December 3, 2012 |
To a casual observer, it looks like someone barnstorming several hundred feet above sparsely populated Central California terrain in a small plane. But it's UC Davis atmospheric researchers surveying Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s 600 miles of natural gas pipelines between Sonoma and Fresno in a single-engine Mooney TLS packed with scientific instruments designed to sniff out leaks of methane, a potent source of global warming. Their mission: Find gas leaks several miles downwind from the source cheap and fast, then dispatch ground crews to fix the problem and stop more pollution from spewing into the air. The $295,000 experimental project is funded by the industry organization Pipeline Research Council International, with principal backing from PG&E.
November 17, 2012 |
Environmental researchers have detected excess greenhouse gas levels near the site of Australia's biggest coal seam gas field, prompting calls for halting expansion of hydraulic fracturing until scientists can determine whether it might be contributing to climate change. The reported findings of methane, carbon dioxide and other compounds at more than three times normal background levels have stirred new controversy in eastern Australia over the pros and cons of boosting natural gas output by "fracking," a process that blasts sand, water and chemicals into deep underground wells.
November 14, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO -- California environmental officials went ahead with a planned, first-ever auction of greenhouse gas pollution credits despite a last-minute lawsuit filed by the state Chamber of Commerce. On Wednesday, the Air Resources Board manned computer terminals to take bids from some major industrial facilities such as cement plants, steel mills, refineries and food processors. Many companies that emit carbon dioxide, methane and other gases that contribute to global warming were expected to participate in the three-hour sale of so-called cap-and-trade credits.
October 9, 2012 |
Climate scientists are creating a three-dimensional carbon dioxide emissions map of the city of Los Angeles that will detail greenhouse gas emissions for individual buildings, road segments and power generators over time. The mapping project is part of an effort by Arizona State University researchers to eventually map all major cities in the United States to help guide climate policymakers. In a report published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, atmospheric scientist Kevin Gurney and colleagues described how they recently completed a similar map for the city of Indianapolis.
October 3, 2012 |
Centuries before the Industrial Revolution or the recognition of global warming, the ancient Roman and Chinese empires were already producing powerful greenhouse gases through their daily toil, according to a new study. The burning of plant matter to cook food, clear cropland and process metals released millions of tons of methane gas into the atmosphere each year during several periods of pre-industrial history, according to the study, published Thursday in the journal Nature. Although the quantity of methane produced back then pales in comparison with the emissions released today - the total amount is roughly 70 times greater now - the findings suggest that man's footprint on the climate is larger than previously realized.
September 20, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO -- Corporate executives and workers from dozens of refineries, glass-makers and other business groups bombarded members of the California Air Resources Board with complaints about an upcoming auction of credits allowing them to release greenhouse gases. The first auction Nov. 14 will be the cornerstone of the country's most extensive, market-based, cap-and-trade program for reducing carbon dioxide and other pollutants that contribute to global warming. Critics, including the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Manufacturers & Technology Assn.
September 17, 2012 |
The decline of my 10-year-old refrigerator started with an unsettling wheezing sound and ended with a death rattle that would have cost $500 to fix. So I, like 10 million other Americans each year, dropped money on a new fridge and had the broken one hauled away. But I was nagged by a lingering concern: What happened to my hulking old Amana? The Pacific Sales where I bought my new Samsung offered a free haul-away service, but what did that company do with it? Where, exactly, was it hauled away to?
August 21, 2012 |
Many people want to eat in a way that's good for their health and also good for the environment. One does not necessarily translate to the other. For one thing, the word “sustainable” is easy to bandy about but involves a whole medley of considerations: greenhouse gas emissions, how and where a food was grown, how much water was used to grow it, from what distance it was shipped, how much goes to waste and how leftovers are disposed of, whether people can make a living producing it, and more.