Wind Power Complications with Radar

The U.S. Air Force is threatening to halt construction of a 845-megawatt wind farm in eastern Oregon that would be the world’s largest wind project, citing concerns that the wind turbines would interfere with a nearby military radar station and its ability to detect radar images. Rotating wind turbine blades could impart a Doppler shift to any radar energy reflecting off the blades and cause false images or interference. This has impact on the location of future wind farms but issues remain on how to resolve this problem.

Chemical Safety Reform Gains Momentum in Congress

Two bills in Congress would dramatically strengthen the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) ability to regulate chemicals. The bills shift the burden of proof to industry, which would have to demonstrate the safety of existing and new chemicals. That's a major change from the existing system, in which EPA must prove that chemicals are harmful before it can regulate them.

Dr. Jane Goodall: ‘I’m not going to fight for animal rights’

The renowned primatologist and conservationist on the need for scientific empathy, the impact of economic development, and why children give her hope for the future.

Earth’s missing heat a concern

The rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere means far more energy is coming into Earth's climate system than is going out, but half of that energy is missing and could eventually reappear as another sign of climate change, scientists said on Thursday. In stable climate times, the amount of heat coming into Earth's system is equal to the amount leaving it, but these are not stable times, said John Fasullo of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, a co-author of the report in the journal Science. The gap between what's entering the climate system and what's leaving is about 37 times the heat energy produced by all human activities, from driving cars and running power plants to burning wood. Half of that gap is unaccounted for, Fasullo and his co-author Kevin Trenberth reported. It hasn't left the climate system but it hasn't been detected with satellites, ocean sensors or other technology.

March Global Temperatures

How hot is it? It depends, of course, on where you are. From a global perspective there are agencies that check and recheck and average it all out. The world’s combined global land and ocean surface temperature made last month the warmest March on record, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Taken separately, average ocean temperatures were the warmest for any March and the global land surface was the fourth warmest for any March on record. Additionally, the planet has seen the fourth warmest January – March period on record.

EPA Finalizes the 2008 National U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the15th annual U.S. greenhouse gas inventory report, which shows a drop in overall emissions of 2.9 percent from 2007 to 2008. The downward trend is attributed to a decrease in carbon dioxide emissions associated with fuel and electricity consumption. An emissions inventory that identifies and quantifies a country's primary anthropogenic1 sources and sinks of greenhouse gases is essential for addressing climate change. This inventory adheres to both 1) a comprehensive and detailed set of methodologies for estimating sources and sinks of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, and 2) a common and consistent mechanism that enables Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to compare the relative contribution of different emission sources and greenhouse gases to climate change.

The Dams in Montenegro

The Montenegro government was yesterday handed a 14,764 signature petition asking it to consider alternatives to its four dam plan for the country’s second most important and most scenic River. In Montenegro, Lake Skadar - a key area for biodiversity in the Balkans - is threatened by four dams planned on the Morača River. According to some studies, the dams could strongly affect the water levels in the lake hence putting a strain on its rich fish population and negatively affecting many local families who make a living from fisheries.

Brazil suspends Amazon dam project

A Brazilian judge on Wednesday suspended the preliminary license for the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, a controversial project in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, citing "danger of irreparable harm," reports the Amazon Watch, an NGO that has been campaigning on the issue. The move comes just days after a high-profile visit by James Cameron, director of the box office hit Avatar, and Sigourney Weaver, one of the stars of Avatar, to indigenous communities potentially affected by the dam. Judge Antonio Carlos de Almeida Campelo also cancelled the construction auction for the project scheduled for April 20 and ruled that IBAMA, Brazil's environmental agency, refrain from issuing a new license for the project.

Volcanic ash disrupts northern Europe air traffic

Air traffic in much of northern Europe was halted Thursday by ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland, aviation authorities said. "Due to ash, air traffic on the sea area between Scotland, Norway, northern Sweden, Britain, Norway and northern Finland is being limited," Finland's airport agency Finavia said. A volcanic eruption in Iceland spewed black smoke and white steam into the air Wednesday.. Britain's National Air Traffic Service said that following advice from the Met Office weather service it had restricted the number of aircraft flying into British airspace.

Global Warming: Next Chapter

For those in the American Northeast last winter was rugged and fairly cold. Yet what is he world picture? The World Meteorological Organization’s latest report demonstrates that 2000-2009 is the warmest decade since modern measurements began recording temperatures around 1850. In its annual report, “WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate,” the WMO also found that 2009 is nominally ranked as the fifth warmest on record.