Today’s Climate: February 5, 2009

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Obama Orders Higher Energy-Efficiency Standards (CBS)

President Obama signed a memorandum today directing the Energy Department to increase efficiency standards for household appliances. The move underscores his desire to show quick, clear progress on energy.

Britain Tightens Guidelines for Green Energy Claims (Times of London)

Britain’s energy regulator called for a crackdown on green energy tariffs after claims that some suppliers had misled customers about their environmental credentials.

Study: Arctic Storms Will Worsen (Reuters)

A study of Arctic weather by scientists in Norway and Britain finds that the shrinking of sea ice around the North Pole is likely to spawn more powerful storms that form only over open water.

China to invest $85B in power sector in 2009 (China Knowledge)

China’s newest energy plan reveals the direction of the country: Speed up the establishment of new energy and develop large coal enterprises.

Arch Coal CEO Gets Nowhere with Harvard ‘Clean Coal’ Lecture (It’s Getting Hot in Here)

The Harvard crowd was less than receptive to the coal baron’s sad defense of coal—every person in line at the microphone made a critical comment as part of their question.

U.N. Chief: Climate Change Must be Tackled to Avert Upheaval (AFP)

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today warned that failure to tackle climate change will lead to major economic upheaval. He appealed to nations to reach agreement on carbon emission cuts.

Greenwash: Scottland’s Dirty Claims on Clean Coal (The Guardian)

The Scottish government, with about 10 percent of Europe’s coal buried beneath it, is talking up the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel as “clean” in its push to revive its coal industry. At the same time, it promises to cut emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Alberta’s Premier invites Obama to tour Athabasca Tar Sands (Calgary Herald)

Alberta’s premier is trumpeting Canada’s role as the top energy supplier to the United States and offering to take President Obama on a tour of the tar sands when he visits in two weeks. Environmentalists hope Obama accepts.

Global Warming May Delay Recovery of Stratospheric Ozone (Science Daily)

Increasing greenhouse gases could delay, or even postpone indefinitely the recovery of stratospheric ozone in some regions of the Earth, a new study suggests. Since ozone absorbs UV radiation, that could take a toll on public health.

First Deep Sea Observatory Looks at Climate Change (AP)

The Ocean Research and Conservation Association’s observatory permits real time information to stream to shore, giving researchers a faster, better understanding of how greenhouse gas pollution is changing the ocean.

Climate Change Threatens Lebanon’s Legendary Cedars (AFP)

Lebanon’s majestic cedar trees have withstood the test of time for centuries but climate change is threatening the country’s most treasured symbol.

Long-Idle Alaska Power Plant Expected to Restart, Claims ‘Clean Coal’ (KTUU)

The plant technology was considered cutting edge 20 years ago, but not today. After much legal wrangling, a deal will now restart it within two years.