January 16, 2018
Landmark Scottish castles and chapels are among 28 historic sites at a "very high risk" from climate change, according to a new report. Researchers said 160 properties are at a "high risk" from flooding, coastal erosion and slope instability.
January 12, 2018
The top Democrat on a Senate committee that oversees the Interior Department says Secretary Ryan Zinke's actions involving Florida and his plan to open the majority of the U.S. coasts to offshore drilling may have violated federal law. This update also describes how 10 senators filed legislation to ban drilling off a large section of the U.S. coast.
Retirements and departures from the EPA have shrunk its workforce to levels not seen since President Ronald Reagan's administration. As of Jan. 3, the EPA employed 14,162 people, down from about 15,000 when President Trump took office.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Governor-elect Ralph Northam proposed a legislative agenda to become the first southern state to put a cap on carbon emissions by joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), nine Northeastern states working on a cap-and-trade program. Read more from ICN about RGGI's landmark carbon emissions program.
The polar vortex that hit the Eastern U.S. was the coldest start to a calendar year in recorded history. The cold was "highly unusual in the current climate" and 15 times less likely than 100 years ago, a group of international scientists reported.
If global temperatures increase by 4 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050, nine former Winter Olympics sites, including Vancouver, Canada and Sochi, Russia, may not be reliably cold enough for the games, according to an updated analysis of climate data. Three former venues may also lack enough snow.
North Carolina regulators have delayed a decision on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's clean water certificate and postponed several other environmental permits. Gov. Roy Cooper's administration has solicited citizen comments on the project and repeatedly asked for information about its impact on air and water quality.
Freshwater may be absorbing atmospheric carbon and acidifying like the world's oceans because of global warming, according to a new study. Researchers found a significant increase of carbon dioxide and a correlating pH decrease in four reservoirs in Germany over 35 years.
New EPA data shows 2016 vehicle fuel economy was 24.7 miles per gallon, higher than model year 2015 by one-tenth of a gallon. The numbers fall well below the targets EPA set for the auto industry; Obama-era regulations would require new cars and trucks to average 36 mpg by 2025.
January 11, 2018
Five days after the Trump administration released a plan to open 90 percent of U.S. coastal waters to offshore drilling, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced he was removing Florida from the plan. The change sparked responses from other coastal states and raised questions about its legality.
Just weeks after the largest wildfire in California's modern history tore through the area, mudslides have devastated the picturesque town of Montecito, killing at least 17 people and destroying an estimated 100 homes.
New York City is suing five of the largest oil companies over the billions of dollars it spends protecting the city from the effects of climate change. Mayor Bill de Blasio also said the city plans to divest its pension funds' $5 billion in fossil fuel assets.
With climate change, Boston is seeing more epic nor'easters worsened by high tides and a rising sea, leading to icy winter floods. The city has drafted a plan for flood walls, waterfront green space and elevated streets, but city leaders worry they can only do so much to fight it.
Drivers are accusing Ford of rigging at least 500,000 heavy-duty diesel trucks to beat emissions tests. Their lawsuit, filed in a Michigan court, alleges some of the trucks are spewing emissions as much as 50 times the legal limit for nitrogen oxide pollutants.
A statewide poll commissioned by the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum found conservative voters are tired of utilities asking for special charges for coal and nuclear power plants and are willing to pay higher bills for renewable energy.
After Hurricane Irma damaged parts of Cuba, the Council of Ministers adopted a project called Tarea Vida, or Project Life, which bans construction of new homes in threatened coastal areas, mandates relocation of people living near rising seas, and calls for a shift of crop production away from saltwater-contaminated areas.
January 10, 2018
Exxon is pushing back on civil lawsuits filed by coastal California communities that claim the oil giant is responsible for damages caused by sea level rise. In a Texas court, Exxon complained politicians and special interests were biased against it—a strategy it also used to try to derail state investigations.
According to a video interview by Reuters, EPA head Scott Pruitt expects to replace the Clean Power Plan and clean water regulations this year. Pruitt also reaffirmed his plan to stage a public debate on climate science this year.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced an ambitious plan to tax fossil-fuel emissions in Washington state, but whether the Legislature will go for a $20 per ton carbon price is an open question. Republicans oppose a carbon tax, and Democrats have been divided over what it should look like.
Mentions of climate change have been systematically removed, altered or played down on government websites, according to a report by the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative. In many cases, "climate change" was replaced by terms like "sustainability."
Robert Murray, head of the country's largest coal mining company, wrote a memo to Vice President Mike Pence early last year outlining a wish list of environmental rollbacks, the New York Times reports, quoting from the memo. A year later, the government has completed or is on track to fulfill most of the 14 detailed requests.
A new study suggests that rising temperatures around the world can turn sea turtle populations female. In the Pacific Ocean's largest and most important green sea turtle rookery, females now outnumber males by at least 116 to 1.
January 9, 2018
Three powerful hurricanes and the most devastating wildfire season on record contributed to $306 billion in damages from climate and weather disasters in the U.S. in 2017, shattering the previous record by more than $90 billion, according to a new federal report.
Exxon is seeking permission to question and obtain documents from leaders in the California communities suing the company over climate change, saying they met six years ago to plan to use government investigations and legal action to force oil producers to respond to climate change.
The Trump administration's culture of climate denial and unwavering support for fossil fuels has pushed rollbacks of policies meant to protect public health, safety and the environment. But signs are starting to show that this refusal to accept the basics of climate science may hit its limits.
About 30,000 Southern California residents were under evacuation orders or advisories on Monday with a forecast of torrential rain that could cause flash floods and trigger mudslides on the steep slopes where intense wildfires burned off vegetation last month.
Pittsburgh has an ambitious climate action plan that lays out a strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the city 50 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. But supporters worry that the plan doesn't say which ideas to implement first, or how much they will cost.
Massive swaths of the world's oceans are turning into "dead zones" as global warming and pollution strip them of oxygen, a new study suggests. Over the past 50 years, zones in the open ocean with zero oxygen have more than quadrupled, threatening marine life.
Alaska is already seeing the health impacts of climate change, according to a new report from the Alaska Division of Public Health. Travel conditions could cause more accidents, warmer temperatures could spread new diseases and unpredictable weather is affecting mental health.
While an Arctic blast hit the U.S. last week, Australia saw a record-breaking heat wave that hit 118 degrees Fahrenheit in some places. Bushfires raged out of control near Melbourne, and on a stretch of highway between Sydney and Melbourne, asphalt melted in the heat.