Green Notes - 11 Feb 09
- Antarctica is warming. That is the conclusion of scientists analyzing half a century of temperatures on the continent, and the findings may help resolve a climate enigma at the bottom of the planet. Floating ice shelves account for about 11% of the area of Antarctica, and while the loss of these ice shelves does not increase sea level, they effectively act as corks to hold back glaciers. Significant melting of Antarctica’s glaciers — which have been moving more rapidly toward the sea — could increase sea levels as much as 20 feet worldwide, by some estimates. The effects of climate change on Antarctica seem to be coming more clearly into focus recently. At least based on things posted here on TreeHugger. For a very interesting first hand perspective on what’s happening down there, Yale Environment 360 is running an interview with NASA’s Robert Bindschadler, who is part of a team monitoring the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica. It’s a detailed interview, but here are the answers to the questions most people will probably want to know: How fast is the glacier melting and what does this mean for global sea level rise? Keep reading to find out:
- Google, with its billions in annual revenue and its constant noise about open standards and free access to information, is hard to ignore when it crashes into an unsuspecting industry. As cell phone companies, publishers, advertisers and software makers have all seen over the years, when Google sets its sites on your sector, the industry’s reaction is usually a mixture of fear and excitement. Google is one of a number of companies devising ways to control the demand for electric power as an alternative to building more power plants. The company has developed a free Web service called PowerMeter that consumers can use to track energy use in their house or business as it is consumed. “Unfortunately, many of today’s smart meters don’t display information to the consumer. We consider this unacceptable. We believe that detailed data on your personal energy use belongs to you, and should be available in a standard, non-proprietary format,” according to the announcement on the Official Google blog.