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Carbon Dioxide

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 1987
I have read several articles in The Times about the gas cloud that has killed many people in Cameroon, Africa. That gas, carbon dioxide, has been labeled as "poisonous." I submit to you that carbon dioxide is not poisonous. When one dies in an atmosphere of high concentration of carbon dioxide, he has not been poisoned by the carbon dioxide; he dies from lack of oxygen, and has suffocated or asphyxiated, just as if he had been strangled, or if he had drowned. Carbon dioxide is no more poisonous to the person who dies in an atmosphere of carbon dioxide than is the water in which a person drowns.
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BUSINESS
April 25, 2014 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON - Cars and light-duty trucks for the 2012 model year exceeded new federal standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The 2012 fleet averages 23.6 miles per gallon, up from 22.4 for the previous model year - one of the greatest improvements in fuel economy in 30 years, according to a report released Friday. And the cars and trucks pump out an average of 286 grams of carbon dioxide per mile, nine grams less than the EPA standard.
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OPINION
October 6, 2010 | By James C. Stewart
It is time for more of us to step forward. By "us" I mean the growing number of thoughtful Americans who have recognized the threat of global warming but have tried not to worry about it too much or get involved. Even our president, who talks eloquently about the need to reduce our fossil-fuel consumption, initially rebuffed an environmental group's efforts to have the White House install solar panels (as detailed by Bill McKibben in his Sept. 16 Times Op-Ed article, "This is how they treat their friends?"
BUSINESS
April 21, 2014 | By Shan Li
Biofuels are known as an environmentally friendly alternative to gasoline. But two recent studies call into question how green they really are. According to one study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, fuels derived from corn stover -- or the leftover corn leaves and stalks following a harvest -- can actually emit more carbon dioxide than gasoline. Researchers found that removing the corn scraps for fuel ended up releasing about 7% more carbon dioxide than regular gasoline over the short run. PHOTOS: World's most expensive cities Over the long haul, biofuels are still better for the environment than gas, the report said.
SCIENCE
May 10, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON -- The ratio of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere has surpassed 400 parts per million in an average daily reading at Hawaii's Mauna Loa Observatory, the highest concentration of the heat-trapping greenhouse gas in millions of years. While several atmospheric readings in the Arctic have recently exceeded 400 ppm of carbon dioxide, the Mauna Loa daily average readings are considered the benchmark indicators of the Earth's atmospheric makeup. Climate scientists have calculated that the world needs to keep carbon dioxide emissions from crossing the 400-ppm threshold in order to avoid a rise of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit)
SCIENCE
May 20, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
The ratio of carbon dioxide reached 400 parts per million Sunday in readings taken by the two top monitors of greenhouse gases. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration revised its Sunday reading to 400.06, following a Sunday reading of 400.15 by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Both measures came from the top of Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii, and are considered an important bellwether for the status of Earth's atmosphere. Readings have exceeded that milestone in the Arctic but had not reached the level in the temperate latitudes in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, far from pollution sources.
NATIONAL
May 24, 2012 | By Neela Banerjee
Emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide reached an all-time high last year, further reducing the chances that the world could avoid a dangerous rise in global average temperature by 2020, according to the International Energy Agency, the energy analysis group for the world's most industrialized states. Global emissions of carbon-dioxide, or CO2, from fossil-fuel combustion hit a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes  in 2011, according to the IEA's preliminary estimates, an increase of 1 Gt, or 3.2% from 2010.
SCIENCE
February 12, 2013 | By Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times
Ancient plant and animal matter trapped within Arctic permafrost can be converted rapidly into climate-warming carbon dioxide when melted and exposed to sunlight, according to a new study. In a report published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , a team of environmental and biological scientists examined 27 melting permafrost sites in Alaska and found that bacteria converted dissolved organic carbon materials into the greenhouse gas CO2 40% faster when exposed to ultraviolet light.
SCIENCE
June 18, 2012 | By Jon Bardin, Los Angeles Times / For the Science Now blog
The notion of mitigating harmful carbon dioxide emissions by storing the gas underground is not practical because the process is likely to cause earthquakes that would release the gas anyway, according to a commentary published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While the scientists do not expect that the approach would cause any large and dangerous seismic activity, they say it is likely that the earthquakes would be severe enough to jeopardize the ability to store the gas underground over the long term.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 8, 1997
Re "Wise Line on Curbing Emissions," editorial, Dec. 2: Although compromise between two ends of the spectrum often seems to be the best resolution in most situations, in the case of environment and pollution that is not so. I was delighted to find out that the European Union was taking such a bold stand in the fight for lower fossil fuel emissions. Unfortunately, I was soon disappointed to discover that the U.S. was not. The world's nations need to pursue a goal that may seem harder to achieve, but will have a better payoff.
SCIENCE
April 15, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
Greenhouse gas emissions in the United States dropped by 3.4% in 2012, federal environmental regulators reported Tuesday. The decline over the previous year was driven mostly by power plant operators switching from coal to natural gas, improvements in fuel efficiency for transportation and a warmer winter that cut demand for heating, according to an inventory released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The analysis shows the nation released the equivalent of 6,526 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2012, the lowest level since 1994.
SCIENCE
April 14, 2014 | Neela Banerjee, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
Drilling operations at several natural gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania released methane into the atmosphere at rates that were 100 to 1,000 times greater than federal regulators had estimated, new research shows. Using a plane that was specially equipped to measure greenhouse gas emissions in the air, scientists found that drilling activities at seven well pads in the booming Marcellus shale formation emitted 34 grams of methane per second, on average. The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that such drilling releases between 0.04 grams and 0.30 grams of methane per second.
OPINION
April 12, 2014
Re "A crude energy puzzle," April 7 Regarding all the happy talk about the oil trove trapped in the Monterey Shale formation, perhaps there really are billions of barrels in recoverable fossil fuel underneath California. But if we burn the stuff, where exactly should we put the carbon dioxide? Last I heard, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide was greater than 400 parts per million. This is a big science experiment because that is an increase from 270 parts per million before the widespread burning of fossil fuels began.
NATIONAL
March 16, 2014 | By Neela Banerjee
DE KALB, Miss. - Looming like a spaceship over pine and sweet-gum forest, the high-tech power plant under construction in rural Kemper County is a $5-billion wager on an energy future that includes coal. The Kemper plant is scheduled to open this year as the first in the United States to ramp up technology to remove carbon dioxide emissions on a large scale. If it works as planned, up to 65% of the plant's potential carbon dioxide emissions would be removed. But if its progress is any indication, building a coal plant that can sharply reduce greenhouse gas pollution is a white-knuckle ride.
BUSINESS
February 24, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court, in a hearing Monday, sounded ready to reject a set of disputed permitting rules designed by the Obama administration to restrict carbon emissions from plants and factories. But a majority of justices also agreed that the Environmental Protection Agency has broad authority to reduce greenhouse gases coming from cars, trucks and power plants. The probable split outcome was reflected in the justices' questions and comments during oral arguments, suggesting their final decision later this year could yield a setback for the EPA rules, but not a far-reaching defeat for the agency's climate-change policy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
A group of California scientists Wednesday urged state lawmakers to adopt a steeper target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions after 2020. "California's leadership is needed now more than ever to address the risks of a dangerously warming climate," the Union of Concerned Scientists said in a letter signed by more than 100 scientists, researchers and economists and sent to Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators. The state is on track to meet its obligation to cut carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to 1990 levels by 2020, according to the California Air Resources Board.
SCIENCE
June 27, 2009 | Associated Press
Listen up! Carbon dioxide being absorbed by the oceans is having a puzzling effect on fish -- their ears get bigger. The ear structure in fish, known as an otolith, is made up of minerals. Scientists knew that increasing carbon dioxide in the oceans -- absorbed from the atmosphere -- is making the sea more acidic, which can dissolve and weaken shells. They wondered if it also would reduce the size of the otoliths.
SCIENCE
May 13, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Carbon dioxide measurements in the Earth's atmosphere did not break the symbolic milestone of 400 parts per million at a Hawaiian observatory last week, according to a revised reading from the nation's climate observers. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revised its May 9 reading at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, saying it remained fractions of a point below the level of 400 ppm, at 399.89. Individual readings at any of NOAA's observation stations are subject to revision on a regular basis.
SCIENCE
January 31, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
Global warming is changing the Arctic so quickly that experts say we should expect an ice-free Arctic Ocean in the summer within just a few decades. But a group of scientists says there is a way to spare the Arctic from more disastrous climate change. In a new paper, they say that reducing global carbon emissions now could cut Arctic warming nearly in half by century's end. Society already has released enough carbon dioxide into the Earth's atmosphere that over the next few decades temperatures in the Arctic will continue to rise two to three times faster than in Earth's middle latitudes, according to the study . “Over the next 20 or 30 years, the fix is in,” said James Overland, an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and lead author of the scientific paper.
SCIENCE
January 30, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
The California Air Resources Board thinks a little friendly competition might inspire Californians to scale back their driving, cut electricity use and take other steps to reduce carbon emissions. The agency on Thursday announced a second round of the CoolCalifornia City Challenge , where cities compete to see how much they can cut their emissions of greenhouse gases that are causing climate change. On the line is $100,000 in prize money that will go to cities based on how many people they sign up and how many points they earn in an online tracking system.
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