All it took was one sentence in President Obama’s State of the Union Address last week, and an oft-maligned energy source was back on the map.
“To create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives,” the president said. “And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.”
A few days later, the White House budget was released and called for an increase in government loan guarantees for nuclear reactors from $18.5 billion to $54.5 billion.
Forests in the eastern United States appear to be growing faster than they should be, and increases in temperature and carbon dioxide are the likely culprits.
“We’ve known for 30 or 40 years that extra CO2 and extra temperature cause trees to grow, most of the climate models predict this,” said Geoffrey Parker, of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Maryland. “It’s just that there haven’t been many field studies that really corroborated it.”
Parker’s team used a combination of two types of tree data to put together a comprehensive look at how trees along the western edge of the Chesapeake Bay have been growing in recent years. They found that the forest, including both young and old trees, has been adding weight at an exceptionally high rate. In fact, in 90 percent of the measurements taken, the rate of growth of the trees was higher than the expected rate.
Fifty-five countries met the Copenhagen Accord’s Jan. 31 deadline for committing to national emissions reductions targets, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change announced today. There were no surprises in the targets submitted, and there is a general consensus that even if all those targets are met, averting a rise in global temperature of more than 2 degrees Celsius is all but impossible.