A major crude oil spill discovered near here Monday that stopped just shy of Caddo Lake has already killed dozens of fish and some reptiles and will keep cleanup crews and regulatory agencies on site likely for months to come.
"I would call it a significant size spill," Bill Rhotenberry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's federal on-scene coordinator said of the oil that leaked in a rural Caddo Parish bayou from a Mid-Valley Pipeline.
The pipeline's owner, Sunoco Logistics, roughly estimated 4,000 barrels of crude oil had flowed into Tete Bayou when control operators noticed a drop in pressure around 8 a.m. Monday. The line, stretching 1,000 miles from Longview, Texas, to major oil refineries in Ohio and Michigan, was shut down within 20 minutes, Sunoco spokesman Jeff Shields said.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has corrected a controversial claim that small amounts of global warming could have overall positive economic impacts, after Bob Ward, policy and communications director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science, pointed out that it was based on inaccurate information.
The final version of the IPCC's report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability was published without fanfare on the web this week, including a chapter on Key Economic Sectors and Services.
The final draft of the chapter, which was published in April, featured a section on the aggregate economic impacts of climate change, containing the statement: "Climate change may be beneficial for moderate climate change but turn negative for greater warming."
But the version published this week omits the statement because it was based on faulty data.
The statement had been inserted into the draft report at a late stage in the preparation process, and after it had been sent to independent reviewers, including Ward, for comment.
An unrestrained global fracking boom that unleashes plentiful and cheap gas will not tackle global warming by replacing coal and cutting carbon emissions, according to a comprehensive analysis that takes into account the impact on the rest of the energy supply.
Burning natural gas produces half the carbon dioxide released by coal, and shale gas proponents argue that gas can therefore be a “bridge” fuel, curbing emissions while very low carbon sources such as renewable and nuclear energy are ramped up.
But a new analysis published in the journal Nature shows that a gas boom would cut energy prices, squeezing out renewable energy, and is likely to actually increase overall carbon emissions. The researchers conclude that only new interventions, such as a long-sought international climate change deal or significant global price on carbon pollution, would be effective in tackling warming.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel addressed the Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas on Monday, unveiling a comprehensive plan for how the U.S. military will address the effects of climate change.
Rising global temperatures, increasing sea levels and intensifying weather events will challenge global stability, he said, and could lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease and disputes over refugees and resources.
The Pentagon's "2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap" describes how global warming will bring new demands on the military.
A surprising hot spot of the potent global-warming gas methane hovers over part of the southwestern U.S., according to satellite data.
That result hints that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies considerably underestimate leaks of methane, which is also called natural gas.
The higher level of methane is not a local safety or a health issue for residents, but factors in overall global warming. It is likely leakage from pumping methane out of coal mines. While methane isn't the most plentiful heat-trapping gas, scientists worry about its increasing amounts and have had difficulties tracking emissions.
Glasgow University has become the first academic institution in Europe to divest from the fossil fuel industry, in a turning point for the British arm of the student-led global divestment movement.
After 12 months of campaigning, led by the Glasgow University Climate Action Society and involving over 1,300 students, the university court on Wednesday voted to begin divesting £18m from the fossil fuel industry and freeze new investments across its entire endowment of £128m.
Describing the result as "a dramatic beachhead for the divestment movement”, American environmentalist Bill McKibben said that it sent a powerful signal that Europe would be “just as powerful in this fight as Australia and North America."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government is not doing enough to reduce carbon emissions, fight climate change and regulate oil and gas emissions, a series of audits from a federal watchdog have found.
The audits, contained in a report published Tuesday, say Canada has no detailed plan to meet its emissions reduction targets, is on pace to fall well short of missing them and has made no long-term commitment to environmental monitoring in the oil sands region, the fastest-growing source of emissions.
A European Union plan to label crude from oilsands as highly polluting in its fight against climate change has been abandoned after years of opposition led by major producer Canada.
A proposal published by the European Commission on Tuesday removes an obstacle to Canada exporting oilsands crude to Europe and comes at a time when tensions between the EU and top oil supplier Russia are running high.
EU sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the desire for a trade deal with Canada had been a factor given the situation with Moscow.
The U.S. Supreme Court left intact ozone-pollution standards crafted under former President George W. Bush, rejecting an appeal by a business group that said the rules were too stringent.
The rebuff leaves intact a federal appeals court decision that said the Environmental Protection Agency had adequate scientific evidence to tighten the standards for ozone, an oxidant that is the principal component of smog.
The standards, which lowered the ozone threshold from 80 to 75 parts per billion, were attacked from both sides after being issued in 2008. The appeals court rejected most of the arguments from environmentalists, states and industry groups.
A federal water study commissioned by the Cuomo administration as it weighed a key decision on fracking was edited and delayed by state officials before it was published, a Capital review has found.
The study, originally commissioned by the state in 2011, when the administration was reportedly considering approving fracking on a limited basis, was going to result in a number of politically inconvenient conclusions for Governor Andrew Cuomo, according to an early draft of the report by the U.S. Geological Survey obtained by Capital through a Freedom of Information Act request.
A comparison of the original draft of the study on naturally occurring methane in water wells across the gas-rich Southern Tier with the final version of the report, which came out after extensive communications between the federal agency and Cuomo administration officials, reveals that some of the authors' original descriptions of environmental and health risks associated with fracking were played down or removed.