Tuesday, November 30News That Matters

Tag: Carbon Dioxide

This Fire-Loving Fungus Eats Charcoal, if It Must

Technology, World
To confirm that the fungus was actually doing what it appeared to be doing, Dr. Whitman’s lab grew pine seedlings in an atmosphere with carbon dioxide containing carbon-13, an isotope whose unusual weight makes it easy to trace, and then put the trees in a specialized furnace to form charcoal, which was fed to the Pyronema. Like us, fungi take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, most of which comes from whatever they are eating. The fungus’s carbon-13-labeled emissions, then, suggested that it really was snacking on charcoal.The researchers also tracked normal carbon dioxide coming out of the fungus, and substantially more of it than the charcoal, suggesting it was eating something else — maybe the agar it was growing on, or some carbon that entered during inoculation, Dr. Whitman said.Dr....

How Roundabouts Help Lower Carbon Emissions

Technology, World
“Just imagine a post-Sandy, post-Katrina or post-Andrew world where recovery funds were put to work building resilient, sustainable modern roundabouts instead of rebuilding fragile, polluting signalized intersections,” Mr. Sides, the traffic engineer, said.The United States has been slow to adopt modern roundabouts, though that is changing somewhat. By one count, they now number about 7,900 countrywide, with hundreds added each year. Still, hesitation remains.5 Takeaways From the COP26 Climate SummitCard 1 of 51. Time for action is running out. The major agreement struck by diplomats established a clear consensus that all nations need to do much more, immediately, to prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperatures.2. How much each nation needs to cut remains unresolved. Rich c...
Travel Industry Takes Crucial First Step Toward Combating Climate Change

Travel Industry Takes Crucial First Step Toward Combating Climate Change

Travel
He pointed to an example of a trail that was built in a national park that was designed to involve local communities in the active management of the area. “Over 30 percent of our land and sea are preserved national parks, so it’s humanly impossible to supervise all these areas,” he said. “The community can benefit economically from these areas and will also be prone to stay and take care of it instead of only coming there for short-term income.”5 Takeaways From the COP26 Climate SummitCard 1 of 51. Time for action is running out. The major agreement struck by diplomats established a clear consensus that all nations need to do much more, immediately, to prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperatures.2. How much each nation needs to cut remains unresolved. Rich countries are di...
Climate Promises Made in Glasgow Now Rest With a Handful of Powerful Leaders

Climate Promises Made in Glasgow Now Rest With a Handful of Powerful Leaders

Technology, World
GLASGOW — After two weeks of lofty speeches and bitter negotiations among nearly 200 nations, the question of whether the world will make significant progress to slow global warming still comes down to the actions of a handful of powerful nations that remain at odds over how best to address climate change.The United Nations global conference on climate change closed Saturday with a hard-fought agreement that calls on countries to return next year with stronger emissions-reduction targets and promises to double the money available to help countries cope with the effects of global warming. It also mentions by name — for the first time in a quarter century of global climate negotiations — the main cause of climate change: fossil fuels.But it did not succeed in helping the world avert the wors...

6 Takeaways From COP26, the U.N. Climate Summit

Technology, World
Before it started, the United Nations global climate summit in Glasgow known as COP26 was billed by its chief organizer as the “last, best hope” to save the planet.Halfway through, optimistic reviews of its progress noted that heads of state and titans of industry showed up in force to start the gathering with splashy new climate promises, a sign that momentum was building in the right direction.The pessimistic outlook? Gauzy promises mean little without concrete plans to follow through. The Swedish activist Greta Thunberg accused the conference of consisting of a lot of “blah, blah, blah.”On Saturday, diplomats from nearly 200 countries struck a major agreement aimed at intensifying efforts to fight climate change, by calling on governments to return next year with stronger plans to curb ...

Glasgow Climate Talks Are Down to the Wire on Money, Ambition and Fossil Fuels

Technology, World
GLASGOW — The international climate talks went into overtime Friday evening, as negotiators wrestled behind closed doors over several sticking points in an agreement that could determine whether nations can prevent the planet from growing dangerously hot by midcentury.A draft agreement released Friday morning called for a doubling of money to help developing countries cope with climate impacts, and said nations should strengthen their emissions-cutting targets by next year. The document urged countries to accelerate a coal phaseout and eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels.Negotiators from about 200 countries worked into Saturday morning, arguing over several aspects of the document, including whether countries should be asked to return next year with stronger emissions plans, if wealthy co...
COP26 Climate Talks Leave a Large Carbon Footprint, Report Says

COP26 Climate Talks Leave a Large Carbon Footprint, Report Says

Technology, World
The carbon footprint of this year’s United Nations climate summit is expected to be double that of the previous conference in 2019, according to a report produced for the British government.The COP26 summit in Glasgow, which is scheduled to end on Friday, is projected to generate emissions that are equivalent to about 102,500 tons of carbon dioxide, says a report compiled by Arup, a professional services firm, and first reported by The Scotsman.About 60 percent of those emissions are estimated to come from international flights, while accommodations, policing for the event, local transportation and energy for the venue make up other large portions, the report said.The environmental impact of the summit did not go unnoticed inside the hall. Vanessa Nakate, a climate activist from Uganda, on...
China and the United States Agree to Work Together to Tackle Climate Change

China and the United States Agree to Work Together to Tackle Climate Change

Technology, World
Scientists have said that nations need to cut global emissions from fossil fuels roughly in half this decade to keep average global temperatures from rising beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, compared with preindustrial levels. Beyond that threshold, the risks of deadly heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods and species extinction grow considerably. The planet has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius.Negotiators here from nearly 200 countries are likely to demand significant changes to the draft as the talks enter their last, most difficult stretch. By tradition, a new global agreement requires every party to sign on. If any one nation objects, talks can deadlock.The British prime minister, Boris Johnson, returned to Glasgow on Wednesday to urge countries to set aside di...

Can Glasgow Deliver on a Global Climate Deal?

Technology, World
GLASGOW — The international climate summit here has been billed by its chief organizer as the “last, best hope” to save the planet. But as the United Nations conference enters its second week and negotiators from 197 countries knuckle down to finalize a new agreement to tackle global warming, attendees were sharply divided over how much progress is being made.There’s the optimistic view: Heads of state and titans of industry showed up in force last week with splashy new climate promises, a sign that momentum was building in the right direction.“I believe what is happening here is far from business as usual,” said John Kerry, President Biden’s special envoy on climate change, who has been attending U.N. climate summits since 1992. “I have never counted as many initiatives and as much real m...
Energy Department Aims to Slash Cost of Removing Carbon From the Air

Energy Department Aims to Slash Cost of Removing Carbon From the Air

Technology, World
GLASGOW — The U.S. Department of Energy on Friday unveiled its biggest effort yet to drastically reduce the cost of technologies that suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, in a recognition that current strategies to lower greenhouse gases may not be enough to avert the worst effects of climate change.At the United Nations climate summit, Jennifer Granholm, the energy secretary, said that her agency would invest in research in the nascent field of carbon removal, with a goal of pushing the cost under $100 per ton by 2030. That’s far below the price tag for many current technologies, which are still in early stages of development and can currently cost as much as $2,000 per ton.The ultimate aim is to identify techniques that can remove billions of tons of carbon dioxide already in the a...