July 12, 2019
Rod Schoonover, an analyst with the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, resigned in protest after the White House blocked his discussion of climate science in Congressional testimony. The testimony was blocked because it did not correspond with White House views.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is warning Americans to brace for a "floodier" future, predicting that 40 places in the U.S. will experience higher than usual rates of sunny day flooding this year because of rising sea levels and an abnormal El Nino weather system.
The utility Electricite de France SA (EDF), which produces nearly three-quarters of France's electricity from its 58 nuclear reactors, is preparing facilities to operate during severe heat waves expected to increase with climate change. Sustained, higher temperatures can damage key electrical equipment, including as back-up diesel generators.
Opponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline asked a judge to again block construction of the $8 billion project after President Donald Trump issued it a new permit. Attorneys for the environmental groups making the request, who contend that the pipeline would worsen climate change by increasing fossil fuel consumption, say that Trump's permit was illegal.
July 10, 2019
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced a resolution Tuesday asking Congress to declare that global warming is an emergency demanding a massive mobilization of resources to protect the U.S. economy, society and national security. They envision a mobilization on par with the U.S. response in World War II.
The proposed White House panel that would conduct an "adversarial" review of climate science is dead, at least for now, as President Trump grapples with negative perceptions of his environmental record at the outset of his reelection campaign.
A NASA-funded study has found instability in Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier and suggests the ice sheet faces a tipping point at which point glacial melting will accelerate and become irreversible even if global heating eases.
France will begin to charge an "ecotax" on flights departing from the country starting next year, in an effort to tempter the effects of carbon dioxide emissions resulting from air travel. The money from the tax will be reinvested in lower-emission transportation systems, like rail networks.
There is a growing gap between Britain's carbon-cutting ambition and policies, according to a progress report published by the Committee on Climate Change on Wednesday, and most sectors are not prepared for the impacts of even modest levels of global warming.
The attorneys general of Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia are urging PJM Interconnection, the nation's biggest electric grid operator, to choose a CEO who will help with "efforts to address climate change" and embrace a shift to clean energy. The company's former CEO retired in May.
About a quarter of the world's highest-emitting companies do not report their greenhouse gas emissions, with nearly half failing to properly consider climate risks in their decision-making, according to a new study by a group of investors. The research looked at 274 publicly listed companies, which are required to disclose key financial data.
Washington, D.C., received almost a month's worth of rain over just a few hours Monday, overwhelming the city's storm-water system and flooding homes and streets and showing the vulnerability of cities in the era of climate change. "We're still approaching this 21st-century problem with 20th-century infrastructure, and it's completely inadequate."
July 9, 2019
The American Lung Association and the American Public Health Association are suing the Trump administration over its rollback of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, which targeted power plant emissions. Trump replaced the plan with a new rule that critics say will do little to reduce pollution from power plants.
A review of President Donald Trump's speech yesterday found many false claims about environmental issues and credit taken for achievements resulting from actions taken by his predecessors.
Tom Steyer officially entered the race on Tuesday for the Democratic presidential nomination. The billionaire, who has teased political bids before without launching a campaign, has been a funding force in Democratic politics in recent years, bankrolling candidates and organizations that promote liberal causes, particularly around climate change.
Citing climate-damaging tailpipe emissions, 23 U.S. governors signed a pledge backing California leaders in opposing the Trump administration's plans to relax vehicle mileage standards. The leaders are rebuking Trump's move to freeze Obama-era mileage standards, one of the former president's key efforts against climate change.
The relentless heavy rains in the Midwest have flushed vast amounts of fertilizer and manure into waterways, triggering a potentially unprecedented season of algae blooms. In Mississippi, the blooms have closed beaches to swimming, dealing a blow to the local tourism business.
The United Mine Workers of America has for the first time invited every Democratic presidential candidate to tour a coal mine and to discuss their thoughts on finding a place for coal workers in their vision for the nation's energy future. The union's president said many miners are interested in starting a dialogue.
Many of the United States' 91,000 dams are aging and sorely in need of repairs that could cost tens of billions of dollars. As extreme precipitation events become more frequent in a warming world, experts worry that dam failures will increase, threatening lives and releasing toxic sediments trapped in reservoirs into the environment.
This past winter, the United States saw the most honeybee colonies lost in more than a decade, according to the nonprofit Bee Informed. The significant drop in bee population, which may have links to climate change, can have dire impacts on crops, threatening food security.
July 8, 2019
Like many developing countries, Honduras has contributed relatively little to the greenhouse gas emissions heating the planet. And yet, projections suggest it is especially imperiled by climate change. ICN reporter Georgina Gustin talks with farmers in El Rosario, a community struggling with a lack of rain and unsure how it will survive.
Since 2013, the Asian longhorned tick has popped up in at least 11 U.S. states, mostly in the Northeast. As the new species is still feeling out its range in North America, other established ticks are expanding theirs as the climate changes and the planet warms—with consequences for humans and livestock.
Though most draw little international attention, climate disasters are happening at a rate of one per week, according to the UN. Large numbers of "lower impact events" causing death, displacement and suffering are occurring much faster than predicted, the UN has warned, saying work is urgently needed to prepare developing countries.
The temperature in several southern Alaska cities soared higher Thursday than at any other time on record. Anchorage hit a high temperature of 90 degrees, topping the city's previous record by five degrees.
The Trump administration advanced plans to modestly raise U.S. biofuel-blending targets, leaving both oil industry representatives and biofuel proponents dissatisfied. Trump has touted a commitment to boosting ethanol, but the EPA has frequently waived biofuel quotas for oil refineries.
For a few exceptional species, thawing ice caps and permafrost are starting to reveal an astonishing biological resilience. Researchers in a warming Arctic are discovering organisms, frozen and presumed dead for millennia, that can bear life anew.
Swiss scientists found that planting a trillion trees, covering an area roughly the size of the United States, could suck up nearly 830 billion tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That's about as much carbon pollution as humans have emitted in the past 25 years.
Cities like Nashville are buying homes of residents in flood-prone areas and prohibiting future development. "Rebuilding out of harm's way can help avoid future devastation in a way that flood insurance cannot," said David Maurstad, head of the National Flood Insurance Program.
July 3, 2019
The heat wave that gripped Europe last week was made at least five times more likely by global warming, scientists with the World Weather Attribution group found in a rapid attribution study. Extreme heat didn't just hit Europe: globally, it was the hottest June on record, Greenland saw excessive melting, and wildfires lit up the Arctic.
The liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry will play at least as big a role as new coal investments in contributing to climate change, energy analysts say. In Australia, LNG is the main reason the country's greenhouse gas emissions have risen each year since 2015.