Ivan Chan

Ivan Chan

Thursday, 26 August 2010 09:00

Global Warming Stunting Plant Growth

Earlier observations of plant growth spurred by warming temperatures are now staring in the face of a warmer world, which researchers say is hampering plant growth. The study, published in the journal Science, shows an overall decline in plant growth from 2000-2009 because of warming-induced droughts. As temperatures continue to climb, researchers are raising concern about food security and development of plant-based biofuels. "This is a pretty serious warning that warmer temperatures are not going to endlessly improve plant growth," said the study's co-author Steven W. Running of the University of Montana. As drought caused by warming reduces the land's ability to take up carbon, the result could be more carbon dioxide left in the atmosphere and thus more warming, explained co-author Maosheng Zhao of the University of Montana. Their study, based on data collected by satellites, found that while northerly areas experienced some increased plant growth from warmer temperatures, this was more than offset by warming-associated drought in the Southern Hemisphere. "We see this as a bit of a surprise, and potentially significant on a policy level because previous interpretations suggested global warming might actually help plant growth around the world," Running said.
The government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today released its State of the Climate in 2009, saying a detailed review of 10 climate indicators points out that "global warming is undeniable." The indicators, from surface and sea-surface temperatures to measurements of heat content in the oceans and sea levels, have all trended higher. Moreover, in the past 30 years, each decade has gotten warmer with the 2000's being the warmest on record. "The NOAA Report, in confirming the certainty and severity of climate change, is a call to action for policymakers, business leaders and individuals to reduce our climate impact," said Eric Carlson, President, Carbonfund.org. "What makes this report compelling is that it shows the problem is far greater than rising sea levels and heat waves. World food supplies, public health and the viability of many populated areas are also in jeopardy." Over 300 scientists from 48 countries analyzed the climate data. "When we follow decade-to-decade trends using multiple data sets and independent analyses from around the world, we see clear and unmistakable signs of a warming world," said Dr. Peter Stott, contributor to the report and head of climate monitoring and attribution at the UK Met Office Hadley Centre. NOAA has issued a video summarizing the report and an executive summary. You can also download the full report. Read about how you can reduce your climate impact here, and support innovative, third-party validated projects that are reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Give Mom something lasting, affordable and unique! Support Carbonfund.org's carbon reduction projects to fight climate change on behalf of your Mom (or a Mom you know) and receive a framable e-certificate in her name. We will ecard examplesalso plant a tree for every $20 donated, and your donation is tax-deductible. You can also send a free e-card to your Mom, with one of our wonderful eco-themed designs.

Visit www.carbonfund.org/mothersday today!

Honor Mom and the Earth by supporting Carbonfund.org's projects which have reduced more than 5 billion pounds of global warming emissions worldwide. You also can pick the type of project to support, whether renewable energy, energy efficiency, reforestation or a basket of them. So make this Mother's Day gift a lasting one and unique. Click here to give!

screen1You need a gift that's unique, meaningful and easy on your budget. Whatever your budget you're sure to find a gift on our e-certificate page that will resonate with someone and the planet! This year, take advantage of Carbonfund.org's bonus offers- a tree is planted for every $20 spent. You can also get a reusable Carbonfund.org ChicoBag to carry your shopping or groceries for every $50 spent. Your gift e-certificate supports Carbonfund.org's renewable energy, energy efficiency, or reforestation projects. It's your choice for the type of project, and the framable certificate, customized with your recipient's name, recognizes that support. So what are you waiting for? Check it out here and start shopping! P.S. You can also make a year-end tax-deductible contribution on that page to support Carbonfund.org's work on fighting global warming. Check out the page today.
The recession might have been worse if not for the growing interest in sustainability, simplicity, even frugality. According to U.S. News' Kimberly Palmer, who's written a new book, Generation Earn, "Instead of living exclusively for our own pleasures, we have embraced a new level of social consciousness. We care about the environment, our cities, and social justice." Generation Earn is aimed at young professionals, who are increasingly interested in spending smarter, investing and giving back. But the book is also excellent in its scope and even mentions ways to reduce one's carbon footprint, such as calculating one's footprint and offsetting in support of innovative clean energy projects. As the dust of the recession is finally settling, you might be wondering where do we go from here? Generation Earn provides a compass and reveals paths for a better future. You can learn more about the book at: www.generationearn.com.
elem1The Fulton Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) is the first CarbonFree® Green PTA in America. “We are very proud to join CarbonFree® Partner companies and organizations like Discovery Communications, Avis, Amtrak, 41pounds.org and others to help the environment, support energy independence, and help make the transition to a clean energy future possible,” states Fulton PTA President Brian Meshkin. “It is our hope that we will teach our kids and lead by example to encourage progress from the grassroots.” As a CarbonFree® Green PTA, Fulton offset its carbon footprint with a donation to Carbonfund.org, which calculated the carbon emissions from the building usage and attendee transportation to meetings and activities for the 2009-10 school year. Fulton’s donation supports Carbonfund.org’s third-party validated carbon offset projects in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and reforestation which are reducing global warming emissions today. The PTA will also hold a fundraiser where members and friends can make their homes and cars CarbonFree® with 20 percent of the tax-deductible donations supporting the PTA’s environmental initiatives. Additionally, the Fulton Elementary PTA is reducing its paper and ink consumption by 50 percent, supporting its Environmental Committee’s Chesapeake Bay Day assembly and the school’s soil conservation garden at Fulton Elementary as multi-disciplinary learning experiences, and embarking on other environmental initiatives. The Green PTA Program involves: • Becoming a CarbonFree® PTA Partner by reducing, offsetting the carbon footprint of a PTA’s activities • Reducing paper and fossil fuel-based ink consumption through increased use of electronic mediums • Establishing an environmental or wellness PTA committee that promotes more environmentally conscious choices by families such as carpooling • Completing a Green School certification application in the PTA’s state (if available) • Incorporating environmental protection initiatives in PTA projects “With the great families, teachers and administrators at Fulton Elementary, we are pleased to lead the way and plant a seed here that will hopefully grow and flourish as other PTA’s join us,” said Meshkin.
With 550,000 downloads in its first 5 months, CauseWorld became a simple, fast-growing way for consumers to donate to charities while shopping. The app, available for iPhone and Android, has now yielded over $1 million in donations, which its developers are calling a "mobile consumer phenomenon." Users earn "karma points" for charity by checking-in via GPS to retail stores and restaurants. No purchase is necessary to earn points. Through partnerships with Carbonfund.org and other leading charities, and monetary support from Citigroup, Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods and Sears, CauseWorld allows users to donate karmas collected to reduce their carbon footprint by supporting third-party validated carbon reduction projects, feed families in America, or provide clean water in developing countries. "CauseWorld was a trial app we built to see if people will do more than just talk and text with their phones when they're out shopping," said shopkick Co-Founder and CEO Cyriac Roeding. "We had millions of check-ins in just the first weeks. In Manhattan there isn't a block left where users have not checked into a store or restaurant with CauseWorld." The popular app has helped users provide clean water for 80,000 people for a month in Africa, offset 5.7 million pounds of carbon emissions, provide 336,000 meals and more. shopkick is a Palo Alto-based startup funded by Kleiner Perkins's iFund, Greylock Partners and Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn. You can download the app right from Carbonfund.org's home page here.
Did you know that the Combined Federal Campaign is the world's largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign? CFC has more than 200 campaigns around the country and internationally to help raise millions of dollars each year for charity. Federal employees can support Carbonfund.org's efforts to fight climate change by donating to CFC#62681. You'll be supporting Carbonfund.org's innovative projects that are reducing carbon emissions in the U.S. and around the world. The projects are third-party validated, and Carbonfund.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 2010 marks the second year that we have been a part of this important campaign. If you care about climate and our environment but aren't a federal employee, you can make a tax-deductible donation anytime directly at our website: www.carbonfund.org. Please share this blog post with others you know! Thank you for your support.
IMG00039-20100430-1853On the field at Yankee Stadium in New York, Eric Carlson, our President, set aside his Washington Nationals loyalty for the night to be presented an honor for his work at Carbonfund.org- the Avis Spirit Award! The award is presented to champions in the community who exemplify the Avis "We Try Harder" spirit. Eric was presented the award behind home plate just prior to Friday night's game between the Yankees and Chicago White Sox. Avis chose Eric for his work and commitment on climate change and reducing the company's environmental impact. The popular car rental company has been a Carbonfund.org partner, offering customers the ability to offset the emissions of their rental car use in support of carbon reduction projects. Part of Avis Budget Group, Inc., Avis is one of the world's leading car rental brands and has ranked number one in the Brand Keys® Customer Loyalty Engagement Index for the past eleven years. Congratulations, Eric!!
Severe droughts having an "enormous" impact on the US and other countries could occur within the next 30 years unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. In the US drought has caused six to eight billion dollars in damage a year on average, the study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) estimates.  NCAR scientist Aiguo Dai said, "If the projections in this study come even close to being realized, the consequences for society worldwide will be enormous." The US and much of Latin America, Africa and the Middle East could see severe droughts, as well as parts of Asia and Southern Europe.  Regions bordering the Mediterranean Sea could experience "almost unprecedented" drought conditions, the study said.  "Severe drought conditions can profoundly impact agriculture, water resources, tourism, ecosystems, and basic human welfare." Although some higher-latitude regions like Northern Europe, Canada and Russia could become wetter, this will not offset the severe droughts. Dai assessed results from 22 computer models used by the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as data and published studies on droughts.  His projections are also based on expected greenhouse gas emissions this century. His scientific article is published in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change here.  The study was supported by the National Science Foundation, NCAR’s sponsor. Learn More: Reduce your climate impact as an individual or business. Click here.
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