July 11, 2018
Archival footage of a Belgian bicycle race is turning out to be a useful record of climate change. Scientists have found that the race archives show how weather and vegetation have changed along the race route, providing a view that was not available from any other source.
July 10, 2018
Not only is it unusually hot all over the world, the heat is lingering into the night more than before. Overnight low temperatures are going up faster than daytime highs, posing risks to public health, safety and agriculture.
To see why environmentalists have been panicking about President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominees, go back and read these two dissents in a landmark climate change case. Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh on Monday to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was the swing vote in that case.
Some of the more than a dozen inquiries into Scott Pruitt's spending and management practices while he was EPA administrator, including a probe by a key House committee, are likely to continue. Other informal reviews inside the White House might be shelved now that he has resigned.
Japan is notoriously prone to natural disasters, and it prepares for them. So why has record rainfall caused more than 100 deaths? "The frequency of heavy rain-linked disasters is on the rise, and we are facing a world where the rules learned from your experiences no longer apply," said scientist Hiroyuki Ohno.
Hurricane Harvey was the most significant rainfall event on record in the U.S., both in scope and peak rainfall amounts, the U.S. Geological Survey said Monday in releasing new innundation maps and flood details. Rainfall exceeded 60 inches in some locations.
More than 155 people died from heat-related causes in the Phoenix area last year, a new record in a place where the number of such deaths has been on the rise. Former Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton deemed it a public health crisis, and the city has launched an overhaul of how it prepares for and deals with extreme heat.
The Church of England's General Synod voted almost unanimously to withdraw investments from companies that are not on track to meet the Paris climate agreement by 2023. It's a shift from the church's current investment strategy, which uses its investor status to pressure companies to change.
Who is Andrew Wheeler? His social media postings reveal that he is a fan of Dolly Parton, Paul Ryan and Lisa Murkowski, and was critical of Donald Trump before the 2016 election. Read more from ICN about six key ways Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, could reshape climate policy as head of EPA.
Scientists in the Florida Keys are intervening to manipulate the natural balance of coral reefs, growing stronger coral and transplanting them in the Atlantic. This approach would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, but is being tried now to respond to the devastating effects of climate change.
July 9, 2018
With Scott Pruitt's resignation, responsibility for leading President Trump's retreat from climate action passes from an ideological fighter to a Washington political pro and former coal lobbyist. Andrew Wheeler inherits some important decisions, including on the Clean Power Plan, auto standards, methane and use of science.
The EPA, in Scott Pruitt's final hours as administrator, moved to effectively grant a loophole for glider trucks—diesel freight trucks that use old engines and produce as much as 55 times the air pollution as trucks with modern emissions controls. A few manufacturers had lobbied for it, while major health organizations and industry strongly opposed it.
The UK government released its proposed Road to Zero strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation on Monday. It includes requiring electric vehicle charging points on new homes and street lights and banning sales of new conventional gas and diesel cars by 2040.
An investigation reveals how a natural gas advocacy group, whose founding members include politicians with ties to the industry, pushed the development of an energy curriculum for Texas schools and then worked closely with the curriculum writers, briefing them on energy issues and suggesting changes.
Franklin County, Virginia, has seen a spike in police expenses related to the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and officials are asking the pipeline's developer to pay the bill. Officials have met with the developer to discuss reimbursement, but no agreement has been reached.
Yankeetown, Florida, is taking steps to adapt to climate change as the waters rise, a contrast to state leaders who still can't agree on whether there is a problem. The small coastal community is measuring the evidence of climate change and working on how to adapt.
The Trump administration has made wide-ranging cuts to international programs on the mitigation of climate change. As a result, the programs and their beneficiaries are now scrambling to fill the gaps.
Dry summers and extreme weather are making life difficult for people living a traditional nomadic life in Mongolia. Climate change is contributing to conditions that are hurting their animal herds. This, along with creeping signs of modernity, are transforming a culture that had been slow to change.
July 6, 2018
The Trump administration has drafted a new proposal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants that is far less stringent than the Clean Power Plan. It shows that the administration is essentially accepting, for now, that the federal government is legally obligated to take action to address greenhouse gas emissions.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt tried to lead Trump's assault on environmental policy and climate science, but even at that he had a shaky record—and the ethics scandals kept piling up. Read more on the former coal lobbyist replacing him as acting administrator.
Global Temperature, Sea Level Rise Could Be Much Higher Longterm than Climate Models Predict, Researchers Say
Researchers who have been piecing together the impacts of past warm periods in Earth's history say climate models appear to be underestimating the longterm impact of climate change. They found 1 to 2 degrees of warming in the past was accompanied by substantial reductions of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and sea level rise higher than currently forecast.
Almost a year after Hurricane Harvey flooded large swaths of coastal Texas, the state will receive more than $5 billion for a range of flood control projects, repairs and studies, the Trump administration announced. Much of it is to go to building or shoring up coastal levees.
A new analysis from Resources for the Future estimates that for every 4.5 coal jobs that the Trump administration's coal-plant bailout plan protects, one American would die from the related surge in air pollution.
Kinder Morgan is stepping up its outreach in communities along proposed pipelines, hoping to create a positive image and head off negative public opinion. The charm offensive is part of the industry's increased sophistication in rallying support as pipeline projects are increasingly controversial.
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board say in a report on last year's Keystone pipeline oil spill that a fatigue crack, likely created by damage to the pipe from a metal-tracked vehicle during its installation, led to the rupture. More than 200,000 gallons of oil spilled.
The Great Barrier Reef isn't the only Australian ecosystem on the brink of collapse as global temperatures rise. New research describes a series of catastrophic ecosystem shifts that have occurred recently across Australia.
A growing number of architects and designers are specializing in buildings with net-zero emissions. Buildings, a large source of greenhouse gas emissions, account for more than one-third of energy used and have room for dramatic improvement in energy efficiency.
July 5, 2018
The staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board this week recommended conditional approval of an offshore wind farm in Lake Erie, with six turbines planned about 10 miles from downtown Cleveland. They also included more than 34 conditions, though, including a bird and bat monitoring plan.
California lawmakers on Tuesday revived a long-stalled proposal to set a goal of generating 100 percent of the state's energy from carbon-free sources. State lawmakers face an array of decisions this year with implications for the future of renewable power, the grid and consumers' electric bills.
From Scotland and Canada to the scorching Middle East, many places have witnessed their hottest weather ever recorded over the past week. Collectively, these heat records are consistent with the kind of extremes we expect to see increase in a warming world.