Happy New year 2011

Al Gore on averting climate crisis

Earth Day: Give Earth a Hand

Earth Day Remix

Add your voice to our Earth Day remix

For 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, we're releasing a new version of a rap classic on YouTube's homepage -- and we want you to be in it!

Watch our brief instructional video for our Earth Day remix and then record your own version for a chance to be in the final video.

Remember, you don’t need a perfect singing voice to help out -- you can also just lip-sync or dance in your video. Help build support for clean energy and climate legislation and have fun doing it!

Follow these simple steps:

1. Watch the instructional video on this page and pause it when prompted.

2. Set up your camera and start recording.

3. Push "play" on the video for the song to begin so you can rap or lip-sync along. (Don't worry if you mess up -- start over as many times as you want.)

4. Upload your video to YouTube. In the video description, include a link to "http://www.repoweramerica.org/remix" so people who view your video can find this page and learn how to get involved.

5. Send us the YouTube link for your video using the form below.

Submit your video before midnight on Sunday, April 18.

Arctic Glacial Dust May Affect Climate and Health in North America and Europe

ScienceDaily (Feb. 20, 2010) — Residents of the southern United States and the Caribbean have seen it many times during the summer months -- a whitish haze in the sky that seems to hang around for days. The resulting thin film of dust on their homes and cars actually is soil from the deserts of Africa, blown across the Atlantic Ocean.

IMAGE: The Iceberg Lagoon, Jokulsarlon, Iceland, filled with glacial icebergs with the Vatnajokull Glacier in the background. (Credit: iStockphoto/Darren Baker)

Now, there is new evidence that similar dust storms in the arctic, possibly caused by receding glaciers, may be making similar deposits in northern Europe and North America, according to Joseph Prospero from the University of Miami in a February 19 presentation to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
"Our recent work in Iceland has shown that most of the dust events there are associated with dust emitted from glacial outwash deposits, which may be carried into the northern latitudes and into Europe by synoptic weather events," says Prospero, professor of marine and atmospheric chemistry at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, in his talk "Intercontinental Dust Transport: The Linkage to Climate and its Environmental Impact."
Satellite data have shown large dust plumes in the arctic, but persistent cloud cover has made finding the origins difficult. The glaciers have been retreating in Iceland for decades, and the trend is expected to continue with the changing climate. Prospero predicts that dust activity from the newly exposed glacial deposits will most likely increase in the future in Iceland and possibly from other glacial terrains in the Arctic.
Prospero's lifelong work has been to measure the effects of airborne dust. Since 1965, he and his colleagues have been measuring dust particles in Barbados, West Indies, thus creating the longest dust measurement data set in science. They found that dust transport increased greatly during the late 1960s and early 1970s at the same time as a severe drought in Northern Africa.
"The first 30 years of the dust record showed a strong relationship between dust transport across the ocean to rainfall amounts in the Sahel and Soudan regions of Africa," says Prospero. "It's important to note that the level of dust transport is not necessarily related directly to rainfall but possibly to other climate factors associated with the variability of rainfall."
Some of the most intense periods dust transport are associated with strong El Nino events, which may affect such factors as wind speeds and variability as well as rainfall -- the same factors that affect dust mobilization and transport. However, since the late 1990s, the pattern of drought and dust transport has been disrupted -- dust transport rates were actually greater than what Prospero's earlier model would indicate.
"We still have work to do to understand the fundamental processes and relationship between climate, rainfall, and dust transport," says Prospero. "Predicting the long-term effects of climate and dust transport is exacerbated by the fact that many of the climate prediction models for lower latitude Africa are not consistent."
Also needing more study is whether the dust particles pose any health threat to the people below. More than half of the particles in the dust mass transported over the Atlantic to the Americas is smaller than 2.5 microns, defined as "respirable particles" by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Over the Caribbean region, the atmospheric concentration of fine dust particles frequently is within the range of and sometimes exceeds the US EPA's standards for respirable particles.
"Although to date there is no strong evidence that African dust constitutes a health hazard, this possible impact would seem to warrant study especially since some climate change projections show increased dust transport in the future," concludes Prospero.
Prospero is a panelist in a symposium called "Dust in the Earth System," which will examine dust and its effects in the Earth system while considering societal impact at the local and global levels by exchanging information, ideas, and perspectives across diverse disciplines.

Drilling project to reveal climate change in Antarctic

Fri, Jan 29 03:33 PM

Sydney, Jan 29 (IANS) The world's largest marine geoscience project is underway to drill deep beneath the Antarctic to discover clues to climate change.
That would involve boring through two km of rock in the sea bed, seven km deep in the ocean.
Rob McKay, post-doctoral fellow at Victoria University's Antarctic Research Centre, is aboard the Joides Resolution research ship bound for Wilkes Land, Antarctica.
McKay says the two-month expedition would help to understand the past climate history of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.
'The project will essentially provide a snapshot of cooling and warming in the Antarctic from 34 million years ago to the present day and try to understand how these changes affected the global climate system, in particular the Southern Ocean.
'The East Antarctic Ice Sheet is the world's largest and we hope to collect rocks that are over 34 million years old. These will help document the onset of glaciation in Antarctica and the end of the greenhouse world when there were forests in Antarctica.'
The Integrated Ocean Drilling Programme (IODP) team set sail in early January from Wellington in New Zealand where the drilling ship docked after spending two months collecting core samples from sediments in the Canterbury Basin, a university release said.
'It's exciting to be part of a large collaborative project. The boat has an incredible set-up and the crew are highly experienced so the chances of a successful expedition are as high as possible,' said McKay.
Indo Asian News Service

Climate deal unlikely unless economy lifts - India

U.N. climate talks will "probably not" agree an ambitious deal this year unless the economy improves and voters press for action, said India's top climate official Shyam Saran.
"If the economic and financial crisis continues or even worsens during the coming year then the kind of ambitious response that the world expects is probably not going to happen," said India's special envoy on climate change, on the fringes of a business and policy summit in Davos.
"But if the situation improves ... if there is much more public opinion pressure on governments domestically ... that remains to be seen."
The financial crisis had contributed to deadlock at last month's climate talks, by heightening concerns that climate laws would drive jobs overseas, for example to the developing world, if they faced less onerous targets, said Saran.
Saran hinted at compromise, however, on a major stumbling block in Copenhagen last month -- but the United States first must agree to make its proposed targets to curb carbon emissions enforceable under international law.
The United States never ratified the existing Kyoto Protocol, whose present commitments expire in 2012, and time is running out for the world to agree and then ratify a successor pact. The United States has said it will not sign up to an extended Kyoto Protocol, preferring a new agreement.
India may consider a separate instrument, provided the United States agreed to make its targets binding, rather than just a binding review of these targets -- a position that the United States preferred in Copenhagen according to Saran.
That is the legal format of Kyoto, which applies carbon-cutting targets to rich countries and includes legal sanctions if they fail to meet these.
"If the U.S. only has a problem with the (Kyoto) label but not with the substance then that's a different issue," he said referring to India's opposition.
"If, on the other hand, it's not only a matter of the label but it is something much more fundamental ... is the U.S. Congress in a position to accept international enforcement? If you look at legislation currently before Congress they don't have that, it is entirely domestic."
"There is a lack of clarity on which way we're going."
Saran rejected suggestions that developing countries such as India and China had obstructed last month's U.N. climate talks, which failed in their core objective to agree national and global emissions targets.
Developing countries had not agreed that the final "Copenhagen Accord" should be legally binding because they feared that may have diluted the Kyoto Protocol, he said, by giving no assurance that proposed new emissions targets would be enforceable.
(Reporting by Gerard Wynn, Editing by Jon Boyle) - from Yahoo News!!

Clean energy and climate protection

Watch the President's renewed call for clean energy and climate protection