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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 8, 2014

Posted: 08 Apr 2014 12:12:22
ARB Newsclips for April 8, 2014. 

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.


Scientists find missing piece of air particle equation hiding in
the walls.  Laboratory chamber walls have been stealing vapors,
causing researchers to underestimate the formation of secondary
organic aerosol in the atmosphere.  A study published April 7 in
PNAS Online Early Edition describes how a team of scientists,
including researchers from the University of California, Davis,
showed that vapor losses to the walls of laboratory chambers can
suppress the formation of secondary organic aerosol, which in
turn has contributed to the underprediction of SOA in climate and
air quality models.  Posted. 

China's Smog Splits Expatriate Families as Companies Pay for
Fresh Air.  As a thick smog hung over Beijing last year,
Stephanie Giambruno and her husband decided it was time for her
and their two girls to return to the U.S. Giambruno’s husband
stayed back in China for his job as general manager of a global
technology company. He now skypes with the family twice a day and
lives with “constant jet lag” as he travels to Florida once a
month to see them, she says. Posted.


Salamander’s Hefty Role in the Forest.  According to a new study
in the journal Ecosphere, salamanders play a significant role in
the global carbon cycle. If flatulent cattle are among the black
hats of climate change (the livestock industry emits 14.5 percent
of human-associated greenhouse gases), then salamanders may just
be the white hats, helping to stave off climate disaster. Posted.

El Nino Odds Seen at More Than 70% as Pacific Warms.  An El Nino
weather pattern, which can parch parts of Australia and Asia
while bringing rains to South America, will probably develop in
the next few months as the Pacific Ocean warms, Australia’s
Bureau of Meteorology says. The chances of El Nino developing
during the southern hemisphere winter are more than 70 percent,
the bureau said on its website today. It is too early to
determine the strength of the possible weather pattern, it said.
Australia’s winter starts in June and runs to the end of August.

EPA director says draft greenhouse rules will give states new
tools.  New draft rules limiting greenhouse gases from existing
power plants will give states the tools to curtail emissions that
drive climate change without shuttering lots of facilities and
threatening electric reliability, said Gina McCarthy, the
administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, at a panel
discussion in Washington on Monday. Posted. 

Earth Science- 2014 to Focus on Climate Change & Control in
Earth. Talking about the event Dr. Srinubabu Gedela, MD & CEO of
OMICS Group International has unveiled the main objectives of the
conference with an intention to bring together recognized experts
from diverse disciplines i.e., Geosciences, Geology, Climate
Change, Environmental Science, Ecology, Biodiversity, Atmospheric
Science, Remote Sensing, Oceanography, Hydrology, Volcanology,
Seismology, Soil Science, Meteorology, Cosmology, Petrology and
Global Warming to provide a broad range of perspectives on the
conference theme. Posted.

Many nations wary of extracting carbon from air to fix climate. 
Many nations want a draft U.N. report to tone down prospects for
sucking greenhouse gases from the air to help fix global warming,
reckoning the technologies are risky, documents seen by Reuters
show. Government officials and scientists are meeting in Berlin
this week to edit the report, which says time is running out to
keep warming below an agreed ceiling of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6
Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial times. Posted.


Rains bring relief to Sacramento Valley rice farmer, but will it
be enough?  Water is the lifeblood of a rice farm, and Sacramento
Valley’s recent rains have given grower Tom McClellan a bit of
hope that 2014 will not be a wasted year. “We’re seeing some
regrowth of the grasses,” said McClellan, who farms 1,500 acres
on land that stretches from Sacramento to Sutter counties. “The
rains have been substantial, to a point of almost being normal.”


Valley high-speed rail construction could start next month near
Madera.  An elevated viaduct near Madera will likely be one of
the first major pieces of tangible construction for California's
proposed high-speed rail line, with work potentially starting as
early as next month.  SUBSCRIPTION ONLY.  Posted. 


EPA chief says power plant rule will be tough, enforceable.  The
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's chief said on Monday that
new carbon pollution standards due in June will be flexible
enough for all states to meet but will be environmentally
stringent and federally enforceable. EPA Administrator Gina
McCarthy gave her first remarks since the agency sent its
proposed rule, which aims to curb carbon emissions from more than
1,000 existing power plants in the United States, to the White
House's Office of Management and Budget for review. Posted.


Amid showdown with energy-rich Russia, calls rise in Europe to
start fracking.  Europe’s newest weapon in the battle of wills
with Russian President Vladimir Putin lies buried deep beneath
the ancient oaks and rolling green pastures of this
quintessentially English village. There, wedged in the bedrock,
lie vast quantities of oil and natural gas — enough, when
combined with the spoils of hundreds of other sites like it, to
help kick Europe’s addiction to Russian energy. Posted.


GM to Announce $450 Million Investment in Electric Car Research
and Production.  General Motors Co. is expected to announce on
Tuesday a $450 million investment in two Michigan plants to
bolster the development and production of its Chevrolet Volt and
Cadillac ELR hybrid-electric vehicles. The funding will be split
between the auto maker's Detroit-Hamtramck car assembly plant and
the Brownstown Township factory, which produces batteries for the
Volt. Posted.


Vermont public workers can invest fossil-fuel-free.  Participants
in both the State and municipal defined contribution retirement
plans will now have the option of investing retirement savings in
a fossil fuel-free mutual fund. That's the word from state
Treasurer Beth Pearce and Vermont Municipal Employees' Retirement
System Board Chairman Steve Jeffrey. Posted.

Polish government approves renewable energy bill.  Poland's
government approved a long-awaited draft law on Tuesday that lays
out new long-term subsidies for renewable energy, aiming to cut
costs to consumers as well as help the coal-reliant country meet
EU climate targets. Under the draft law, which requires final
approval by parliament and the president, developers and owners
of new renewable installations can sell their energy at auctions
for a fixed price that would be guaranteed for 15 years
regardless of market prices. Posted.

Germany Amends Green-Energy Regime to Curb Rise in Prices. The
German government has amended renewable-energy laws that were
meant to make the country nuclear-free but sent power prices
rocketing, squeezing consumers and the country's formidable
export machine. The cabinet approved amendments on Wednesday that
it said would contain an explosion in electricity costs while
seeking to protect German jobs in the industrial sector. The
changes include less ambitious targets for wind power and a cut
in subsidies for certain forms of green energy. Posted.


How Climate Change Conquered the American Campus.  Here is a
college quiz. While many parts of the U.S. economy struggle to
recover from the Great Recession of 2008-09, one domestic
industry is experiencing a technology-driven expansion in which
American innovations have led to countless new company startups,
a surge in hiring and some of the highest-paying entry-level jobs
for graduating college seniors. How are the nation's universities
responding so students might prepare for a promising career in
this growing and intellectually challenging field? By largely
ignoring it. Why? Because the industry is oil and gas. Posted.


Showtime Series Aims to Engage Sleepy Public on Global Warming
With Celebrity Guides.  Early in 2011, two longtime 60 Minutes
producers, David Gelber and Joel Bach, met with me to describe
their ambitious plan to create a television series on global
warming that, they hoped, would break through the enduring public
apathy and haze of disinformation surrounding the subject. I
wished them luck, while warning that the scale and complexity of
the problem would make it hard to be both engaging and accurate.

Other Voices: Earth Institute’s Steven Cohen Seeks a
Post-Hysterical Approach to Climate Progress. I encourage you to
read “Facing the Climate Crisis without Hysteria,” the latest
Huffington Post piece by Steven A. Cohen, who is the executive
director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and whose
career, including long stints at the Environmental Protection
Agency, has given him an excellent vantage point on the mix of
regulation, motivation, prosperity and innovation that drives
environmental progress. Posted.

Use Your Climate Credit to Ask for More.  In the next month,
millions of Californians will receive their first "climate
credit." The credit will appear as a line item of about $35 on
household electric utility bills for customers of PG&E, Southern
California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and a few others
around April or May. Six months later, another credit will
appear.  Posted. 

San Francisco sees spate of Smart tipping.  Apparently, some
delinquents in San Francisco, bereft of bovines to tip, have
taken to tipping Smart ForTwos, like some absurd, real-life
version of the tractor-tipping scene from Cars. Witnesses told
KRON-4 in San Francisco that eight people, wearing hoods, were
responsible for tipping three Smarts. While the vehicle above was
tipped on its rear hatch, the other two were tipped on their side
and roof, respectively. Posted.

'King of Lemon Laws' Vince Megna files suit against Tesla Motors.
 Tesla Motors is already busy in the courts, filing a suit in New
Jersey last week to appeal the direct-sales ban of its
automobiles in that state. But now it's going to have to deal
with the self-described "King of Lemon Laws," Vince Megna, in
Wisconsin. Now that we think about it, this showdown was quite
inevitable.In a video that is obviously part one of who knows how
many (view it below), Menga sets up his argument against Tesla
because the Model S of a client won't start. Posted.

EVs are getting fake engine sounds, because they’re so quiet it’s
dangerous.  Hybrids can be so quiet you can’t tell if they’re on.
Which is bad news for cyclists and pedestrians — especially
walkers who are visually impaired. So the European Parliament
just decided that EVs and hybrids have to add fake “vroom vroom”
noises so drivers quit sneaking up on people, goshdarnit.
Acoustic vehicle alerting systems (AVAS) mimic traditional engine
noise, and auto manufacturers have to add them by 2019. Posted.

Climate change: The hottest thing in science fiction. 
Post-apocalyptic science fiction isn’t new. But you may have
noticed an uptick in books set in the wake of some kind of major
climate disaster. Some call it “cli-fi” — sci-fi infused with the
increasingly frightening impacts of climate change. Posted.

DOE releases five-year strategic plan, 2014-2018; supporting “all
of the above” energy strategy.  The overarching goal for Science
and Energy is: “Advance foundational science, innovate energy
technologies, and inform data driven policies that enhance US
economic growth and job creation, energy security, and
environmental quality, with emphasis on implementation of the
President’s Climate Action Plan to mitigate the risks of and
enhance resilience against climate change.” Posted.

California is in a drought emergency.
Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.

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