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Daily Briefing

05.10.2016
Today's climate and energy headlines
DAILY BRIEFING Paris climate deal: EU backs landmark agreement, cod may have regional accents, scientists say, & more
Paris climate deal: EU backs landmark agreement, cod may have regional accents, scientists say, & more

News.

Paris climate deal: EU backs landmark agreement

The European Parliament has ratified the UN Paris Agreement, which will push the deal over the necessary threshold to bring it into force. It was approved with 610 votes in favour, 38 against and with 31 abstentions. The deal had already passed one threshold — ratification by 55 countries — but it also needed to cover 55% of emissions. Ministers from countries in individual member states who have ratified already, alongside the EU, will travel to New York to deposit their documents on Friday. There will then be a 30-day period before the deal enters into force officially, theWashington Post points out. This will be in time for the forthcoming COP22 in Marrakech, saysBloomberg. Reuters and the Daily Mail also covered the story. The news was covered widely around the world, including in Germany’s Deutsche Welle, France 24 and the Hindu. Carbon Briefupdated its explainer of the EU ratification process.

Cod may have regional accents, scientists say

Cornish cod are moving north due to climate change, and may find it difficult to understand the accents of their Scouse counterparts. If this is the case, it may threaten their ability to breed, as the males will be unable to communicate with females. There are also concerns that noise pollution from boats and other marine activities could be drowning out the “gossip” required to establish territories, raising alarm and mating. The Telegraph also covers the story. Another study reported in the Telegraph finds that there could be an explosion of crayfish and other crustaceans in British rivers as climate change pushes up inland water temperatures.

Press Association via Guardian Read Article
Poll finds deep split on climate change. Party allegiance is a big factor.

Party identification is one of the strongest predicators in the views of Americans on climate change, a new poll released by the Pew Research Center has found. Just over a third of Americans say they care a great deal about climate change — this is split between 72% Democrats and 24% Republicans. And while nearly 7 in 10 Democrats say they believe climate change is mainly a result of human activity, only a quarter of Republicans believe this. Scientific American has an infographic illustrating where people identifying with each party stand.

Tatiana Schlossberg, The New York Times Read Article
World's largest carbon capture plant to open soon

On schedule and on budget, the world’s largest carbon capture system is set to come online before the end of the year. A billion-dollar facility called Petra Nova is under construction at a coal-fired power plant southwest of Houston. However, rather than being stored, the captured gas will be used to enhanced oil recovery. The CO2 will be pumped 82 miles to an oil field in Jackson County, Texas, where it will be injected into depleted wells, squeezing out more oil.

ClimateWire via Scientific American Read Article
SA blackout due to 'transmission system faults' in extreme weather, report finds

South Australia’s extreme weather was the cause of a blackout last week, causing “multiple transmission system faults”, according to a preliminary report from the Australian Energy Market Operator. In 12 seconds, three major transmission lines were lost, and 315MW of wind generation disconnection after “multiple faults in a short period”. One economist told the Guardian that there was nothing in the report to suggest wind was a more unreliable technology than any other technology in an electricity system, as the wind farm difficulties would have been inconsequential following the fault in the transition lines. The Australian Energy Council’s chief executive, Matthew Warren, thought differently. He said that Australia needed to think about “how we run a decarbonising electricity system”. The Guardian also has a comment piece by the same writer on the report, explaining the role of wind in more detail.

The Guardian Read Article

Comment.

Next ‘renewable energy’: burning forests, if senators get their way

In his New York Times column about the world’s most urgent economic challenges, Eduardo Porter takes on the subject of biomass. There is currently a proposal going through the Senate to count biomass as carbon neutral. But the proposal will actually amount to 64 million additional tons of carbon dioxide a year on average, he says. He points out some of the problems: forests can take decades to regrow and that wood is not a very efficient source of energy. “Burning forests won’t help recover the lost ground” in Obama’s fight against climate change, he concludes.

Eduardo Porter, The New York Times Read Article
300 days on from Paris - time for airlines to come on board

WWF’s James Beard describes, via a series of tweets, the latest happenings from the UN’s aviation meeting currently taking place in Montreal, where a new climate deal for international aviation could be achieved (explained by Carbon Brief Carbon Brief). He says: “The discussions gravitate around the usual sticky points related to differentiation between developed and developing countries and who pays for which emissions. Our job is ensure that any changes avoid weakening the deal – and ideally strengthen it.”

James Beard, BusinessGreen Read Article

Science.

Global cooling as a driver of diversification in a major marine clade

A new study of a type of aquatic crustacean, known as Anomura, finds that those that live in the open ocean show higher levels of diversity with cooler global temperatures. The invertebrates, which include hermit crabs, king crabs, porcelain crabs, mole crabs and squat lobsters, respond differently in freshwater, however, experiencing greater diversity during periods in Earth’s history when waters have warmed. The authors say the finding that both global cooling and warming lead to diversification has important consequences for marine conservation planning under anthropogenic climate change, concluding that limiting warming is the best way of preventing species extinction.

Nature Communications Read Article

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