A couple months ago I blogged about the virtues of “solar cookers” — devices designed, chiefly for the developing world, to reduce the often-dangerous reliance on ever-dwindling firewood (and reduce carbon emissions a la fois). Now I see that one particularly ingenious cooker, cutely called the “Kyoto Box,” has won first prize in a “green” technology contest.
It is made from two cardboard boxes, which use reflective foil and black paint to maximise absorption of solar energy.
Covering the cooking pot with a transparent cover retains heat and water, and temperatures inside the pot can reach at least 80 [Celsius].
Perhaps by next year they’ll have come up with an even better “Copenhagen box.”
NASA releases new satellite imagery showing shrinking ice levels in the Artic Sea. H/t News Unfiltered.
The latest Arctic sea ice data from NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center show that the decade-long trend of shrinking sea ice cover is continuing. New evidence from satellite observations also shows that the ice cap is thinning as well.
Arctic sea ice works like an air conditioner for the global climate system. Ice naturally cools air and water masses, plays a key role in ocean circulation, and reflects solar radiation back into space. In recent years, Arctic sea ice has been declining at a surprising rate.
Scientists who track Arctic sea ice cover from space announced today that this winter had the fifth lowest maximum ice extent on record. The six lowest maximum events since satellite monitoring began in 1979 have all occurred in the past six years (2004-2009).
Until recently, the majority of Arctic sea ice survived at least one summer and often several. But things have changed dramatically, according to a team of University of Colorado, Boulder, scientists led by Charles Fowler. Thin seasonal ice — ice that melts and re-freezes every year — makes up about 70 percent of the Arctic sea ice in wintertime, up from 40 to 50 percent in the 1980s and 1990s. Thicker ice, which survives two or more years, now comprises just 10 percent of wintertime ice cover, down from 30 to 40 percent.
According to researchers from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., the maximum sea ice extent for 2008-09, reached on Feb. 28, was 5.85 million square miles. That is 278,000 square miles less than the average extent for 1979 to 2000.
Today would have been the legendary R&B artist Marvin Gaye’s 70th birthday. I’ve always been a big fan–albums don’t get much better than”What’s Going On.” And from that album we get this gem of call to arms for the environment, Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology).
It is stunning to consider that this song was written back in 1971.
George Will does not want you to believe in global warming. In the Washington Post today he makes the profoundly dumb claim that since 1998 was the hottest year on record, the climate can’t really be getting any warmer. Really!
Reducing carbon emissions supposedly will reverse warming, which is allegedly occurring even though, according to statistics published by the World Meteorological Organization, there has not been a warmer year on record than 1998.
Jon Chait and Steve Benen rightly take Will to task for the factual and logical fallacies in that statement. Will is right about one thing though: 1998 was the hottest year on record. But it was followed by closely by 2005, 2003, 2002, 2004, 2006. In fact, eight out of the hottest ten years on record with the World Meteorological Organization occurred in the last decade. There is no way you can look at this chart (found on page 4 of the World Meteorological Organization report to which Will refers) and NOT conclude that the trend is toward a warmer planet. Will did not bother to read the report or he is deliberately misrepresenting the facts. Either way, that is some shameful stuff to appear in the pages of one of the America’s leading newspapers.
It’s Getting Hot In Here is blogging the UN climate meetings currently being held in Bonn, Germany as part of the “countdown to Copenhagen” — the series of meetings designed to prepare a new global climate accord to be adopted in Denmark at the end of the year. The highlights so far:
The U.S. is back (baby) — “powerfully, fervently engaged” and “seized with the urgency of the task before us.” While some countries seem to have been waiting to follow America’s lead, President Obama’s climate envoy, Todd Stern, has warned that he has not come to Bonn wielding a “magic wand” to solve the climate crisis. Realism is good, I suppose, but that wand would have come in mighty handy.
The real sparks, though, according to It’s Getting Hot in Here, came from the Alliance Of Small Island States, who evidently “really kicked serious butt.” For countries that face the very real possibility of really serious catastrophe, good old butt kicking in the here and now is going to be the only way — absent a wand, genie, or other supernatural phenomena — to motivate larger, more carbon-emitting, politically influential, and not-in-danger-of-flooding countries to make stringent climate commitments. Even a pledge to minimize global warming to a 2 degree rise in temperature is not going to cut it:
“It is clear that 2 degrees is too high for Small Island Developing States. I don’t need to repeat the list of effects of 2 degrees…there are some issues that no amount of adaptation funding can deal with. When a hurricane wipes out your whole country, adequate adaptation funding is very hard to come by.” [emphasis mine]
The SG: In Ethiopia over the weekend, the SG is now in the United Arab Emirates. Today he met with Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, where the two discussed developments in the region, including Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, and in the Middle East Peace Process.