Climate Change News

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.

 

 

Florida politicians battle rhetoric as rising seas drive worries over climate change

By Joby Warrick – The Washington Post – October 17, 2014

At least twice in a normal year, the Biscayne Bay rises to swamp the streets of this fashionable resort town in an event known as the “king tide.” Water spills over seawalls and gurgles up through storm drains in what scientists say is a preview of life in Florida in a warming climate. For full story, click here.

Oceans getting hotter than anybody realized

By John Upton – Climate Central – October 5, 2014

The RV Kaharoa motored out of Wellington, New Zealand on Saturday, loaded with more than 100 scientific instruments, each eventually destined for a watery grave. Crewmembers will spend the next two months dropping the 50-pound devices, called Argo floats, into the seas between New Zealand and Mauritius, off the coast of Madagascar. There, the instruments will sink and drift, then measure temperature, salinity and pressure as they resurface to beam the data to a satellite. The battery-powered floats will repeat that process every 10 days — until they conk out, after four years or more, and become ocean junk. Under an international program begun in 2000, and that started producing useful global data in 2005, the world’s warming and acidifying seas have been invisibly filled with thousands of these bobbing instruments. They are gathering and transmitting data that’s providing scientists with the clearest-ever pictures of the hitherto-unfathomed extent of ocean warming. About 90 percent of global warming is ending up not on land, but in the oceans. For full story, click here.

Fish failing to adapt to rising carbon dioxide levels in ocean

By Oliver Milman – The Guardian – October 5, 2014

Rising carbon dioxide levels in oceans adversely change the behaviour of fish through generations, raising the possibility that marine species may never fully adapt to their changed environment, research has found. The study, published in Nature Climate Change, found that elevated CO2 levels affected fish regardless of whether their parents had also experienced the same environment. For full story, click here.

Sea Level Rise Making Floods Routine for Coastal Cities

By John Upton – Climate Central – October 8, 2014

Coastal American cities are sinking into saturated new realities, new analysis has confirmed. Sea level rise has given a boost to high tides, which are regularly overtopping streets, floorboards and other low-lying areas that had long existed in relatively dehydrated harmony with nearby waterfronts. The trend is projected to worsen sharply in the coming years. A new report, released by the Union of Concerned Scientists late on Tuesday, forecasts that by 2030, at least 180 floods will strike during high tides every year in Annapolis, Md. In some cases, such flooding will occur twice in a single day, since tides come in and out about two times daily. By 2045, that’s also expected be the case in Washington, D.C., Atlantic City, N.J. and 14 other East Coast and Gulf Coast locations out of 52 analyzed by the Union of Concerned Scientists. For full story, click here.

Big Oil’s heirs join call for action as climate summit opens

By Joby Warrick and Steven Mufson – The Washington Post – September 21, 2014 – Video

For 140 years, the Rockefellers were the oil industry’s first family, scions of a business empire that spawned companies called Exxon, Mobil, Amoco and Chevron. So it was no trivial matter when a group of Rockefeller heirs decided recently to begin severing financial ties to fossil fuels. On Monday, the foundation, known as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, will formally announce plans to begin divesting itself of fossil-fuel stocks, citing concerns about climate change. For full story and to view video, click here.

Report offers ideas for a Boston beset by rising seas

By Casey Ross – The Boston Globe – September 30, 2014

By the end of this century, the romance of Venice might be a lot closer to Boston than you’d expect — like just off Storrow Drive. A report scheduled to be released Tuesday about preparing Boston for climate change suggests that building canals through the Back Bay neighborhood would help it withstand water levels that could rise as much as 7 feet by 2100. Some roads and public alleys, such as Clarendon Street, could be turned into narrow waterways, the report suggests, allowing the neighborhood to absorb the rising sea with clever engineering projects that double as public amenities. The canal system was among the more imaginative solutions offered by some of the city’s leading planning, architecture, and engineering firms in a report compiled by the local chapter of the Urban Land Institute. For full story, click here.

Tipping Points and Climate Change: Revisiting the Day After Tomorrow

By Katy Maher – Center for Climate and Energy Solutions  – September 18, 2014  

It has been 10 years since the movie The Day After Tomorrow offered a highly embellished vision of a climate “tipping point” in which polar ice sheets melt, shut down the Gulf Stream, and plunge Europe and much of the U.S. into a deep freeze. While most of The Day After Tomorrow is safely in the realm of science fiction, there is real science to back up concerns that tipping points in the climate system could cause potentially irreversible, and in some cases drastic, changes in our climate. For full blog post, click here.