US report makes extreme weather link to climate change

By John Parnell

– The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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Monday 14 January

US: Climate change is already having an effect on the US according to a new report by the US government. A draft of the 2013 National Climate Assessment, made available for public review, states that the US is already witnessing the impacts of climate change and that there is “new and stronger evidence” that climate change is increasing extreme weather events. (US Government)

UAE: Abu Dhabi has announced plans for a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) scheme that will see 800,000 tonnes of CO2 from a steel maker injected into an oil well. The plan was revealed at the start of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. (The National)

Australia: Climate scientist professor Ian Lowe has called on Australia to use its election to the UN Security Council to make climate change a priority there. Professor Lowe, who has written several books on the threat of global warming also called for a higher price on carbon emissions to encourage their reduction. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Arctic: Strict environmental regulations are slowing down oil exploration in the Arctic according to several oil executives. Although drilling has begun, albeit slowly, in US water, strict rules are holding up the process elsewhere. “Progress with getting sanction for exploration drilling is slow,” Andrew Latham of Wood Mackenzie told the Financial Times. “Everyone’s being very careful.” (Financial Times)

Australia: As the country continues to be in the grip of an extreme heat wave and widespread bush fires, Australians are also be warned of the threat to A$300bn worth of property. Alan Stokes from the National Sea Change Task Force says there is a genuine threat to Australian’s “beachfront lifestyle”. The UN climate science body, the IPCC, meets in Hobart, Australia later this week. (ABC)

China: China is to join the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) it has been announced. “It is impressive what China is doing in terms of development of both wind and solar technologies. They have some state-of-the-art knowledge, which is very relevant for different parts of the world,” said Dr Adnan Amin, IRENA’s secretary general. (The National)

California: Greenhouse gas emissions in California fell 5.6% in 2011 compared to the previous year. The state’s Air Resources Board requires big emitters such as power plants, cement factories and oil and gas facilities to publish their emissions annually. The state’s carbon trading scheme went live at the turn of the year. (California Air Resources Board)

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