Unsettling prospects

It has been suspected for weeks and now two U.S. agencies have confirmed 2010 as the warmest year on record-since 1880! Even if single weather occurrences cannot be directly linked to global warming, the fact the every year since 2000 has ranked as one of the 15 warmest years on record can be regarded as evidence that shows mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions are heating the planet. Continue reading “Unsettling prospects”

Global warming causes weather extremes across China

Extreme weather in China reinforces predictions about climate change. Chen Zhenlin, director of the emergency response, disaster mitigation and public services department connects most of these extreme weather events to rain resulting from global warming.

Extreme rainstorms, most instances of extreme weather in a decade, highest temperatures across China since 1961 and the fact that  more than half of the tropical hurricanes produced typhoons undermines China’s efforts to raise the number of low-carbon forms of energy. Continue reading “Global warming causes weather extremes across China”

UN climate talks seek to avert damaging failure

Several environment ministers said on Wednesday that failure at the talks in Cancun, Mexico, could undermine faith in the ability of the United Nations to tackle global problems in the 21st century as power shifts toward emerging nations led by China and India, writes Reuters.

“I think that what is at stake here is also multilateralism,” said European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard. “It’s absolutely crucial that this process, which is the only one we have … can prove that it can deliver results.”

The talks in Cancun have more modest ambitions than at Copenhagen last year, but there are still yawning gaps over the future of the Kyoto Protocol for curbing greenhouse gas emissions by rich nations until 2012.

Continue reading “UN climate talks seek to avert damaging failure”

U.S. could save hundreds of billions by investing more in energy efficiency

The United States could save about USD600 billion in energy costs by 2020 if it hiked annual efficiency spending about five-fold, McKinsey and Co said in a report, according to Reuters. Governments, businesses and the general public would have to boost annual spending on existing energy-saving measures from about USD10 billion annually to 50 billion per year or in all 520 billion by 2020. The upfront costs would pay off by saving USD1.2 trillion by 2020, according to the report. The reduction in energy use would also result in the abatement of 1.1 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions annually – the equivalent of taking the entire U.S. fleet of passenger vehicles and light trucks off the roads. Such savings will be possible, however, only if the U.S. can overcome significant barriers, which require an integrated set of solutions – including information and education, incentives and financing, codes and standards, and deployment resources well beyond current levels.

The United States could save about USD600 billion in energy costs by 2020 if it hiked annual efficiency spending about five-fold, McKinsey and Co said in a report, according to Reuters. Governments, businesses and the general public would have to boost annual spending on existing energy-saving measures from about USD10 billion annually to 50 billion per year or in all 520 billion by 2020. The upfront costs would pay off by saving USD1.2 trillion by 2020, according to the report. The reduction in energy use would also result in the abatement of 1.1 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions annually – the equivalent of taking the entire U.S. fleet of passenger vehicles and light trucks off the roads. Such savings will be possible, however, only if the U.S. can overcome significant barriers, which require an integrated set of solutions – including information and education, incentives and financing, codes and standards, and deployment resources well beyond current levels.

U.S. climate talks make progress … with some gaps

U.S.-hosted climate talks with the world’s biggest greenhouse gas polluters concluded on Tuesday with signs of progress but sizable differences as nations work toward a deal this year to fight global warming, writes Reuters.

The two-day meeting, convened by U.S. President Barack Obama, was meant to pave the way for international talks in Copenhagen in December to forge a follow-up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol, which limits climate-warming greenhouse emissions and expires in 2012.

Participation in the Kyoto Protocol - Source: Wikipedia
Participation in the Kyoto Protocol - Source: Wikipedia

German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said a lot had changed since the Bush process but he said greater commitments from industrialized nations, including the United States, would be necessary to seal a global deal.
It was very clear that the Americans are moving a lot,” he told reporters during a break from the meeting. “Measured by what Europeans believe needs to be done to fight climate change, we’re still very far apart from each other.

Continue reading “U.S. climate talks make progress … with some gaps”

The Carbon Footprint of Email Spam – 17 million tons of CO2

A few days ago McAfee / ICF International released a report about “The Carbon Footprint of Email Spam“. The numbers shown in this report are amazing, the waste of electricity is frustrating and the impact of Spams on our climate (CO2 Emissions) is really frightening.

The Carbon Footprint of Email Spam Report by McAfee

Let’s summarise the report:

  • About 62 trillion spam emails where sent in 2008
  • These Spam-mails used about 33 billion kilo-watt-hours, which is equivalent to 2.4 million homes in the US!
  • If every inbox would be state-of-the-art spam-protected, this would reduce the spam energy consumption by 75% (which is equivalent to taking 2.3 million cars off the road!)
  • The average GHG emission associated with one single spam message is 0.3 grams of CO2. Thats like driving one meter … multiplied by the annual volume of spam you could drive around the Earth 1.6 million times with emitting the same amount of CO2

Continue reading “The Carbon Footprint of Email Spam – 17 million tons of CO2”