Today’s Climate: December 22, 2009

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China Considers Compulsory Green Energy Purchases by Grid Operators (Xinhua)

China’s top legislature today discussed a legal amendment that would require electricity grid companies to buy all the power produced by renewable energy generators.

China Blasts British Claim That It ‘Hijacked’ Climate Talks (AP)

China today dismissed British climate change secretary Ed Miliband’s accusation that it "hijacking" the UN-sponsored climate talks in Copenhagen as baseless and politically motivated.

Aviation Contributed 4-8% of Warming (Nature)

The first analysis of emissions from commercial airline flights shows that they are responsible for 4-8% of surface global warming since surface air temperature records began in 1850 — equivalent to a temperature increase of 0.03-0.06 °C overall.

Global Warming Amplified by Slow Changes to Earth Systems (PhysOrg)

A study in the journal Nature Geoscience suggests that a relatively small rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels was associated with substantial global warming about 4.5 million years ago during the early Pliocene.

Swiss Geologist Acquitted Over Quakes at Geothermal Site (Expatica)

A Swiss court on Monday cleared a geologist who was blamed for triggering earthquakes during underground soundings for a geothermal heating and power plant in the northern city of Basel.

Tennessee Coal Ash Spill Only One EPA Hurdle (Washington Post)

A year after the Kingston coal ash spill, the EPA still plans to write rules for handling coal ash, but it’s running into disputes: Industry groups say defining coal ash as hazardous waste could choking off recycling.

GOP Warns of Pay Back for Health Care Debate When Climate Bill Surfaces (Politico)

Democrats aren’t united on climate change, and the bitter battle over health care has left even sympathetic Republicans with little desire to help — a dynamic that could doom the climate bill.

Some Climate Experts Seek Alternative to UN Process (ClimateWire)

The UN process, which works by consensus and in which one dissenting nation has the power to hit the pause button on a global summit, "didn’t seem to work well this time.”

South Africa Condemns Climate Summit Outcome (CBC)

South Africa has joined a chorus of countries condemning the failure of the Copenhagen summit to produce a legally binding agreement to combat climate change, even though it helped draft the final accord.

Australia: Emissions Target Will Be No More Than 25% (AFP)

Australia will do "no more and no less" than other nations to fight climate change, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said today. Following the Copenhagen outcome, it will consider the efforts of other countries before setting a carbon emissions cap.

McKibben on Copenhagen: Little More than a Charade (Yale Environment 360)

The Copenhagen climate summit turned out to be little more than a charade, as the major nations refused to make firm commitments or even engage in an honest discussion of the consequences of failing to act, writes Bill McKibben.

UK Promises Loans for Energy Efficient Farmers (Business Green)

The UK government-backed Carbon Trust is to extend its interest-free business loan scheme to the farming community in an attempt to encourage the agricultural sector to invest in more energy efficient equipment.

The Economics of Natural Gas Vehicles (Earth2Tech)

Converting a gas-powered vehicle to run on natural gas is far from cheap. So why are companies like AT&T taking the plunge?