August 15, 2019
North Carolina residents are feeling the effects of water contamination from coal ash, the toxic byproduct of coal burning. Unlined coal ash pits can leach into groundwater, releasing cancer-causing pollutants and heavy metals, and some residents received a notice that they must stop extracting water from their wells due to contamination.
For several years, record low water levels in the Great Lakes were worrisome. Now, thanks to heavy winter snows and intense rainfall, Lakes Superior, Erie and Ontario have reached unprecedented high levels. While some variation is typical, some are attributing the extremes, at least in part, to a change in climate patterns.
August 14, 2019
Increased heat waves and more periods of stagnant air resulting from global warming will worsen existing air pollution across much of China, a new study shows. That could make efforts to curb the pollution, which causes more than 1 million premature deaths each year, increasingly difficult.
A group of 21 Democratic-led states are suing the Trump administration over its decision to ease restrictions on coal-fired power plants. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, says the new rule violates the Clean Air Act because it does not meaningfully replace power plants' greenhouse gas emissions regulations.
Greenhouse gas concentrations last year reached levels unseen in 60 years of modern measurements and 800,000 years of ice core data, according to a report from the American Meteorological Society.
The Trump administration is readying a plan to end direct federal regulation of methane leaks from oil and gas facilities. The proposal would prevent the federal government from restricting emissions of that potent greenhouse gas from oil wells and infrastructure, despite fears that time is running out to avert catastrophic consequences of climate change.
A Washington Post analysis of more than a century of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration temperature data across the Lower 48 states and 3,107 counties has found that major areas are nearing or have already crossed the 2 degree Celsius mark.
Multiple lightning strikes were detected within 300 miles of the North Pole, the National Weather Service said, an unusual event for the area. "This is one of the furthest north lightning strikes in Alaska forecaster memory," the weather service said in a statement. Alaska just recorded its warmest July—and warmest month—on record.
In Hawaii, coastal erosion, warming water and rising sea levels are prompting changes on the beach. Lifeguards are relocating watch towers, emergency responders have started tracking heat-related illnesses and officials are bracing for more jellyfish, stronger rip currents and increased exposure to water-borne diseases.
August 13, 2019
The Trump Administration announced major changes to the way it will implement the Endangered Species Act. Sabrina Shankman explains why those changes make it harder to take climate change into account when deciding whether a species and habitat need protection and what it could mean for sensitive areas in the Arctic.
Democratic presidential candidates are increasingly calling for action against fossil fuel companies and calling out the industry for knowingly producing greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
President Donald Trump plans to tour Shell's new petrochemicals facility in Pennsylvania, promoting the process that turns natural gas into plastics. Critics say the new facility will become the largest air polluter in western Pennsylvania.
Conservation groups have filed a new lawsuit against the Mountain Valley Pipeline, asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to vacate its decision to approve the project and citing its impacts on threatened and endangered species. The groups say the agency should re-evaluate those effects, and that work should stop while that happens.
Australia to Announce Climate Funding for Pacific Islands. Islanders Want Australia to Cut Its Emissions.
Scott Morrison is expected to unveil a $500 million climate change and oceans funding package this week to help Pacific island nations invest in renewable energy and disaster resilience. Fiji's prime minister urged Australia to move away from coal-powered energy and "to more fully appreciate" the "existential threat" facing the islands.
Goldsmiths University in London is getting rid of beef across its campus, part of the university's effort to become carbon neutral by 2025. A recent report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change called for a food system overhaul, including less meat-intensive diets, in order to meet climate goals.
Florida has the costliest climate change adaptation price tag in the contiguous 48 states, nearly double that of the next closest, a recent report says. "Just for seawalls alone across the country, it's $400 billion over the next 15 years," David McDougal of the Miami Climate Alliance said. "For Florida alone, it's $76 billion."
Before global warming thawed winters in New Jersey, Lake Hopatcong hosted wintertime carnivals with skaters and cars on the ice. Those winters don't exist any more. Temperatures in the state are up nearly 2°C since the late 1800s, almost twice the global average.
August 12, 2019
A new study finding changes in wind patterns over the past century connects the dots between global greenhouse gas pollution and faster melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which has consequences for sea level rise.
The Trump administration is proposing changes to the Clean Water Act that could fast-track the approval of natural gas pipelines and other energy infrastructure. Environmental advocates say the move will weaken the ability of states and tribes to protect their waters.
The Heat Index in Galveston Remained Above 100 for 40 Straight Hours. It’s Part of Another Major Heat Wave.
A heat wave across much of Texas has spurred heat advisories stretching 1,000 miles and encompassing more than 30 million people. Galveston saw a days-long heat index above 100 degrees and set a record for the warmest daily low temperature.
British members of parliament are calling on big companies, investors and pension funds to advise investors of the financial risks they face due to climate change. The mandatory climate reporting is meant to avoid jeopardizing hundreds of billions of pounds in pension savings.
A new research study led by a team from Lousiana State University examined rainfall amounts in Louisiana over decades and found that today's showers, on average, are more intense and deposit their rain loads more quickly than they did in the early 1960s.
Germany is suspending 35 million euros ($39 million) in funds sent to Brazil to finance projects aimed at preserving the Amazon forest due to increasing deforestation. Rainforest deforestation in Brazil surged 67% in the first seven months of the year, according to Brazil's space research agency.
August 9, 2019
A proposed "pollution tax" on Denver businesses could raise $43 million a year for a climate change mitigation program. A majority of the Denver City Council supports the measure to tax electricity and natural gas used by commercial and industrial businesses, which could go to voters for approval as early as this fall.
For the first time ever, Florida has a chief resilience officer to oversee the state's efforts to cope with climate change — and in her first extended interview, she wasn't shy about using the term "climate change." She also said new limits will likely be necessary on building homes, businesses and infrastructure in flood-prone areas.
Democratic National Committee chief Tom Perez has proposed a resolution on climate change that activists say appears to provide cover to the DNC to reject a resolution calling for an official debate on climate policy.
Investors are turning to a new breed of high-tech start-ups that can measure the risk climate change poses to real estate — from an hour to decades into the future.
Researchers have evidence that the skeletons of corals begins to decay within weeks of marine heat waves, and that that degradation also puts at risk many other sea creatures that live in the sea coral.
U.S. natural gas demand is at an all-time high, but prices are falling, raising concerns for the industry. A market analyst told Reuters that the "persistent low prices are beginning to crimp producers' growth expectations" in gas-heavy shale areas, including in Texas and Pennsylvania.