EPA rules greenhouse gases threaten public health; winter storm pounds U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:03 PM GMT on December 08, 2009

Share this Blog
3
+

In a press release yesterday the EPA announced: "After a thorough examination of the scientific evidence and careful consideration of public comments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people. The ruling comes in response to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision that GHGs fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants, and paves the way for the EPA to regulate CO2 as a pollutant. In the event Congress does not pass legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA now has the power to do that on its own. In the words of the press release, "President Obama and Administrator Jackson have publicly stated that they support a legislative solution to the problem of climate change and Congress. efforts to pass comprehensive climate legislation. However, climate change is threatening public health and welfare, and it is critical that EPA fulfill its obligation to respond to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that determined that greenhouse gases fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants." The first EPA rule to limit CO2 would likely affect cars and light-duty trucks. Over 23% of U.S. greenhouse gases emissions are caused by on-road vehicles. Rules drafted on September 15, 2009, if imposed, would require vehicles sold between 2012 - 2016 to average 35.5 MPG.

Release of hacked emails had "organization and orchestration", UEA official says
Prof Trevor Davies, pro-vice chancellor at the University of East Angelina where the "climategate" hacked email controversy began, said in an interview yesterday: "A lot of people have remarked that it seems an unlikely co-incidence that this happened just before Copenhagen. There are indications that the people who stole this data and documents have had them for some time. They have clearly had the chance to go through them and we have had to check them ourselves. I think from the way that this has mushroomed and the very rapid responses on various blog sites, it seems to me that it has some organization and orchestration".

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the FBI is investigating death threats made against two U.S. climate scientists involved in the emails. Clearly, meteorologists involved in tornado and hurricane chasing are risking their lives in the cause of science, but who would have thought that meteorologists sitting behind a computer crunching numbers would be risking their lives? Crazy life!.

Other posts on the hacked climate change email affair
Don't shoot the messenger
Embattled UK climate scientist steps down
The Manufactured Doubt industry and the hacked email controversy
Is more CO2 beneficial for Earth's ecosystems?

Ricky Rood in Copenhagen
Our Climate Change expert, Dr. Ricky Rood, is in Copenhagen for the COP15 climate change summit. His post on the "climategate" affair is one of the more intelligent and diplomatic commentaries I've seen.

Major winter storm blasts the Plains and Western U.S.
Meanwhile, back in North America, it is winter. The season's first widespread heavy snow event is here, with a fierce winter storm that is the pounding the west. The storm will dump heavy snow along a wide swath across a large region of the country, from California to Michigan. The storm brought blizzard conditions and a foot of snow to northern Arizona today. Fierce thunderstorms with winds gusts up to 74 mph hit the Phoenix region, causing widespread tree damage and power outages for 250,000 people. California's Sierra Mountains recorded over 3 feet of snow, and 1 - 3 feet of snow is expected in the mountains of southern Utah and in Colorado. Up to a foot of snow is expected tonight through Wednesday across Kansas, Iowa, southern Minnesota, and southern Wisconsin, with blizzard conditions likely in Iowa.

Some snow amounts from the storm so far (with distances in miles from the city included, where appropriate):

...CALIFORNIA...
ALPINE MEADOWS 42.0
KIRKWOOD 40.0
CISCO 5 ENE 35.0
KINGVALE 1.3 WSW 29.0
HOMEWOOD 2 SE 27.0
PROSSER CREEK RESERVOIR 24.0
FAIR PLAY 2.8 ESE 17.0
PLACERVILLE 2.9 WNW 13.0
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE 13.0
VOLCANO 5.4 NE 12.5
GRASS VALLEY 5.5 ESE 11.5
COLFAX 3.1 SW 11.0
ALTA SIERRA 0.4 WSW 10.0
SUSANVILLE 3.2 SSW 8.8
LAKE OF THE PINES 8.0
NEVADA CITY 5.4 W 5.2
FOLSOM 3.4 ESE 0.5
CARMICHAEL 1.4 W 0.3
SACRAMENTO 8.0 NE 0.1

...NEVADA...
HEAVENLY VALLEY 24.0
MT ROSE SKI AREA 23.0
CARSON CITY 1.3 NW 18.0
DAYTON 1.7 SW 13.0
RENO 7.1 N 12.0

...ARIZONA...
FLAGSTAFF 11.6
WILLIAMS 8.0
BELLEMONT 7.2
GRAND CANYON ARPT 3.0

...COLORADO...
DELTA 10.2

...UTAH...
VERDURE 8 WNW 25.0

Next post
My next post will be Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

Ice Bells (thomasanthony)
Ice Bells
Star on ice (Olbetsy)
Star on ice

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 448 - 398

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15Blog Index

If CO2 were truly a public health hazard, we'd all be long since dead.

I am honestly sick and tired of your blind worship and praise to the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming. The only thing man-made about climate change is the cooking of the books. And that comes from a non-partisan independent free thinker.

After five years, I will not be renewing my subscription when it comes up next month. I'd rather have ads than see your blog front and center on the front page. And if it ever gets moved up to the top of the ad-supported front page, I will stop visiting altogether.

I pity your sheep-like praise, Dr. Masters. I honestly hope you see the truth before it is too late.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ossqss:
Interesting read.

Comprehensive network analysis shows Climategate likely to be a leak

It also explains how they haven't come back with any substantiated claims of altered e-mails because they know better.

The handwriting is on the wall...they lied.

Great link!!!


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Interesting read.

Comprehensive network analysis shows Climategate likely to be a leak
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting Skyepony:
Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after 'Danish text' leak

The UN Copenhagen climate talks are in disarray today after developing countries reacted furiously to leaked documents that show world leaders will next week be asked to sign an agreement that hands more power to rich countries and sidelines the UN's role in all future climate change negotiations.

The document is also being interpreted by developing countries as setting unequal limits on per capita carbon emissions for developed and developing countries in 2050; meaning that people in rich countries would be permitted to emit nearly twice as much under the proposals.

The so-called Danish text, a secret draft agreement worked on by a group of individuals known as "the circle of commitment" %u2013 but understood to include the UK, US and Denmark %u2013 has only been shown to a handful of countries since it was finalised this week.


Are you tired of the stench yet?

Forget about whether or not AGW is real...look past the double talk and misdirection to the real point of AGW.

Stealing from all the people of this planet to enrich a few belonging to the unseen aristocracy.

Lets start talking about how the fraudulent solutions that are little more than disguised theft of our, the entire planet, wealth.

Time to tell them to get lost and lets start over, without all the alarmist whoopla.

There may be a solution in all this and it doesn't have to start with unabashed attempted theft.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The bright red is for the Blizzard Warnings:

Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Oh Wow...All In The Family is on TV Land! Haven't seen a episode in years. Love Archie Bunker!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It is mind numbing to imagine it being that cold :P
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting tornadodude:
How's this for a forecast?

Oh, that's just beyond COLD.
Just last night the national news, ABC I think,
had a story on the state that had no unemployment problem, was looking for workers and will help place you. Guess where? Yuppers, ND.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
That's where my cousin and his family live. I though his wife was kidding when she said the neighbor was chilling a deer outside in -1 temps. She wasn't. She said it gets much worse too.

Quoting tornadodude:
How's this for a forecast?
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2687
423 holy crap batman that's cold.Awake it was so funny the way he told it, as it was first day on job and didn't get to keep his uniform on for first shift.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
W-O-W...
Quoting tornadodude:


LOL that is epic
Member Since: December 18, 2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2687
Quoting gordydunnot:
Thanks Mikanight.


You betcha Gordy, and thanks to Patrap for showing me how...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gordydunnot:
429 just close your eyes and then you can.


Lol
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
429 just close your eyes and then you can.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
419. MANY on US1 inebriated! I'm sure happy, and lucky, I never had face-to-face with PG County policeperson! Scary!
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
How's this for a forecast?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Glad you enjoyed it! A few of us went off on a Wizard of Oz "If I Only Had A Brain" tangent last night. I love watching those old clips.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 2217
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0512 PM CST TUE DEC 08 2009

AREAS AFFECTED...NRN MS THROUGH NWRN AL AND A SMALL PART OF SRN
MIDDLE TN

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH LIKELY

VALID 082312Z - 090015Z

NRN MS THROUGH NWRN AL AND THE SRN PART OF MIDDLE TN ARE BEING
MONITORED FOR BOUNDARY LAYER RECOVERY. A TORNADO WATCH WILL LIKELY
BE NEEDED SOON FOR THIS AREA.

SLY LOW LEVEL JET WILL STRENGTHEN FURTHER TONIGHT OVER THE LOWER MS
VALLEY TO 70+ KT EAST AND SE OF DEEPENING SURFACE LOW THAT WILL
DEVELOP INTO THE MO RIVER VALLEY WITHIN EXIT REGION OF UPPER JET
MIGRATING THROUGH THE SRN PLAINS. THIS WILL CONTRIBUTE TO NWD
BOUNDARY LAYER RECOVERY WITH TIME ALONG AND SOUTH OF A WARM FRONT
THAT CURRENTLY EXTENDS FROM S CNTRL-SE MS INTO SWRN AL. NUMEROUS
STORMS WILL CONTINUE DEVELOPING WITHIN WARM ADVECTION REGIME ACROSS
THE LOWER MS VALLEY AND EVENTUALLY INTO AL OVERNIGHT AHEAD OF
ADVANCING COLD FRONT. THE STORMS CURRENTLY LIFTING NEWD THROUGH NERN
MS AND NWRN AL ARE PROBABLY STILL SLIGHTLY ELEVATED. HOWEVER...AS
DEWPOINTS RISE INTO THE MID TO UPPER 60S THIS EVENING...STORMS WILL
LIKELY EVENTUALLY BECOME SURFACE BASED. LOW LEVEL HODOGRAPHS WITH
STORM RELATIVE HELICITY IN EXCESS OF 400 M2/S2 AND STRONG BULK SHEAR
WILL SUPPORT SUPERCELLS AND BOWING SEGMENTS WITH DAMAGING WIND AND
ISOLATED TORNADOES THE MAIN THREATS.

..DIAL.. 12/08/2009


ATTN...WFO...OHX...BMX...HUN...MEG...JAN...

LAT...LON 33758773 33829020 34448993 35068879 35008724 33758773
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Good evening AIM....Not a video for the kiddies (kitties) to watch :) and for Matt :(


I cant watch that unless an adult is accompanying me :P
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Good evening AIM....Not a video for the kiddies (kitties) to watch :) and for Matt :(

I knooooooooooow; and yet, I couldn't help myself. Supposedly the icy roads will not quite reach us here, so if I get flagged I will at least be able to get out and about.
I enjoyed your Judy Garland-Ray Bolger post so much last night. I came on too late to comment. I had no idea such a program existed!
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Thanks Mikanight.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Cat Fight re who's warming whom


LOL that is epic
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Well MSN weather has a different forcast...but they are not reliable that far out:

Wednesday
Dec 16 Showers
Hi: 71 Lo: 44

Thursday
Dec 17 Showers
Hi: 69 Lo: 51
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good evening AIM....Not a video for the kiddies (kitties) to watch :) and for Matt :(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Dang Jeff, I looked at some of those models seemed like there was a nice big high in the se early next week oh well we can always dream.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Cat Fight re who's warming whom
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Ho-Hum...Looks like no cold weather for so. Fla. for the next 10 days:

Local Text Forecast for
Lake Worth, FL (33461)

Dec 8 Tonight
Some clouds. Humid. Low 72F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.
Dec 9 Tomorrow
Partly cloudy skies. Warm and humid. High 84F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph.
Dec 9 Tomorrow night
Partly cloudy. Low 69F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Dec 10 Thursday
Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 80s and lows in the upper 60s.
Dec 11 Friday
Scattered showers. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the upper 60s.
Dec 12 Saturday
Times of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the upper 60s.
Dec 13 Sunday
Slight chance of a thunderstorm. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the upper 60s.
Dec 14 Monday
Partly cloudy. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the mid 60s.
Dec 15 Tuesday
Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the mid 60s.
Dec 16 Wednesday
A few thunderstorms possible. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the low 60s.
Dec 17 Thursday
Cloudy. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 60s.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Awake that reminds me of a story a state trooper told at KofC. It was at along time ago, try to make it short.First night on patrol, dolphins won super bowl in 72. Pulled over car on 95 doing more than 90. Husband said someone on radio said it was ok to go as fast as you want just beep horn. Make a long story short man slightly inebriated. While trying to arrest man, wife exited car attacking and ripping off his shirt. He said that was his introduction on public respect for law enforcement.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bordonaro:


The upper level Jet Streak in SE TX will blow the lid off that "cap", watch out for isolated (discreet super-cells) this evening.

Yep. Some afirin' presently, but so far nothing remotely dangerous outside of a little more rain we don't need.

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
THAT needed saying....
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting Maat:
I swear if the Dolphins ever win it again, I'm gonna streak on US1 when the clock hits 00.00

Next to U.Md.-College Park? SECURITY! LOL.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Well I guess if I learn how to post a link maybe someone will read it, but Google paper batteries and nanotubes.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:

Well, the NWS thought it would interesting enough to warrant an 18 Z launch of weather balloons at Lake Charles, Slidell, and Jackson, not a common occurrence.



And the sounding for Slidell shows a bit of a cap, but some decent CAPE and shear, though not worldbeating-spectacular.


(Full size...click!)


The upper level Jet Streak in SE TX will blow the lid off that "cap", watch out for isolated (discreet super-cells) this evening.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hurricanejunkie writes:

Yes Doug, don't be blinded by ideology, words to live by.

I agree and I'm not but you wouldn;t know that..


What laws have been enacted that Al Gore is profiting from? Just curious...

I'm refering to the pending "Cap and Trade legislation

I assume you were outraged when the Bush administration was awarding no-bid contracts to Haliburton and other ripoff artists that proceeded to war profiteer and make OBSCENE profits, sometimes at the expense of the men and women in the military. Now THAT was a hood-winking. I'm glad your outrage doesn't discriminate.


Now you're just being insulting. I have no love for the policies of GWB and his cronies.
We never discussed that issue here. You are just assuming. Your hate of the Bush administration seems to have blinded you to what is really going on. Get a grip.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
After my under whelming response to MIT scientist find a new method of hydrolysis/photovoltaic method of generating electricity and storing it as hydrogen .I'll try one more time, check this article out about making batteries out of paper and nanotubes. Batteries maybe up to 10 times more efficient than Lithium batteries and very cheap. Like I said wouldn't it be nice to kill AGW discussions. Lastly thank GOD for scientist.http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/20091208/paper-batteries-no-longer-an-idea-future-standfor d-university.htm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
my goodness those pictures are pretty!

i'm sorry i just don't see how anyone can function when it's less than 35 degrees.

Healdsburg, Ca

42F
(6C)
Humidity: 53 %
Wind Speed: calm
Barometer: 29.98 in (N/A mb)
Dewpoint: 26F (-3C)
Wind Chill: 42F (6C)


the california crybaby!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
407. Skyepony (Mod)
Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after 'Danish text' leak

The UN Copenhagen climate talks are in disarray today after developing countries reacted furiously to leaked documents that show world leaders will next week be asked to sign an agreement that hands more power to rich countries and sidelines the UN's role in all future climate change negotiations.

The document is also being interpreted by developing countries as setting unequal limits on per capita carbon emissions for developed and developing countries in 2050; meaning that people in rich countries would be permitted to emit nearly twice as much under the proposals.

The so-called Danish text, a secret draft agreement worked on by a group of individuals known as "the circle of commitment" – but understood to include the UK, US and Denmark – has only been shown to a handful of countries since it was finalised this week.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting natrwalkn:
Any updates on the potential for icy weather in NC this weekend?



Now it appears that "precipitation" will move in sometime Saturday. Could be a mix of rain/snow on the onset changing to a cold rain in Greensboro.... but west to Boone could transition from all snow to just freezing rain.

Models are NOT in good agreement on whether it will be rain or snow but do have precip moving in. This is not the best setup for a big winter storm in NC, but will have to watch each day as the models keep changing. Models are NOT in agreement on how much precip we will get either but do show cold air and moisture increasing in the area.

We are in a very active jet stream and models are showing another storm in our area by next Tuesday that "could" produce either rain or snow. Both of these storms are far out so many factors will keep changing aiding or preventing snow chances.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:


721
fxus64 klix 082158
afdlix


Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service New Orleans la
358 PM CST Tuesday Dec 8 2009


Short term...
have decided to extend the Flash Flood Watch until 9 PM this
evening. Numerous showers continue to form in southeast la and
southern. This is in an area which had stabilized due to last
nights and this mornings heavy rain. An upper level jet streak in
southeast Texas is expect to move rapidly east across the forecast
area this evening. This could be enough to rapidly destabilize the
atmosphere and produce another round of thunderstorms before the
cold front moves through late tonight. In addition...Small Craft
Advisory will continue. Winds really will not decrease until the
large surface low in the plains late today moves through the Great
Lakes on Wednesday.


Long term...
a series a upper level disturbances associated with the upper
west southwest level jet continues to dominate the lower MS
valley. The first disturbance will cause a warm front to move
towards the la and MS coastal waters on Friday. The warm front will
drift inland over the coastal plain on Saturday. The the
disturbance moves east of the forecast area ... front will move into
the Gulf on Sunday. Return flow should develop on Monday as a
strong jet coming into the Pacific northwest causes a deep upper
level trough to develop in The Rockies. This jet and upper level
trough will move east across the MS valley on Tuesday...pushing
a strong cold front well into the Gulf of Mexico...and breaking
recent unsettled pattern.


Marine...
the cold front will move through the region tonight. Winds and
seas will gradually decrease as the strong low pressure area in
the plains moves up through the Great Lakes. A break break in the
action is expected Wednesday and Thursday as high pressure builds
over the area. However...another low pressure area and warm front
is expected to move towards the la and MS coast on Friday.
Easterly winds and seas will increase on Friday. The front will
move inland as a warm front on Sunday and then finally move back
into the Gulf as a cold front on Sunday.


Aviation...
numerous showers continue to dominate the region along an north of
Interstate 10 this afternoon. Scattered thunderstorms are possible
later tonight as an upper level jet moves rapidly through the
region. Ceilings are below 1000 feet and visibilities are below 3
miles in the showers. Until the cold front moves through the
region late tonight...low IFR conditions are possible especially
if the surface winds decrease late tonight during the early
morning hours as the large...powerful surface low moves further
away from la and MS.


&&


Preliminary point temps/pops...
mcb 52 58 33 53 / 70 10 10 10
btr 56 63 36 57 / 60 10 10 10
msy 63 69 44 58 / 70 10 10 10
gpt 61 71 39 58 / 80 10 10 10


&&


Lix watches/warnings/advisories...
la...Flash Flood Watch until 9 PM Tuesday for the following zones:
Ascension...Assumption...East Baton Rouge...East
Feliciana...Iberville...Livingston...lower St.
Bernard...Orleans...Pointe Coupee...St. Charles...St.
Helena...St. James...St. John The Baptist...St.
Tammany...Tangipahoa...upper Jefferson...upper
Lafourche...upper Plaquemines...upper St. Bernard...upper
Terrebonne...Washington...West Baton Rouge...and West
Feliciana.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
404. Skyepony (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gordydunnot:
Pat you guys defiantly don't have a water shortage problem. Or for that matter interesting weather to watch.

Well, the NWS thought it would interesting enough to warrant an 18 Z launch of weather balloons at Lake Charles, Slidell, and Jackson, not a common occurrence.



And the sounding for Slidell shows a bit of a cap, but some decent CAPE and shear, though not worldbeating-spectacular.


(Full size...click!)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463

White Christmas Probability Maps
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
there is zero evidence this was a 'whistleblower' situation
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Skyepony no smoke intended but you have some of the best weather post tropical and non tropical. Thanks for your input, clear and simple not a lot of hype or emotion.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Tornado
Watch 796 Status Reports



STATUS REPORT #1 ON WW 796

VALID 082030Z - 082140Z

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT CONTINUES ACROSS THE ENTIRE WATCH AREA.

..GOSS..12/08/09

ATTN...WFO...JAN...SHV...LCH...LIX...

&&

STATUS REPORT FOR WT 796

SEVERE WEATHER THREAT CONTINUES FOR THE FOLLOWING AREAS
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
398. Skyepony (Mod)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print December 7, 2009; doi: 10.1073/pnas.0912050106
Oil sands development contributes polycyclic aromatic compounds to the Athabasca River and its tributaries

1. Erin N. Kellya,
2. Jeffrey W. Shortb,
3. David W. Schindlera,*,
4. Peter V. Hodsonc,
5. Mingsheng Maa,
6. Alvin K. Kwana and
7. Barbra L. Fortina

aDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2E9;
bOceana, 175 South Franklin Street, Suite 422, Juneau, Alaska 99801; andcDepartment of Biology and School of Environmental Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6

Abstract
For over a decade, the contribution of oil sands mining and processing to the pollution of the Athabasca River has been controversial. We show that the oil sands development is a greater source of contamination than previously realized. In 2008, within 50 km of oil sands upgrading facilities, the loading to the snowpack of airborne particulates was 11,400 T over 4 months and included 391 kg of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAC), equivalent to 600 T of bitumen, while 168 kg of dissolved PAC was also deposited. Dissolved PAC concentrations in tributaries to the Athabasca increased from 0.009 μg/L upstream of oil sands development to 0.023 μg/L in winter and to 0.202 μg/L in summer downstream. In the Athabasca, dissolved PAC concentrations were mostly <0.025 μg/L in winter and 0.030 μg/L in summer, except near oil sands upgrading facilities and tailings ponds in winter (0.031–0.083 μg/L) and downstream of new development in summer (0.063–0.135 μg/L). In the Athabasca and its tributaries, development within the past 2 years was related to elevated dissolved PAC concentrations that were likely toxic to fish embryos. In melted snow, dissolved PAC concentrations were up to 4.8 μg/L, thus, spring snowmelt and washout during rain events are important unknowns. These results indicate that major changes are needed to the way that environmental impacts of oil sands development are monitored and managed.

*Correspondence e-mail: d.schindler@ualberta.ca


Link to abstract: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/12/04/0912050106.abstract

Link to free, open-access full paper: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/12/04/0912050106.full.pdf+html
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 448 - 398

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy
49 °F
Mostly Cloudy