January 19, 2018
A top EPA manager told Congress that the government needs to plan for how climate change effects like hurricanes and wildfires could impact the nation's more than 1,300 Superfund sites. "We have to respond to climate change, that's just part of our mission set," he said.
Nine of the 10 warmest years on modern record have been since 2005. According to U.S. and UK government scientists, 2017 was the warmest without El Niño's influence. It was a year marked by climate-related disasters like wildfires and heat waves.
TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, said it has strong commercial support for the project and will move forward. But opponents say the tar sands pipeline, which has drawn protests for years, still faces significant hurdles, including securing land access along a new route in Nebraska.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) says he's holding up the confirmation of three Trump nominees because he hasn't gotten sufficient assurances from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that Florida will be removed from the administration's offshore drilling plan. Read more from ICN about how Zinke's actions on the drilling plan may have violated the law.
Nearly two-thirds of U.S. coal-producing states lost coal mining jobs last year, even as the sector's overall employment grew modestly, preliminary government data shows. Texas lost the most coal mining jobs, and Ohio was a close second.
Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who represents an area that stretches from Miami to the Florida Keys, co-founded the 66-member Climate Solutions Caucus. In a Q&A, he talks about science, policy and adapting to global warming.
For the past three years, developers have pushed to make Oakland the home of the largest coal-export facility on the West Coast. The city, which banned coal in 2016, has spent millions trying to fend off a developer's legal challenge, and a federal judge started hearing testimony about the project this week.
Signs of depression and anxiety were found in Americans who are concerned with the fate of the environment, according to a new study. Risks to mental health from climate change are a "creeping development," one researcher said; the most hard-hit groups are women and low-income people.
January 18, 2018
Global temperatures were 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th Century average in a year marked by climate-related disasters, from wildfires to hurricanes, NOAA reports.
Jack Gerard is stepping down as head of the American Petroleum Institute, a powerful oil and gas industry lobbying association. For a decade, he pressed for policies favorable to the industry, such as lifting restrictions on oil exports and rapidly restarting offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill.
While top-level science positions remain vacant, scientific advisory panels have been quietly diminished, disbanded or stacked with industry scientists. In a new report, the Union of Concerned Scientists looks at the changes.
The annual World Economic Forum survey, highlighting the top risks that business, government and civil society leaders see for 2018, starts with environmental threats from extreme weather and temperatures and a surge in geopolitical concerns since President Trump took office.
NASA researchers are developing a new satellite, the Geostationary Carbon Cycle Observatory (GeoCARB), to travel the same speed as Earth's rotation and track in real time metrics of climate change, including the buildup of carbon dioxide and methane over the Americas.
A group of researchers say they've reduced the uncertainty in estimating how much Earth's average surface temperature will go up if the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is doubled. Their new calculation narrows the range from between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees Celsius to between 2.2 to 3.4 degrees.
Over a three-week period in 2015, more than 200,000 saiga antelope in central Kazakhstan suddenly died. Scientists say a bacteria called Pasteurella multocida type B, which was already present in the animals, was triggered and became harmful because of a period of unusual weather: heat and humidity in the 10 days before the mass death.
Analysts say an overlooked factor that has helped spark anti-government protests in Iran, along with corruption, inequality and bank collapses, is the impact of climate change and the widespread perception that Iran's leaders are mishandling the growing issue of water scarcity.
January 17, 2018
A group of 106 members of Congress, including 11 Republicans, sent a letter to President Trump, urging him to recognize climate change as a national security threat and to reconsider the removal of climate change from the National Security Strategy. "It is imperative that the United States addresses this growing geopolitical threat," they wrote.
Most members of the National Parks System Advisory Board, which advises the government on national parks management, have resigned, saying the Trump administration has ignored science, undermined environmental protections and restricted efforts to tackle climate change.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected a petition from the Constitution Pipeline Company to overturn New York's denial of a water permit for its proposed natural gas pipeline. FERC overruled the state on a different pipeline rejection last fall, raising concerns among the states.
The tiny Caribbean island of Barbuda is still struggling to rebuild after Hurricane Irma destroyed it in September. A few hundred people have returned, and they're worried the government now plans to develop the island and wipe out their cherished island lifestyle.
American Christians' concerns about the environment and climate change haven't shifted much in the past two decades and may even be declining, according to new research. The study comes as some researchers have suggested there has been a "greening of Christianity" in recent years.
The UK's Committee on Climate Change said that the country's vague ambitions like banning new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 and investing in carbon capture and storage must be turned into solid plans or it will not meet its legally mandated carbon cuts in 2025 and 2030.
Without rainfall, Cape Town, South Africa, is on track to run out of water by April 22. During the city's worst drought in a century, authorities are racing to build desalination plants and drill underground boreholes, while residents line up to ration water.
January 16, 2018
A far-reaching report being drafted by the UN's authoritative climate science panel explores in comprehensive detail the environmental justice, poverty and other human rights challenges facing the world as it pursues the urgent and daunting goals of the Paris climate agreement.
After speaking with Oregon Gov. Kate Brown last week, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he would consider exempting Oregon from the administration's offshore drilling plan. Other governors have also told Zinke they strongly oppose drilling off their coasts. Read more from ICN about widespread opposition against the proposal.
Months of exceptionally warm weather and an early winter snow drought across parts of the U.S. West have left the snowpack near record low levels. Scientists say this will become more common as global temperatures rise, raising concerns about water shortages and economic damage.
Oregon lawmakers are considering a bill that would launch a cap-and-trade program similar to California's. About 100 companies that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide would be required to buy pollution permits.
After President Trump's first year, some miners have returned to work in the Ohio Valley region, but the coal industry is still in major decline. Miners and industry analysts are concerned about an uncertain future for the industry Trump pledged to revive.
BP says recent settlement claims related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico were about seven times higher than expected, raising the company's total costs to about $65 billion. The claims were part of a settlement program that included nearly 400,000 cases, and hundreds of claims have yet to be closed.
The Australian and Queensland governments have launched a $2 million challenge for scientists, business leaders and entrepreneurs to find ways to restore the Great Barrier Reef with solutions like reducing exposure of corals to stressors or boosting regeneration rates.