Climate Change News
By Laura Parker – National Geographic
Frank Behrens, a gregarious pitchman for a Dutch development company that sees profit, not loss, in climate change, cuts the engine on our 22-foot Hurricane runabout. We drift through brackish water toward the middle of privately owned Maule Lake in North Miami Beach. The lake, like so many others in Florida, began as a rock quarry. More recently, as if to underscore the impermanence of South Florida’s geography, more than one developer has toyed with partially filling in the lake to build condos. For full article, click here.
By Justin Gillis – The New York Times – January 14, 2015
A team of researchers reported Wednesday that the ocean did not rise quite as much as previously believed in the 20th century. They proposed a seemingly tiny adjustment that could make a big difference in scientific understanding of the looming problem of sea-level rise. For full story, click here.
By Sophie Yeo – Responding to Climate Change – January 5, 2015
Global greenhouse gas emissions could rise by around 2.5% in 2015, an increase on 2013 levels but lower than the average over the past decade, according to analysts at consultancy firm PwC. Economic momentum around the world is expected to pick up over the coming 12 months, with PwC and the International Monetary Fund predicting growth of 3.5-3.8%, compared to 3.3% in 2014. “Global GDP is expected to grow at 3.5% per year, and so if we’re decarbonising our economy about 0.9% per year, it’s reasonable to expect emissions to grow 2.5% in 2015,” said PwC’s sustainability director Jonathan Grant, who worked on their Global Economy Watch report. For full story, click here.
By John Flesher – Detroit Free Press – January 6, 2015
A newly released study says cutting phosphorus levels is important for Lake Erie but isn't a cure-all for one of its biggest environmental hazards: "dead zones" where fish can't survive. The report by researchers with the Carnegie Institution for Science says the lake's biggest dead zone on record formed in the summer of 2012. Phosphorus runoff from farms was partly responsible. But drought and low flows from tributary rivers were even bigger factors. For full story, click here.
Nick O'Malley – WA Toady – December 20, 2014
What was not so widely reported was that South Beach stank of shit. There is no nice way to put it. The place smelled of human waste. There had been a brief, heavy downpour but the water could not escape, so the sewers backed up and filled the roads. The traffic slowed to walking pace or seized entirely, and the models tottering between the restaurants and hotels and clubs had to pick wide arcs on the pavements to avoid the nasty pools swelling from the gutters. Only the people seemed to take it in their stride, perhaps because this sort of thing is no longer unusual in and around Miami. A couple of days later I stood on a sealed road in a park in the southern suburbs of Miami – again ankle deep in water – with Harold Wanless, chairman and professor at the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Miami, to discuss why the place was so wet. The answer was not complicated. "The ocean has risen," he says with laugh. "It is what it is." For full story, click here.
By Rick Wills – Tribe Live – December 20, 2014
If bird watchers in Pennsylvania think they are seeing less of some species — the ruffed grouse, scarlet tanager, wood thrush and Baltimore oriole — they are right. Those birds could go the way of the once-prevalent Passenger Pigeon and are among hundreds at risk of disappearing, according to a report by the Audubon Society and another jointly prepared by the Fish & Wildlife Service and the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology. The projected declines, the studies each say, reflect climate changes and the disappearance of natural habitats. For full story, click here.
NASA News – December 11, 2014
NASA in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is offering more than $35,000 in prizes to citizen scientists for ideas that make use of climate data to address vulnerabilities faced by the United States in coping with climate change. The Climate Resilience Data Challenge, conducted through the NASA Tournament Lab, a partnership with Harvard University hosted on Appirio/Topcoder, kicks off Monday, Dec 15 and runs through March 2015. The challenge supports the efforts of the White House Climate Data Initiative, a broad effort to leverage the federal government’s extensive, freely available climate-relevant data resources to spur innovation and private-sector entrepreneurship in order to advance awareness of and preparedness for the impacts of climate change. The challenge was announced by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Dec. 9.
By Darrly Fears – The Washington Post – December 10, 2014
A slight increase in air temperature over the past half-century has caused waters to warm more than two degrees in tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay, a change that could reduce the expected benefits of the multibillion-dollar bay cleanup plan and eventually alter the behaviors of marine animals, a new study says. The mean temperature of the bay’s tributaries is about 2 1/2 degrees higher now than in 1960 as a result of climate change, according to the study by two U.S. Geological Survey hydrologists. Although that doesn’t seem like much, warmer water allows phosphorous, a type of nutrient pollution, to rise from sediment in the bay at a faster rate. For full story, click here.
By Paul Rogers – San Jose Mercury News – December 5, 2014
The last three years of drought were the most severe that California has experienced in at least 1,200 years, according to a new scientific study published Thursday. The study provides the state with breathtaking new historical context for its low reservoirs and sinking water tables, even as California celebrated its first good soaking of the season. For full story, click here.