Today’s Climate: February 3, 2009

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Research Finds Tropics, Sub-Tropics Expanding (New Scientist)

New research suggests that California’s three-year drought may be a consequence of the expanding tropics and subtropics, which are gradually growing as human emissions of greenhouse gases warm the planet.

Supermarkets Fingered for Refrigeration Greenhouse Gases (The Guardian)

The Environmental Investigations Agency’s first "refrigeration and global warming survey" reveals that while HFCs solved the ozone problem in the 1980s, no one took into account their global warming potential, which is 10,000 times greater than carbon dioxide.

Weak Australian Emissions Plan Losing Backing Fast (The Age)

The Australian Conservation Foundation has abandoned its support for the government’s emissions trading scheme and vowed to campaign against it, saying the scheme would "lock in failure" on climate change if launched in its current form.

London’s Low Emissions Zone Plan Stalls (The Guardian)

London Mayor Boris Johnson has suspended the third phase of the low emission zone, a key measure designed to improve the city’s air quality by encouraging replacement of high-polluting vans and buses. Johnson says it would have a "detrimental impact" on the economy.

U.S. Audi Chief Calls for Higher Gas Tax (Dow Jones)

The head of Audi’s U.S operation called on the U.S. government to raise the gas tax to ensure demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. Without it, he says, the current energy policy threatens to put U.S. auto makers out of business.

Davos: Czech President Questions Global Warming, Al Gore (Red, Green and Blue)

Czech President Vaclav Klaus, the current president of the European Union, dismissed global warming at the World Economic Forum in Davos and accused Al Gore, of failing to look at the complete picture. It’s all on video.

Is the FutureGen ‘Clean Coal’ Project Back in the Stimulus Bill? (Talking Points Memo)

The FutureGen "clean coal" project proposed for President Obama’s home state was nowhere to be found in the House stimulus bill, but this line has surfaced in the Senate version: Provided, That $2,000,000,000 is available for one or more near zero emissions power plant(s).

Montana Power Plant Scrapped Due to ‘Regulatory Uncertainty’ (Reuters)

A group of Montana electric cooperatives has dropped plans to build a new coal-fired power plant, the first apparent casualty in President Obama’s regulatory push to build cleaner power sources.

‘Porkopolis’ says: Eat Less Meat (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Even in a city symbolized by a flying pig and once called Porkopolis, officials worry about residents leaving too big of a carbon footprint. As part of the Green Cincinnati Plan to make the city more environmentally friendly, proponents are urging residents to eat less meat.