A definite mixed bag of climate news coming through. Interesting, tiresome, and fairly dire. Here's what caught our eye this morning.
England's Only Tea Estate Benefits From Mild Winter
Snow may have now hit the UK, but the mild winter heretofore has been a boon for England's only tea estate. Located in Cornwall, the Tregothnan Estate has been able to have the first year-round tea harvest. Garden director Jonathon Jones says, "It is quite a novelty to be able to pick outside the normal season and the first time in history in this country. The frost isn't bad news for tea but it tastes a bit better without it. It has been a really unusual set of weather conditions."
Public Concern About Climate Change Shaped by Amount of Media Coverage
It's green conventional wisdom at this point that climate change has largely slipped from the mainstream media radar. A new study examines what factors most influence public concern about climate change, finding that "the greater quantity of media coverage of climate change, the greater level of public concern" and "...media coverage of climate change and elite cues from politicians and advocacy groups are among the most prominent drivers of the public perception of the threat associated with climate change."
EU Airline Emissions Trading Program Pushback Continues
Reuters reports that China has barred its airlines from participating in the EU airlines emission trading scheme, without prior government approval.
"China hopes Europe will act in the light of the broader issues of responding to global climate change, the sustainable development of international aviation and Sino-European ties, strengthening communication and coordination to find an appropriate solution acceptable to both sides," an unnamed official from China's civil aviation authority said, according to the announcement.
Meanwhile, India and the EU are in negotiations to assess whether India's domestic efforts to curb carbon emissions will qualify it for an exemption for its airlines. Under the EU program, exemptions may be granted for airlines based in nations where "equivalent measures" were taken domestically to reduce emissions. The exact nature of what qualifies as an equivalent measure is not fully specified however.
Alaskan and British Columbia Cedars Hit By Warming
US Department of Agriculture scientist Paul Hennon, quoted by UPI:
"The cause of tree death, called yellow-cedar decline, is now known to be a form of root freezing that occurs during cold weather in late winter and early spring, but only when snow is not present on the ground," U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist Paul Hennon said. When present, snow protects the fine, shallow roots from extreme soil temperatures. The shallow rooting of yellow-cedar, early spring growth, and its unique vulnerability to freezing injury also contribute to this problem," Hennon, who works in the USDA's Pacific Northwest Research Station, said in a department release Wednesday.