climate change

Growing Jobs
6:35 pm
Wed May 25, 2011

Northwest consortium aiming to become hub for aviation biofuels

Camelina, a member of the mustard family, is a viable candidate for producing oil for biofuels, requiring minimal inputs of water and fertilizer compared to a number of other oilseed feedstocks.
Washington State University photo

A new industry is emerging in the Pacific Northwest – for development, production and distribution of aviation biofuels.

A consortium called Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest has just spent ten months producing an exhaustive study.  They've identified the four-state region of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana as a serious contender in the race to produce environmentally friendly jet fuels.

Read more
HUMANOSPHERE
12:05 pm
Tue May 10, 2011

Bill Gates: Key to beating climate change is energy innovation. Is it?

Photo by Thomas Hawk

Bill Gates was the keynote speaker for Seattle-based Climate Solutions‘ annual fund-raising breakfast today.

The gist of Gates’ message: The best way to fight climate change is to create forms of energy production that significantly reduce carbon emissions and are cheap enough to be of value to poor people worldwide.

Read more:

Cleaner Energy
7:50 am
Mon March 7, 2011

Northwest’s largest coal-fired power plant agrees to shut down by 2025

The owner of the largest coal-fired power plant in the Northwest has agreed to phase out coal-burning by the end of 2025.

Washington’s governor and environmental groups announced an agreement with TransAlta Corporation Saturday. Within hours, the Washington State Senate passed a bill to turn the deal into law.

Read more
Shoreline impacts
8:25 am
Tue February 22, 2011

King tides: a "teachable moment?"

A king tide in Budd Bay in Olympia in 2005.
Kay Schultz DOE Flickr feed

Shorelines around Washington are experiencing extreme high tides through the end of the month. Known as “king tides,” they’re a natural wintertime phenomenon in the Northwest. But they may also provide a glimpse into our future.

Read more
Environment
7:27 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Study: more arid future for Northwest?

Map of Castor Lake.
Google Maps

A remarkable piece of scientific detective work has constructed a 6,000 year climate history of the Pacific Northwest. The record reveals a pattern of drought cycles and wet cycles.

Researchers drilled into the sediments at the bottom of Castor Lake near Omak, Washington. It's a telltale lake because with no river running out of it rainfall and evaporation rule there.

Read more
Coal Exports
10:25 am
Tue February 15, 2011

New revelations heat up Longview coal port fight

The coal export terminal would utilize the former Reynolds Aluminum smelter property in Longview, WA.
Tom Banse N3

Previously undisclosed documents are raising questions about whether the Australian company trying to build a new coal export facility in Longview has tried to snooker local officials.

According to an article in the New York Times, documents show officials at Millennium Bulk Terminals “tried to limit what state officials knew about its long-term goals during the early permitting process last year.”

Read more
Environment
1:46 pm
Tue January 25, 2011

UW scientist captures strange song of cracking iceberg

Iceberg B-15A was 76 miles long and 17 miles wide
Josh Landis National Science Foundation

If an iceberg cracks in Antarctica and no one's there to hear it, does it make a sound? Now we know the answer is, in fact, yes.

A University of Washington oceanographer has released a recording of the breakup of one of the largest icebergs ever observed in Antarctica.

Read more
Climate Change
1:39 pm
Wed January 5, 2011

King tide photo initiative

High tide in downtown Olympia, 12/28/10
Johanna Ofner, Climate Policy Group

The Washington Department of Ecology is asking for your photos of high tides through the month of February. Extreme high tides, known as king tides, occur once or twice a year when the gravitational pull of the sun and moon reinforce each other. 

Read more
Cancun Climate Conference
4:18 am
Mon December 13, 2010

Looking forward from Cancun

Greenpeace activists form the word hope as a question with their bodies, next to a giant life saver, during a demonstration near the site of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, Friday, Dec. 10, 2010.
AP

It was time to put up or shut up. Delegates to the United Nations climate conference in Cancun knew if they came out of the talks empty-handed, the whole effort to reach a global warming treaty could collapse. The agreement that emerged over the past weekend made just enough progress to keep the talks alive for another year.

Read more
Cancun Climate Conference
8:40 am
Fri December 10, 2010

Ocean acidification: Global warming's evil twin

Commercial fishermen and other mariners join together to send an urgent message to save the oceans from ocean acidification caused by fossil fuel emissions in Homer, Alaska, Sunday Sept. 6, 2009. Boaters and fishers took part in the protest.
AP/Lou Dematteis-SpectralQ

The focus of attention at the U.N. climate summit in Cancun, Mexico is global warming caused by too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But there’s another impact of high carbon levels that poses a whole different set of problems: it makes the ocean more acidic.

Read more
Cancun Climate Conference
5:19 am
Thu December 9, 2010

The kids are all right

Seattle students Ian Siadak and Lauren Ressler are among the more than 20 Sierra Club activists wearing national flags and hiding their heads in the sand near the U.N.climate summit in Cancun, Mexico.
AP

A pair of college students from Seattle are among the members of the American Youth Delegation at the U.N. climate summit in Cancun, Mexico. They’re allowed to attend some of the negotiations, but the young people say they have a moral right to have a greater say.

When I met with Ian Siadak and Lauren Ressler, they came across as smart, articulate and well-informed. They’re also a little ticked off.

Read more
Cancun Climate Conference
5:24 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

Seattle students bring climate action to Cancun

Student activists in Cancun wear a t-shirt that speaks volumes
Liam Moriarty KPLU News

Nearly 200 countries are represented at the U.N. climate summit this week in Cancun, Mexico. There are also caucuses speaking up for the interests of women, indigenous people, and others whose voices often haven’t been heard. Today I spent some time today with another under-represented group; young people.

Read more
Cancun Climate Conference
11:13 am
Wed December 8, 2010

Northwest glaciers melting: U.N. Report

Mount Rainier Liberty Cap (center skyline), Liberty Cap Glacier descending to ice cliff, Mowich Face (left of ice cliff), Russell Glacier (below, middle distance)
Walter Siegmund Wikimedia.org

Glaciers around the world are losing mass at varying rates, according to a new report from the United Nations Environment Program. Glaciers in Patagonia are shrinking fastest, followed by Alaska, then the Pacific Northwest and Canada.

Glaciers in Asia - including the Hindi Kush in the Himalayas -- are losing ice more slowly.

Other key findings of the report include:

Read more
Cancun Climate Conference
11:02 pm
Tue December 7, 2010

Using information technology against climate change

Technology companies from around the world are gathered as part of the U.N. climate summit in Cancun, Mexico this week. The tech wizards say they can be a powerful force for fighting climate change.

In Cancun today, dozens of companies from Intel to H-P to Microsoft signed onto a statement saying information and communications technology can go a long way toward the deep cuts in greenhouse gases that scientists say we need to make in order to avoid major climate disruption in the coming decades.

Read more
Cancun Climate Conference
4:38 pm
Mon December 6, 2010

Could regions hold the key to climate action?

This Greenpeace activist performs in an underwater art museum in Cancun, Mexico, Sunday Dec. 5, 2010. Environmental activists took the water to draw attention to the risk faced by coastal areas under threat of global warming and rising seas.
Courtest Greenpeace.org

Delegates at the U.N. Climate Conference in Cancun Mexico are still haggling over the same sticking points that prevented an agreement a year ago in Copenhagen: who is going to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions how much by when, and who's going to pay for it all.

And with the U.S. unwilling to sign on to the sort of strict economy-wide carbon diet being pushed by Europe and others, right now the signs of progress are few.

Read more

Pages