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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. AIR POLLUTION 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. http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10887 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. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-07/china-s-smog-splits-families-as-toxic-pollution-extracts-costs.html CLIMATE CHANGE 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/08/science/salamanders-hefty-role-in-the-forest.html?ref=earth 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. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-08/el-nino-odds-seen-by-australia-at-more-than-70-as-pacific-warms.html 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. http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-greenhouse-gas-rules-epa-20140407,0,5921220.story#ixzz2yJQ0ZFg9 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. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Earth-Science-2014-to-Focus-on-Climate-Change-5384591.php 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/08/climate-un-idUSL6N0N01JX20140408 DROUGHT 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.” Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/08/6304207/rains-bring-relief-to-sacramento.html#storylink=cpy HIGH SPEED RAIL 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. http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/04/07/3865619/valley-high-speed-rail-construction.html?sp=/99/406/ FUELS 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/07/us-usa-climate-epa-idUSBREA361DR20140407 FRACKING 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/amid-showdown-with-energy-rich-russia-calls-rise-in-europe-to-start-fracking/2014/04/07/f3616058-2c24-4683-abe3-728a5572debf_story.html VEHICLES 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. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304819004579487853476140462?KEYWORDS=vehicles&mg=reno64-wsj GREEN ENERGY 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. http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/08/6304900/vermont-public-workers-can-invest.html#storylink=cpy 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. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/08/us-poland-energy-renewables-idUSBREA3719A20140408 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. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304819004579489434076477734?KEYWORDS=green+energy&mg=reno64-wsj OPINIONS 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. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304441304579481200046204022 BLOGS 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. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/07/showtime-series-aims-to-engage-sleepy-public-on-climate-change-with-celebrity-guides/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 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. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/07/earth-institutes-steven-cohen-seeks-a-post-hysterical-approach-to-climate-progress/ 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. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-sandler/use-your-climate-credit-t_b_5102421.html 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. http://www.autoblog.com/2014/04/07/smart-fortwo-tipping-video/ '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. http://green.autoblog.com/2014/04/07/king-lemon-laws-vince-megna-files-suit-against-tesla-motors-video/ 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. http://grist.org/list/evs-are-getting-fake-engine-sounds-because-theyre-so-quiet-its-dangerous/ 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. http://grist.org/climate-energy/climate-change-the-hottest-thing-in-science-fiction/ 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. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/04/20140408-doe.html California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.