CO2 Beat Historic Level Throughout April
The amount of carbon dioxide in the air averaged more than 400 parts per million throughout the whole month of April, the first time the planet’s monthly average has surpassed the accepted limit. The data from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography shows how we are losing the battle against greenhouse gases that scientists say are warming the planet. The average value for April was at 401.33 ppm at the Mauna Loa monitoring station in Hawaii. This number has exceeded a threshold not seen in the measured record that dates back 3 million years.
Fukushima Frozen Wall Needs Risk Assessment, Says Adviser
A government-backed plan for a frozen underground wall to control contamination at the wrecked Fukushima atomic plant needs further vetting for potential risks to the environment, says Dale Klein, an adviser for TEPCO’s Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee. Klein’s concern is that the plan may not function as intended because it is based on untested assumptions about the site’s hydrology. The ice wall is part of Tepco’s efforts to keep groundwater from seeping into the basement of Fukushima’s damage reactor buildings. The wall is scheduled to be completed by March 2015.
EU Gas Prices to Extend Longest Drop in 4 Years in May
A sixth month warmer-than-usual weather in May is set to extend the longest losing streak for European natural gas prices in since 2010. The region’s mildest winter in seven years left natural gas storage at more than half full, driving prices to the lowest in 4 years. Energy consultant firm Inspired Energy Plc says that above-average gas inventories and easing concerns of cuts in Russian gas supplies to Europe mean fuel prices may fall further.
UK To Lead Europe’s Solar Market This Year
Fuelled by the rapid growth in large-scale ground-mounted solar farms, the United Kingdom is seen to become the largest solar photovoltaic market in Europe in 2014. According to the new NPD Solarbuzz U.K. Deal Tracker report, more than 325 solar PV farms in the megawatt class have been completed with more than 60 different sites having an installed capacity of over 10 MW. An additional 444 large-sale ground-mounted solar PV farms are currently at various stages in the region. The U.K.’s existing solar farm portfolio is valued at around 2.5 billion pounds.