By Zahra Hirji– InsideClimate News – March 11, 2015 

Two months after the biggest fracking-related spill in recent North Dakota history, state lawmakers are pushing legislation that could help prevent similar disasters in the future. More than 2 million gallons of toxic wastewater gushed from a hole in the type of pipeline known as a "gathering line" near the town of Williston between the last week of December and first week of January. The spill contaminated at least two local waterways. The rupture went unnoticed for about 12 days before a pipeline worker discovered it. For full story, click here.



By Jesse Greenspan – Audubon – March 2, 2015

Hundreds of thousands of people have been slain so far in Syria’s ongoing civil war. Prevailing wisdom blames the multi-sided conflict—more an aggregation of atrocities than systematic ground war—on a brutal dictator and long-simmering sectarian differences that broke open during the Arab Spring of 2011. Now, an unusual collaboration of climate and political scientists wants to add to the list another factor that helped touch off the violence: Climate change. For full story, click here.

By Jesse Greenspan – Claims Journal – March 6, 2015

A heads-up to New York, Baltimore, Houston and Miami: a new study suggests that these metropolitan areas and others will increase their exposure to floods even in the absence of climate change, according to researchers from Texas A&M University. Published in Global Environmental Change, the study presents first-ever global forecasts of how the exposure of urban land to floods and droughts may change due to urban expansion in the near future. In 2000, about 30 percent of the global urban land (over 75,000 square miles) was located in the high-frequency flood zones; by 2030, this will reach nearly 40 percent (280,000 square miles) as the global urban land grows from 250,000 square miles to 720,000 square miles, the authors say. The researchers also predict that by 2030 the urban extent in drylands will nearly double, reaching over 190,000 square miles, and that even without climate change, extent of urban areas exposed to both floods and droughts would more than triple by 2030, according to the study. For full article, click here.

By David Hasemyer – Inside Climate News – February 23, 2015

The Smithsonian has opened an investigation into the ethical conduct of Willie Soon, one of its part time scientists and a climate-change skeptic who is facing scrutiny for failing to properly disclose his work was funded by fossil fuel interests. The Smithsonian probe follows disclosures this weekend—through the release of public documents—that Soon failed to divulge industry funding for 11 studies that were published in nine scientific journals. "The Smithsonian is greatly concerned about the allegations surrounding Dr. Willie Soon's failure to disclose funding sources for his climate change research," according to a statement released by Smithsonian. "The Smithsonian is taking immediate action to address the issue." For full story, click here.



CBS News – February 26, 2015

While the rest of Washington spent Thursday trying to avert a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security, Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe brought a snowball to the Senate floor during a speech questioning the science behind climate change. "Do you know what this is? It's a snowball," Inhofe said, holding the snowball aloft. "It's just from outside here, so it's very, very cold out ... very unseasonable." "Mr. President, catch this," he said, tossing the snowball away. An Inhofe aide told National Journal the projectile was caught by a congressional page. Inhofe, the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has long argued that climate change is a "hoax," and he's opposed the Obama administration's efforts to reduce carbon emissions. He brandished his snowball prop on Wednesday during a broader speech questioning global warming. For full story, click here.

By Richard Branson and Paul Polman  – CNN  – February 19, 2015

Though the public rarely notices, businesses succeed because of their planning. To see what is happening now, while positioning yourself to make the most of the future, is ultimately the key to turning a profit. Indeed, more than having the start-up capital or the latest hit piece of technology, knowing what the future might bring is a critical component of success in business. Of course, when it comes to climate change, we don't know everything that's in store for us -- the likely impact and consequences are still an issue of intense debate. But the outlines are clear enough to make it worth our time to start planning ways to fight it and to allow us to make money along the way. For full story, click here.

By Katherine Bagley – Inside Climate News – February 12, 2105

As harsh as the current long-running California drought has been, conditions in the American West will substantially worsen in coming years, according to new research. Later this century, the American Southwest and Central Plains are likely to experience catastrophic drought worse than any in the last millennium, according to research published today by scientists from NASA, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Cornell University. The hotter and dryer conditions will be "driven primarily" by human-caused climate change and could be so severe that communities will struggle to adapt, the study finds. For full story, click here.

By Katherine Bagley –  InsideClimate News –  February 10, 2015

There's no quick fix for climate change and there won't be for decades to come. The world's only solution is to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions—and immediately. That's the takeaway from a new two-volume report out Feb. 10 from the National Research Council, the working arm of the National Academy of Sciences. The report examines whether governments could fight global warming through geoengineering, also known as climate engineering or climate intervention. The strategy involves removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or modifying clouds or other Earth systems to reflect incoming sunlight to alter the world's climate artificially. For full story, click here.


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.