Monday, November 26, 2012

California air board says DWP must control dry lake bed's dust

The California Air Resources Board has ruled that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is solely responsible for controlling the choking dust storms that arise from the dry Owens Lake bed.

The board said the DWP must take additional air pollution control measures on 2.9 square miles of the dry lake, which was drained to provide water to Los Angeles. The powder-fine dust arising from the bed often exceeds federal health standards,0,




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Climate change may explain Maya rise and fall, study says

Argument has raged for decades over what doomed the ancient Maya civilization and spurred its people to abandon their awe-inspiring temples and pyramids in the rain forests of Mexico and Central America. Warfare, disease, social unrest and over-farming have all been cited as potential factors in the decline of a culture that was scientifically and culturally advanced for 750 years.

A new study bolsters the theory that large-scale climate change was responsible for the society's demise — and argues that changes in global weather patterns were also responsible for its rapid rise.,0,3474592.story

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Monte Morin



Bullet-train planners face huge engineering challenge

Civil War veteran William Hood arrived at the mosquito-infested swamps near Bakersfield in 1874 to build a rail line that would soar through the Tehachapi Mountains, linking the Bay Area and Southern California for the first time.

It's a feat no one has attempted to duplicate. Until now.

A plan as audacious in the 21st century as Hood's was in the 19th century is taking shape on the drawing boards of California's bullet train planners. The crossing of not only the Tehachapi Mountains but the San Gabriel Mountains is seizing the imagination of engineers who see it as the greatest design challenge of the $68-billion project.,0,4082877.story

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Ralph Vartabedian




Satellites and space debris disrupted by climate change

In that region, more than 50 miles above Earth's surface, carbon emissions cause cooling rather than warming because carbon dioxide molecules collide with oxygen atoms and release heat into space. Because such cooling makes the planet's atmosphere contract, it can reduce drag on satellites and debris that orbit the earth, possibly having "adverse consequences for the orbital debris environment that is already unstable," the researchers wrote.,0,3501663.story?track=rss

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Time/Science Now by Eryn Brown




Warming climate may starve bamboo-eating pandas

Already endangered by deforestation, poor reproductive rates and hunting, China's giant pandas may now face a new threat: global warming.According to a study published online Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, rising temperatures could eliminate much of the bamboo that pandas rely on for sustenance in China's Qinling Mountains.,0,1607423.story?track=rss

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Monte Morin




Poorest nations urge Obama to help the most vulnerable to climate change

Now, as the world?s nations prepare to meet in Qatar for annual United
Nations climate change treaty negotiations later this month, the
world?s 48 least developed countries have issued a strongly worded
letter to Obama urging him to take a leadership role in helping poor
countries prepare for climate change. Poor countries have long charged
they suffer the most from climate change brought on by wealthy
countries that are emitting the vast majority of heat-trapping gases
from power plants, cars, and industry.

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