August 20, 2019
Countries in the Northern Hemisphere can expect longer summer heat waves, as well as more consecutive days of heavy rain with harmful consequences, if the world exceeds the goals of the Paris climate agreement, scientists warn in a new study.
Sweltering, near-record temperatures in August, coupled with high demand for air-conditioning and slow winds prompted the electrical grid operator in Texas to take action or face potential black outs across parts of the state. It's a sign of the vulnerabilities our power systems still face as the planet warms.
In Canada, Environmental Groups Were Warned Some Climate Change Ads Could Be Seen as Partisan During Election Period
A Canada official warned groups this summer that since one of the Canadian political parties expressed doubts about the legitimacy of climate change, any group that promotes it as an issue in its paid advertising during election season could be considered partisan and may need to register as a third party.
Some animals, such as certain populations of birds, have adjusted breeding times to match earlier springs brought about by a warming climate. But is climate change happening too fast for animals to save themselves—and their future offspring—by adapting quickly?
August 19, 2019
Vineyard Wind was set to be the country's largest offshore wind farm, with construction expected to start this year. But the government is now expanding its review of the environmental impacts of the project, and at a time when the Trump administration is working to expedite fossil fuel projects and reduce environmental regulations.
Arizona, Nevada and Mexico must use less water from the Colorado River for the first time next year under new agreements that aim to keep water in Lake Mead from reaching critically low levels. The river's reservoirs have dropped dramatically since 2000 as droughts fueled by climate change force farms and cities to draw more water from the river than flows into it.
A Colorado commission voted to have the state adopt California's Zero-Emission Vehicle program, requiring automakers to sell electric vehicles and mandating that zero or low-emission vehicles should account for almost 5 percent of the state's sales by 2023. The move makes Colorado the 11th state to join the program.
Unusually warm temperatures across Alaska this summer led to die-offs of chum, sockeye and pink salmon that had not yet spawned. Read more from ICN on recent research that warned of similar climate change risks for salmon populations in California and the Pacific Northwest.
Sticking with current renewable energy standards could bring $4.7 billion in health benefits to states in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions by 2030, a new study from MIT says. The study examined the health benefits and financial incentives that accompany states using more renewable energy.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers wants the state to be carbon neutral by 2050, despite significant opposition from the Republican-controlled Legislature. Evers, a Democrat, issued an executive order to bypass opposition, and which will create a new office that aims to work with other agencies and utilities to ensure state electricity will come from carbon-neutral sources.
Iceland is mourning its first loss of a glacier to climate change in modern times with a memorial plaque, as scientists warn that hundreds of other glaciers on the island risk the same fate.
The Navajo Generating Station coal-fired plant in Arizona emitted almost 135 million metric tons of carbon dioxide between 2010 and 2017, according to E&E News. That plant and two other giants of greenhouse gas emissions are set to shut down by the end of the year.
August 16, 2019
One of the federal government's leading experts on the health impacts of climate change sought whistleblower protection on Friday because of retaliation he said he has faced for speaking out against the Trump administration's efforts to end climate research. He isn't the only one.
About half the candidates have issued policy proposals or statements that specifically address the impacts of climate change on agriculture or the role agriculture can plan in solving the climate crisis. Some have called for spending more money on conservation measures that store carbon in the soil.
A wave of coal plants are set to close as cheap natural gas prices and increasing competition from renewables have made coal burning less and less profitable. "It's just the economics keep moving in a direction that favors natural gas and renewables," said Dan Bakal of Ceres, which works with businesses to transition to clean energy.
During the Pacific Islands Forum, Australia distanced itself from other nations that are calling for urgent action on climate change. The country pushed to remove direct references to coal from a communique passed during the meeting, despite smaller Pacific Islands calling for a global ban on new coal plants and mines and rapidly phasing out coal power.
Environmental groups are appealing a court decision that stalled their attempt to end the EPA's policy of excluding certain scientists from serving on its advisory boards. "The Trump administration is simply trying to payback its polluter cronies by gutting sound science that our health and environmental protections rely on," said Earthjustice attorney Neil Gormley.
Stocks are falling for fuel used to power ships, as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) plans to enforce new rules aimed to cut pollution starting January 1. More shipping fuel rules are expected to follow to address climate change.
Global energy demand could rise by as much as 58 percent in the next 30 years due to climate change, a new study found. The electric grid in Texas may not be ready for those changes.
August 15, 2019
Seattle city leaders passed a resolution laying out an ambitious plan for how the city can cut its greenhouse gas emissions while protecting the climate and improving the lives of residents. Free public transit, fossil fuel construction limits and electric vehicles are among the ideas outlined in the non-binding resolution.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a supporter of clean energy policies reducing greenhouse gases as a way to battle global climate change, said Wednesday he was blocked by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds from joining 21 other states in suing the Trump administration over a policy that relaxes restrictions on coal-fired power plants.
The fast-growing field of "climate services" provides guidance on preparing for the effects of climate change — for a profit. Critics are concerned that selling customized data to clients detailing where and how much climate change will affect them "shifts the incentives for climate science away from the public interest towards the ongoing pursuit of profit."
Growing cover crops has always been a part of agriculture, but as land use comes into focus as a key part of addressing climate change, the crops are being marketed as a potentially vital tool. Cover crops help to reduce erosion from flooding, retain water and sequester greenhouse gases.
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.