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MOInteresting to note that they end with a ‘caveat’ - The upper layer of the world’s ocean has warmed steadily since 1993, indicating a strong climate change signal, according to a new study.  The energy stored is enough to power nearly 500 100-watt light bulbs per each of the 6.7bn people on the planet.

“We are seeing the global ocean store more heat than it gives off,” said John Lyman, an oceanographer at NOAA’s Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, who led an international team of scientists that analyzed 9 different estimates of heat content in the upper ocean from 1993 to 2008.

A warming ocean is a direct cause of global sea level rise, since seawater expands and takes up more space as it heats up, accounting for about one-third to one-half of global sea level rise.  According to measurements by an array of autonomous free-floating ocean floats called ‘Argo’ (as well as by earlier devices called expendable bathythermographs or XBTs that were dropped from ships to obtain temperature data) ocean heat content has increased over the last 16 years.  The team notes that there are still some uncertainties and some biases.
Newswire – EC:  Ironic publication timing given recent floods in Europe - The European Commission has published a report on the progress of Member States in addressing water scarcity & droughts.  Despite more rainfall in southern European countries in 2009 than in previous years, greater efforts are still needed to stop & reverse the over-exploitation of Europe's limited water resources.

This new report shows that some Member States have begun to suffer permanent scarcity across the whole country. The problem is not limited to Mediterranean countries.  The Czech Republic has reported areas with frequent water scarcity and France & Belgium have reported over-exploited aquifers.

The Commission is launching a number of preparatory activities in view of a 2012 water scarcity & droughts policy review ('Blueprint to safeguard EU waters').  In 2010, the focus will be on efficiency and in particular the potential for savings in buildings, leakage reduction and water efficiency in agriculture.
Press release ~ Water Scarcity report (2009) ~  Anna Walker’s independent review of water charging & metering ~ Water Resources Strategy Action Plans and Strategies for England & Wales ~ Part G (sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency) of the Building Regulations ~ Water Efficiency Calculator for New Dwellings ~ Ofwat - International comparisons - water efficiency ~ National Water Conservation Group ~ Consumer Council for Water ~ Water UK ~ Waterwise ~ Waterwise evidence base report ~ Defra: Water conservation ~ Defra - Water Resources ~ ESRC: ‘Behavioural Change and Water Efficiency’ ~ UK Water Industry Research Ltd ~ Water Strategy: Directing the Flow - priorities for future water policy ~ Association of Rivers Restoration Trusts ~ EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) ~ Environment Agency - Water for life and livelihoods: draft River Basin Management Plans ~ EA – River Water Quality ~ Foresight Programme – Environmental Migration ~ Food, energy, water and the climate: A perfect storm of global events? ~ Human tide: the real migration crisis ~ Floods in Europe

ScotGovNorth Sea Oil could just be a ‘flash in the pan’ by comparison - Scotland's seas could supply domestic electricity needs many times over by 2050, according to a new report out last week.  The Offshore Valuation Study (OVS) - a UK led report launched at All Energy in Aberdeen - finds the value of that electricity could be £14bn by 2050.  The study was led by the Offshore Valuation Group, a group drawn from across industry & government and chaired by the Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC), a not-for-profit charity. 

The OVS is the first comprehensive economic valuation of the UK's offshore renewable energy resources to 2050.  The study explores scenarios to develop the UK's offshore resources (wind, wave & tidal) to maturity in order to assess the long-term value from electricity exports, technology exports, jobs, returns to UK investors, and avoided imports. 

The Scottish Government has also launched a consultation (closes 16 August 2010) detailing draft plans to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and realise Scotland's multi-billion pound potential in renewables.  The Strategic Environmental Assessment and Development Plan for Offshore Wind sets out proposals for the short, medium & long term up to 2020 & beyond.

As part of the consultation process, a series of stakeholder consultation workshops will be taken forward by Marine Scotland in the coming weeks, to help explain the approach used to develop & assess the plan, and to further explore the environmental and sectoral issues raised in the process. 

As well as considering the Draft Plan, consultees are invited to consider the proposals in the light of the environmental information set out in the SEA Environmental Report – See also item in ‘Industry News’ section.
Newswire - EC:  Not exactly ‘rocket science’ - The Electoral Commission has completed its review into why voters in some polling stations were unable to cast their vote before the 10pm deadline on 6 May 2010.  The report sets out what needs to be done to avoid a repeat of the problems 2 weeks ago.

The review found:
* at least 1,200 people were still queuing at 27 polling stations in 16 constituencies at 10pm
* in some areas the numbers of electors allocated to particular polling stations were too high and some polling stations had too few staff
* in all the areas affected there were also local government elections taking place (and, in some, Mayoral elections) which meant it took longer for each voter to vote and arrangements to deal with this were inadequate
* election officials did not identify & respond quickly enough to the problems that emerged on polling day

The reports recommendations include:
* the law should be changed to allow people still queuing at polling stations at 10pm to be able to vote
* local authorities & Returning Officers should make sure they allocate the right numbers of staff & electors to each polling station

The Commission will publish a full report into the UK general election and the English local government elections in July 2010, covering all aspects of the running of these elections.  If new information emerges concerning polling station queues, this will be included.
NA:  It’s all there in ‘black & white’ - While it may be decades before many government documents see the light of day, the UK Government Web Archive already contains more than a billion documents - instantly available to the public - which together comprise a comprehensive digital record of Labour’s time in power.

The web archive captures some of the most dramatic moments of recent times including government websites’ response to national emergencies, such as Swine Flu and the heightened security threat following the 2006 plot to bring down several aircraft in mid-flight.

Since 1997 there has been an explosion in web usage and government began using the new technology to distribute more of its information online.  But there was a serious risk of this valuable historic record disappearing into a cyber graveyard. In response, The National Archives started archiving websites in 2003 and now trawls more than 1,500 government websites 3 times a year, capturing & preserving their contents for the digital archive of the future.

This year for the first time, the wealth of online government information circulated in the weeks leading up to & immediately after the general election has been systematically documented.  The National Archives has been capturing key government websites, including the Number 10 site, before & after the election to ensure nothing was lost as a result of a change in government.

Forthcoming Event: Enterprise Architecture Conference Europe 2010, 16-18 June, London - The 11th Annual Enterprise Architecture Conference is Europe ’s leading independent and longest established conference on Enterprise Architecture.  It is neither analyst led nor vendor led.  It brings together the EA community’s foremost leading-edge thinkers and experienced practitioners from around the world:

  • Keynote Speakers include John Zachman, Mike Rosen and world renowned business guru Don Tapscott 
  • Case studies and contributors include ABN Amro, BNP Paribas, The Open Group, Norwegian Tax Administration, Department for Work and Pensions, Ministry of Justice, Office for National Statistics, National Policing Improvement Agency, Sogeti Nederland, Aljazeera Network, NASA and many more…. 
  • Delegates can choose from 4 conference tracks and 8 pre-conference tutorials 
  • The event is structured to accommodate delegates at all levels, whether you are just getting started in architecture, re-appraising your approach, or working to fine tune your performance  
Please Click Here to view the full conference programme.

For information on other forthcoming public sector events please click HERE to visit the WGPlus Events Calendar
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