Climate Change News

Planning for Climate Change in Michigan Coastal Wetlands

By Michael Murray – National Wildlife Federation Blog – November 4, 2014

How will Great Lakes coastal wetlands fare in a changing climate? While many uncertainties remain about potential climate change impacts in the Great Lakes, it is clear that coastal areas may be subject to a diverse set of impacts, ranging from warmer water temperatures, significant water level changes, generally decreased ice cover, and increased spring storm events. For full story, click here.

EPA Releases Agency-Wide Climate Change Adaptation Plans

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

On October 31, 2014, EPA released the final versions of its Agency-wide Climate Change Adaptation Plan (PDF, 64pp, 1.7mb) and the 17 Climate Change Adaptation Implementation Plans produced by the Program and Regional Offices. These final versions were revised from earlier drafts following public comment periods. They respond to directives in Executive Order 13653 - Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change (PDF, 8pp, 325kb). The final EPA Plan and the 17 Implementation Plans are living documents that will be periodically revised in subsequent years to account for new knowledge, data, scientific evidence, and lessons learned from the Agency’s ongoing efforts to integrate climate adaptation planning into its programs, policies, rules and operations. To download the Plans, click here.

Invasive species compound toxic algae risk

By Tom Henry – The Blade – November 3, 2014

Conventional wisdom says western Lake Erie’s toxic algae is supported by commercial farm runoff, animal manure, sewage spills, faulty septic tanks, and other major sources of nutrients responsible for putting much of the excessive phosphorus and nitrogen in the water. But that’s not the whole story. As Great Lakes scientists probe deeper into the weeds on this issue, they find such contributing factors as invasive species and climate change also foster algal growth. For full story, click here.

U.S. Oil Exports Would Worsen Global Warming, Government Auditors Say

By John H.Cushman, Jr. Inside Climate News October 20, 2014

Looked at from the vantage point of the climate crisis, GAO report discussing several benefits of lifting the oil export ban is more disturbing. Allowing United States oil producers to export crude would not only sway markets at home and abroad, it would also worsen global warming and present other environmental risks, the Government Accountability Office said in a new survey of experts. For full story, click here.

Climate change denier Jim Inhofe in line for Senate's top environmental job

By Suzanne Goldenberg – The Guardian – November 6, 2014

The Senate’s top environmental job is set to fall to Jim Inhofe, one of the biggest names in US climate denial, but campaigners say Barack Obama will fight to protect his global warming agenda. Oklahoma Republican Inhofe has been denying the science behind climate change for 20 years – long before it became a cause for the conservative tea party wing. Following midterm elections which saw the Republicans take control of the senate, he is now expected to become the chairman of the senate environment and public works committee. However, advocates believe Obama will work to protect his signature power plant rules from Republican attacks, and to live up to his earlier commitments to a global deal on fight climate change. For full story, click here.

As Alaska warms, a goose forgoes a 3,300-mile migration

By Marianne Lavelle – Environmental Health News – October 30, 2014

The vast marshes on the southwestern tip of the Alaskan peninsula must look like a buffet to a seagrass-loving goose like the Pacific black brant. Right now virtually the entire population – about 160,000 birds – is gathered in the sheltered and remote wetlands within the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, feasting on the most extensive beds of eelgrass on Earth. In the past, the Izembek was just a stopover in the brant's autumn journey down North America's western coastline. After a short stay to fatten up, the sated sea geese would lift off together and head south on a 3,300-mile, nonstop migration to Mexico's Baja California. But nature doesn't follow that predictable course anymore. Scientists have documented that increasing numbers of black brant are skipping that far southern migration and staying in Alaska instead. Fewer than 3,000 wintered in Alaska before 1977. In recent years, however, more than 40,000 have remained north, with as many as 50,000 staying there last year, during the most ice-free winter that Izembek had seen in more than a decade. For full story, click here.

IPCC preparing 'most important' document on climate change

By Matt McGrath –  BBC News – October 30, 2014

Scientists and officials are meeting in Denmark to edit what's been termed the "most important document" on climate change. The IPCC Synthesis Report will summarise the causes and impacts of - and solutions to - rising temperatures. It will be the bedrock of talks on a new global climate deal. But there are concerns that political battles could neuter the final summary. For full story, click here.

Study urges action on Lake Erie bacteria blooms

By John Flesher – The Detroit News – October 15, 2014

Climate change and invasive mussels may have made Lake Erie a more inviting host for toxic bacteria in recent years, suggesting that ambitious goals are needed for reducing phosphorus runoff that feeds large blooms like the one that forced a temporary tap water shutdown in and near Toledo, Ohio, scientists said Wednesday. Ever-larger mats of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, have formed on Erie since the early 2000s. They produce microcystin, a toxin that has killed pets and livestock and causes liver damage in humans. The soupy green glop prompted do-not-drink orders for two days in August that affected about 400,000 residents of northwestern Ohio and southeastern Michigan. For full story, click here.

U.S. takes the helm of council assigned to deal with fast-changing Arctic

By Christa Marshall – E & E Publishing, LLC – October 20, 2014

The Obama administration is pushing to make climate change a focal point as the United States becomes the new leader of the international Arctic Council, a move that is winning praise from environmentalists, even though it's unclear how it may translate into action. Many environmentalists are cheering about recent remarks from U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic Adm. Robert Papp Jr., who indicated via speeches that climate change would be a main theme at the council, with new efforts on things like controlling black carbon and reducing methane. For full story, click here.