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Princeton professor lays out broad strategy on greenhouse emissions
Robert Socolow, E&E TV
As the debate heats up over climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, experts from around the world met recently to discuss “Clean Energy for Development” at the World Bank’s 2006 Energy Week. During today’s E&ETV Event Coverage, Princeton University Professor Robert Socolow presents an innovative approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the World Bank conference. Professor Socolow explains a broad blueprint to deal with global warming, his “wedge technology” theory and why he is so optimistic about the potential for carbon sequestration.
(9 March 2006)

Tight budgets imperil the nation’s environmental satellites – vital forecasting tools

Matt Crenson, Associated Press
Budget cuts and poor management may be jeopardizing the future of our eyes in orbit America’s fleet of environmental satellites, vital tools for forecasting hurricanes, protecting water supplies and predicting global warming.

“The system of environmental satellites is at risk of collapse,” said Richard A. Anthes, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. “Every year that goes by without the system being addressed is a problem.”
(6 March 2006)
SusanG at Daily Kos has a scathing commentary:

Amazing, thought I, upon first read. And convenient too, for an administration that has consistently downplayed the dangers (and reality) of global warming. This is a predictable pattern with this gang: Don’t adequately fund or legally acknowledge an issue and you can pretend a problem doesn’t exist

Bering sea climate is shifting; sea life fights to survive

Robert Lee Hotz, LA Times
Scientists say sea life is fighting to survive as the water warms up and ice melts sooner. The changes are profound and may be irreversible.
Whales, walruses, seabirds and fish are struggling to survive the changing climate of the Bering Sea, their northern feeding grounds perhaps permanently disrupted by warmer temperatures and melting ice, scientists reported Thursday in the journal Science.

By pulling together a broad range of observations and surveys, an international research team concluded that it is witnessing the transformation of an entire ecosystem in a region home to almost half of U.S. commercial fish production.

All in all, the researchers said, the Arctic climate of the northern Bering Sea is in full retreat, yielding to the sub-Arctic system of the south.

The changes are profound and perhaps irreversible, even if cold weather eventually returns, the researchers said.

“It really is changing,” said University of Tennessee ecologist Lee W. Cooper, a coauthor of the Science study. “We can see the impact.”

Wildlife experts long have worried about the response of single species to the region’s fickle weather patterns, which can fluctuate dramatically from one decade to the next. From season to season, they have cataloged puzzling but apparently unrelated die-offs of seabirds, rare algal blooms and odd migration patterns.

For the first time, however, U.S. and Canadian researchers, led by Jacqueline M. Grebmeier, a specialist in polar biological oceanography at the University of Tennessee, systematically assessed the long-term effect of warmer temperatures on the sea life between the Alaska coast and St. Lawrence Island in the northern Bering Sea.
(10 March 2006)
Abstract of article in Science (A major ecosystem shift in the Northern Bering Sea by Grebmeier et al – full article requires subscription):

Until recently, northern Bering Sea ecosystems were characterized by extensive seasonal sea ice cover, high water column and sediment carbon production, and tight pelagic-benthic coupling of organic production. Here, we show that these ecosystems are shifting away from these characteristics. Changes in biological communities are contemporaneous with shifts in regional atmospheric and hydrographic forcing. In the past decade, geographic displacement of marine mammal population distributions has coincided with a reduction of benthic prey populations, an increase in pelagic fish, a reduction in sea ice, and an increase in air and ocean temperatures. These changes now observed on the shallow shelf of the northern Bering Sea should be expected to affect a much broader portion of the Pacific-influenced sector of the Arctic Ocean.


Lester Brown “On Point”
OnPoint, E&E TV via Global Public Media
Earth Policy Institute president Lester Brown appears on E&E TV’s “On Point” to discuss the threat of Chinese consumption growth, the promise of wind power and other themes from his new book, “Plan B 2.0.”
(15 February 2006)