Archive for October 1st, 2015

Impact of climate change on South Asia

Himalayan Times: Temperatures are already rising and are expected to continue to rise in South Asia, thus making varied impacts in different countries. For Nepal it means that the nation may see 10 per cent GDP loss from glacier melts, climate extremes, according to Asian Development Bank (ADB) climate and economics report for South Asia. “The number and frequency of extreme events have been increasing in the region,” pointed out Preety Bhandari, Director, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Division, ADB...

California meets water savings target for third month

Associated Press: Californians cut water use by 27 percent in August, marking the third consecutive month that residents and businesses surpassed the 25 percent conservation goal set by Gov. Jerry Brown to deal with the relentless drought, officials said Thursday. The figures released by the State Water Resources Control Board showed a slight decrease in savings from the 31 percent posted for July -- a development that raised concerns among some officials. However, board chair Felicia Marcus said the slippage...

Governments must cooperate more in water ‘hotspots’ to prevent conflict

Reuters: Governments in water 'hotspots' need to scale up cooperation over shared water resources to avoid 'drastic' consequences such as international conflicts, the United Nations University (UNU) said on Friday. The importance of water cooperation in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Middle East, where hundreds of millions of people depend on shared resources, is growing as climate change increasingly affects water availability, UNU said in a report. "Water challenges are going to increase as a result...

Balcombe ‘fracking village’ gets green light to go 100% solar

Guardian: Balcombe, the Sussex village that saw the UK’s biggest anti-fracking protests so far, is set to be powered entirely by the sun, after residents won planning permission on Thursday to build a nearby solar farm. But campaigners said they are now racing government subsidy cuts to solar power to get the project underway. The 5 megawatt (MW) project in Sussex will see 18,500 panels installed, generating enough power to match Balcombe’s energy needs and to power a nearby village. Local residents...

Zimbabwe to ban electric water heaters

BBC: Zimbabwe is to ban the use of electric water heaters and require all newly built properties to use solar power, as it tries to tackle big power shortages. Energy officials say existing electric heaters - or geysers - will be phased out over the next five years. They hope to save up to 400 megawatts of electricity - equivalent to the output of an electrical power plant. Blackouts have dogged Zimbabwe, despite the fact that 60% of the population have no access to electricity. This has also...

Federal protection sought for Joshua trees

LA Times: Drought, more frequent wildfires and rising temperatures due to climate change are upsetting the delicate balance between life and death conditions for Joshua Tree National Park’s peculiar namesake plant. Many Joshua trees in the region have not reproduced in decades. If warmer, drier conditions continue, scientific modeling suggests the symbols of California’s deserts will lose 90% of their range in the 800,000-acre park and surrounding terrain by the end of the century. As part of an effort to...

TransCanada changes tack in seeking Nebraska Keystone approval

Reuters: TransCanada Corp said on Wednesday it will seek approval from the Nebraska Public Service Commission to build its long-delayed and controversial Keystone XL crude oil pipeline route through the state. The company is also withdrawing eminent domain actions, which would force some reluctant Nebraska landowners to let TransCanada lay the pipeline across their land in exchange for payment, and terminating constitutional court proceedings relating to those actions. TransCanada spokesman Mark Cooper...

Wyoming court issues injunction against fracking rules for public lands

Reuters: A Wyoming judge on Wednesday granted a preliminary injunction against the federal government's regulations for hydraulic fracturing on public lands, handing a victory to oil and gas producers who had vehemently opposed the rules. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl had put the regulations on hold in June as he weighed a request from energy industry groups and four states to stop the rules from being implemented until their lawsuit against the new standards was resolved. The rules issued by the Interior...

Millions face hunger due to climate change, ’super El Niño’: Oxfam

Reuters: At least 10 million poor people face hunger this year and next because of droughts and erratic rains linked to record global temperatures and an expected "super" version of the evolving El Nino weather pattern, aid charity Oxfam has warned. In Ethiopia alone, 4.5 million people need food aid because a combination of El Nino and long-term climate change has made the rainy season more unpredictable, according to United Nations agencies. El Nino, caused by Pacific Ocean warming, leads to dry weather...

Native leaders divided on oil-sands pipelines

Globe and Mail: Two groups of First Nations have issued duelling statements on where aboriginal people stand on oil-sands pipelines, highlighting opposing native viewpoints toward the energy industry. Aboriginal leaders from Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba said on Wednesday that they are keen to form a national alliance to oppose pipelines from northern Alberta’s oil sands. The visiting delegation met in Vancouver with the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs to press the case for fighting proposals, such as TransCanada Corp.’s...