Climate Change News
By Damian Carrington The Guardian – Earth Island Journal – May 8, 2014
Rising carbon dioxide emissions are set to make the world's staple food crops less nutritious, according to new scientific research, worsening the serious ill health already suffered by billions of malnourished people. The surprise consequence of fossil fuel burning is linked directly to the rise in CO2 levels which, unlike some of the predicted impacts of climate change, are undisputed. The field trials of wheat, rice, maize and soybeans showed that higher CO2 levels significantly reduced the levels of the essential nutrients iron and zinc, as well as cutting protein levels. For full story, click here.
Contact: Julia Q. Qrtiz – EPA – April 30, 2014
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced $860,000 to help 14 communities expand their use of green infrastructure to reduce water pollution and boost resilience to the impacts of climate change. The funding supports President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which directs federal agencies to support community-based preparedness and resilience efforts across the country. “Investing in green infrastructure pays off for our environment and our economy. It reduces water pollution and energy consumption while creating jobs,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “These investments help local communities build resilient systems to protect from severe storms, floods, and other impacts of climate change.” For full news release, click here.
NOAA – March 2014
The Ocean Acidification Strategic Research Plan will guide research and monitoring investments that will improve our understanding of ocean acidification, its potential impacts on marine species and ecosystems, and adaptation and mitigation strategies. The plan was developed by the Interagency Working Group on Ocean Acidification as part of the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act of 2009 (FOARAM Act). To read more and to download this report, click here.
By Shana Udvardy and Steve Winkelman – Center for Clean Air Policy – April 2014
The purpose of this report is to capture best practices and lessons learned from experts in the field who are contributing to an integrated approach to climate adaptation + mitigation (A+M) to cut carbon pollution (mitigation) and prepare the nation for climate change impacts (adaptation). These best practice and lessons learned were distilled from the “Climate Adaptation + Mitigation Synergies: Pursuing Implementation Pilots” symposium and workshop sessions held at the 14th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment Conference held in Washington, DC from January 28-30, 2014. The Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) and the National Climate Assessment’s network (NCAnet) Adaptation + Mitigation Nexus (AMNex) affinity group co-hosted these sessions. To download report, click here.
NOAA – March 19, 2014
A group of NOAA collaborators recently announced the availability of OpenClimateGIS, an open-source tool which aids users in accessing and interpreting complex climate data. OpenClimateGIS serves users who are already familiar with GIS systems, enabling them to access data for specific regions and sectors and providing access to recent data such as outputs from climate models. To learn more about the tool, click here. To view OpenClimateGIS, click here.
By Laura Barron – The Hill – April 22, 2014
Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy on Tuesday sought to downplay the importance of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and said the Obama administration will continue to focus on the bigger problem of climate change. McCarthy tried to turn the attention toward climate change during an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," less than one week after the State Department stopped the clock with 14 days left in the 90-day interagency review of the $5.4 billion project. The move sent Capitol Hill into a frenzy as advocates of the pipeline assailed the administration for punting on a decision they say will create jobs. But while her "Morning Joe" interview was promoted as a chance to talk about Keystone, McCarthy said Tuesday that the administration is focused on the "big prize" of climate change. For full story, click here.
By Neela Banerjee – Los Angeles Times – April 14, 2014
Drilling operations at several natural gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania released methane into the atmosphere at rates that were 100 to 1,000 times greater than federal regulators had estimated, new research shows. Using a plane that was specially equipped to measure greenhouse gas emissions in the air, scientists found that drilling activities at seven well pads in the booming Marcellus shale formation emitted 34 grams of methane per second, on average. The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that such drilling releases between 0.04 grams and 0.30 grams of methane per second. The study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, adds to a growing body of research that suggests the EPA is gravely underestimating methane emissions from oil and gas operations. The agency is expected to issue its own analysis of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector as early as Tuesday, which will give outside experts a chance to assess how well regulators understand the problem. For full story, click here.
By Doyle Rice – USA Today – April 19, 2014
Massive wildfires are on the increase in the Western USA due to rising temperatures and worsening drought from climate change, and the trend could continue in the decades to come, new research suggests. Overall, the number of large wildfires increased by a rate of seven fires a year from 1984 to 2011, while the total area damaged by fire increased at a rate of nearly 90,000 acres per year, according to the study, published this week in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).The study comes against the backdrop of what could to be a disastrous year for fires in the West, especially drought-plagued California, which even saw fires in the normally quiet month of January. For full story, click here.
By Susan Montoya Bryan – SFGate – April 9, 2014
As temperatures climb across the Southwest, researchers have found some species will win, but others stand to lose — and lose big. The U.S. Geological Survey and researchers from the University of New Mexico and Northern Arizona University released a report this week that takes a closer look at some of the effects climate change is likely to have on species such as the desert tortoise and the pinyon jay. The jay stands to lose nearly one-third of its breeding range, while other birds could lose as much as 80 percent by the end of the century. On the other hand, the tortoise is the only reptile studied that isn't projected to see a decrease in suitable habitat. For full story, click here.