China plan to protect environment|
Pollution problems have grown along with China's economy| China plans to spend 1.4 trillion yuan ($175bn) over the next five years on protecting its environment.The sum - equivalent to 1.5% of China's annual economic output - will be used to improve water quality, and cut air and land pollution and soil erosion.China has some of the world's most polluted cities and waterways.Beijing has often overlooked protecting the environment in the rush to develop its economy - but now it is paying the price, a BBC correspondent says.A chemical spill in a river near the city of Harbin last year drew international attention, as water supplies to almost four million people had to be suspended for nearly a week.Soil pollutionUnder the plan, sewage treatment plants will be built in 10 river valleys to reduce the harmful impact of waste water from cities.Money will also be spent on cutting levels of sulphur dioxide and dust in large cities.The state-owned Xinhua news agency said money would be used to curb soil pollution, which has contaminated agricultural produce.The agency quoted Zhou Shengxian, director of the State Environmental Protection Administration, as saying that every year 12 million metric tonnes of grain were polluted by heavy metals that had found their way into the soil. | | |
US HOUSE APPROVES SWEEPING PACKAGE OF ENERGY BILLS
By Nick Snow
The US House approved a sweeping energy legislative package that supporters said would facilitate development of more domestic oil and gas, and opponents said would seriously gut environmental protections. HR 4480 passed by 248 to 163 votes, and its sponsor, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), urged the US Senate to take it up promptly. "These bipartisan pieces of legislation make sure that we move forward on oil and gas development in the western United States and on federal lands," Gardner said. The package of seven bills would require the US Department of Energy secretary to develop a plan for more leasing on federal land; streamline the federal drilling permit process; direct the U... Severe Precipitation Caused by Global Warming
As greenhouses gases in the atmosphere continue to rise, intense precipitation will become even more intense, according to a new NOAA-led study that has been published in Geophysical Research Letters. * Apr 05, 2013
A team of researchers from North Carolina State University and University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted a study that showed the extra moisture that is in the air as a result of global warming will lead to more severe precipitation rates. The study predicts that there will be a 20-30 percent increase in precipitation over the Northern Hemisphere by the end of the 21stcentury. “We have high confidence that the most extreme rainfalls will become even more intense, as it is virtually certain that the atmosphere will provide more water to fuel these events,” said Kenneth Kunkel, Ph.D., lead author of the study. The researchers studied moisture in the atmosphere, horizontal winds, and upward motion of air in the atmosphere in order to find their results, which could help in modeling the risks due to extreme precipitation amounts. “Findings of this study, and others like it, could lead to new information for engineers and developers that will save lives and major infrastructure investments,” said Thomas R. Karl, L.H.D., co-author on the paper.
Train Derails, Spills Thousands of Gallons of Oil
A Canadian Pacific train derailed on Wednesday in western Minnesota, spilling approximately 30,000 gallons of oil. A 26,000 gallon tank ruptured and two other tanks were leaking oil as a result of the derailment. * Mar 29, 2013
When the mile-long Canadian Pacific train derailed in Minnesota, no injuries were reported but an estimated 30,000 gallons of oil were spilled. Most of the oil...