Thursday, January 27, 2011

2010 - Hottest Year So Far

It's that time of year again - when the statistics re-confirm just how much we are affecting the climate. And 2010 is a record-breaker.

This graph comes from the NASA temperature analysis. Apart from setting a new high temperature record, now 9 out of 10 of the hottest years have occured since 2000. (And the other one was in '98).

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Queensland Floods - Roundup

Recently there has been major flooding here in Queensland. The ABC has some astounding before/after photos here and here.

Once the waters receded there was some talk about climate change. After all, science forecasts say climate change means more extreme weather events.

John Cook (ABC) says for him global warming just got personal.

Graham Readfearn ponders why the premier's inquiry leaves out climate change - especially after the government's own report said "Climate change is also likely to affect extreme rainfall in south-east Queensland" and that "the projected increase in rainfall intensity could result in more flooding events".

The premier wants "mother nature to leave us alone". David Spratt suggests we should leave mother nature alone.

Melbourne predicts that by 2030 the city will flood almost twice as often, with the affected area 25% larger - because of climate change.

But last word should go to CSIRO. They say the effect on individual events is hard to judge, but that in general
"A warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture and will tend to increase the intensity of extreme rainfall events. It is expected that long-term climate change will result in greater climate variability with more intense extreme events than in the past."
In short, climate change makes crazy weather even crazier.

Friday, January 21, 2011

How Much CO2 Is Created By ...?

Another great infographic from the people at Information Is Beautiful. This one shows carbon emissions from various items and activities - a text, a shower, a soccer world cup ... and a few hundred others.

It's an interactive thing, so you can click on different items, the CO2 'scale', or on an activity categories. There are many items to see and compare, so it can be semi-addictive :)

One interesting comparison was an apple, depending on how much transport is involved. From your backyard-0g, from a local grower-10g, from a supermarket-80g, imported-150g. The pollution can weigh more than the item!

Monday, January 17, 2011

10 Amazing Facts About Renewable Energy

I do a fair bit of bloggging about renewable energy, but recently the people at Greenpeace did a quick summary called 10 Amazing Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Renewable Energy.

It included:
- in 2009, Europe shut down more coal, fuel oil and nuclear power than it built.
- In just 5 years, Portugal leapt from 15% to 45% renewables.
- Globally, subsidies go to fossil fuels over renewable energy by 12:1.
- Iceland's power supply is over 80% geothermal and hydro.

You can find the full list (and links) here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Easy Energy Cost Calculator

When i'm doing energy assessments, often people like to know how much energy different items use. To save on mental arithmetic, i put this little table together to work out the annual cost (using local electricity prices).

Standby power - If a stereo is using 5 watts (all day) on standby. How much does that cost? $9/year.

Light bulbs - How much do the new ones save? Let's find out. 75W bulb, 5hrs a night, $29. Equivalent CFL (15W) for 5hrs, $6. Saving of $23.

Computers - A laptop consuming 40W for 5 hours a day costs $16 a year to run. (Using the 20W figure and doubling it.)

Monday, January 10, 2011

30 Years Of Change

Still waiting for the official figures about last year, but in the meantime came across this little graphic on treehugger (based on NASA info).

Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Church On Climate Change

Last week i was running a session on climate change and 'green living' at a youth conference run by the uniting church. Incase you're interested, their view on climate change is put forward in a piece called For the Sake of the Planet and all its People.

Apparently, they also signed onto this document calling for an urgent price on pollution.
[statement here]

Friday, January 07, 2011

Train Is 8 Times Better

In preparing my recent presentation, i dug out my 2009 post comparing train and car emissions. The calculator has moved, and is now here.

I selected the stations for my train trip to the conference (on the Gold Coast). The emissions saving was 35kg (for a return trip). And with a fare of just $6.93, it was cheaper than petrol.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Thanks NCYCers

This week i had the privilege of meeting some bright young people at NCYC in the elective "Living Green". Thanks to everyone who showed up - it was a pleasure to meet you.