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Doubt cast on forced sale of British Gas 
The energy secretary Ed Davey has warned British Gas could be broken up, if regulators find evidence of market abuse by the Centrica-owned company. Commentators including Nils Pratley in the Guardian and Nick Butler in the FT are not impressed, calling it a "party political positioning" and "populist" respectively. Davey should wait for the results of a review into power company profits, Pratley argues, while Butler believes that there should now be a full scale competition review of the gas and electricity market.
Michael Kavanagh & Guy Chazan 

Climate and energy news:

Global warming pause due to Pacific winds, study finds 
"In a study that is likely to irritate climate change sceptics... scientists in Australia say strong winds in the Pacific are the reason for a 14-year slowdown in global warming and have warned that the warming process will soon resume." The author of the study argues that it's actually surprising the world hasn't cooled in the past decade, given the study's conclusions. 
The Telegraph 

Australia sees greater risk of El Nino weather pattern 
Scientists in Australia believe that the chance of an "El Nino event", a cyclic change in the atmosphere and oceans causing warmer global temperatures, is increasing for 2014, but "is certainly not guaranteed". Commentators have speculated that, given ongoing manmade global warming, the next El Nino will lead to record global temperatures. Climate Central has more detail  here

California vows to press ahead with climate change programs 
California plans to extend ambitious carbon reduction programs beyond 2020. "Results to date show the state can grow its economy while fighting climate change," a new report from the state's 'Air Resources Board' says. Emissions cuts after 2020 will need to be faster in order to meet a 2050 target, it concludes.

UK lawmakers criticise management of Sellafield nuclear site 
"The management of Britain's nuclear site at Sellafield in northern England is spending too much money and its contract should be cancelled if it does not improve, Britain's Committee of Public Accounts said on Tuesday... the cost for cleaning up hazardous waste at Sellafield is expected to rise above 70 billion pounds..." 

White Roofs Could Offset Summer Warming by 2100 
study has found that in six US cities, painting roofs white "could completely offset the combined increase in temperatures [by 2100], and if deployed across the entire megapolitan area, could actually reduce summer temperatures compared to the 1990-2010 average." 
Climate Central

Climate and energy comment:

Committee on Climate Change chief calls for UK flood policy overhaul 
The Committee on Climate Change's chief has accused successive governments of not spending enough on flood protection. BusinessGreen interviews the outspoken former minister, Lord Deben.

UK's dependence on gas imports to blame for high prices not Centrica 
The Telegraph warns about the rising price of gas, and lays the blame on the UK's high level of gas imports. With the telling the newspaper that "shale won't deliver the cheap energy utopia for Britain that some members of government have promised", where now for UK energy policy, the article asks. 
The Telegraph 

Norway PM: Balance between environment and economy 
Norway is eyeing the possibilities for economic development as the Arctic sea ice shrinks. 
BBC News 

Fish may end up in hot water as climate warms the ocean 
Warmer ocean temperatures are likely to mean fish migrate towards cooler parts of the ocean. The author of a recent paper examining the phenomena discusses some of the complexities of the study. 
Michael Burrows

New climate science:

Afforestation in China cools local land surface temperature 
China has the largest afforested area in the world - that's where new trees are established on previously unforested land to increase take up of carbon dioxide. But knowing where to plant trees is important to reap maximum climatic benefits, suggests a new study. Afforestation brings down daytime temperatures but nightime warming can offset this cooling effect in particularly dry areas, for example. 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 

Modelled trends in Antarctic sea ice thickness 
Satellite observations show an increase in sea ice in the Antarctic. But unlike in the Arctic, scientists have no direct measurements of ice thickness, and so have limited information about how sea ice volume is changing. Using a new model reconstruction of sea ice trends in the Southern Ocean, scientists estimate sea ice volume has increased by 30 cubic kilometres per year, or 0.4 per cent. This growth is an order of magnitude less than the speed of ice loss in the Arctic, the paper points out. 
Journal of Climate 

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