Climate Change News

Help U.S. Cope with Climate Change: Enter NASA-USGS Data App Challenge

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.

USGS study says Chesapeake tributaries are warming, and pollution may increase

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.

California drought the worst in 1,200 years, new study says

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.

Council on Environmental Quality Releases: "President's State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience: Recommendations to the President"

The White House Council on Environmental Quality – November 17, 2014

As part of the Administration's overall effort to combat climate change, President Obama is committed to ensuring that U.S. communities thrive in the face of a changing climate. The Administration has made significant investments in resilient disaster recovery in the wake of extreme weather events, ensuring that rebuilding and infrastructure projects factor in climate impacts, such as sea-level rise, and invest in making transit systems more resilient to flooding and extreme weather. Last year, as part of his Climate Action Plan, the President established the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. The Task Force is comprised of Governors, Mayors, county executives and Tribal leaders from throughout the U.S. who are experiencing climate change impacts. Task Force leaders have taken bold action to protect their communities by investing in more resilient infrastructure, updating building codes, adjusting the way they manage natural resources, and planning for rapid recovery from extreme weather events. To access a fact sheet summarizing recommendations from the Task Force, as well as the recommendations document, click here.

USEPA 'Climate Change Indicators in the United States, 2014' report

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the third edition of a report, 'Climate Change Indicators in the United States.' The report presents observed data on key measures of our environment, including U.S. and global temperature and precipitation, ocean heat and ocean acidity, sea level, length of growing season, and many others. With 30 indicators that include over 80 maps and graphs showing long-term trends, the report demonstrates that climate change is already affecting our environment and our society. 

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Studies Show 2-Degree Climate Goal Is Daunting, but Not Impossible

By John H. Cushman, Jr. – Inside Climate News – November 26, 2014

Three recent reports, each a comprehensive look at the climate crisis and possible paths out of it, provide the latest evidence that the barriers to reducing greenhouse gas emissions are daunting, but not insurmountable. One report comes from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP); one from the World Bank; and one from a consortium that includes two United States' national laboratories. Together, they illustrate the concerted effort by various schools of climate analysis to promote a global treaty in Paris next year. All echo themes presented in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's fifth assessment report, issued over the past year. For full story, click here

Report Explains Extreme Events of 2013 from Climate Perspective

American Meteorological Society – September 2014

A report released by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society investigates the causes of a wide variety of extreme weather and climate events from around the world in 2013. In the report, "Explaining Extreme Events of 2013 from a Climate Perspective," 20 different research groups explored the causes of 16 different events that occurred in 2013. The findings indicate that human-caused climate change greatly increased the risk for the extreme heat waves assessed in this report. To access the full report, click here.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Releases Fifth Synthesis Report

IPCC  

Key findings of the Synthesis Report recently released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) include: Human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed on all continents. If left unchecked, climate change will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. However, options are available to adapt to climate change, and implementing stringent mitigation activities can ensure that the impacts of climate change remain within a manageable range, creating a brighter and more sustainable future. The Synthesis Report distills and integrates the findings of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report produced by over 800 scientists and released over the past 13 months. To access the Synthesis Report and other reports from the IPCC Fifth Assessment, click here.

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.