Ocean acidification could accelerate climate change, say scientists

A summary of today’s top climate and clean energy stories.
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Pic: Thomas Vignaud

Research: The slow and inexorable increase in the oceans’ acidity as they soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere could itself have an effect on climate and amplify global warming, according to a new study. Acidification would lead certain marine organisms to emit less of the sulphur compounds that help to seed the formation of clouds and so keep the planet cool. (Nature)

US: A case study released today from Environmental Defense Fund and E2 examines the benefits of biodiesel, profiling six companies in California helping to revolutionise the industry. A growing production in the state shows California companies have started capitalising on this diverse, low-carbon fuel. (EDF)

Australia: Tony Abbott’s central policies, including the “direct action” climate plan and his paid parental leave scheme, are likely to face major problems in the upper house whichever way the unpredictable Senate ballot falls on 7 September, leaving open the possibility of a double dissolution election. (Guardian)

US: Federal regulators will install four monitors to test air pollution levels near freeways in Southern California and study the impact of vehicle exhaust. (CBS)

UK: Puffins as well as other coastal species are under threat in Britain as erosion and climate change destroy their habitat, the country’s National Trust warned on Friday. (Reuters)

Spain: There’s been a spike in the number of jellyfish on Mediterranean beaches this summer. Scientists blame overfishing and climate change. The British government has put out a warning to its citizens vacationing near those waters. (NPR)

US: Environmental activists are petitioning the World Meteorological Organization to start naming storms after policy makers who deny human’s role in driving climate change. (Monga Bay)

UN: Countries that have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol tend to have more frequent news coverage of climate change, a new study says. (Conservation)

Sweden: IKEA has unpacked 500,000 solar panels in an energy independence drive, expecting its green energy portfolio to meet 70% of its demand in 2015 and 100% by the end of the decade. (Business Green)

US: Gina McCarthy is visiting Alaska in one of her first trips since the Senate confirmed her as EPA chief last month. As she marveled at the site of a shrinking Alaska glacier, the newly installed leader of the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that the president told her that fighting climate change should be her primary focus. (The Sacramento Bee)

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