Green-News: Wednesday 8.13.08
- The United Nations has named Yao Ming, of the Houston Rockets and a member of Chinese national basketball team, its first Environmental Champion, for his role in raising awareness of climate change and energy efficiency. Via Ecorazzi:
Yao explained how he’ll take on this enormously important task, “So I will work with young people across the world and try to inspire them to plant trees, use energy efficient light bulbs, harvest rain water and to become environmental champions in their own communities.”
He’s got billions of eyes on him as he competes for the Chinese basketball team, and he recently had the coveted honor to act as their flag carrier in the Olympic opening ceremonies. He uses this opportunity in the spotlight to ask for help in his task, “As the world celebrates the Beijing Olympic Games, I would also like to call upon the organizers of all major sports events in the world to make sure they use public transport facilities, build proper waste management systems and use greener forms for energy.”
- Disturbing news, some scientists believe that the Artic could be ice-free by 2013. They originally believed it would take 60 years—quite a difference! Robin McKie of The Observer reports:
Satellite images show that ice caps started to disintegrate dramatically several days ago as storms over Alaska's Beaufort Sea began sucking streams of warm air into the Arctic. As a result, scientists say that the disappearance of sea ice at the North Pole could exceed last year's record loss. More than a million square kilometres melted over the summer of 2007 as global warming tightened its grip on the Arctic. But such destruction could now be matched, or even topped, this year.
'It is a neck-and-neck race between 2007 and this year over the issue of ice loss,' said Mark Serreze, of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Boulder, Colorado. 'We thought Arctic ice cover might recover after last year's unprecedented melting - and indeed the picture didn't look too bad last month. Cover was significantly below normal, but at least it was up on last year.
But the Beaufort Sea storms triggered steep ice losses and it now looks as if it will be a very close call indeed whether 2007 or 2008 is the worst year on record for ice cover over the Arctic. We will only find out when the cover reaches its minimum in mid-September.'
- Elephant seals, big lumbering sea mammals, but environmental researchers? Reuters reports on how elephant seals are being used to gather data on climate change. Here’s a bit:
Elephant seals swimming under Antarctic ice and fitted with special sensors are providing scientists with crucial data on ice formation, ocean currents and climate change, a study released on Tuesday said.
The seals swimming under winter sea ice have overcome a "blind-spot" for scientists by allowing them to calculate how fast sea ice forms during winter.
Sea ice reflects sunlight back into space, so less sea ice means more energy is absorbed by the earth, causing more warming.
"They have made it possible for us to observe large areas of the ocean under the sea ice in winter for the first time," said co-author Steve Rintoul from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).
Trackbacks (0) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
Dr. Fuhrman's Executive Offices
4 Walter E. Foran Blvd.Flemington, NJ 08822