Highlights of the report on the climate impact of potential shale gas production in the EU

Highlights proposed by  GreenFacts of the report: Climate impact of potential shale gas production in the EU delivered to the  European Commission DG CLIMA by AEA, in collaboration with CE Delft and Milieu.

http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/eccp/docs/120815_final_report_en.pdf

1. Objectives of this report The objective of this study is to provide state-of-the-art information to the European Commission on the potential climate implications (via greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions) of possible future technically recoverable shale gas (gas reserves trapped within shale rock[1]) resources in Europe to produce electricity.  According to the report, these resources are of a similar scale to those technically recoverable in theU.S.

The study provides also an assessment of the adequacy of GHG emissions reporting frameworks to cover fugitive emissions of the production of shale gas and, if needed, propose measures for its improvement. Continue reading

Highlights of “Turn down the heat” : an assessment prepared for the World Bank of the health, social and environmantal impact of climate change induced by a global warming of 4°C

Highlights by GreenFacts of the executive summary of the Report “Turn down the heat ~ 4°C “

A Report for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics  http://climatechange.worldbank.org/content/climate-change-report-warns-dramatically-warmer-world-century

Turn down the heat

The conclusions of the report in a glance

This report spells out what the world would be like if it warmed by 4 degrees Celsius, which is what scientists are nearly unanimously predicting by the end of the century, without serious policy changes.

It is a stark reminder that climate change affects everything. The solutions don’t lie only in climate finance or climate projects. The solutions lie in effective risk management and ensuring all our work, all our thinking, is designed with the threat of a 4°C degree world in mind.

 The President of the World Bank Group, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, is very clear in its foreword of the report :  The lack of action on climate change not only risks putting prosperity out of reach of millions of people in the developing world, it threatens to roll back decades of sustainable development.  The scenarios evaluating the consequences of an increase of the global earth temperature of 4°C are indeed devastating:

  • the inundation of coastal cities;
  • increasing risks for food production potentially leading to higher malnutrition rates; many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter;
  • unprecedented heat waves in many regions, especially in the tropics;
  • substantially exacerbated water scarcity in many regions;
  • increased frequency of high-intensity tropical cyclones;
  • irreversible loss of biodiversity, including coral reef systems.

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Highlights of the report on how produce more food and energy with less pollution – the challenges and risks related to nutrient use and availability.

our nutrient world 2

Highlights by GreenFacts of the report “Our Nutrient World”  prepared by the Global Partnership on Nutrient Management in collaboration with the International Nitrogen Initiative

THE REPORT IN A GLANCE  followed by its Highlights in 8 Questions and answers

1. The aim of this report  This report highlights how nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers are estimated to feed half the human population alive today, and how they will remain critical in the future, especially given increasing population and potential bioenergy needs. The report shows how these problems cross all global change challenges, threatening water, air and soil quality, climate balance, stratospheric ozone and biodiversity. The report also highlights that there is still no intergovernmental framework to address the multiple challenges for nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients.

 2. The specific threats related to nutrients Without swift and collective action, the next generation will inherit a world where many millions may suffer from food insecurity caused by too few nutrients, where the nutrient pollution threats from too much will become more extreme, and where unsustainable use of nutrients will contribute even more to biodiversity loss and accelerating climate change.

 3. Why are nutrients so important The world needs nutrients, especially nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), which are essential to raise crops and animals have more than doubled and their natural cycles are now out of balance, causing major environmental, health and economic problems that have received far too little attention.

4. The most critical environmental risks regarding nutrients The five key environmental threats of too much or too little nutrients are  Water quality , air quality , greenhouse gas balance, ecosystems &  biodiversity and  soil quality.

5.The risks of nutrient shortage On average over 80% of Nitrogen and 25-75% of Phosphorus consumed (where not temporarily stored in agricultural soils) end up lost to the environment, wasting the energy used to prepare them, and causing air and water pollution.  In particular finite phosphorus reserves in particular represent a potential risk for future global food security given that there is no alternative to P as an essential plant nutrient.

 6. How to adress these nutrient challenges Reduce nutrient losses and improve nutrient use efficiency across all sectors simultaneously would provide the foundation for a Greener Economy to produce more food and energy while reducing environmental pollution. This effort must cross the boundaries between economic sectors and environmental media, be underpinned by scientific and other evidence from a robust global assessment process, share best practices, and address the substantial cultural and economic barriers that currently limit adoption.

 7. The actions and outcomes that need to be decided  Ten main domains were identified in the report on which action should be concentrated in the area of agriculture,  transport and Industry, waste and recycling, societal consumption patterns and spatial and temporal optimization of nutrient flows. One option is to strengthen the mandate of the ‘Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities’ (GPA). Continue reading

Climate impact of potential shale gas production in the EU – Highlights of a report to DG Environment

Highlights proposed by  GreenFacts of the report: Climate impact of potential shale gas production in the EU delivered to the  European Commission DG CLIMA by AEA, in collaboration with CE Delft and Milieu.

1.       Objectives of this report

The objective of this study is to provide state-of-the-art information to the European Commission on the potential climate implications (via greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions) of possible future technically recoverable shale gas (gas reserves trapped within shale rock[1]) resources inEurope to produce electricity.  According to the report, these resources are of a similar scale to those technically recoverable in theU.S.

The study provides also an assessment of the adequacy of GHG emissions reporting frameworks to cover fugitive emissions of the production of shale gas and, if needed, propose measures for its improvement.

Drawing upon existing research this report provides an examination of the potential climate impacts of shale gas production in the EU. It begins with a review of existing estimates of GHG emissions from shale gas production and of the potential options for abating emissions from shale gas processes. This evidence is then used to estimate the potential emissions that might be associated with shale gas exploitation in the EU about 60-70 g CO2 /MJ, see graph in the report p 64) . The reports estimates also, through the use of appropriate models, each step of the lifecycle GHG emissions of electricity production from shale gas, taking into account the direct and indirect GHG gas emissions associated with gas extraction, transportation and use, including pre-production and production phases (excluding the exploration stage). Continue reading

New facts on environmental effects of ozone depletion and its interactions with climate change

Summary by  GreenFacts of the 2011 Report from the United Nations Environment Programme, Environmental Effects Assessment Panel.

New studies suggest that stratospheric ozone depletion increased UV-B radiation reaching the Earth’s surface can influence biological processes by driving large scale climate change events. Meanwhile, models suggest also that in the first half of the 21st century the recovery of ozone and changes in cloudiness will result in decreases in surface erythemal irradiance by 2–10% at mid-latitudes, and by up to 20% at northern and 50% at southern high latitudes.

Reactions driven by solar UV radiation, coupled with a range of effects caused by climate change, can significantly alter carbon cycling in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems by changing the nature and biological availability of organic carbon and nitrogen in decreasing the capacity of the oceans in the polar regions to take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Continue reading

Cold snap of February 2012 and climate change: Is there a link ?

The climate is already changing, especially in the Arctic, where permafrost is melting, glaciers are retreating and ice is disappearing.

Changes in the Arctic will not only have an impact on populations and ecosystems, but also the rest of the planet, because the Arctic plays a special role in global climate.

How Arctic climate has changed so far, and how should it evolve ?

Evaluating the impact of climate change in the Arctic (ACIA, for Arctic Climate Impact Assessment) is an international project of the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Scientific Committee (IASC ) to evaluate and synthesize knowledge on climate variability, climate change and increased ultraviolet radiation and its consequences. The results of this evaluation were presented to the International Scientific Symposium of the CFIA in 2004 in Reykjavik, Iceland.

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No significant errors in the 4th IPCC report on climate, according to a Dutch study

The full document can be found on : http://www.pbl.nl/en/sites/default/files/cms/publicaties/500216002.pdf

 Excerpts from the executive summary of the Agency report selected by GreenFacts

The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) has  investigated the scientific foundations for the IPCC summary conclusions of the Fourth Assessment Report of 2007 on projected regional climate-change impacts, at the request of the Dutch Minister for the Environment. Overall the summary conclusions are considered well founded and none were found to contain any significant errors.

The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) is an independent governmental body that by statute provides the Dutch Government and Parliament – and the European Commission, European Parliament and UN organisations – with scientific advice on problems regarding the environment, sustainability and spatial planning.

Context : In January 2010, the media reported two errors in specific parts of the Fourth Assessment Report of 2007 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The media reports gave rise to questions about the credibility of the overall IPCC assessment: could politics and society still rely on the IPCC for an assessment of the scientific knowledge on climate change?

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Bee losses, bee colonies losses and the growing concerns about their origin: where are we today ?

On 6 December 2010, the European Commission adopted a Communication providing for a series of specific actions that will help better understand the reasons behind the worldwide issue of high bee mortality and will therefore assist the efforts to find solutions to the problem.

Various EC publications on the subject are grouped on: http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/liveanimals/bees/
incuding the communication and Questions and Answers – Honeybee health in the EU

Recently, several international reports were published on the subject.
1. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published in late 2009 a report on honey bee mortality and the ways that colony losses are monitored in Europe. The study was funded by EFSA and carried out by a consortium of scientific institutes led by the French national food safety agency Afssa (Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des aliments)[1].

The main conclusions were that there is a general weakness of most of the surveillance systems in the 24 countries investigated; and lack of representative data at country level and comparable data at EU level for colony losses; The consensus of the scientific community was that the origin of colony losses is of multifactorial origin in Europe and in the United States and and that there is insufficient knowledge of causative and risk factors for colony losses.

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