[GWSG] ICLEI poll; ELF; US Assessment; Rahmstorf on slr; fireflies & LEDs; 20 years lost; tidal power; action & change

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Mon Jan 14 09:17:27 EST 2013

1.  59% of 298 US cities in an ICLEI poll are planning for climate adaptation; the global figure is 68%.  US and Latin American cities report unusual difficulty finding funding.  The US has less planning in progress than other surveyed regions.   http://www.icleiusa.org/blog/survey_us_cities_report_increase_in_climate_impacts_lag_in_adaptation_planningworldwide-progress-on-urban-climate-adaptation-planning  Another briefer ICLEI report lists how climate change has challenged a list of US cities and their action plans.   http://www.icleiusa.org/action-center/learn-from-others/local-governments-extreme-weather-and-climate-change-2012

2.  The ELF is a solar and human powered plastic tricycle made in Durham, NC.  It will charge from solar cells in its roof or in two hours from a standard outlet.  The range is 30 miles on the electric engine, or indefinite if you are pedaling, and its top speed is 20 miles per hour.  It is not the solution to all personal transportation needs, even to most urban needs, but the ELF could fit some niches, and might inspire some new niches.  http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=13-P13-00002&segmentID=4

3.  The US National Climate Assessment, due by law every four years (though finessed in the Bush administration), makes it clear that we need to pursue both adaptation and mitigation vigorously.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jan/12/us-scientists-effects-global-warming  More detail on the report and comment on the political climate from The Hill:  http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/276769-federal-report-finding-unambiguous-warming-fuels-calls-for-tougher-action

4.  Stefan Rahmstorf reflects on the current state of sea level rise research in a two –part essay on the Real Climate site.  He concludes that process-based models are insufficiently developed to give us a clear picture of likely rise during the next century (though they are improving), and require inclusion of empirical data for accuracy.    http://www.realclimate.org/

5.  By imitating the scales on a firefly’s abdomen, light from an LED can be increased by up to 55%.  Presumably, the power required for a given light level is similarly decreased.  http://www.technologyreview.com/news/509806/fireflies-inspire-brighter-leds/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-weekly-energy&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20130114

6.  An Australian journalism lecturer describes how the government narrative on climate changed in the 1990s so that they lost 20 years of opportunity for change.  The US has a parallel story.  http://theconversation.edu.au/how-we-lost-20-years-on-climate-change-action-10745

7.  Tidal power could provide about 20% of England’s electricity, according to a new study.  15% would be from barrages and 5% from turbines placed in tidal streams.  Other coastal areas have similar opportunities.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20983645#

8.  Cutting emissions earlier rather than later will have a significant impact on coastal flooding late in this century.  We have sufficient heat built up already so that the effects will be negligible in 2030 and small in 2050.  http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23070-benefits-of-emissions-cuts-kick-in-only-next-century.html?cmpid=RSS%7CNSNS%7C2012-GLOBAL%7Cclimate-change
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