By Devin Henry – The Hill – April 19, 2017
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday said it would begin a review of an Obama administration rule limiting methane emissions at oil and gas drilling sites. EPA’s action — the first step in the lengthy process of undoing the methane rule — was a component of the energy executive order President Trump signed in March. It comes after oil and gas industry objections to Obama’s methane regulations, which drillers said were duplicative, harmful to companies and unnecessary, given industry-driven efforts to reduce methane emissions on its own. For full story, click here.
York University – April 7, 2017
York biology Professor Sapna Sharma is interested in predicting the effects of environmental stressors – for example, climate change, invasive species, land use change and habitat alteration − on ecosystems, and improving the scientific approaches used to generate these predictions. Some of her latest research, funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and others, and published in Scientific Reports, suggests that environmental stressors are driving the long-term changes in ice seasonality. For full story, click here.
By Ben Doherty and Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – April 11, 2017 – Video
The loss of coral reefs caused by rising sea temperatures could cost $1 trillion globally, a report from Australia’s Climate Council has projected, with the loss of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef alone costing that region 1m visitors a year, imperilling 10,000 jobs and draining $1bn from the economy. The longest global coral bleaching event on record, which began in 2014 and has affected some reefs in consecutive years, has given reefs little chance to recover, and should be a “wake-up call” to act to save the natural and economic assets, the Climate Council’s Lesley Hughes said. For full story and to view video, click here.
By Marianne Lavelle – InsideClimate News – April 13, 2017 – Video
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said on Thursday that the United States should exit the Paris climate agreement. The comments are his strongest yet on a question that has divided the Donald Trump administration, even as it seeks to roll back the nation's commitment to act on climate change. For full story and to view video, click here.
By Rachel Waldholz – Alaska Public – Media April 6, 2017
For decades, Alaska has struggled to get running water and sewer systems to its rural communities. An estimated 3,000 households — or about 10,000 people — still lack both. Now, that job may be getting harder, as climate change exacerbates old problems and creates new ones. For full story, click here.
By Marianne Lavelle – InsideClimate News – March 29, 2017
President Donald Trump declared on Tuesday he is returning power over environmental regulation to the states, with his executive order lifting restrictions on the fossil fuel industry. "States and communities know what's best for them," he said. "They understand it. They get it." But leaders of some of the nation's biggest states and local governments say what they need is strong federal policy. The Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, which formed in 2015 to support U.S. policy in the run-up to the Paris climate talks, was one of the coalitions that responded immediately with a vow to use their powers to fend off the White House assault on environmental regulation. For full story, click here.
By Laura Geggel – CBS News - Livescience.com – March 28, 2017
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday to dismantle the Clean Power Plan. The plan, which President Barack Obama’s administration put into effect in 2015, was designed to cut power plant emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas that is warming the planet. The Clean Power Plan requires that, by 2030, the power sector’s CO2 emissions be brought down to 32 percent below their 2005 levels, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For full story, click here.
By Philip Pullella – Reuters – March 30, 2017
The Vatican urged U.S. President Donald Trump to listen to "dissenting voices" and reconsider his position on climate change on Thursday, saying the United States risked losing its environmental protection leadership to China. Pope Francis has made defense of the environment a key plank of his papacy, strongly backing scientific opinion that global warming is caused mostly by human activity. "This is a challenge for us," said Cardinal Peter Turkson, the pope's point man for the environmental, immigration and development, when asked about Trump's executive order dismantling Obama-era climate change regulations and his immigration policies. For full story, click here.
By Chris Martin and Ryan Collins – Bloomberg.com – March 22, 2017 – Video
Efforts to cut America’s use of energy are coming under attack, both in Washington and in at least two states. Ohio lawmakers held hearings this week on a bill that would scale back programs designed to shrink energy demand. Kentucky regulators began a review last month of its own energy efficiency programs after the state’s utility said their costs to consumers jumped 20-fold last year. This all comes as President Donald Trump is proposing to cut billions in federal funding for such conservation programs. For full story, click here.
By Kristen Gelineau – Insurance Journal – March 23, 2017
Reducing pollution and curbing overfishing won’t prevent the severe bleaching that is killing coral at catastrophic rates, according to a study of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. In the end, researchers say, the only way to save the world’s coral from heat-induced bleaching is with a war on global warming. Scientists are quick to note that local protection of reefs can help damaged coral recover from the stress of rising ocean temperatures. But the new research shows that such efforts are ultimately futile when it comes to stopping bleaching in the first place. For full article, click here.
Arctic ice falls to record winter low after polar 'heatwaves'
By Damian Carrington – The Guardian – March 22, 2017
The extent of Arctic ice has fallen to a new wintertime low, as climate change drives freakishly high temperatures in the Polar Regions. The ice cap grows during the winter months and usually reaches its maximum in early March. But the 2017 maximum was 14.4m sq km, lower than any year in the 38-year satellite record, according to researchers at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) and Nasa. For full story, click here.
Sea ice has hit new record lows at both poles
By Agence France-Presse – PRI – March 22, 2017
The sea ice cover in the Arctic and Antarctic hit new record lows for this time of year, marking the smallest polar ice caps in the 38-year satellite record, US government scientists said Wednesday. In March, the Arctic ice sheet should be at its biggest, but on March 7 the ice cover reached "a record low wintertime maximum extent," said a statement by the US space agency NASA. Data from the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado, also showed that on March 3, "sea ice around Antarctica hit its lowest extent ever recorded by satellites at the end of summer in the Southern Hemisphere." For full story, click here.
Not ‘fake news’: Scientists report climate change findings honestly
By Sarah DeWeerdt – Anthropocene Magazine – March 21, 2017
Researchers don’t hide findings that fail to support the prevailing view of human-caused, CO2-based climate change, according to the first large study to look for so-called publication bias in this branch of the scientific literature. Even so, they may spin results in subtle ways. Reviews of various scientific disciplines have found that researchers are less likely to report—and journal editors are less likely to publish—studies with negative or non-significant results. This bias may make the public distrust science, particularly in the case of controversial topics such as climate change. For full article, click here.
House Republicans' Group Launches Effort to Tackle Climate Change
By Sabrina Shankman InsideClimate News March 15, 2017
A group of 17 House Republicans introduced a resolution on Wednesday that calls for the House to commit to working on climate change solutions that keep in mind the health of the economy. The resolution makes the argument that it is a conservative principle to "protect, conserve and be good stewards of the environment, responsibility plan for all market factors, and base our policy decisions in science and quantifiable fact." For full story, click here.
By Zoë Schlanger – Quartz – March 10, 2017
There are 2.7 million miles of pipeline snaked across the US. Some of the pipes carry hazardous chemicals, others carry crude oil, and still others carry highly pressurized natural gas. And when it comes to safety, all of them are under the care of 528 government inspectors. That’s more than 5,000 miles of pipeline or more than twice the length of the United States, per inspector. For full story, click here.
Justin Worland – Time.com – March 16, 2017 – Video
The budget proposal submitted to Congress by President Donald Trump, if enacted, would effectively eliminate the federal government's role addressing man-made climate change with budget cuts targeting key programs at several federal agencies. The largest cuts to climate programs by dollar value occur at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but other reductions at the Energy, State and Treasury departments would also harm the ability for the federal government to combat global warming. Considered together, the reductions deal a blow to domestic greenhouse gas reduction efforts, clean energy development and international diplomacy centered on climate change. For full story and to view video, click here.
Zack Colman The Christian Science Monitor March 8, 2017
When a market for trading water rights opened in central Nebraska last year, one of the initial bidders wasn’t a corn farmer, or even a water user at all in the traditional sense. It was the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program, a conservation group investing to replenish the region's major river, the Platte. By buying some water and then not using it, the group is allowing more to stay in the river. The move bucked tradition, for sure. Typically, water rights aren’t traded at all or they are swapped among farmers. But the West may be at the dawn of a new era in water management. For full story, click here.
By Eugene Scott CNN Politics March 10, 2017 Video
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency administrator said Thursday he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming -- a stance at odds with leading climate scientists. Scott Pruitt made the comment to CNBC's Joe Kernen when he was asked if he believes that carbon dioxide "is the primary control knob for climate." For full story and to view video, click here.
E.P.A. Head Stacks Agency With Climate Change Skeptics
By Coral Davenport The New York Times March 7, 2017
Days after the Senate confirmed him as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference and was asked about addressing a group that probably wanted to eliminate his agency. “I think it’s justified,” he responded, to cheers. “I think people across the country look at the E.P.A. the way they look at the I.R.S.” In the days since, Mr. Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general who built a career out of suing the agency he now leads, has moved to stock the top offices of the agency with like-minded conservatives — many of them skeptics of climate change and all of them intent on rolling back environmental regulations that they see as overly intrusive and harmful to business. For full story, click here.
By Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis – The Washington Post – March 2, 2017
The Environmental Protection Agency Thursday announced it was withdrawing a request that operators of existing oil and gas wells provide the agency with extensive information about their equipment and its emissions of methane, undermining a last-ditch Obama administration climate change initiative. The EPA announcement was a first step towards reversing an Obama administration effort – which only got underway two days after Donald Trump’s election – to gather information about methane, a short-lived but extremely powerful climate pollutant which is responsible for about a quarter of global warming to date. For full story, click here.
In California, a Move to Ease the Pressures on Aging Dams
By Henry Fountain – The New York Times – February 28, 2017
Until a few weeks ago, the McCormack-Williamson Tract in the California Delta was an island of low-lying farmland, more than two square miles protected from the surrounding rivers and sloughs by earthen levees. Today the tract is an immense lake, up to 15 feet deep, with fish prowling the water and ducks skimming the surface. The adjacent Mokelumne River, swollen by the intense storms that have drenched the state this winter, caused a levee to break, allowing the water to rush in. For full story, click here.
By Nicholas Kusnetz – InsideClimate News – February 21, 2017
The nation's regulation of oil and gas development is a mish-mash of disjointed state oversight that makes it difficult to quantify the environmental impacts of drilling. A new study highlights just how inconsistent spill reporting is, showing that the range in requirements makes it impossible to compare states or come up with a comprehensive national picture. The research, published Tuesday in the journal http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.6b05749 Environmental Science and Technology, pulled together some of the disparate data and found there have been about 5 spills each year for every 100 wells that have been hydraulically fractured. Of the states examined, North Dakota had the highest rate of spills while Colorado companies reported just 11 spills per 1,000 wells annually. For full story, click here.
By Dan Elliott – ABC News – February 23, 2017
Global warming is already shrinking the Colorado River, the most important waterway in the American Southwest, and it could reduce the flow by more than a third by the end of the century, two scientists say. The river's volume has dropped more than 19 percent during a drought gripping the region since 2000, and a shortage of rain and snow can account for only about two-thirds of that decline, according to hydrology researchers Brad Udall of Colorado State University and Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Arizona. In a study published last week in the journal Water Resources Research, they concluded that the rest of the decline is due to a warming atmosphere induced by climate change, which is drawing more moisture out of the Colorado River Basin's waterways, snowbanks, plants and soil by evaporation and other means. For full story, click here.
By Erika Bolstad, E&E News – Scientific American – January 31, 2017
As sea levels rise, U.S. communities have several strategies to cope with the effects of climate change, the president of the National Academy of Sciences said yesterday. There's triage for high-dollar assets, like airports and military installations and even the Statue of Liberty, Marcia McNutt said. But more and more, she added, “organized retreat” is a part of the conversation. That strategy, once politically unpalatable, has emerged from the shadows in recent months as scientists, community leaders and governments try to figure out how to move people out of the way of coastal flooding and other hazards. For full article, click here.
UCI News – February 14, 2017
Ice loss from Canada’s Arctic glaciers has transformed them into a major contributor to sea level change, new research by University of California, Irvine glaciologists has found. From 2005 to 2015, surface melt off ice caps and glaciers of the Queen Elizabeth Islands grew by an astonishing 900 percent, from an average of three gigatons to 30 gigatons per year, according to results published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters. “In the past decade, as air temperatures have warmed, surface melt has increased dramatically,” said lead author Romain Millan, an Earth system science doctoral student. For full story, click here.
By Oliver Milman – The Guardian – February 8, 2017
A group of senior Republicans will meet with White House officials on Wednesday to call for a new national carbon tax to replace federal regulations as a way to combat climate change. The GOP elder statesmen – which include former secretaries of state James Baker and George Shultz, and ex-treasury secretary Hank Paulson – will urge Donald Trump’s administration to impose a “free market, limited government” response to rising global temperatures. For full story, click here.
By Candice Gaukel Andrews – Good Nature Travel – February 2, 2017
Science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson authored a trilogy of futuristic eco-thrillers that I really enjoyed reading. In the three books, titled Forty Signs of Rain, Fifty Degrees Below Zero and Sixty Days and Counting, the planet’s climate has warmed so much—resulting in devastating floods, storms and the total immersion of several populated islands and coastlines—that the people of the Earth concoct a plan to jump-start the jet stream. Robinson wrote these books between 2004 and 2007. Now, life seems to be imitating art. Today, the Earth’s northern polar jet stream—a long, narrow, meandering current of high-speed winds in the upper atmosphere that typically blows from a western direction at a speed of 250 miles per hour or more—is truly out of whack. For full story and to view video, click here.
By Sarah DeWeerdt – Anthropocene Magazine – January 31, 2017
A brief, up-front description of the arguments used by climate-change deniers makes people less susceptible to believing them, according to a study published recently in Global Challenges. The researchers liken this approach to a kind of psychological immunization. “We wanted to see if we could find a ‘vaccine’ by preemptively exposing people to a small amount of the type of misinformation they might experience. A warning that helps preserve the facts,” says University of Cambridge social psychologist Sander van der Linden, the study’s lead author. For full article, click here.
By Nicola Jones – Yale Environment 360 – January 26, 2017
Last year will go down in history as the year when the planet’s atmosphere broke a startling record: 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide. The last time the planet’s air was so rich in CO2 was millions of years ago, back before early predecessors to humans were likely wielding stone tools; the world was a few degrees hotter back then, and melted ice put sea levels tens of meters higher. For full article, click here.
By Alessandra Potenza – The Verge – January 26, 2017 – Video
Former vice president Al Gore, the American Public Health Association, and other organizations announced today that they will hold the summit on climate change and health that was canceled by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this week. The Climate & Health Meeting will take place on February 16th, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. On Monday, news broke that the CDC had quietly canceled the Climate and Health Summit that was scheduled for next month in Atlanta, where the CDC is headquartered. The CDC said it was “exploring options to reschedule the meeting while considering budget priorities for fiscal year 2017.” But the scientific community and former CDC officials accused the CDC of backing down for fear of political reprisal by the Trump administration, which has been outspokenly anti-climate change. For full story and to view video, click here.
U.S. Geological Survey – January 25, 2017
Sea-level rise isn’t the only aspect of climate change expected to affect coastal wetlands: changes in rainfall and temperature are predicted to transform wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world within the century. These changes will take place regardless of sea-level rise, a new study from the US Geological Survey and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley concludes. Such changes are expected to affect the plant communities found in coastal wetlands. For example, some salt marshes are predicted to become mangrove forests, while others could become salty mud flats. These shifts in vegetation could affect the ecological and economic services wetlands provide to the communities that rely on them. For full news release, click here.
By Nicholas Kusnetz – InsideClimate News – January 24, 2017
New federal estimates say global sea levels could rise faster than previously thought, and the rise may be even worse in many coastal regions of the United States. A new report, written by scientists with several federal agencies and universities, says that under a worst-case scenario, climate change could raise the oceans an average of more than 8 feet by 2100, about 20 inches more than a previous federal estimate published in 2012. The best case now projected would be an average of about a foot. For full story, click here.
By Lisa Song and Zahra Hirji – InsideClimate News – January 20, 2017
More than 250 people gathered at the University of Pennsylvania last week for Data Rescue Philly, one of the latest examples of a grassroots effort to save environmental and climate change data that scientists fear could vanish under the Trump administration's many climate deniers. Over two days, volunteers from academia, nonprofits and the tech industry were trained and then preserved data from more than 3,000 websites hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For full story, click here.
By Nicholas Kusnetz – InsideClimate News – January 19, 2017
While some research has linked the spread of Lyme disease to climate change, the details of that connection are complex. A new study suggests that a warming world may help tamp down the disease at the southern edge of the Northeastern coastal region where it is most prevalent. The research, published last week in the journal PLOS ONE, suggests that a warmer climate in the Southeastern United States has led to the evolution of deer ticks that are less likely to latch onto people, at least in some parts of the ticks' range. Other research has shown that climate change appears to be expanding the ticks' overall range, and that global warming may help spread many dangerous mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and Zika into new areas. For full story, click here.
By Jess Bidgood – The New York Times – January 19, 2017
Several times a year, Nathan Theriault will be walking deep in the Maine woods and make a gruesome discovery: a dead moose, thin and crawling with ticks. “They’re dying on the forest floor,” said Mr. Theriault, an outfitter and hunting guide in Eagle Lake, Me. The moose is an iconic image in the Northeast and a crucial part of its tourism and recreational economy. But in parts of northern New England, researchers say moose are being killed by droves of winter ticks that thrive when the fall is warm and the winter comes late. By the thousands, the ticks attach themselves to moose — calves are the most vulnerable — and essentially drain their blood and strength. For full story, click here.
By Andrew Freedman – Marsable – January 18, 2017 – Video
Last year was Earth's warmest on record since at least 1880, two federal agencies announced Wednesday. Last year's global average surface temperature eclipsed previous highs set in 2014 and 2015. In fact, both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that 2016's temperatures exceeded all previous years since instrument records began 137 years ago, and that human-caused global warming was responsible for a majority of the planetary fever. Scientists are now warning that we should expect more such milestones in the years ahead, along with worsening climate impacts, as global warming progresses. For full story and to view video, click here.
Water and Climate Dominate World Economic Forum Risk Report
By Brett Walton – Circle of Blue – January 13, 2017
Environmental risks, steadily rising in importance, are recognized as authentic and relentless obstacles to peace, wealth, and health, according to the World Economic Forum’s global risk report, an annual survey of business, academic, and political leaders. The report analyzes the strength and likelihood of 30 risks and 13 trends that shape global society. Four of the five environmental risks in the report, all related to climate change and extreme weather, are judged to be large impact and high likelihood threats. For full story, click here.
By Neela Banerjee, John H. Cushman, Jr. and Marianne Lavelle – InsdieClimae News – January 12, 2017
Rex Tillerson told the Senate panel considering his nomination for secretary of state that he supported the United States remaining in the Paris climate agreement and that he has made his views known to Donald Trump. The position, repeated several times during a day-long hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, puts him at odds with the president-elect's campaign vow to "cancel" the landmark global accord. But Tillerson acknowledged that this advice would have to be squared with Trump's own promises to put "America first" in the new administration's energy policy, which heavily favors the unrestricted use of fossil fuels. For full story, click here.
By Zahra Hirji – InsdieClimae News – January 13, 2017
Coal supporters are pushing a bill that would bar utilities from using the state's abundant wind power to provide electricity within the state. While many U.S. states have mandates and incentives to get more of their electricity from renewable energy, Republican legislators in Wyoming are proposing to cut the state off from its most abundant, clean resource—wind—and ensuring its continued dependence on coal. For full story, click here.
Can Green Infrastructure Really Solve Pittsburgh’s Stormwater Problems?
By Ashley Murray – The Allegheny Front – January 13, 2017
All over the country, cities with old, often crumbling, sewer systems are turning to “green infrastructure” to help manage stormwater, reduce flooding and sewage overflows, and handle the impacts of climate change. But how well these systems will work is still unknown. In Philadelphia, they’re spending more than a billion dollars on green infrastructure, including planting more than 700 trees to soak up stormwater. In Cincinnati, they’re bio-engineering a stream to stop pollution from getting into the Ohio River. And in the next year, Pittsburgh is planning a dozen projects on the East End, including installing special pavement that soaks in water so it doesn’t rush into the sewer system. The cost? Ten million dollars. For full story, click here.
Contact: Janet Lathrop – UMass – January 11, 2017
Results of a new study by researchers at the Northeast Climate Science Center (NECSC) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggest that temperatures across the northeastern United States will increase much faster than the global average, so that the 2-degrees Celsius warming target adopted in the recent Paris Agreement on climate change will be reached about 20 years earlier for this part of the U.S. compared to the world as a whole. For full story, click here.
New analysis: global sea ice suffered major losses in 2016
By Tom Yulsman – Discover Magazine Blog – January 7, 2017
The extent of sea ice globally took major hits during 2016, according to an analysis released yesterday by the National Snow and Ice Data Center. At both poles, “a wave of new record lows were set for both daily and monthly extent,” according to the analysis. In recent years, Arctic sea ice has been hit particularly hard. For full blog post, click here.
Importance of Resilient Coastal Wetlands to Conservation, Recreation Economy and Coastal Communities Recognized by $17 Million in Grants to States
Contact: Vanessa Kauffman – U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – January 5, 2017
Coastal wetlands are under siege from both increased development and sea-level rise. Coastal wetland habitat conservation is critical to ensure that wildlife and coastal communities continue to thrive for future generations. Over $17 million will be awarded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to 20 projects in 10 coastal states to protect, restore or enhance more than 13,000 acres of coastal wetlands and adjacent upland habitats under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program. For full press release, click here.
By Rebecca Boyle – Hakai Magazine – January 3, 2017
In the North Atlantic, east of North America and south of Greenland, the ocean’s upper layers are much warmer than one might presume given the extreme latitude. This unexpected warmth is a product of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a vitally important system of ocean currents that moves warm salty water northward from the tropics and cold fresher water south. The AMOC looms large in the Earth’s climate: it is responsible for redistributing nutrients throughout the Atlantic Ocean and is a major driving force controlling the climate on both sides of the pond. For full article, click here.
By Georgina Gustin – InsideClimate News – January 4, 2017
By allowing countries to decide how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the landmark Paris climate agreement opened the door to new solutions. And over the past year, many countries, particularly in the developing world, decided that an especially effective way to reach those targets is through their farms. By allowing countries to decide how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the landmark Paris climate agreement opened the door to new solutions. And over the past year, many countries, particularly in the developing world, decided that an especially effective way to reach those targets is through their farms. For full story, click here.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – January 3, 2017
EPA, in collaboration with The Association of Clean Water Administrators (ACWA), The Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA), and The Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM), recently updated a webpage showcasing innovative practices that state water agencies are currently performing to reduce their vulnerability and build resilience to climate change. The webpage was recently supplemented with new descriptions of select climate adaptation related practices in diverse programmatic areas and geographic locations across the country. The information presented on these state practices can be a useful resource for other state agencies, as well as local and tribal governments, seeking to engage in climate adaptation efforts within their own water programs. Providing greater access to information on recent state agency practices can directly help planners and decision makers across the country continue to conduct their work effectively in the context of a variable climate. After identifying a second set of practices, the four project collaborators plan to advance this work through various outreach activities intended to share the information more broadly. They also expect to identify additional practices over time to help sustain the collaboration and sharing of information across state water agencies. Learn More.
Warming global temperatures may not affect carbon stored deep in northern peatlands, study says
Environmental News Network – December 13, 2016
Deep stores of carbon in northern peatlands may be safe from rising temperatures, according to a team of researchers from several U.S.-based institutions. And that is good news for now, the researchers said. Florida State University research scientist Rachel Wilson and University of Oregon graduate student Anya Hopple are the first authors on a new study published today in Nature Communications. The study details experiments suggesting that carbon stored in peat—a highly organic material found in marsh or damp regions—may not succumb to the Earth's warming as easily as scientists thought. For full story, click here.
Extreme downpours could increase fivefold across parts of the U.S.
Environmental News Network – December 5, 2016
At century's end, the number of summertime storms that produce extreme downpours could increase by more than 400 percent across parts of the United States — including sections of the Gulf Coast, Atlantic Coast, and the Southwest — according to a new study by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The study, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, also finds that the intensity of individual extreme rainfall events could increase by as much as 70 percent in some areas. That would mean that a storm that drops about 2 inches of rainfall today would be likely to drop nearly 3.5 inches in the future. For full story, click here.
Nitrogen pollution: the forgotten element of climate change
Econo Times – December 4, 2016
While carbon pollution gets all the headlines for its role in climate change, nitrogen pollution is arguably a more challenging problem. Somehow we need to grow more food to feed an expanding population while minimizing the problems associated with nitrogen fertilizer use. In Europe alone, the environmental and human health costs of nitrogen pollution are estimated to be €70-320 billion per year. Nitrogen emissions such as ammonia, nitrogen oxide and nitrous oxides contribute to particulate matter and acid rain. These cause respiratory problems and cancers for people and damage to forests and buildings. For full story, click here.
By Candice Gaukel Andrews – Good Nature Travel – November 29, 2016
In the environmental-action and wildlife-conservation world—the two go hand in hand, as we need healthy environments for the animal kingdom to prosper—there’s a lot of talk about preserving our planet and its biodiversity for “future generations.” A lot of what we do, we say, is in their name. In truth, however, we haven’t done a very good job of watching over the natural world for them. Species continue to disappear, and our atmosphere proceeds to degrade. But a recent news item gives me a great deal of hope for the young people of today and those who will come after them. For full story, click here.
By Neil Bhatiya – The Week – January 2, 2017
The end of 2016 has not been a sunny time for climate activists. As the Trump administration takes shape, it has become crystal clear that the president-elect's climate change denialism will soon become de facto U.S. policy. And Trump will not only have many options for rolling back the progress President Obama made to curb carbon emissions, he already is putting in place the personnel to do it. Trump's proposed picks include: for head of the EPA, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who is currently suing the agency; for secretary of the interior, Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.), who despite his support for protecting public lands, is lukewarm on climate issues; and, for state department secretary — the face of the United States in international climate negotiations — Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil who is locked in a battle with the descendants of the oil company's founder over its role in distorting the evidence of climate change. For full story, click here.
By Amnia Khan – Los Angeles Times – December 16, 2016
The Aliso Canyon gas leak that forced thousands of people to leave their homes in Porter Ranch also had a dramatic impact on the area’s microscopic residents, new research shows. In the area around the breach, Caltech scientists found a massive increase in previously unknown microbes that inhabit the soil and appear to consume ethane and possibly methane. For full story, click here.
By Doyle Rice – USA Today – December 13, 2016 – Video
The world’s air conditioner is on the fritz. Unprecedented, record-breaking warmth in the Arctic this year triggered declines in sea ice, snow, the Greenland ice sheet and a remarkable delay in the annual freeze of sea ice in the fall. Overall, the Arctic experienced its warmest year ever recorded. “Rarely have we seen the Arctic show a clearer, stronger or more pronounced signal of persistent warming and its cascading effects on the environment than this year,” said Jeremy Mathis, director of NOAA’s Arctic research program, which released its annual Arctic Report Card on Tuesday. Even more worrisome: The trends are deepening and show no signs of letting up anytime soon. "All signs point to continuing on this trajectory," Mathis said. Changes in Arctic climate have now seeped into the winter months, instead of just the summer, Mathis said. "It's not just the loss of sea ice in the summer, it's year-round now," he said. For full story, click here.
By Alister Doyle – Reuters – December 11, 2016
Reindeer are shrinking on an Arctic island near the North Pole in a side-effect of climate change that has curbed winter food for animals often depicted as pulling Father Christmas' sleigh, scientists said on Monday. The average weight of adult reindeer on Svalbard, a chain of islands north of Norway, has fallen to 48 kg (106 lb) from 55 kg (121 lb) in the 1990s as part of sweeping changes to Arctic life as temperatures rise, they said. For full story, click here.
Trump transition team for Energy Department seeks names of employees involved in climate meetings
By Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin – The Washington Post – December 9, 2016 – Video
Donald Trump’s transition team has issued a list of 74 questions for the Energy Department, asking agency officials to identify which employees and contractors have worked on forging an international climate pact as well as domestic efforts to cut the nation’s carbon output. The questionnaire requests a list of those individuals who have taken part in international climate talks over the past five years and “which programs within DOE are essential to meeting the goals of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.” For full story and to view video, click here.
By Bob Berwyn – InsideClimate News – December 1, 2016
From a Central American cave comes research that holds a dire warning for the Northeastern U.S.: global warming may be sending more hurricanes your way. New research shows a long-term northward shift of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean. By studying rainfall history derived from a stalagmite in a cave in Belize, scientists concluded that storms that once would have crashed ashore in Central America, the Gulf Coast or Florida are curving northward, a trend that puts major cities in the Northeast U.S. in the path of destructive storms. For full story, click here.
By Damian Carrington – The Guardian – December 1, 2016
Climate change is set to cause a refugee crisis of “unimaginable scale”, according to senior military figures, who warn that global warming is the greatest security threat of the 21st century and that mass migration will become the “new normal”. The generals said the impacts of climate change were already factors in the conflicts driving a current crisis of migration into Europe, having been linked to the Arab Spring, the war in Syria and the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency. Military leaders have long warned that global warming could multiply and accelerate security threats around the world by provoking conflicts and migration. They are now warning that immediate action is required. For full story, click here.
Scientists have long feared this ‘feedback’ to the climate system. Now they say it’s happening
By Chris Mooney – The Washington Post – November 30, 2016
At a time when a huge pulse of uncertainty has been injected into the global project to stop the planet’s warming, scientists have just raised the stakes even further. In a massive new study published Wednesday in the influential journal Nature, no less than 50 authors from around the world document a so-called climate system “feedback” that, they say, could make global warming considerably worse over the coming decades. For full story, click here.
How Much of Obama's Climate Agenda Can Trump Undo With the Stroke of a Pen?
By Sabrina Shankman – InsideClimate News – November 23, 2016
President Barack Obama issued 263 executive orders during his eight years in office, at least 35 of them dealing with climate change, energy or the environment. When President-elect Donald Trump takes office, revoking some of those executive orders could be among his first acts, because it can be done without Congress, by the simple stroke of a pen. For full story, click here.
By Lee Billings – Scientific American – November 23, 2016
Emerging victorious from a campaign in which he called climate change a hoax, promised to reinvigorate coal mining and vowed to overturn major international agreements and domestic regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, President-elect Donald Trump’s next target in his political denial of human-driven global warming might be NASA’s $2-billion annual budget for Earth science.
Trump himself has been relatively mum about his plans for NASA. But in an op–ed published weeks before the election, two Trump space policy advisors—the former congressman Robert Walker and the economist Peter Navarro—wrote that the agency is too focused on “politically correct environmental monitoring” of climate change. For full story, click here.
Bloomberg – November 9, 2016 – Video
The global fight against climate change will suffer a blow from Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election, threatening the industries working to clean up pollution from fossil fuel.The next president has questioned the science of climate change, vowed to withdraw from the Paris agreement on global warming and pledged to stimulate production of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel. Green campaigners and policymakers, some of whom are gathered this week in Morocco for talks on implementing the Paris deal, sounded the alarm over the upheaval they expect when Trump takes office in January. For full story and to view video, click here.
By David Hasemyer – InsideClimate News – November 10, 2016
Attorneys for ExxonMobil have revealed a plan to ratchet up pressure on state attorneys general who have vowed to hold Exxon and fossil fuel companies accountable for their conduct on climate change. Exxon attorney Theodore Wells told a New York judge that the company is working on deposing at least 17 attorneys general and their staffs who earlier this year joined with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman under the banner of AGs United for Clean Power. By pulling those attorneys general into the fight, Exxon could trigger years of legal wrangling over disclosure of its understanding of climate risks. For full story, click here.
By Ian Johnston – Independent – November 10, 2016
Life on Earth has already been fundamentally altered by global warming, affecting the genes of plants and animals and altering every ecosystem on the planet, according to a major review of the scientific literature. A paper in the leading journal Science http://science.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi/10.1126/science.aaf7671 warned the changes were so dramatic – and potentially dangerous – that scientists might be forced to intervene in some cases to create “human-assisted evolution”. For full story, click here.
By Rebecca Boyle – Hakai Magazine – November 1, 2016
In harbors and ports around the world, tide gauges bob up and down with the sea, recording its height over time. In some places, these instruments—through various iterations—have been recording continuously since 1700. Originally installed to help fishing and merchant vessels plan when to enter and leave harbors, the data produced by these old-school gauges has been co-opted by scientists, and now forms the basis of climatologists’ understanding of long-term sea level rise. But as a new study shows, because the majority of these tide gauges were located in North Atlantic port cities, scientists have been systematically underestimating the rate of global sea level rise. For full article, click here.
By Winifred Bird – Environment 360 – November 3, 2016
Standing calf-deep in the warm, brackish water of Senegal’s Saloum Delta, Saly Sarr points to a mass of ripples colored silver by the setting sun. “You see that movement?” she says. “The fish are coming out.” All around her, the spindly trunks of young mangrove trees poke through the water. Seven years ago, this area on the edge of the island of Niodior was a sandy wasteland ravaged by drought. Today, thanks to reforestation work done by Sarr and other women, it is covered in mangroves that shelter young fish from the midday sun and hold the soil in place as the tides wash in and out. For full story, click here.
By Christopher Flavelle – Bloomberg – October 31, 2016
Loraine Helber runs the public housing authority in Punta Gorda, Florida, a city of 18,000 just north of Fort Myers at the mouth of the Peace River. In March, she hopes to celebrate a milestone: the opening of new apartments for the elderly, replacing about 80 units destroyed by the hurricane. But the storm that destroyed the original public housing wasn't Hurricane Matthew; it was Hurricane Charley, 12 years ago. Neither the insurance company nor the federal government provided enough money to rebuild what was lost. Construction could proceed only once Bank of America, through a subsidiary, invested in the new building to get a tax write-off. For full article, click here.
NOAA – October 3, 2016
NOAA’s Climate Program Office (CPO) has awarded $44.34 million for 73 new projects designed to help advance the understanding, modeling, and prediction of Earth’s climate system and to foster effective decision making. The projects, ranging from observing systems in the tropical Pacific Ocean to on-the-ground community-based research institutions, will be conducted by NOAA, universities, and other agency and research institutions. Some anticipated outcomes include more accurate forecasts, early warning hazards of drought, more robust decision support services, enhanced community and drought preparedness, and improved ability to respond and adapt to climate-related public health impacts. For full story, click here.
Warming Triggers Early Algae Blooms, Potential Ripple Effects to Come
By Nicholas Kusnetz – InsideClimate News – October 27, 2016
Warmer oceans are acting like a catalyst for one of the world's most abundant species of plankton, triggering earlier blooms of blue-green algae in the waters of the North Atlantic. Because of plankton's fundamental role in the marine ecosystem, researchers expect this shift to have far-reaching impacts throughout the world's oceans. For full story, click here.
By Fred Pearce – Environment360 – October 25, 2016
The stomachs of cattle, fermentation in rice fields, fracking for natural gas, coal mines, festering bogs, burning forests — they all produce methane, the second most important greenhouse gas, after carbon dioxide. But how much? And how can we best cut these emissions? And is fracking frying the planet, or are bovine emissions more to blame? Until now, the world has not had a definitive answer to these questions. But in recent months, researchers believe they have finally begun to crack the problem — and the results are surprising. For full story, click here.
By Maura Donlan – Los Angeles Times – October 24, 2016
Federal authorities may list a species as “threatened” based on climate models that show habitat loss in the coming decades, an appeals court decided Monday. The state of Alaska, oil company groups and Alaskan natives had challenged a decision by the federal government to list a sea ice seal subspecies as threatened and deserving of protection. For full story, click here.
By Brock Vergakis – The Virginian-Pilot – October 19, 2016
If Hampton Roads is going to successfully adapt to sea level rise and protect its vast military infrastructure, local governments will have to learn to work together and with the federal government. That’s one of the major takeaways from a two-year pilot project led by Old Dominion University at the request of the National Security Council. The project focused on recurrent flooding, sea level rise and how the myriad localities and government agencies that call the region home can address it. For full story, click here.
By Lorraine Chow – EcoWatch – October 14, 2016 – Video
The largest earthquake ever recorded in Kansas—a 4.9 magnitude temblor that struck northeast of Milan on Nov. 12, 2014—has been officially linked to wastewater injection into deep underground wells, according to new research from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The epicenter of that extremely rare earthquake struck near a known fracking operation. For full story and to view video, click here.
Ohio State University – ScienceDaily – September 21, 2016
The same hotspot in Earth's mantle that feeds Iceland's active volcanoes has been playing a trick on the scientists who are trying to measure how much ice is melting on nearby Greenland. According to a new study in the journal Science Advances, the hotspot softened the mantle rock beneath Greenland in a way that ultimately distorted their calculations for ice loss in the Greenland ice sheet. This caused them to underestimate the melting by about 20 gigatons (20 billion metric tons) per year. That means Greenland did not lose about 2,500 gigatons of ice from 2003-2013 as scientists previously thought, but nearly 2,700 gigatons instead -- a 7.6 percent difference, said study co-author Michael Bevis of The Ohio State University. For full story, click here.
By Cary Funk and Brian Kennedy – Pew Research Center – October 4, 20-16
Political fissures on climate issues extend far beyond beliefs about whether climate change is occurring and whether humans are playing a role, according to a new, in-depth survey by Pew Research Center. These divisions reach across every dimension of the climate debate, down to people’s basic trust in the motivations that drive climate scientists to conduct their research. For full story, click here.
By Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis – The Washington Post – October 4, 2016 Video
The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to ratify the Paris climate accord, a move that will make the sweeping international agreement a legal reality long before even those who negotiated it expected. “We made the deal in Europe, and we make it a reality in Europe,” Miguel Arias Cañete, the E.U.’s climate and energy commissioner, said on Twitter after the vote. The Paris agreement enters into force when at least 55 countries, representing 55 percent of global emissions, have joined it. Before Tuesday, those numbers stood at 62 nations and just shy of 52 percent of emissions, thanks to ratification by India over the weekend. For full story and to view video, click here.
By Ian Johnston – Independent – October 4, 2016
Global warming could wreak havoc on the food chain by killing off ‘good bacteria’ in the stomachs of insects and other animals, a new study suggests. The researchers raised one type of insect – the southern green stinkbug – in an incubator kept 2.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the temperature outside. That is the average scientists expect the world to warm by 2100. They found this produced a significant reduction in the “good bacteria” in their guts, with which they have a beneficial symbiotic relationship. For full story, click here.
By Laurie Goering – Reuters – September 22, 2016
The planet could pass a key target on world temperature rise in about a decade, prompting accelerating loss of glaciers, steep declines in water availability, worsening land conflicts and deepening poverty, scientists said this week. Last December, 195 nations agreed to try to hold world temperature rise to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius, with an aim of 1.5 degrees Celsius. But the planet is already two-thirds of the way to that lower and safer goal, and could begin to pass it in about a decade, according to Richard Betts, head of climate impacts research at the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre. For full story, click here.
Contact: Tricia Lynn – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – September 29, 2016
As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to strengthen America’s climate resilience, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released an updated online climate change risk assessment tool that assists users in designing adaptation plans based on the types of threats confronting their communities. EPA’s Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT), is designed for water utilities. For full news release, click here.
Environmental News Network – September 23, 2016
The Northwest Passage originated as an unattainable and lethal legend when Europeans arrived in the Americas and longed for an easy sea route across North America. Now, a cruise ship has successfully traversed the route in only a month. It took the Crystal Serenity just a month to glide through the waters from Alaska to New York — Amundsen needed three years. What made this speedy voyage possible? Climate change. For full story, click here.
By Mike Gaworecki – DESMOG – September 23, 2016
The two biggest greenhouse gas emitters in the world have formally joined the Paris climate agreement. http://www.desmogblog.com/2015/12/12/historic-climate-agreement-should-spook-fossil-fuel-markets-and-escalate-clean-tech-investment Shortly after China adopted the agreement, U.S. President Barack Obama today made the announcement that the U.S. had followed suit while he was in Hangzhou, China, ahead of this weekend's G20 summit. Together, the U.S. and China are responsible for some 38.76 percent of global emissions. For full blog post, click here.
ScienceDaily – September 22, 2016
By adding highly accurate radiocarbon dating of soil to standard Earth system models, environmental scientists from the University of California, Irvine and other institutions have learned a dirty little secret: The ground will absorb far less atmospheric carbon dioxide this century than previously thought. For full story, click here.
By Bob Weber – thestar.com – September 14, 2016
North American skies have grown quieter over the last decades by the absent songs of 1.5 billion birds, says the latest summary of bird populations. The survey by dozens of government, university and environmental agencies across North America has also listed 86 species of birds — including once-common and much-loved songbirds such as the evening grosbeak and Canada warbler — that are threatened by plummeting populations, habitat destruction and climate change. For full story, click here.
By Robinson Meyer – The Atlantic – September 13, 2016
Imagine that a recently discovered pollutant prevented trees from forming leaves. Every April, buds would spring from the branches, and kids on their way to school would point to the tiny shoots of green and pink. But as the leaves fleshed out further and began to photosynthesize, an invisible vapor would choke and corrode them. The tree would eventually just wear away, its bark falling off in chunks. It is not an exaggeration to say that something similar is happening right now—yet in Earth’s oceans, and so outside of most Americans’ daily view. A fundamental chemical change in the oceans has made marine waters less hospitable to any animal that builds a hard shell or a skeleton. In some places, hatcheries report that oyster larvae are dying by the billions, corroded away before they can grow. The chemistry is already affecting corals, clams, and the zooplankton that form the basis of the marine food chain. For full story, click here.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Now in its sixth year, the Climate Leadership Awards provides national recognition for exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change. The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) co-sponsors the awards with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry (TCR).
2017 Climate Leadership Awards will honor recipients across 6 categories. Learn more about the awards program, application process, and past winners HERE - or email your questions about specific criteria HERE.
By Christa Marshall – E&E Publishing, LLC – September 8, 2016
The United States needs to put a price on carbon dioxide and other pollutants and overhaul energy policies to help avoid catastrophic climate change and other public health calamities, according to a report released today by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. For full story, click here.
Louisiana flood price tag could hit $15 billion
By Jonathan Berr – CBS News – September 8, 2016
The devastating floods that hit Louisiana and other parts of the Gulf Coast last month likely caused total economic losses of between $10 billion and $15 billion, according to reinsurer AON Benfield. That would make it one the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history. For full story, click here.
By Chelsea Harvey – The Washington Post – August 31, 2016
The ocean surrounding Antarctica has become substantially less salty over the past couple of decades — and until now, scientists weren’t really sure why. But because changes in the Southern Ocean’s salinity have the potential to affect all kinds of important processes, including ocean circulation and its transport of heat and nutrients around the world, researchers have been eager to figure it out. For full blog post, click here.
University of California - Irvine – ScienceDaily – August 29, 2016
As a multiyear drought grinds on in the Southwestern United States, many wonder about the impact of global climate change on more frequent and longer dry spells. As humans emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, how will water supply for people, farms, and forests be affected? For full story, click here.
By Patrick Whittle – Boston.com – August 28, 2016
New England is running out of mussels. The Gulf of Maine’s once strong population of wild blue mussels is disappearing, scientists say. A study led by marine ecologists at the University of California at Irvine found the numbers along the gulf coastline have declined by more than 60 percent over the last 40 years. Once covering as much as two-thirds of the gulf’s intertidal zone, mussels now cover less than 15 percent. For full story, click here.
By Rona Kobell – Bay Journal – August 28, 2016
Call it the case of the missing nitrogen. For decades, scientists have wondered what happens to the nitrogen that farmers apply to fields. On the farm, levels of the nutrient are high. But downstream, they’re lower — sometimes only half as much. In an attempt to figure out where it went, scientists have undertaken “mass balance studies” to solve the mystery. For full story, click here.
By Keith Matheny – Detroit Free Press – August 25, 2016
The multi-billion-dollar U.S. biofuels industry — promoted and expanded for more than a decade by the federal government — may be built on a false assumption, according to a University of Michigan study published Thursday that is sure to stir all sides in the contentious debate over the industry. Despite their purported advantages, biofuels — created from crops such as corn or soybeans — cause more emissions of climate change-causing carbon dioxide than gasoline, according to the study from U-M Energy Institute research professor John DeCicco. For full story, click here.
By Kelsey E. Thomas – Nex City – August 23, 2016
A hotter world could mean less wealth for millennials, according to a new report from environmental advocate NextGen Climate and research center Demos. They found inaction could cost Americans currently in their 20s and 30s $8.8 trillion in potential earnings over their lifetime. For full story, click here.
By Holly Yan and Rosa Flores – CNN – August 19, 2016 – Video
The catastrophic flood devastating Louisiana is now the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Hurricane Sandy four years ago, the Red Cross said. "Thousands of people in Louisiana have lost everything they own and need our help now," said Brad Kieserman, the Red Cross' vice president of disaster services operations and logistics. "This disaster is the worst to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy, and we anticipate it will cost at least $30 million -- a number which may grow as we learn more about the scope and magnitude of the devastation." For full story and to view video, click here.
By Andrew Freedman – Mashable.com – August 19, 2016
When it comes to our climate, everything is connected. And there has never been a year, and most especially a summer, that has so prominently and destructively showcased this. Right now, wildfires are blazing across the drought-stricken western United States, overpowering firefighters in California. Earlier this summer, the already scorching Middle East saw all-time record heat. Meanwhile, from huge swaths of China to at least four states in the U.S., devastating flooding has inundated homes and uprooted lives. And we still haven’t arrived at the peak of hurricane season. The extreme weather events we’ve seen — and are still living through — around the world collectively bear the fingerprints of human-caused global warming. So, too, does the bevy of monthly heat records that have fallen so frequently that the news stories announcing them almost write themselves. For full story, click here.
By Bob Berwyn – InsideClimate News – August 18, 2016
While satellite images of the Arctic clearly show that sea ice in the region has been on a steady decline since those images began in 1979, the relatively short span of that history has been seized on by some climate denialists to discount its significance in concluding humans are warming the planet. Now, scientists have compiled the most detailed study to date of sea ice records going back more than a century and a half. The data shows that the rapid meltdown that satellites have been documenting since 1979 is unprecedented since at least 1850 and coincides with the buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels. For full story, click here.
By Ari Phillips – Fusion – August 10, 2016
An unprecedented federal court ruling this week validated the way the Obama administration measures the social cost of carbon (SCC), a decision that could have wide-ranging impacts on the future of the energy industry and the way the United States addresses environmental justice. For full story, click here.
By Phil McKenna – InsideClimate News – August 15, 2016
Methane is escaping from more than 250 different oil and gas wells, storage tanks, pipelines, coal mines and other fossil fuel facilities across the Four Corners region of the U.S. Southwest, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. For full story, click here.
By Neela Banerjee – InsideClimate News – August 12, 2016
An Environmental Protection Agency panel of independent scientists has recommended the agency revise its conclusions in a major study released last year that minimized the potential hazards hydraulic fracturing poses to drinking water. The panel, known as the Science Advisory Board (SAB), issued on Thursday its nearly yearlong analysis of a June 2015 draft EPA report on fracking and water. For full story, click here.
By Yereth Rosen – Alaska Dispatch News – August 7, 2016
Many species of shorebirds that migrate to the Arctic each year to breed their young will lose substantial amounts of their summer habitat to climate change, and the biggest losses in the coming decades will be in Alaska and neighboring parts of Russia, new research concludes. For full story, click here.
By Michaeleen Doucleff – NPR – August 3, 2016
Russia is fighting a mysterious anthrax outbreak in a remote corner of Siberia. Dozens of people have been hospitalized; one child has died. The government airlifted some families out because more than 2,000 reindeer have been infected. Officials don't know exactly how the outbreak started, but the current hypothesis is almost unbelievable: A heat wave has thawed the frozen soil there and with it, a reindeer carcass infected with anthrax decades ago. Some scientists think this incident could be an example of what climate change may increasingly surface in the tundra. For full story, click here.
By Valerie Volcovici – Reuters – August 2, 2016
U.S. federal agencies should disclose whether their actions and decisions will have an impact on climate change, the White House announced on Tuesday. The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) finalized an update after nearly six years of consultations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a Nixon-era statute that called on officials to weigh the environmental effects of projects such as highways, dams or oil drilling. The update takes NEPA a step further by requiring agencies such as the Interior Department to the Army Corps of Engineers to quantify greenhouse gas emissions in NEPA project reviews and to describe the potential climate change impacts. For full story, click here.
Contact: Enesta Jones – U.S.Environmental Protection Agency – August 2, 2016
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a report that shows compelling and clear evidence of long-term changes to our climate, and highlights impacts on human health and the environment in the United States and around the world. The report, Climate Change Indicators in the United States, features observed trend data on 37 climate indicators, including U.S and global temperatures, ocean acidity, sea level, river flooding, droughts and wildfires. For full news release, go here.
NOAA Releases 2015 State of the Climate Report
A new State of the Climate report confirmed that 2015 surpassed 2014 as the warmest year since at least the mid-to-late 19th century. Last year’s record heat resulted from the combined influence of long-term global warming and one of the strongest El Niño events the globe has experienced since at least 1950. The report found that most indicators of climate change continued to reflect trends consistent with a warming planet. Several markers such as land and ocean temperatures, sea levels and greenhouse gases broke records set just one year prior. These key findings and others are available from the State of the Climate in 2015 report released online today by the American Meteorological Society (AMS). For more information and to download the report, go here.
By Tali Trigg – Scientific American – July 31, 2016
That averting climate change will save us money should be a tautology, but for reasons including entrenched interests, it is not. The pre-cautionary principle alone would tell us that we do not want to learn what costs climate change will incur, so better to pay a small premium to avoid the risk at all. Instead, calculated estimates pin the cost of avoiding catastrophic effects from climate change at something like 1% of global GDP. So who will pay for it, and who loses from a more sustainable economy? For full blog post, click here.
By Bobby Magill – Climate Central Scientific America – July 29, 2016
Reports this week from the front lines of the Sand Fire in Southern California painted the scene as apocalyptic. The drought-fueled blaze was explosive, fast-moving and devastating, burning through 38,000 acres in the Santa Clarita Valley and forcing the evacuation of more than 10,000 homes. If the state’s wildfire season holds true to forecasts, the Sand Fire will be one of many catastrophic wildfires to scorch drought-stricken forests and shrublands across California this year. So far, only one wildfire has been larger — the 48,019-acre Erskine Fire, which started in June in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and destroyed 250 homes and buildings. None of the fires have been among the worst or largest wildfires the state has seen in recent years, but they’re part of a dire global warming-fueled trend toward larger, more frequent and intense wildfires. For full article, click here.
Union of Concerned Citizens – July 27, 2016
US East and Gulf Coast military installations are at risk of losing land—where vital training and testing grounds, infrastructure and housing now exists—as sea level rise moves the high tide line inland in decades to come, according to a Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) analysis released today. The analysis, “The US Military on the Front Lines of Rising Seas,” found that coastal installations will experience more extensive tidal flooding and when hurricanes strike, deeper and more extensive storm surge flooding. For full press release, click here.
Blazing Hot First Half of 2016 Sends Climate Records Tumbling
By Zahra Hirji – InsideClimate News – July 21, 2016
Halfway through, 2016 has been an exceptional year for climate records, scientists say. Scientists at NASA released their first-ever mid-year analysis of climate trends on Tuesday, which revealed that every month between January and June had the warmest average temperature on record for that month. NASA researchers did this new analysis "mainly because the average temperatures for the first half of this year are so in excess of any first part of the year that we've seen," said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. "It's somewhat worthy of note." For full story, click here.
By Benjamin Hulac, Climate Wire – Scientific American – July 20, 2016
Organizations worried about climate change have long drawn comparisons between the petroleum and tobacco industries, arguing that each has minimized public health damages of its products to operate unchecked. Some have urged federal regulators to prosecute oil companies under racketeering charges, as the Department of Justice did in 1999 in a case against Philip Morris and other major tobacco brands. Oil companies bristle at the comparison. But overlap between both industries existed as early as the 1950s, new research details.For full story, click here.
By Mary Hoff – Ensia – July 15, 2016
Inland fish play critical roles in North American ecosystems and economics: In the U.S. alone in 2011, freshwater anglers spent more than $30 billion on their hobby, generating $73 billion in economic output. And fish are important parts of healthy ecosystems, feeding on aquatic plants and animals and in turn providing sustenance to iconic species such as eagles, bears and osprey. It’s no surprise, then, that as climate changes, 30 experts gathered last year in Bozeman, Montana, to explore implications for the well-being of North American fish populations. For full story, click here.
By Devin Henry – The Hill – July 13, 2016
Senate Democrats have introduced a bill to bolster carbon capture technology for fossil fuel power plants. The bill, released on Wednesday by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), would expand a federal research tax credit for carbon capture and sequestration technology at power plants. The technology would see power plants capture the greenhouse gas emissions released by burning fossil fuels and either store them or use them for other purposes, such as oil recovery. For full story click here.
Environmental News Network – July 12, 2016
The way clouds cover the Earth may be changing because of global warming, according to a study published Monday that used satellite data to track cloud patterns across about two decades, starting in the 1980s. Clouds in the mid-latitudes shifted toward the poles during that period, as the subtropical dry zones expanded and the highest cloud-tops got higher. These changes are predicted by most climate models of global warming, even though those models disagree on a lot of other things related to clouds, says Joel Norris, a climate scientist at the University of California, San Diego. For full story click here.
Gone: Global Warming Claims a Lake - and a Way of Life
By Susan Lehman – The New York Tiimes – July 8, 2016 – Podcast
There used to be a lake in Bolivia. Lake Poopó. Then it disappeared — along with most of the villagers who depended on the lake, for generations. The Andes bureau chief, Nicholas Casey, went with the Times photographer Josh Haner to Llapallapani, Bolivia, and wrote what is a cautionary tale about climate change and its consequences. For full story and to listen to the podcast, click here.
NOAA – July 7, 2016
We’re only halfway through 2016 and the U.S. has already seen eight weather and climate-related disasters* that have each met or exceeded $1 billion in damages. These eight disasters resulted in the loss of 30 lives, and caused at least $13.1 billion, according to an analysis by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). A high number of these events impacted Texas throughout the Spring - most notably - several intense hail storms over densely populated cities and the April 17 Houston flood event. For full story, click here.
Environmental News Network – July 4, 2016
The recent trend of increasing Antarctic sea ice extent -- seemingly at odds with climate model projections -- can largely be explained by a natural climate fluctuation, according to a new study led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The study offers evidence that the negative phase of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO), which is characterized by cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical eastern Pacific, has created favorable conditions for additional Antarctic sea ice growth since 2000. For full story, click here.
By Scott Dance – The Balitmore Sun – July 2, 2016 – Video
Nature wrought the inlet that separates this narrow strip of dunes and brush from Ocean City just to the north, but humans have sought to control the shifting sands ever since. If not for routine dredging, the gap cut during a 1933 hurricane might have filled in decades ago. In the meantime, millions of dollars have been spent to move around massive piles of sand on both sides of the inlet. As sand erodes from Ocean City beaches, man-made jetties block it from naturally reaching northern Assateague. For full story and to view video, click here.
U.S. Geological Survey – June 30, 2016
Climate change is already affecting inland fish across North America -- including some fish that are popular with anglers. Scientists are seeing a variety of changes in how inland fish reproduce, grow and where they can live, according to four new studies published today in a special issue of Fisheries magazine. Fish that have the most documented risk include those living in arid environments and coldwater species such as sockeye salmon, lake trout, walleye, and prey fish that larger species depend on for food. Climate change can cause suboptimal habitat for some fish; warmer water, for example, can stress coldwater fish. When stressed, fish tend to eat less and grow less. For other fish, climate change is creating more suitable habitat; smallmouth bass populations, for example, are expanding. For full story, click here.
By Jason Samenow – The Washington Post – June 30, 2016
Two bloggers have made a stunning claim that has spread like wildfire on the Internet: They say the Northern Hemisphere jet stream, the high-altitude river of winds that separates cold air from warm air, has done something new and outrageous. They say it has crossed the equator, joining the jet stream in the Southern Hemisphere. One said this signifies that the jet stream is ‘wrecked‘, the other said it means we have a “global climate emergency.” For full story, click here.
By Eva Botkin-Kowacki – The Christian Science Monitor – June 30, 2016 – Video
The troublesome tear in Earth's protective blanket is getting stitched up. A gaping hole in the ozone layer has been opening up over Antarctica each spring for decades. And now there are signs that the slow process of healing has begun, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science. Scientists credit this progress to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that phased out chemicals that eat away at the ozone layer, which shields our planet from deadly levels of radiation. For full story and to view video, click here.
By Ed King – Climate Home – June 24, 2016
Midway through what’s set to be the warmest year in history, UK voters have elected to leave the world’s most progressive climate change alliance. The result was tight, but opposite to what most pollsters predicted. The campaign to leave the European Union won 52% to 48%, gaining strong support in England and Wales, in stark contrast to London, Scotland and Northern Ireland. For full story, click here.
By Lydia O'Connor – The Huffington Post – June 20, 2016
Deadly, record-breaking heat and wildfires sweeping across the Southwestern U.S. are a clear sign of manmade climate change at work, scientists say. Triple-digit temperatures began scorching Nevada, California, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico early this week. Some of the most intense heat was recorded throughout Arizona, where four hikers died in separate heat-related incidents. On Sunday, the National Weather Service announced temperature records for that calendar day in Yuma at 120 degrees, Phoenix at 118, Tucson at 115 and Flagstaff at 93, NOAA spokeswoman Maureen O’Leary told The Huffington Post. Tucson’s heat tied for the third hottest day every recorded in the city. Michael Mann, a leading climate scientist and professor of meteorology at Penn State University, was in Phoenix on Friday when temperatures hit 106 degrees. He was speaking at a Democratic National Platform committee meeting, where he pointed to the extreme weather as “an example of just the sort of extreme heat that is on the increase due to human-caused climate change,” he told HuffPost. For full story, click here.
By Brian Kahn – Climate Central – June 20, 2016
Bad coral reef news seems to be never-ending these days. Case in point: on Monday, scientists announced that the world is in for an unprecedented third year of coral bleaching across the globe. The announcement comes courtesy of NOAA Coral Reef Watch, which keeps an eye on a number of climate factors that can stress reefs out. That includes rising ocean temperatures, which have absolutely pummeled reefs in recent years and will only ratchet up the pressure as the globe continues to warm. For full story, click here.
Environmental News Network – June 16, 2016
A farming technique practiced for centuries by villagers in West Africa, which converts nutrient-poor rainforest soil into fertile farmland, could be the answer to mitigating climate change and revolutionizing farming across Africa. A global study, led by the University of Sussex, which included anthropologists and soil scientists from Cornell, Accra, and Aarhus Universities and the Institute of Development Studies, has for the first-time identified and analyzed rich fertile soils found in Liberia and Ghana. For full story, click here.
By Terri Hansen – Indian Country Today Media Network – June 16, 2016
The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in LaConnor, Wash., is surrounded by water on three sides. So it’s not surprising that they signed a resolution to actively address climate change and adaptation planning. What is remarkable is that their resolution took place nearly a decade ago, long before climate change became a part of the national conversation. Now the tribal nation is one of seven awardees recognized by the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plant Climate Adaptation Strategy’s Joint Implementation Working Group as the first recipients of the Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources, for their efforts in raising awareness and addressing the impacts of climate change on the country’s natural resources. For full story, click here.
Contact: Glenn Harris – EurekAlert – June 9, 2016
An international team of scientists have found a potentially viable way to remove anthropogenic (caused or influenced by humans) carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere - turn it into rock. The study, published today in Science, has shown for the first time that the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) can be permanently and rapidly locked away from the atmosphere, by injecting it into volcanic bedrock. The CO2 reacts with the surrounding rock, forming environmentally benign minerals. For full story, click here.
By Suzanne Goldenberg – Climate Central – June 4, 2016
The devastating rise in Alaska’s wildfires is making global warming even worse than scientists expected, U.S. government researchers said. The sharp spike in Alaska’s wildfires, where more than 5 million acres burned last year, are destroying a main buffer against climate change: the carbon-rich boreal forests, tundra and permafrost that have served as an enormous carbon sink. Northern wildfires must now be recognized as a significant driver of climate change – and not just a side-effect, according to the report from the U.S. Geological Survey. For full story, click here.
By Nithin Coca – TriplePundit – June 1, 2016
We know that we need to keep the vast majority of fossil fuels in the ground in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Now, a new project from the University of Arizona shows us exactly where we need to keep these fuels in the ground. The Climate Alliance Mapping Project (CAMP) is a huge undertaking, aiming to be a resource that includes quantitative and qualitative data. For full story, click here.
By Bob Berwyn – InsideClimate News – May 31, 2016
The Antarctic freezing trend has not been captured well by climate models. So scientists have been trying to understand why planetary warming has not melted Antarctic sea ice like it has in the Arctic. In the new study, Son Nghiem, a researcher with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, evaluated satellite data to zero in on an answer. For full story, click here.
Kathmandu Post – May 27, 2016
It is not the drought as you know it. Scientists are saying so because they have found that it is not just about scarce water. They say that when the life sustaining liquid becomes quite scarce, plants find a way of surviving the extreme condition. And that is where the good news ends. The bad news is that when plants adapt to the harsh environment, they accumulate toxins to dangerous levels that can kill livestock and can cause cancer and other serious illnesses in humans. For full story, click here.
Phys.org – May 24 2016
Washington State University researchers have found that greenhouse-gas emissions from lakes and inland waterways may be as much as 45 percent greater than previously thought. Their study, published today in Environmental Research Letters, has implications for the global carbon budget and suggests that terrestrial ecosystems may not be as good a carbon reservoir as scientists thought. Similar to the way people use a budget to manage finances, researchers are working to understand where carbon is being spent and saved on a global scale to better manage resources. The scientists know that humans are emitting about 33 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year into the atmosphere globally and that the emissions are changing the climate. For full story, click here.
By Balerie Volcovici – Reuters – May 13, 2016
Republican presidential contender Donald Trump has asked one of America's most ardent drilling advocates and climate change skeptics to help him draft his energy policy. U.S. Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota - a major oil drilling state - is writing a white paper on energy policy for the New York billionaire, Cramer and sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. For full story, click here.
By Matthew Daly, Associated Press – Las Cruces Sun-News – May 12, 2016
The Obama administration issued a final rule Thursday to sharply cut methane emissions from U.S. oil and gas production, a key part of a push by President Barack Obama to reduce methane emissions by nearly half over the next decade. The rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is the major element of an administration goal to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas drilling by up to 45 percent by 2025, compared to 2012 levels. For full story, click here.
By Carl Zimmer – The New York Times – May 12, 2016
Animal migrations combine staggering endurance and exquisite timing. Consider the odyssey of a bird known as the red knot. Each spring, flocks of the intrepid shorebirds fly up to 9,300 miles from the tropics to the Arctic. As the snow melts, they mate and produce a new generation of chicks. The chicks gorge themselves on insects, and then all the red knots head back south. “They are there less than two months,” said Jan A. van Gils, an ecologist at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. “It’s a very tight schedule.” It is also a vulnerable one. The precipitous decline of the red knots that winter in West Africa may provide a small but telling parable of the perils of climate change. For full story, click here.
By Chris Mooney The Washington Post May 12, 2016
If you want to understand why it is that on a planet wracked by climate change, people still don’t talk much about climate change, then this may be the key: They’re people. Or, more specifically, they’re evolved social mammals who are acutely attuned to how they are perceived by the other evolved social mammals around them — and reasonably so, because those perceptions greatly influence their own lives. For full story, click here.
By Alan Neuhauser – U.S. News – May 6, 2016
At Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, amid the factories and food processing plants that dot the city, nearly half the admissions last year were caused by asthma. Across the country in Fresno County, emergency room visits for breathing problems spiked 400 percent as a wildfire tore across the region last summer, spewing smoke, ash and debris that turned blue skies taupe for hundreds of miles. For full story, click here.
By Brian Kahn – Climate Central – May 4, 2016 – Video
An unusually intense May wildfire roared into Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on Tuesday, forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in province history. The flames rode the back of hot, windy weather that will continue through Wednesday and could pick up again this weekend. The wildfire is the latest in a lengthening lineage of early wildfires in the northern reaches of the globe that are indicative of a changing climate. As the planet continues to warm, these types of fires will likely only become more common and intense as spring snowpack disappears and temperatures warm. For full story and to view video, click here.
By Lauren Donovan – Bismarck Tribune – April 27, 2016
A published and peer-reviewed Duke University study finds that thousands of saltwater and frack flowback spills throughout the oil patch have left a legacy of toxic contamination, including radioactive soils and polluted streams unsafe for human consumption and aquatic health. The Duke team of researchers, which advocated that more study is needed, published the findings Wednesday in the Environmental Science & Technology journal. Funding for the project came from the National Science Foundation and the Natural Resources Defense Council. A North Dakota health official said the study only looked at spills still being remediated, not sites that have been cleaned up. For full story, click here.
By Ian Johnston –Independent – April 29, 2016
Fracking of shale oil fields in the US is causing a global surge of a gas that causes climate change and creates dangerous air pollution, according to new research. Levels of ethane in the atmosphere had been falling since the 1980s, but in 2010 a sensor in Europe picked up a surprise increase. The boom of fracking, a controversial process used to recover gas from within shale by fracturing the rocks, in the United States was viewed as the prime suspect. For full story, click here.
The New York Times – April 21, 2016
Diplomats from at least 167 countries are gathering in New York to sign the climate accord reached in December in Paris. Whether they make good on their pledges to slow dangerous greenhouse gas emissions will depend in large part on the actions in the years ahead by the world’s largest polluters. China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has pledged to have its emissions of carbon dioxide reach a plateau or decline “around 2030,” and many experts believe it is on track to meet that target. For full story, click here.
By Sebastien Malo – Reuters – April 21, 2016
With world leaders converging in New York to sign a landmark climate deal, activists along with actor Alec Baldwin called on Thursday for a halt to deforestation, a contributor to global warming, by giving indigenous people rights to their land. Keeping indigenous tribes from being pushed off their land would help protect forests that absorb planet-warming greenhouse gasses, they told reporters in New York City. For full story, click here.
By Phil McKenna – InsideClimate News – April 14, 2016
Ninety to 100 percent of climate scientists agree that the planet is warming due to human activity, according to a peer-reviewed paper published Wednesday in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The study, called a "consensus on consensus," synthesizes findings from prior published research. While there is a near-unanimous consensus among climate scientists that human activity is causing the planet to warm, public opinion in the U.S. lags far behind. For full story, click here.
By Sheila V. Kumar InsideClimate News March 29, 2016
The amount of ice in the Arctic during the depths of winter's freeze hit record lows for the second consecutive year, escalating concerns that sea ice is melting at an alarming rate. The National Snow and Ice Data Center announced on Monday that Arctic sea ice reached its winter ice cover maximum last Thursday with only 5.6 million square miles frozen. That's down 5,000 square miles from last year's record low, a difference the size of Connecticut. Sea ice has been on a long decline since satellites began monitoring its extent in 1979, with between 173,000 and 196,000 square miles of ice vanishing every decade since then—a loss larger than the state of California. For full story, click here.
By Chris Mooney – The Washington Post – March 21, 2016 – Video
If you dig deep enough into the Earth’s climate change archives, you hear about the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM. And then you get scared. This is a time period, about 56 million years ago, when something mysterious happened — there are many ideas as to what — that suddenly caused concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to spike, far higher than they are right now. The planet proceeded to warm rapidly, at least in geologic terms, and major die-offs of some marine organisms followed due to strong acidification of the oceans. For full story and to view video, click here.
By Catherine Griffin – Headlines and Global News – March 17, 2016
Wetlands may actually help prevent catastrophic floods in the future. Researchers at Oregon State University have taken a closer look at the possibility of restoring wetlands in the Midwest and found that they have the potential to significantly reduce peak river flows during floods."Flood management in the Midwest is now almost entirely concentrated on use of dams and levels," said Meghna Babbar-Sebens, assistant professor of civil engineering in the College of Engineering. "Wetland construction or restoration could provide a natural and ecological option to help with flood concerns, and serve as an additional tool for flood management. Greater investments in this approach, or similar approaches that increase storage of water in the upper landscape of a watershed, should be seriously considered." For full story, click here.
By Alister Doyle – Reuters – March 30, 2016
Sea levels could rise 50 cm (20 inches) more this century than had been expected, according to a report published on Wednesday which found that Antarctic ice will melt faster than previously thought. Climate scientists at two U.S. universities said the most recent U.N. report on the effects of global warming had underestimated the rate at which the ice covering the continent would melt. For full story, click here.
By Darryl Fears – The Washington Post – March 31, 2016
The birds and the bees are telling humans about much more than sex, a new study released Thursday says. They are a harbinger of climate change, with species swapping habitats like a game of musical chairs as regions in Europe and the United States warm. Populations of American robins that winter in southern states are in decline there, but they are on the upswing in northern states that were once too cold. And European wrens are beating a trail from southern parts of Europe, also for chilly northern areas that in the past were uncomfortable, the study says. For full story, click here.
By Alex Pashley – Climate Home – March 16, 2016
Global greenhouse gas emissions resisted a rise for a second straight year in a sign climate policies are working, the leading energy forecaster projected on Wednesday. Renewable power played a “critical role” in holding CO2 emissions to around 32 billion tonnes, the International Energy Agency said in a statement. The Paris-based think tank also cited falling coal use in top carbon polluters China and the United States in its preliminary data. The figures mark the first period in 40 years that a halt or reduction was not tied to an economic downturn. The data does not account for pollution from transport or changes in land use. For full story, click here.
By Oliver Milman – The Guardian – March 14, 2016
US coastal areas occupied by more than 13 million people will be at risk of being completely swamped by the sea under a worst-case climate change scenario, new research predicts, potentially leading to a population upheaval comparable to the Great Migration of the 20th century. Population growth in coastal areas over the course of this century, particularly in vulnerable areas of Florida, is likely to collide with the reality of rising seas caused by melting glaciers and thermal expansion as the planet warms. For full story, click here.
By Carolyn Gramling Science Magazine March 10, 2016
From cow farts to factory emissions, there are a lot of ways to add methane to the atmosphere. Since the Industrial Revolution, the concentration of this potent greenhouse gas has risen rapidly and steadily, climbing from 700 parts per billion (ppb) in 1750 to more than 1800 ppb in 2015. But from 1999 to 2006, that increase temporarily leveled out, mystifying scientists. Now, a new study identifies the likeliest culprit behind the plateau—and singles out what may have kick-started the latest methane jump. For full story, click here.
By Timothy Cama The Hill March 10, 2016
President Obama gleefully welcomed a new partner in the fight against climate change Thursday, saying the United States and Canada are on the same page. n a press conference alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Obama outlined their matching ideologies and some of the steps they've agreed to take. “I’m especially pleased to say the United States and Canada are fully united in combating climate change,” Obama said. For full story, click here.
By Joby Warrick – The Washington Post – March 3, 2016
A month after it hobbled the Obama administration’s signature regulation on climate change, the Supreme Court declined Thursday to block a different air-pollution rule that seeks to cut toxic emissions from the nation’s power plants. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. rejected a request to stay the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards rule, adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency three years ago to tighten restrictions on a class of harmful pollutants that are byproducts of burning coal. For full story, click here.
By Jeff Tollefson – Nature – February 26, 2016
Republicans in the US House of Representatives are expanding their request for documents related to a major climate study by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Agency researchers — led by Thomas Karl, director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina — published the analysis last June in Science1. After updating and correcting problems with the temperature record, the team found no sign of an apparent pause in global warming that had been described in previous studies. For full story, click here.
By Chris Arsenault – Planet Ark – February 22, 2016
Climate change is pushing fish toward the planet's North and South poles, robbing traditionally poorer countries closer to the Equator of crucial natural resources, U.S. biologists said in a study published on Wednesday. Key species of fish are migrating away from temperate zones and toward the poles as global temperatures rise, according to a research team from Rutgers University, Princeton University, Yale University and Arizona State University. For full story, click here.
By Chris Mooney – The Washington Post – February 22, 2016
A group of scientists says it has now reconstructed the history of the planet’s sea levels arcing back over some 3,000 years — leading it to conclude that the rate of increase experienced in the 20th century was “extremely likely” to have been faster than during nearly the entire period. For full story, click here.
By John Upton – Climate Central – February 14, 2016
Just days after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling clouded the future of a new United Nations climate pact, the passing of one of its justices has boosted the pact's chances of succeeding. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia died at a resort in Texas on Saturday. Scalia, 79, was the court's conservative leader and his death means it is now more likely that key EPA rules that aim to curb climate pollution from the power industry will be upheld. For full story, click here.
By Katherine Bagley – InsideClimate News – February 2, 201
Climate change—and the extreme weather associated with it—is changing the way U.S. emergency response organizations operate, from how they spend their money to where they pre-position resources, a panel of military, emergency and climate science experts said Monday. "We pay a lot of money to have our military prepared to do something we really don't want them to have to do: go to war," said Joseph Nimmich, deputy administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "Well, we also need a FEMA and national infrastructure to deal with those catastrophic events we hope never happen… but are inevitable." For full story, click here.
PHSY.org – February 16, 2016
The role rainforests play through storing carbon in the battle against climate change is well understood, but Deakin University scientists now believe the humble swamp, or freshwater wetland, could be up to 50 times more effective. A team of Deakin researchers from Deakin's Centre for Integrative Ecology within the School of Life and Environmental Sciences are now undertaking an Australian-first study to investigate how wetland areas could help us to win the battle against climate change. For full story, click here.
By Jeff Mason and Valerie Volcovici – Reuters – February 11, 2016
U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday called the Supreme Court's decision to delay implementation of his administration's Clean Power Plan "unusual" and expressed confidence that the White House would prevail. "We’re very confident that we’re on strong legal footing here," he told a group of Democratic donors in California in his first public remarks about the move. In Washington, Gina McCarthy, Obama's head of the Environmental Protection Agency, told state energy and environmental regulators that the ruling "is not going to slow us down." The Supreme Court on Tuesday delivered a blow to the plan, the centerpiece of Obama's climate change policy and backbone of his administration's commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions pledged last year in Paris. For full story, click here.
By Suzanne Goldenberg – The Guardian – February 8, 2016
Governments proposed for the first time on Monday to reduce climate pollution from airplanes, plugging one of the biggest loopholes in last December’s landmark Paris agreement. The global initiative was a first attempt to halt carbon emissions from air travel – one of the fastest growing sources of climate pollution. In a call with reporters, White House officials described the standards as “a huge deal”, noting that the aviation authority has also proposed an aspirational goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020. For full story, click here.
By Andrea Thompson – Scientific America - Climate Central – January 30, 2016
A parade of El Niño-fueled storms has marched over California in the last few weeks, bringing bouts of much needed rain and snow to the parched state. But maps of drought conditions there have barely budged, with nearly two-thirds of the state still in the worst two categories of drought. So what gives? The short answer, experts say, is that the drought built up over several years (with help from hotter temperatures fueled in part by global warming) and it will take many more storms and almost assuredly more than a single winter—even one with a strong El Niño—to erase it. For full article, click here.
By Peter Hannam – The Sydney Morning Herald – February 3, 2016
It's an odd quirk of nature that birds - even chickens - typically lay just one egg a day, and many species rely on all the eggs in the clutch hatching on the same day. Parent birds control incubation by modifying the temperature that triggers embryo development, which is one way that species ensure roughly synchronous hatching. However, climate change - particularly the increase in the frequency and intensity of heatwaves - will take some of that control away from birds, causing some eggs to hatch earlier than others, according to new research published in the Royal Society Open Science journal on Wednesday. For full story, click here.
By Peter Hannan – The Sydney Morning Herald – January 28 2016
The health of the world's soils hinges on the abundance and diversity of the microbes and fungi they contain, and environmental changes including from global warming will undermine their ability to support humans and other species, according to two new studies. While animal and plant diversity has long been understood to be important, the multiple roles of soils – from the decomposition of organic matter to nutrient cycling and carbon fixing – have been less researched. One of the studies, published in Nature Communications on Thursday, examined microbial diversity in 78 drylands on all inhabited continents and 179 sites in Scotland. It found that the loss of varieties – such as from climate change increasing arid zones – undermined the services the soils provided. For full story, click here.
By Katie Valentine – Think Progress – January 28 2016
Oil and gas pipelines now have a new hurdle to clear before they’re approved in Canada. Pipelines and natural gas export terminals proposed in the country will now be subject to a climate test, which will seek to determine how the project will impact greenhouse gas emissions, Canadian officials announced Wednesday. That test will take into account the “upstream” impacts of a project — meaning the emissions from the extraction of the oil or gas that the pipeline would carry or the gas the terminal would store — as well as the emissions created from building and maintaining the project. For full story, click here.
Krista Langlois – High Country News – January 18, 2016
If you’ve ever dreamed about fishing in the West, chances are you’ve pictured something like the South Fork of the Flathead, an achingly beautiful turquoise river tumbling over multicolored pebbles and wending through the deep forest of northwest Montana. Wade Fredenberg is among the few lucky enough to have grown up fishing there, and his childhood recollections read like a passage from Norman Maclean’s legendary book A River Runs Through It. Fredenberg is now a U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist, and the gleaming 20-pound bull trout of his youth are increasingly rare. The trout have been devastated by mining pollution, agricultural runoff and non-native fish, and surviving populations are threatened by rising stream temperatures. Yet while their trajectory from abundance to scarcity is a story we know all too well, Fredenberg and his colleagues believe that new research can turn the narrative around — not just for bull trout, but for other cold-water fish species across the West as well. For full story, click here.
By Seth Borenstein, Associated Press – Inside Bay Area News – January 18, 2016
The amount of man-made heat energy absorbed by the seas has doubled since 1997, a study released Monday showed. Scientists have long known that more than 90 percent of the heat energy from man-made global warming goes into the world's oceans instead of the ground. And they've seen ocean heat content rise in recent years. But the new study, using ocean-observing data that goes back to the British research ship Challenger in the 1870s and including high-tech modern underwater monitors and computer models, tracked how much man-made heat has been buried in the oceans in the past 150 years. The world's oceans absorbed approximately 150 zettajoules of energy from 1865 to 1997, and then absorbed about another 150 in the next 18 years, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. For full story, click here.
Reuters – January 13, 2016
Global emissions of mercury from manmade sources fell 30 percent from 1990 to 2010, in part from decreasing use of coal, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported on Wednesday. The greatest decline of the toxic pollutant was in Europe and North America, offsetting increases in Asia, the agency said, citing an international study. The findings challenge longstanding assumptions on emission trends and show that local and regional efforts can have a major impact, it said. For full story, click here.
By Larry Elliott – The Guardian – January 14, 2016
A catastrophe caused by climate change is seen as the biggest potential threat to the global economy in 2016, according to a survey of 750 experts conducted by the World Economic Forum. The annual assessment of risks conducted by the WEF before its annual meeting in Davos on 20-23 January showed that global warming had catapulted its way to the top of the list of concerns. A failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation was seen as likely to have a bigger impact than the spread of weapons of mass destruction, water crises, mass involuntary migration and a severe energy price shock – the first time in the 11 years of the Global Risks report that the environment has been in first place. For full story, click here.
By Coral Davenport – The New York Times – January 14, 2016
The Obama administration announced on Friday a halt to new coal mining leases on public lands as it considers an overhaul of the program that could lead to increased costs for energy companies and a slowdown in extraction. “Given serious concerns raised about the federal coal program, we’re taking the prudent step to hit pause on approving significant new leases so that decisions about those leases can benefit from the recommendations that come out of the review,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. For full story, click here.
By Alister Doyle – Planet Ark – January 12, 2016
The biggest icebergs breaking off Antarctica unexpectedly help to slow global warming as they melt away into the chill Southern Ocean, scientists said on Monday. The rare Manhattan-sized icebergs, which may become more frequent in coming decades because of climate change, release a vast trail of iron and other nutrients that act as fertilizers for algae and other tiny plant-like organisms in the ocean. These extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow, a natural ally for human efforts to limit the pace of climate change blamed on man-made greenhouse gas emissions. For full story, click here.
ENN Environmental – News Network – January 10, 2016
Protected areas such as rainforests occupy more than one-tenth of the Earth’s landscape, and provide invaluable ecosystem services, from erosion control to pollination to biodiversity preservation. They also draw heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and store it in plants and soil through photosynthesis, yielding a net cooling effect on the planet. Determining the role protected areas play as carbon sinks — now and in decades to come — is a topic of intense interest to the climate-policy community as it seeks science-based strategies to mitigate climate change. For full story, click here.
By James Crugnale – The Weather Channel – January 7, 2016
A new study published in the journal Nature Geosciences and conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol's Cabot Institute found that the pace of environmental change is occurring faster now than at any other previous time in the Earth's history. "The rate of change was considerably slower in the past," lead author David Naafs told weather.com. Naafs and his research team showed that previous environmental change events that occurred naturally happened potentially a "thousand times slower than today." For full story, click here.
By Lisa Song – InsideClimate News – January 4, 2016
In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will issue long-awaited rules to control methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. The regulations will emerge after years of activism and scientific studies on the climate risk posed by methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that's dozens of times more potent that carbon dioxide. But the regulations will likely be overshadowed by the ongoing saga in Aliso Canyon, Calif., where a leaking natural gas storage field continues to belch thousands of tons of methane into the air every week. For full story, click here.
By John H. Cushman Jr. – InsideClimate News – January 7, 2016
Moving on two new legal fronts to overturn President Barack Obama’s rejection of its Keystone XL pipeline, TransCanada Corp. on Wednesday launched a free-trade challenge and a federal lawsuit to salvage the stranded project. The first maneuver, under provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement, (NAFTA) seeks compensation of $15 billion – a prize rich enough not just to repay the money already invested, but also to compensate for the loss of future income investors had expected. For full story, click here.
By Russ Zimmer – 10 News – January 2, 2016
Much of this country's barrier islands will be under water in 50 years because of climate change, according to a University of Miami professor and expert on sea-level rise. On the Jersey Shore, not only would places like Long Beach Island and Seaside Heights be partially covered by sea water, but so would flood-prone coastal communities from Bay Head to Tuckerton. These areas also would face more flooding and greater risk from storm surges, according to Harold Wanless, chairman of the university's Department of Geological Sciences. For full story, click here.