Britain could have enough shale gas to heat every home for 1,500 years, according to new estimates that suggest reserves are 200 times greater than experts previously believed. The British Geological Survey is understood to have increased dramatically its official estimate of the amount of shale gas to between 1,300 trillion and 1,700 trillion cubic feet, dwarfing its previous estimate of 5.3 trillion cubic feet. According to industry sources, the revised estimates will be published by the Government next month, fuelling hopes that new “fracking” techniques to capture trapped resources will result in cheaper energy bills. --Tim Webb, Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson, The Times, 9 February 2013
European heads of state and government have agreed to commit at least 20 percent of the entire European Union budget over the next seven years to climate-related spending. The seven-year budget was agreed at 960 billion euros. “Climate action objectives will represent at least 20% of EU spending in the period 2014-2020 and therefore be reflected in the appropriate instruments to ensure that they contribute to strengthen energy security, building a low-carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient economy that will enhance Europe’s competitiveness and create more and greener jobs,” the final agreement states. --Environmental News Service, 9 February 2013
The BBC has backed down over Sir David Attenborough’s widely contested claim that parts of the world have warmed by 3.5C over the last two decades. The comment, first broadcast in the final episode of the Africa series last Wednesday, was removed from Sunday night’s repeat of the show. Sir David, 86, speaking over footage of Mount Kilimanjaro, made the assertion that "some parts of the continent have become 3.5C hotter in the past 20 years". Given that since 1850 global temperatures have risen by about 0.8C, causing widespread concern, it was seen as a shocking assertion. –-Harley Dixon, The Daily Telegraph, 11 February 2013
Lord Lawson has accused Sir David Attenborough of ‘sensationalism’ as he focuses on the effects of global warming on the Polar regions during the finale of Frozen Planet. “Sir David Attenborough is one of our finest journalists and a great expert on animal life. Unfortunately, however, when it comes to global warming he seems to prefer sensation to objectivity,” he said. –Louise Gray, The Daily Telegraph, 29 November 2011
The Amazon rainforest is less vulnerable to die off because of global warming than widely believed because the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide also acts as an airborne fertilizer, a study showed on Wednesday. “CO2 fertilization will beat the negative effect of climate change so that forests will continue to accumulate carbon throughout the 21st century,” Cox said of the findings with other British-based researchers.
--Alister Doyle, Reuters, 7 February 2013
Average growth in atmospheric carbon dioxide has slowed since early last decade, at a time when reported emissions increased at an unprecedented rate, an Australian-led study suggests. The international study, reported today in the journal Nature Climate Change, attributes the discrepancy to an early underestimate in reported global emissions. The findings, based on over 20 years of observations from Cape Grim in Tasmania, suggest a reported “surge” in emissions between 2000 and 2008 reflects a bias in the early emissions. --John Ross, The Australian, 11 February 2013