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Posted Thu May 6 2010: from Enviromental Science and Technology:
Can the U.S. phase out coal's greenhouse gas emissions by 2030?
The U.S. could end its global warming emissions from coal in two decades by embracing a collection of proven and promising technologies, according to a new ES&T paper (Environ. Sci. Technol. DOI 10.1021/es903884a). Climate scientists James Hansen and Pushker Kharecha, together with Charles Kutscher of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and noted architect Edward Mazria, say their paper targets coal because it is the energy source that is most responsible for accumulated fossil fuel CO2 in today's atmosphere. Kharecha and Hansen, both of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Columbia University Earth Institute, and their coauthors argue that fast action is demanded by recent revelations in the field of climate science. For example, a draft of the Fifth U.S. Climate Action Report released in mid-April says that current effects of climate change include water cycle disruptions, vanishing mountain glaciers, and extreme weather events. In the new paper, the scientists write, "The 'safe' long-term level of atmospheric greenhouse gases is much lower than has been supposed, [and CO2 concentrations are] already into the dangerous zone."
[Read more stories about: anthropogenic change, carbon emissions, climate impacts, coal issues, smart policy]

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