Air Pollution Intensifies Pacific Storms

According to a new study, scientists in China have discovered the truly devastating affects that China’s coal production has had on the world. According to a recent study, the coal burning power plants has been pumping pollution into North Americas atmosphere. This pollution travels to America through Winter storms which are also produced from the pollution in China. Our Winter temperatures have increased significantly due to the unpredictability which these storms have brought us. The pollution is not only brought on by the coal burning but by the significant amount of aerosol emissions going on in China. 

 

-Ivan Robledo

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/air-pollution-intensifies-pacific-storms/

Up to one third of honeybee colonies dies per year in Europe

The first major Europe-wide survey of honeybee colonies have found that up to one-third of the colonies are lost every winter. In recent years, bumblebee population decline has received large public attention. Parasites, insecticide use and changed farming practices are to blame. The European Union Reference Laboratory did the study, and found that in 7 out of the 17 member states exceeded the acceptable death rate of 15%. But some researches say the acceptable death rate should be 10%, which would make two thirds of the countries studied to have unacceptable death rates. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that the United States had a colony death rate of 31% and has exceeded 30% for five of the past seven years, so it is a way bigger problem here. In Europe, according to University of Reading in the UK, one-quarter of all European honeybees are threatened with extinction but the death rates are slowing down. This is because of good research and political intervention, such as planting new flowers, so Europe is on the right track.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/up-to-one-third-of-honeybee-colonies-dies-per-year-in-europe/

- Sean Sabogal -

Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come

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In a recent meeting in Japan, climate experts warned world leaders and the UN that the worst of climate change has yet to come. Ice caps are melting more and more, and the temperature fluctuations are becoming greater and greater, with record snowfall as well as record heat waves. Oceanic species are going extinct and the Oceans are rising and growing more acidic which is threatening coastal communities, such as Miami, which experts predict might be underwater in around fifty years. In addition to all of this, the world’s food supplies are in danger of lessening since bees are now an endangered species, and if they were to go extinct, 60% or more of the worlds food would be gone since so many animals rely on the pollination that the bees do. The report stated that if emissions are allowed to continue there would be mass extinctions, and people would be displaced from where they live in mass numbers. President Obama is trying to use his executive power to limit the greenhouse gasses emitted by the USA. Climate change isn’t something that’s going to happen in the future, it’s happening now.

-Gabriella Vazquez-

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/01/science/earth/climate.html?ref=earth

Saturns Moon, Enceladus, can potentily support life

A new study reveals that under Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, icy crust is a big ocean of liquid water. The ocean is 6 miles deep and has a rocky seafloor. This discovery reassures the idea that many places in space could be habitable but aren’t necessarily obvious. “The main implication is that there are potentially habitable environments in the solar system in places which are completely unexpected,” author Luciano Less said. For  example “Enceladus has a surface temperature of about minus 180 degrees Celsius, but under that surface there is liquid water.” I believe that this finding should encourage more research into life sustainability in Space.

http://www.livescience.com/44637-saturn-moon-enceladus-ocean-discovery.html

Ethan Becker

Natural Variation: Warm North Atlantic Ocean promotes extreme winters in U.S. and Europe

According to a new study done by the University of California Irvine have shown that a phenomenon known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) which is a natural pattern of variation in the North Atlantic sea surface temperatures that switches between a positive and negative phase every 60-70 years can affect an atmospheric circulation pattern known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) that handles the precipitation and temperature in the Northern Hemisphere during winter time. During winter time, AMO is in its positive phase making North Atlantic oceans warmer, which promotes the negative phase of NAO, which makes it cold in the U.S. and Europe. The AMO has been in a postitive stages since the 1990′s, causing the extreme winters of recent years. The melting of ice caps and concentrations of greenhouse gases may be changing the AMO, because they have noticed that the AMO was weak last year, and so it turned more positive than negative, which led a mild winter in Europe. More studies will be done to prove this further.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140401210414.htm

- Sean Sabogal -

Questions as More Wastewater Flows in North Carolina

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An energy company in North Carolina, named Duke Energy, has come under scrutiny by the state government. They are accused of dumping toxic waste into a North Carolina river. Duke Energy says it was pumping the waste into ponds already full of waste, however, it looks more like it is a canal that leads to the river. Last month, Duke came under fire for accidently leaking a huge amount of coal ash into the river. That spill was the third largest in history. Environmentalists are saying that Duke is pumping it’s ponds now to lower their costs, and to avoid the state looking in to how it is dumping its waste. Duke is writing all of this off as routine maintenance, which is a loophole they are using through the state law, but the head of the water keeper alliance, an agency that advocates for the protection of public waterways, says that this is all a cover up, and that in fact it is a federal crime.

-Gabriella Vazquez-

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/us/north-carolina-investigating-another-duke-energy-site.html?ref=earth

Group Suggests New Rules for Further Cuts in Carbon Pollution

In the article I read it has shown us newer possibilities for sustainability which could be put into effect very soon. The NRDC ( Natural Resources Defense Center)  which has a very strong voice in Obama’s climate change agenda, has created a new climate plan which is planned to cut carbon dioxide emissions by about 600 million tons by the year 2020. One of Obama’s original plans for cutting down the emissions was to force coal burning plants to cut down their emissions. However, the NRDC believe that instead of just forcing them to cut emissions, there should be pollution limits for each state in order to regulate the amount that is being released. The main problem which lies in the idea are the coal burning industries since they believe that if this law passes, that the coal burning industries will eventually just be shut down. 

-Ivan Robledo

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/21/us/politics/nrdc-suggests-new-rules-for-further-cuts-in-carbon-pollution.html?ref=earth&_r=0