Today’s Climate: March 11, 2009

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Scientists: Sea-Level Rise to Exceed Projections (Guardian)

Global sea level is set to rise twice as high as the IPCC estimated because of changes in the polar ice-sheets, say scientists at a climate change summit in Copenhagen: "Even for a low emission scenario, the best estimate is about one meter."

House Investigates FutureGen Setbacks (Wall Street Journal)

House Democrats plan to release a report today on their inquiry into the Bush administration’s scrapping of the proposed FutureGen CCS plant. They argue the move may contribute to the release of billions of tons of carbon emissions.

Emissions from Northeast Power Plants Down 9% (Boston Globe)

New figures being released today show global warming emissions from Northeast power plants fell 9 percent last year. The decline could have the perverse effect of delaying more reductions under RGGI because market forces are not kicking in.

Analyst: 2009 Will Be ‘Year to Get Through’ for Clean Energy (Reuters)

The number of clean-tech jobs will grow to 2.6 million in 2018 from 600,000 last year, a new report by Clean Edge Energy says. "We see growth long-term, but in 2009 we’ll either hold steady or see a decrease in revenue. 2009 is the year to get through."

Flaw in Aussie Carbon Scheme Helps Polluters (Canberra Times)

The Rudd Government has not fixed a critical flaw in its carbon trading scheme that allows big polluters to reap benefits from community actions to cut emissions, a leading Australian economist says.

Pine Beetle Kill in British Columbia No Longer Just Dead Wood (IPS)

The voracious pine beetle has destroyed half of British Columbia’s pine trees. With trees normally involved in capturing carbon now releasing it, the Canadian Forest Service estimates the pine beetles will be responsible for almost a billion megatons of greenhouse gases by 2020.

Salt Surge Puts Asian Crops in Peril (The National)

Brackish water from the Bay of Bengal is encroaching up Bangladesh’s freshwater rivers, percolating deep into the soil, fouling ponds and the underground water supply that millions depend on to drink and to cultivate their farms.

Congress Seeks Role for Coal (The Hill)

U.S. lawmakers concede that the future of a global warming bill rests largely on the question of what to do about coal.

US Utilities Gear Up For Fight Over Climate-Law Revenue (Dow Jones)

The utility industry is arguing with lawmakers over who should get revenue generated under a national cap-and-trade plan. They want free allowances and say they’ll pass the savings on.

‘Excessive Exuberance’ for Nuclear Power Dissipates (Reuters)

Economic woes have put an end to NRC worries about having enough to staff to field licenses for new nuclear plants.A GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy official says lack of credit is part of the problem.

Fast-Growing Western U.S. Cities Face Water Crisis (Reuters)

Las Vegas leads Western U.S. cities scrambling to slash water consumption, increase recycling and squeeze more from underground aquifers as long-reliable surface water sources dry up.

NASA Photos Reveal Why Cities Are Running Dry (Lighter Footstep)

In terms of economic development, Las Vegas’ growth is an amazing success. But as a quarter century of satellite images show, sprawl comes at a high price.

IPCC Chief Pachauri Tapped to Head Yale Center (Reuters)

Rajendra Pachauri, the Nobel prize-winning chairman of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will head the new Yale Climate and Energy Institute.

Ostrich Defies Climate Change Effects (Africa Science News)

Climate change has exerted direct effects on animal populations in Africa’s Maasai Mara Game Reserve by altering their parental condition, reproductive success and also causing a number of deaths during adverse moments. But while most other bird species suffer, the ostrich has continued to multiply, to the amazement of scientists.

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