Today’s Climate: September 11, 2009

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US Climate Negotiator: Timing Running Out (New York Times)

U.S. climate negotiator Todd Stern warned a Congressional panel that developed and developing nations remain deeply divided on plans for reducing greenhouse gases and time is running out.

Australians Overtake Americans in Per Capita CO2 Emissions (ABC)

A UK risk assessment firm finds Australia’s heavy reliance on coal makes for an average output of 20.58 ton of C02 per person per year, compared to 19.78 ton in the U.S.

Europe Looks to Carbon Tax to Curb Emissions (New York Times)

The carbon tax appears to be making a comeback in Europe, starting in France, where Nicolas Sarkozy unveiled a proposed carbon tax that would start at 17 euros per ton, higher than expected. He also called for a European carbon tax on imports.

Baucus Makes Grab for Senate Climate Bill (Politico)

Behind closed doors, Sen. Max Baucus of Montana has been staking his claim on major aspects of the climate bill, including financing for a cap-and-trade system. His power play could put him at the helm of the Democrats’ domestic agenda with an impact for years.

House Investigation Finds 14th Forged Letter (Washington Post)

Congressional investigators turned up a 14th forged letter criticizing the House’s climate bill, this one claiming to come from an American Legion post in Virginia.

Energy Projects Lag In Stimulus Spending (Huffington Post)

President Obama has pledged to transform the nation’s energy policy and has made renewable energy a cornerstone of the $787 billion stimulus package, but the money for energy-related projects has been slow to leave Washington.

Wind Could Meet China’s Entire Power Demand (Green Car Congress)

A study by researchers at Harvard University and Tsinghua University shows China has enough wind potential to generate electricity that could meet the nation’s entire projected power demand for 2030 (about twice what is used now) at reasonable prices.

Chamber, Auto Dealers Sue to Block Emissions Rules (Los Angeles Times)

A lawsuit by the Chamber of Commerce and Auto Dealers Association aims to halt the federal government and California from moving ahead with new greenhouse gas emissions rules for cars and trucks.

California Lawmakers Weigh Renewable Energy Upgrade (AP)

Today is the final day of California’s legislative session, and Democrats are pushing two RPS bills that would create the most aggressive renewable energy portfolio standards in the country.

Guatemala Drought Leads to Food Crisis (Mongabay)

The president of Guatemala declared a "state of public calamity" after the failure of bean and corn crops from drought cut the yields of the two staple crops in half.

Japan’s Climate Conundrum (Forbes)

Japan’s new prime minister has painted his party green, but one of his first acts may be to pump millions of tons of fresh carbon dioxide into the nation’s skies.

Maryland Rejects Disputed PATH Power Line (Coal Tattoo)

Maryland’s Public Service Commission ruled that Potomac Edison could not apply for project approval.

New York City Girds Itself
 for Heat, Rising Seas (Yale Environment 360)

By the end of the century, New York will be warmer and its harbor could easily rise by 2 feet or more. Faced with this prospect, the city is among the first urban centers to begin changing the way it builds its infrastructure — and the way it thinks about its future.

Deep Sea Rover Searches for Signs of Climate Change (Scientific American)

A robot that spent most of July traveling the Pacific Ocean floor, some 900 meters below sea level, is giving scientists a close-up view of life there with information researchers hope will help document the effects of climate change as the oceans warm.

Fast-Melting Sea Ice Altering Arctic Ecosystem (Scientific American)

When the summer sea ice goes, the Arctic will lose the ivory gull, Pacific walrus, ringed seal, hooded seal, narwhal and polar bear—all animals that rely on the ice for foraging, reproduction or as refuge from predators. And the sea ice is going fast.

Permafrost Rap: Climate Change Lessons in Alaska (Alaska Dispatch)

Over five years, professor Kenji Yoshikawa has set up more than 80 permafrost observatories at schools across the far north of Alaska. Along with everyone else who understands permafrost and climate change, he expects ground temperatures to rise.