of California, Riverside, has been awarded the Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award for Air Pollution Research by the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board (ARB) in recognition of her lasting contributions to the health and well-being of Californians. Posted. http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/8758 Pollution, Poverty, People of Color: Warnings about contaminated fish fail to reach people most at risk. Trey Mackey expertly baits his fishing hook with a live worm, sits down on a folding chair and casts a line into the waters of Monona Bay. He’s driven up from Chicago for a day of fishing that could provide a fresh, tasty dinner of blue gill. But unbeknownst to Mackey, consuming fish from the bay carries a significant health risk. Posted. http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2012/fish-advisories-and-environmental-justice OPINIONS On natural gas, green groups can’t make up their minds. Gas is the new coal. At least that’s what the Obama administration seems to think. In accepting his nomination to run for a second term, President Obama pledged to “continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet,” and to create 600,000 new jobs in the natural gas industry. The two goals are directly related in the administration’s policies; in March 2012, the Obama EPA announced new emissions rules for power plants that meant no new coal plants will be built in the U.S. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/on-natural-gas-green-groups-cant-make-up-their-minds/ BLOGS San Onofre months from restarting reactors. The darkened San Onofre power plant will not restart even one of its two reactors for months, the head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Wednesday. In the meantime, anti-nuclear advocates stepped up pressure to keep the plant shut down, with the release of an analysis showing that the issues with San Onofre’s steam generators are among the worst in the industry. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/09/san-onofre-restart-tube-wear-report.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lanowblog+%28L.A.+Now%29 Academy Finds Mixed Climate Impacts on Himalayan Glaciers, Water Supplies. Given all the oversimplified assertions over the years about Himalayan glaciers in a warming global climate, it’s great to see a committee assembled by the National Academy of Sciences weigh in on the question with some data-based findings in a new report, “Himalayan Glaciers: Climate Change, Water Resources, and Water Security.” The bottom line — in sync with other recent analysis — is that the region is seeing a mix of changes, with glaciers growing in some places and shrinking in others and impacts on water supplies mostly inconsequential for decades to come. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/12/academy-finds-mixed-climate-impacts-on-himalayan-glaciers-water-supplies/ Hybrids still account for fewer than 2% of new vehicles sold. It's either a drop in the bucket or a segment with lots of room to grow. Which aspect an advanced-powertrain vehicle advocate chooses depends on how he sees the challenge that hybrids face in the marketplace. Given a new study that once again shows that, after more than ten years on sale, gas-electric models still account for just a small fraction of the global light-duty vehicles made, we're inclined to see it both ways. Worldwide vehicle production could reach a record 80 million units this year, up at least 4.2 percent from 76.8 million last year, according to Washington, D.C.-based sustainable industry advocate Worldwatch Institute. But, hybrids will account for fewer than one in every 50 vehicles produced, according to the survey, or less than two percent. Electric vehicle production? That's at "barely perceptible levels," the report said. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/09/12/hybrids-still-account-for-fewer-than-2-of-new-vehicles-sold/ Biofuels supporters buoyed after meetings with lawmakers. Biofuels supporters who swarmed Capitol Hill offices this week feel confident they have sufficient congressional commitment to preserve a fuel rule critical to the industry. The meetings come after biofuels groups hired a lobby firm to deflect attacks from some lawmakers and livestock and poultry groups against the portion of that rule that buoys corn ethanol production. Tom Buis, the CEO of biofuels industry group Growth Energy, said the “170-some appointments” biofuels proponents held Monday through Wednesday assured him of bipartisan and administration commitment to the renewable fuel standard (RFS). Posted. http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/249095-biofuels-supports-flood-capitol-hill-plan-lobby-blitz Ford says consumer green attitude shift justifies drive to fuel efficient cars. Ford says the company's major push into high fuel efficiency vehicles is justified by market research showing consumers are already taking steps to increase fuel efficiency, and are willing to pay a bit more for higher MPG's. Buying an electric and hybrid cars generally means paying the "hybrid premium" bump in price for the vehicle. For example the 2013 Ford Fusion SE has an MSRP of $23,495 whereas the hybrid model carries a $4,000 price premium for an MSRP of $27,495. Ford Motors released a info from a survey today showing the majority of American's will pay more for green products, and a slightly smaller majority is taking measures to drive more efficiently. Posted. http://www.torquenews.com/1075/ford-says-consumer-green-attitude-shift-justifies-drive-fuel-efficient-cars How Are You Going Green? Study Suggests 25% Of Drivers Want Hybrids. Pretend for a moment that you're walking down the street, minding your own business, when a stranger approaches and offers you $1,000 cash. The money is yours for the taking -- no questions asked, no illicit activities involved -- but you have to spend it on energy savings. What would you do with it? That's the question that polling firm Penn Schoen Berland posed to consumers, and the results were interesting, to say the least. Given the circumstances, you might imagine that a substantial portion of respondents would choose to spend the money on savings to benefit their homes. And in fact, 25% did, saying that they'd use the $1,000 to replace old appliances with energy-efficient models or that they'd purchase solar panels to cut down on electric consumption. Posted. http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1079122_how-are-you-going-green-study-suggests-25-of-drivers-want-hybrids