Climate Change News
By David Hasemyer – Inside Climate News – February 23, 2015
The Smithsonian has opened an investigation into the ethical conduct of Willie Soon, one of its part time scientists and a climate-change skeptic who is facing scrutiny for failing to properly disclose his work was funded by fossil fuel interests. The Smithsonian probe follows disclosures this weekend—through the release of public documents—that Soon failed to divulge industry funding for 11 studies that were published in nine scientific journals. "The Smithsonian is greatly concerned about the allegations surrounding Dr. Willie Soon's failure to disclose funding sources for his climate change research," according to a statement released by Smithsonian. "The Smithsonian is taking immediate action to address the issue." For full story, click here.
CBS News – February 26, 2015
While the rest of Washington spent Thursday trying to avert a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security, Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe brought a snowball to the Senate floor during a speech questioning the science behind climate change. "Do you know what this is? It's a snowball," Inhofe said, holding the snowball aloft. "It's just from outside here, so it's very, very cold out ... very unseasonable." "Mr. President, catch this," he said, tossing the snowball away. An Inhofe aide told National Journal the projectile was caught by a congressional page. Inhofe, the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has long argued that climate change is a "hoax," and he's opposed the Obama administration's efforts to reduce carbon emissions. He brandished his snowball prop on Wednesday during a broader speech questioning global warming. For full story, click here.
By Richard Branson and Paul Polman – CNN – February 19, 2015
Though the public rarely notices, businesses succeed because of their planning. To see what is happening now, while positioning yourself to make the most of the future, is ultimately the key to turning a profit. Indeed, more than having the start-up capital or the latest hit piece of technology, knowing what the future might bring is a critical component of success in business. Of course, when it comes to climate change, we don't know everything that's in store for us -- the likely impact and consequences are still an issue of intense debate. But the outlines are clear enough to make it worth our time to start planning ways to fight it and to allow us to make money along the way. For full story, click here.
By Katherine Bagley – Inside Climate News – February 12, 2105
As harsh as the current long-running California drought has been, conditions in the American West will substantially worsen in coming years, according to new research. Later this century, the American Southwest and Central Plains are likely to experience catastrophic drought worse than any in the last millennium, according to research published today by scientists from NASA, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Cornell University. The hotter and dryer conditions will be "driven primarily" by human-caused climate change and could be so severe that communities will struggle to adapt, the study finds. For full story, click here.
By Katherine Bagley – InsideClimate News – February 10, 2015
There's no quick fix for climate change and there won't be for decades to come. The world's only solution is to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions—and immediately. That's the takeaway from a new two-volume report out Feb. 10 from the National Research Council, the working arm of the National Academy of Sciences. The report examines whether governments could fight global warming through geoengineering, also known as climate engineering or climate intervention. The strategy involves removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or modifying clouds or other Earth systems to reflect incoming sunlight to alter the world's climate artificially. For full story, click here.
NOAA Climate.gov – February 6, 2015
You already know that sea otters are cute, lovable animals. But do you know that everybody's favorite reclining-dining marine mammal is also a climate warrior? By preying on kelp-grazing sea urchins, otters allow underwater kelp forests to do more of what forests do everywhere: suck up heat-trapping carbon dioxide via photosynthesis. In the presence of otters, urchins skulk in watery rock crevices, getting by on kelp detritus and algae growing on rocks. Without otters fishing overhead, emboldened sea urchins turn mobile and eat live kelp. Unchecked, sea urchin populations can consume enough kelp to turn forest to desert. For full story, click here.
Contact: Roer Griffis – NOAA Office of Science and Technology
The NOAA Fisheries draft Climate Science Strategy is designed to increase the production, delivery, and use of climate-related information to inform management and use of marine resources. The draft Strategy is one component of a proactive approach to collect and provide information on changing climate and ocean conditions to stakeholders. It responds to existing mandates such as the President's National Climate Action Plan and the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy that call for increased information to better prepare for and respond to climate-related impacts. The Strategy identifies seven steps to increase the production and use of climate-related information; proposes actions to address common needs across regions and agency mandates; and aims to help reduce impacts and increase resilience of marine resources and the communities that depend on them. Written comments must be submitted on or before March 31, 2015. For more information and to provide comments, click here.
By John H. Cushman, Jr. – InsideClimate News – February 2, 2015
Many of the climate-change goals were old, but some were new in President Obama's budget request to Congress, published on Monday. Familiar elements included more green-energy R&D, permanent status for tax breaks that subsidize renewable production of electricity, and yet another plea to end existing subsidies for fossil fuels. Among the novelties: new incentives for states to meet the low-carbon targets of proposed Clean Air Act regulations. For full story, click here.
Georgetown Climate Center – January 26, 2015
After visiting more than 30 communities across the U.S. that are preparing for climate change, two enterprising young authors identify six big lessons from ongoing adaptation work in a new report recently released by the Georgetown Climate Center. Over the course of 103 days, authors Allie Goldstein and Kirsten Howard traveled 17,358 miles and interviewed more than 150 people, from shellfish farmers on the Olympic Peninsula to city planners in Baltimore. The road trippers have already published 34 stories about the work that communities are doing to prepare for climate change. The lessons found in the new report, “The Great American Adaptation Road Trip,” explain why these communities have had success implementing their projects and what is needed to prompt climate change preparation in more places across the country. For full story, click here.