This New York Times editorial warns that late changes to the tax package could send energy policy off course. Tax credits for renewables could lapse, and tax breaks for ethanol could be extended. Congress should keep subsidies for wind and solar energy while letting those for ethanol end. GR
More on peat. A Canadian study says that climate change lengthens the burning season in Alaska, causing fires to burn longer and deeper. CO2, instead of being stored in the soil, is released into the air. In the 2000s, twice the CO2 was emitted than the average for the previous five decades. GR.
Climate scientists tend to focus on warming levels, not rates. But peat soils contain from 400 billion to a trillion metric tons of carbon. Warming of 1.8 degrees F (1 degree C) per decade would release peat’s carbon into the atmosphere. GR
CO2 emissions fell in 2009 due to the global recession, but don’t cheer yet. Europe, the U.S., and Japan curbed their emissions, but China’s and India’s rose. La Nina raised CO2 uptake, but ocean and land sinks can’t keep up with emissions. GR
According to data analyzed by the World Meterological Organization, 2010 is set to become the warmest year on record. The decade ending 2010 is already the warmest since 1850, when records began. Extreme weather events also hit hights. GR