Carbon footprint of hydro power

I took a deep breath after a brisk climb up the soft hill near the  border to Sweden. The sun peaked out under the clouds and the light was  beautifully reflected by the water of Nesjøen [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nesj%C3%B8en],  while reindeer was munching away on delicious blueberries a little  further down the ridge. The reservoir below contrasted to the barren  land on the other side, making it more tranquil and interesting at the  same time. No wonder that hydropower has a good reputatio [...]

September 17, 2013, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Ecological tragedy, economic naiveté

The tragic extinction of species, from the black r [http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/10/world/africa/rhino-extinct-species-report/index.html] hinoceros [http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/10/world/africa/rhino-extinct-species-report/index.html] to plants remaining undiscovered, is unfortunately one of the hallmarks of humans on the planet. This week, the Trondheim Conference of Biodiversity [http://www.dirnat.no/tk13/] celebrated its 20 year anniversary by gathering 400 scientists and  international [...]

June 03, 2013, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Rich Pressure Poor Ecosystems

I just returned from my weekly trip to the supermarket: in  addition to Kenyan roses, Brazilian melons, Israeli oranges, Dutch  tomatoes, Kiwis from New Zealand, and potatoes from Saudi Arabia (!), I  have, for the first time, found minced beef from Botswana, sold for just  over half the price of the Norwegian one. We have over the years become  accustomed to the increasing variety and prettiness of food we find on  supermarket shelves, regardless of the season. Meanwhile, we are  generally obli [...]

March 11, 2013, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Germany: Solar influence on climate in public spotlight

Surprisingly, a book co-written by a well-known former German  environmental activist presents a strong revisionist story and is able  to capture both headlines [http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Vahrenholt] and spot on the best-seller list. I read the book [http://www.amazon.de/Die-kalte-Sonne-Klimakatastrophe-stattfindet/dp/3455502504/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344103051&sr=1-1] “The  cold sun: why the climate catastrophe is not happen” by Fritz  Vahrenholt and Sebastian Lüning (VL) fo [...]

August 08, 2012, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Extinction footprints

It is a sad result of human civilisation that we are driving other species into extinction. A new study [http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v486/n7401/full/nature11145.html] highlights the main driving forces – rich countries’ consumption. Humans have always affected their environment. Environmental history  is littered with stories of modifications of the environment to enhance  the growth of fruit-bearing plants and the impact of our hunting. In the  Americas, the late arrival of humans re [...]

June 13, 2012, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Guarantees of origin and their misuse in carbon footprint calculations

In the development of the international standard for product carbon footprint analysis, there are now forces [http://www.gaia.fi/news/gaia_news_2011/know_your_electricity.html] arguing [http://ostfoldforskning.no/uploads/prosjektsider/publikasjon/Memo_GHG_Power_Accounting_to_TWG_Eligibility_Ostfold_Research_August_2011.pdf] that so-called guarantees of origin [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guarantee_of_origin] (GO)  should be used to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions associated  with electr [...]

February 15, 2012, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Unsustainable Developments

It seems like we right now are running hard from facing the  truths and some associated pain, and that in at least two instances that  are striking for their similarities: the global financial crisis and  climate change. Let me begin with the financial crisis. The main problem  of the financial crisis is that levels of debt have become too large  and cannot be repaid by the original debtors. Lenders and many  politicians are now desperately searching for others to take on these  debts, and throu [...]

December 12, 2011, by Edgar HertwichRead More

PC and TV purchases shape EEE carbon footprint

The rapid proliferation of electronic entertainment and  communication equipment has eclipsed traditional household appliances  like washing machines and refrigerators as the equipment with the  highest residential carbon footprint; apart from heating, hot water and  lighting. The Norwegian state broadcaster sent a wonderful story [http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/distrikt/nrk_sogn_og_fjordane/1.7855911] on our new study [http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es201459c]:  a home electronics seller is in [...]

November 04, 2011, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Carbon Footprint 1990-2008

We present now a time series of carbon footprints in the Ranking tab [http://www.carbonfootprintofnations.com/content/emissions_worldwide/].  Our data lets you trace the development of carbon footprints over the  period 1990-2008. You need an Adope Flash player installed to see this.  This data represents national CO2 emissions corrected for trade and  shows that some countries that have had reductions of national emissions  have nonetheless increased their carbon footprint, like the UK. You  ju [...]

October 28, 2011, by Edgar HertwichRead More

Emissions from consumption may offset reported carbon emission reductions in industrialized countries

An increasing share of global  emissions is from the production of internationally traded goods and  services, according to a new study published today in the Proceedings of  the National Academy of Sciences. Due to current reporting practices,  this has allowed some countries to increase their carbon footprints  while reporting stabilized emissions. If you buy a sweater or a  refrigerator, emissions from the production processes are allocated to  the producing country. In the consuming country [...]

April 26, 2011, by Edgar HertwichRead More