Climate Change News

Bureau of Indian Affairs Announces FY 2014 Funding Opportunity to Support Tribes Addressing Challenges of Climate Change

US Department of the Interior Indian Affairs – February 21, 2014

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has announced a request for proposals to support Tribes in adapting to the challenges of climate change in tribal communities, especially with respect to ocean and coastal management planning.  The competitive grants are for tribal adaptation, training, and travel support (to participate in technical workshops, forums, and cooperative efforts).  Awards are available only to federally recognized tribes and P.L. 93-638 eligible intertribal organizations.  As in FY 2013, smaller grants are available for tribal staff travel to technical climate adaptation management planning sessions, technical sessions, and workshops, and to serve as representatives at Department of Interior Climate Science Centers and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, regional (ocean) planning bodies, and other cooperative climate adaptation organizations or technical groups.  FY 2013 proposals that were submitted in November 2013, but not selected, will be retained in the applicant pool for consideration in this solicitation.  The application deadline is April 30, 2014.  ln addition to the FY 2014 grants, each BIA Region will have a small amount of funding to organize or support tribal sponsored workshops and for tribal participation in training sessions and climate change organizations.  For information on your BIA regional office climate change contact and for information on the grant application process, click here.

Federal Highway Administration Announces Climate Adaptation Case Studies

Federal Highway Administration

The Federal Highway Administration is partnering with State Departments of Transportation, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and Federal Land Management Agencies to pilot approaches to conduct climate change and extreme weather vulnerability assessments of transportation infrastructure and to analyze options for adapting and improving resiliency.  This pilot program is being co-sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration Office of Environment Planning and Realty, and the Office of Infrastructure.  In 2010 the Federal Highway Administration selected five pilot teams from across the country to test a climate change vulnerability assessment model.  This conceptual model guided transportation agencies through the process of collecting and integrating climate and asset data in order to identify critical vulnerabilities.  The Federal Highway Administration used the feedback and lessons learned from the pilot projects to revise the draft conceptual model into the Climate Change & Extreme Weather Vulnerability Assessment Framework.  For more information and to view these case studies, click here.

Volcanoes contributing to hiatus in global warming: study

The Sydney Morning Herald – February 24, 2014

Small volcanic eruptions help explain a hiatus in global warming this century by dimming sunlight and offsetting a rise in emissions of heat-trapping gases to record highs, a study showed on Sunday. Eruptions of at least 17 volcanoes since 2000, including Nabro in Eritrea, Kasatochi in Alaska and Merapi in Indonesia, ejected sulphur whose sun-blocking effect had been largely ignored until now by climate scientists, it said. The pace of rising world surface temperatures has slowed since an exceptionally warm 1998, heartening those who doubt that an urgent, trillion-dollar shift to renewable energies from fossil fuels is needed to counter global warming. For full story, click here.

Climate change may be causing a global coffee shortage

By Eric Holthaus – Chicago Tribune –February 26, 2014

If there was ever a reason to rise up in support of a benevolent climate-obsessed world dictator, this could be it. An epic drought — Brazil's worst in decades — is threatening exports from the world's largest coffee exporter and driving up wholesale prices worldwide. We've officially entered the realm of bloggers' worst-case scenario. The current run on coffee is an example of the kinds of follow-on effects to be expected as the climate warms and rainfall patterns become more erratic. The ongoing lack of rainfall, coupled with record high temperatures across the whole of southeast South America during the current Southern Hemisphere summer, is just the kind of extreme weather event that's been becoming more common over recent years. In an era of scientific consensus that we humans are doing this to ourselves, this shouldn't come as a surprise. For full story, click here.

As Arctic Melts, Marine Mammals Become Sentinels for Disease

By Jude Isabella – The Tyee – February 18, 2014

Massive ice loss in the Arctic is like a game of craps for scientists -- they can make some guesses about what an ice-free north could mean, but mostly they're just watching as some species catch a lucky break, and some don't, including humans. Vibrio bacteria responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning in humans, for example, have headed north with warmer waters. But the most recent big news is the discovery ofToxoplasma gondii in western Arctic beluga whales, a traditional food of some Inuit communities. Michael Grigg, a molecular biologist with the University of British Columbia's Marine Mammal Unit, reported the news at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting. For full story, click here.

Climate Change Affects Insect Distribution

By J. Travis Smith – Nature World News – February 21, 2014

As climate change progresses in the coming decades, it is likely to have "profound implications" for the distribution of insects and other invertebrates around the globe, according to a new study. As warm-blooded animals, humans have been able to adapt to varying weather conditions and are found on every continent on Earth. Conversely, cold-blooded (ectothermic) animals, such as insects, must live in climates where the ambient temperature allows their biological processes to function. For full story, click here.

USDA Announces Regional Hubs to Help Agriculture, Forestry Mitigate Impacts of Changing Climate

USDA – February 5, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the creation of the first ever Regional Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change at seven locations around the country.  These "Climate Hubs" will address increasing risks such as fires, invasive pests, floods, and droughts on a regional basis, aiming to translate science and research into information to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners on ways to adapt and adjust their resource management.  The Hubs were chosen through a competitive process among USDA facilities.  In addition to the seven Hubs, USDA is designating three Subsidiary Hubs ("Sub Hubs") that will function within the Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest.  The Sub Hubs will support the Hub within their region and focus on a unique set of issues in that region.  The Climate Hubs will build on the capacity within USDA to deliver science-based knowledge and practical information to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to support decision-making related to climate change across the country.  For more information, view the press release here.

Obama-appointed climate change task force meets in Los Angeles

By Tony Barboza – Los Angeles Times – February 13, 2014

Obama administration officials met with a nationwide task force of state and local leaders in Los Angeles Thursday to hear what the federal government can do to help communities confront climate change. At a news conference, Obama administration officials said they would listen to state and local governments and support their efforts to cope with rising sea levels, wildfires and extreme weather. For full story, click here.

U.S. Geological Survey Climate Projection Portal Available for Use

U.S. Geological Survey – February 11, 2014

This web portal allows visualization and downloading of future climate projections from a group of "statistically downscaled" global climate models (GCMs). Temperature and precipitation projections from these models have been used to calculate derivative climate indicators that measure the number of days that exceed certain thresholds. For more information, click here.