Archive for June, 2011

Trade war begins

06/24/2011

“China’s anger with the European Union’s emissions-trading scheme for airlines has delayed the revealing of a major Airbus deal and could undermine upcoming deals, according to people familiar with the situation.

Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., had expected to announce at the Paris Air Show this week that Hong Kong Airlines Ltd. ordered 10 of its A380 superjumbo jetliners, with a catalog value of almost $4 billion. The deal’s unveiling was put on ice by officials in Beijing, who must give final approval, these people said.

The Chinese government held off because it disapproves of the EU’s intention to regulate greenhouse emissions of foreign airlines operating to and from the 27-country bloc, according to the people close to the talks.  …

“The Chinese have told us directly that their airlines are not allowed to get into deals with Europe,” said a person close to the European side of the discussions.  …

China’s move appears to be the first retaliation against the EU program. China, the U.S., Russia and other countries have strongly objected to the plan.  …

EU officials have repeatedly said they won’t retreat on their program.”  “China Delays Unveiling Airbus Deal

Global warming in California

06/05/2011

“Spring passed California by, and summer remains in hiding.  …

A giant Sierra snowpack, still frozen fast, has put innumerable summer adventures on hold.  …

And it’s not over yet: Sacramento can expect as much as another 1.4 inches of rain this weekend and temperatures 20 degrees below normal, with more mountain snow.  …

One theory gaining traction is that climate change, in fact, may be to blame.

The theory was developed in several published papers by Judah Cohen, an atmospheric scientist in Massachusetts.  …

Colder and snowier winters caused by global warming? It may be one of the counterintuitive consequences of climate change, he said.

“We don’t understand everything, and we don’t understand how the different feedbacks affect different parts of the climate system,” said Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at Atmospheric and Environmental Research, a private firm in Lexington, Mass. “It’s very complicated. So we should expect the unexpected.”  …

“The cooler weather is just not allowing the plants to grow like they should be,” [Jean Miller, assistant agricultural commissioner in Glenn County] said. “We have the possibility for diseases which we would not normally be having at this time of year, when it should be 80 or 90 degrees.”  …

The statewide snowpack stands at 262 percent of average. Rather than shrinking, as it normally would by this date, the snowpack has held steady and even grown deeper in places with new storms.  …

The state’s reservoirs are brim-full, yet the snowpack still has to melt. This could lead to flooding problems, especially on the San Joaquin and Kings rivers, said Rob Hartman, hydrologist-in-charge at the California-Nevada River Forecast Center, a branch of the National Weather Service.

The peak of spring snowmelt, Hartman said, is probably now delayed to late June or early July – at least a full month late.”  “Researcher says climate change may be cooling California