January 26, 2018

Unique Oil Spill in East China Sea Frustrates Scientists

The Iranian oil tanker Sanchi recently caught fire and sank in the East China Sea, releasing thousands of tons of natural gas condensate—a volatile petroleum product that has never spilled into the sea in large quantities. Scientists say it is difficult to contain and monitor, and its chemical components can linger for weeks or months.

January 25, 2018

Are There Zombie Viruses in the Thawing Permafrost?

Scientists are excavating human and animal remains in Alaska to better understand pathogens, bacteria and viruses, preserved for centuries in frozen ground, that could be coming back to life as the Arctic's permafrost thaws from the effects of climate change. Read more from ICN about the impacts of Alaska's thawing permafrost.

How to Save a Town from Rising Waters

Isle de Jean Charles, home to the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw, has lost 98 percent of its land since 1955. A government-funded resettlement of the dwindling population there is a test case for climate refugees in the future.

January 24, 2018

Scientists Sue EPA Over Its Policy on Advisory Boards

The Union of Concerned Scientists has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over  the EPA's policy to block scientists who receive EPA grants from serving on the agency's advisory boards. The suit alleges the policy violates the Federal Advisory Committee Act, is designed to make it easier to roll back regulations, and "is an attack on science itself."

Bigger, Faster Avalanches,Triggered by Climate Change

Climate change was the culprit behind two major glacial collapses that caused massive avalanches in Tibet in 2016, a new study suggests. As glaciers around the world retreat from warming temperatures, and as more rainfall saturates the ground beneath them, scientists warn these rare collapses could happen more frequently.

Shrinking Mountain Glaciers Are Affecting People Downstream

In a new study of 56 glacier drainage basins around the world, about half were shown to have already reached a critical tipping point, in which he amount of freshwater that runs off mountain glaciers each year begins to decline, threatening the availability of drinking water in nearby communities.

January 23, 2018

Trump Would Open Nearly All U.S. Waters to Drilling. But Will They Drill?

At least 15 governors of coastal states—one-third of them Republican—have now publicly opposed the Trump administration's offshore drilling plan, which would open  more than a billion acres off the coasts to oil and gas companies. But most of the nation's oil reserves that could still turn a profit are in waters already open to drilling. Read more from ICN about the legal cracks in the Interior Department's offshore drilling plan.

U.S. Mayors View Climate Change as Pressing Urban Issue, Survey Shows

Nearly 70 percent . of big-city mayors say cities should play a strong role in reducing the effects of climate change, according to a new survey of 115 mayors by the Boston University Initiative on Cities. But there's a sharp partisan divide on climate science: Ninety-five percent of Democratic mayors said they accept the scientific consensus that climate change is caused by human activity, compared to only half of Republican mayors who shared that view.

How Engineering Earth’s Climate Could Seriously Imperil Life

If geoengineers were to add 5 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere every year for 50 years to curb climate change, and then suddenly stopped, the spike in temperatures and changes in precipitation could kill off species in droves and send ecosystems into chaos, according to a new study.

Climate Change Could Make Borrowing More Expensive

As climate change causes more extreme weather, bond rating agencies like Moody's Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings are looking to climate models to help them decide how they should incorporate disaster forecasting in calculating grades they give to government debt and companies.

January 22, 2018

New Climate Censorship Tracker Comes Online

Columbia University and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund have launched the Silencing Science Tracker, a database of media reports that helps track censorship, personnel changes, budget cuts and other federal actions that hinder climate change research.

The Great Crack-Up

NASA has long employed satellites to monitor polar ice and climate changes from space, but their view is from more than 300 miles up. NASA's IceBridge mission is filling in the finer details by helping scientists measure smaller changes in ice and snow cover.

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