NOAA – 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.

By Kevin Duffy – Great Lakes Echo – January 28, 2015

New climate projections suggest increases in maximum and minimum daily temperatures in the Lake Michigan basin by as much as 8 degrees by 2099. With temperatures rising, annual water flow from precipitation and runoff is expected to increase during winter and decrease in spring, especially in northern Michigan and Wisconsin. A recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is intended to help land managers cope with the seasonal changes resulting from climate change in the lake basin. For full story, click here.

By Amy Freitag – Southern Fried Science – January 17, 2015

In 2012, North Carolina outlawed climate change, receiving major press as the face of conservative climate policy. The intent of the law was to stop planning processes from basing their decisions on modeled climate change scenarios of the future, which would halt large investments in coastal development. But the letter of the law actually outlawed the sea from rising, and the new legislation met the American public as the face of many public jokes making North Carolinians look quite naive about the future changes in our ecosystem. The immediate response of state agencies was to follow the letter of the law and remove the phrase “climate change” from their websites, reports, and other public-facing documents. For full story, click here.


By Joby Warrick and Chris Mooney – The Washington Post  – January 16, 2015 – Video

Planet Earth set an ominous record last year as global temperatures rose to the highest level since modern measurements began, scientists said Friday in a report that heightened concerns about humanity’s growing toll on the natural systems that sustain life. The year 2014 was declared the hottest year in a joint announcement by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, based on separate analyses of weather records dating back to 1880, when Rutherford B. Hayes occupied the White House. For full story and to view video, click here.

By Ryan Gorman – – January 22, 2015 – Video

The U.S. Senate has finally admitted climate change is real -- but with a caveat. Senators voted 98-1 Wednesday in support of legislation approving the controversial Keystone XL pipeline that included an amendment also forced the politicians to concede climate change is "not a hoax." Democrats forced the additional language into the bill as they continue to oppose the pipeline on grounds it will accelerate climate change. The amendment asked lawmakers to acknowledge "that climate change is real and not a hoax," a direct shot a Senator James Inhofe (R-OK). Inhofe infamously called climate change "a hoax" only last year but surprisingly supported the amendment. "Climate is changing," Inhofe reportedly said just before the vote was tallied, "and climate has always changed." For full story and to view video, click here.

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.