Sustainability Blog - The Grid
Remember the arcade Claw game, where you steer and drop a mechanical claw for a (negligible) chance to win a 10-cent stuffed animal? Well, that's what these guys get to do all day.
With crane-sized claws.
Wind was responsible for 4.8 percent of America’s electricity used in January. That’s the highest January total ever, breaking the record from last January, which broke the record for the January before that, and so on. The chart below shows the latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Association.
America’s rising wind power feels unstoppable. That’s because in many areas of the country wind has reached an important tipping point: becoming cheaper than coal and natural gas. In fact, states getting the most electricity from wind include gas-rich Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado.
Bloomberg BNA — Russia, Denmark and Canada all are trying to prove that their land masses extend to the North Pole, handing the international commission that gives its expert recommendations on such matters its most highly contested issue to date and highlighting the central role the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea will have in determining the future of the rapidly changing region.
The polar region's global status has risen as it has shed its ice cover at a rate of 46,100 square kilometers per year since 1981, with summer sea ice loss accelerating over the past decade in terms of ice extent and thickness. Winter ice extent is also at historically low levels, with 2014 marking the fourth-lowest February ice extent in the satellite record, 910,000 kilometers below the 1981 to 2010 average, according to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Good morning! Here are today's top reads:
- Risks grow as new nations embrace nuclear power (Bloomberg)
- At quiet rebel base, plotting an assault on South Sudan's oil fields (NY Times)
- Climate change will 'lead to battle for food', says head of World Bank (Guardian)
- Exxon agrees to disclose fracking risks (Wall Street Journal)
- Clinton, Lagarde target glass ceiling for women worldwide (Bloomberg)
- U.S. lags behind China in renewable investments (Climate Central)
- Months after West Virginia spill, a weakened chemical safety bill emerges (National Journal)
- Smog expert: Worsening Saharan dust storms to become an annual spring fixture (Independent)
- Research set to protect beer from climate change (Brisbane Times)
- Climate deniers intimidate journal into retracting paper that finds they believe conspiracy theories (Scientific American)
Visit www.bloomberg.com/sustainability for the latest from Bloomberg News about energy, natural resources and global business.
Bloomberg BNA — Facilities burning biomass emit more air pollutants, including carbon dioxide, per megawatt-hour than those that burn coal, according to a Partnership for Policy Integrity report.
The April 2 report, “Trees, Trash, and Toxics: How Biomass Energy Has Become the New Coal,” examined 88 Clean Air Act permits issued to industrial sources that burn biomass. It found that sources burning biomass emit 50 percent more carbon dioxide per megawatt of electricity generated than coal-burning sources.
Arctic sea ice reached its maximum area, or extent, on March 21, after a brief late season surge in ice formation. The total amount of ice coverage peaked at 5.7 million square miles, some 282,000 square miles below the 1981-to-2010 average. It ranks as the fifth lowest winter extent in the satellite record, stretching back to 1978 (2011 holds the record low).
Lately, when I water my frangipani tree all I can think about is how I’ve never had to water it before. The last time Singapore had a February as dry as this year’s was 1869.
Singapore is a tropical island very close to the equator and we get about 92 inches of rain a year. Right now, it’s the dry season. Typically in the dry season, instead of raining every day, it rains every other day. Just not this year.
Bloomberg BNA — A fiscal year 2015 budget plan developed by House Republicans aims to reduce funding for federal climate change programs.
The House fiscal 2015 budget resolution, released April 1, proposes to cut overall spending on the federal government's climate change-related activities, mostly through reduced spending on overseas climate change activities. The budget resolution also recommends that federal agencies streamline climate change programs to eliminate “duplicative and unnecessary” spending.
Good afternoon! Here are today's top reads: