Australia could source 85 per cent of its power from clean energy sources by 2050 according to modelling contained in the government's energy white paper.
But the transformation from coal dependency to a clean energy future would require more than $200 billion investment in new power plants, including $100 billion in renewable sources of powers and $50 billion to $60 billion in gas, it says. The paper also makes it clear that fossil fuels will continue to underpin Australia's energy security "for many years to come".
Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/push-to-transform-energy-sources-20121107-28yp7.html
Queensland mines waterlogged since the floods will not be able to discharge into waterways under proposed legislation, the state government says.
The government introduced a bill in parliament last week that would allow mines to release water in the event of an emergency.
The state opposition says it fears the changes will allow mining companies to discharge more toxic water into Queensland waterways under the guise of emergency releases.
AUSTRALIA'S solar energy abundance is common knowledge. Now a CSIRO-led team wants to know if that power might one day be harnessed to make rain.
CSIRO climate scientist Alberto Troccoli said large clusters of wind turbines were known to have an effect on micro-climates. His team is among the first in the world to investigate whether vast arrays of solar photovoltaic panels in one location might have a modifying — and controllable — impact on rainfall patterns.
Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/climate-change/now-scientists-want-to-make-rain-while-the-sun-shines-20121105-28ule.html
The world will have to cut the rate of carbon emissions by an unprecedented rate to 2050 to stop global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees this century, a report released by PwC on Monday showed.
PwC's annual Low Carbon Economy Index report examined the progress of developed and emerging economies towards reducing their carbon intensity, or their emissions per unit of gross domestic product.
Global temperatures have already risen by about 0.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times. Almost 200 nations agreed in 2010 at United Nations climate talks to limit the rise to below 2 degrees C (3.6 Fahrenheit) to avoid dangerous impacts from climate change.
The next United Nations climate report will ''scare the wits out of everyone'' and should provide the impetus needed for the world to finally sign an agreement to tackle global warming, the former head of the UN negotiations said.
Yvo de Boer, the UN climate chief during the 2009 Copenhagen climate change talks, said his conversations with scientists working on the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggested the findings would be shocking.
Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/climate-change/former-un-official-says-climate-report-will-shock-nations-into-action-20121106-28w5c.html
Police say three more potentially dangerous canisters have washed-up on far north Queensland beaches and are urging residents to report any further sightings immediately.
Australia's greenhouse gas emissions rose 0.4 per cent in the 12 months to June, data showed Friday, amid increased deforestation and higher emissions from agriculture and aviation.
The country emitted 577.8 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent over the 12-month period, the Department of Climate Change said Friday, an increase of 2.3 million tonnes year-on-year.
Sharing water between different groups in society is almost inevitably a very contentious issue. Throughout the world, there are daily conflicts between people about how water can be used; at an individual level between neighbouring land holders, between communities and even countries.
To address these conflicts, a solution has to be found to enable users (including the environment itself), to have access to the water resources they require both for basic survival, and for economic growth. If this does not happen, then inevitably, conflicts occur.
The Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) says there is no evidence to suggest that Bowen in the state's north would benefit financially from exporting uranium at the port at Abbot Point.
Last week, the federal Member for Dawson, George Christensen, suggested the port could be an option to export uranium.
QCC executive director Toby Hutcheon says mining companies have shelved plans in other states due to a lack of demand.
The past is the key to the future. When snow falls on polar ice sheets, in Greenland and Antarctica for example, air is trapped between the snowflakes. Year after year, the snow compacts under its own weight to become ice, and air is enclosed in small bubbles. These are the best atmospheric archives on Earth.
By analysing the air enclosed in polar ice, we can reconstruct past changes in the atmosphere’s composition. We have reconstructed past methane (CH4) variations back to the Roman Empire period, and discovered that humans emitted significant amounts of methane 2,000 years ago.