Specialising in
Grey Water
and
Rainwater Harvesting systems in South Africa .

Missing energy is buried in the ocean

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 20 Sep 2011

Earth’s deep oceans may absorb enough heat at times to flatten the rate of global warming for periods of as long as a decade–even in the midst of longer-term warming. This according to a new analysis led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Excess energy entering the climate system due to greenhouse gas increases may not be immediately realized as warmer surface temperatures, as it can go into the deep ocean instead

The study, based on computer simulations of global climate, points to ocean layers deeper than 1,000 feet as the main location of the “missing heat” during periods such as the past decade when global air temperatures showed little trend.

The findings also suggest that several more intervals like this can be expected over the next century, even as the trend toward overall warming continues.

“We will see global warming go through hiatus periods in the future,” says NCAR’s Gerald Meehl, lead author of the study.

“However, these periods would likely last only about a decade or so, and warming would then resume. This study illustrates one reason why global temperatures do not simply rise in a straight line.”

The research, by scientists at NCAR and the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia, was published online Sunday in Nature Climate Change.

Funding for the study came from the National Science Foundation (NSF), NCAR’s sponsor.

“The research shows that the natural variability of the climate system can produce periods of a decade or more in which Earth’s temperature does not rise, despite an increase in greenhouse gas concentrations,” says Eric DeWeaver, program director in NSF’s Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences. Continue reading Missing energy is buried in the ocean

Amazon forest destruction accelerates

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 04 Aug 2011

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon accelerated in June, with more than 300 square kilometers destroyed, a 17 percent increase over the previous month, government researchers said Tuesday.

Massive deforestation has made Brazil one of […]

Cement maker agrees to cut emissions

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 24 June 2011

WWF and Lafarge, the world’s largest cement maker, today agreed to continue working together to further reduce the company’s greenhouse gas emissions and to help build hundreds of energy-efficient buildings – targets that will help fight the effects of climate change.

Lafarge has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels

As part of its ongoing partnership with WWF, Lafarge committed to further reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by 33 percent per ton of cement below 1990 levels by 2020. This will be achieved by increasing the use of alternative fuels (such as biomass) and the efficiency of Lafarge’s plants.

In an innovative approach to sustainability, the company also pledged to be part of the development of 500 sustainable buildings across the globe by 2015, and to advocate for ambitious national and global climate change policies.

As part of its commitment, Lafarge will work with its customers, architects, engineering companies, designers and construction companies to develop new innovative technology platforms and new construction systems, which will be used in the energy efficient buildings. Continue reading Cement maker agrees to cut emissions

SA climate delegation justified

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 22 June 2011

A delegation at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, represented the “very best capacity” in the country, the government said on Friday.

NGO GroundWork criticised the inclusion of Sasol and Eskom in the UN Climate Change Conference

It was reacting to criticism – levelled earlier this week by the NGO GroundWork – about the inclusion of representatives from petrochemicals giant Sasol and electricity utility Eskom in the delegation.

In a statement on Wednesday, GroundWork said the inclusion of Sasol and Eskom representatives “simply boggles the mind”.

“How can the two companies, who together account for the majority of South Africa’s emissions, and who do so profitably, be tasked with charting a low-carbon future for the country?”

The environment affairs department defended the composition of government’s negotiating team.

“The policy governing the composition of the South African delegation for all UN climate change meetings and conferences of parties is constituted with representatives of government, business, civil society, labour and Salga (local government) representatives, and also includes representative with specific skills, particularly from the South African scientific community. Continue reading SA climate delegation justified

2010 records highest carbon output in history

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 30 May 2011

Greenhouse gas emissions increased by a record amount last year, to the highest carbon output in history, putting hopes of holding global warming to safe levels all but out of reach, according to unpublished estimates from the International Energy Agency.

Last year, a record 30.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide poured into the atmosphere

The shock rise means the goal of preventing a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius – which scientists say is the threshold for potentially “dangerous climate change” – is likely to be just “a nice Utopia”, according to Fatih Birol, chief economist of the IEA. It also shows the most serious global recession for 80 years has had only a minimal effect on emissions, contrary to some predictions.

Last year, a record 30.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide poured into the atmosphere, mainly from burning fossil fuel – a rise of 1.6Gt on 2009, according to estimates from the IEA regarded as the gold standard for emissions data.

“I am very worried. This is the worst news on emissions,” Birol told the Guardian. “It is becoming extremely challenging to remain below 2 degrees. The prospect is getting bleaker. That is what the numbers say.”

Professor Lord Stern of the London School of Economics, the author of the influential Stern Report into the economics of climate change for the Treasury in 2006, warned that if the pattern continued, the results would be dire. “These figures indicate that [emissions] are now close to being back on a ‘business as usual’ path. According to the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s] projections, such a path … would mean around a 50% chance of a rise in global average temperature of more than 4C by 2100,” he said. Continue reading 2010 records highest carbon output in history