Climate

NRDC: It’s Not Just the Heat, It’s the Smog Pollution
August 15, 2011 08:44 AM - Editor, NRDC Press Release

Most of the nation – from seaside suburbs to our national parks - has experienced health-threatening "bad air" days this year due to smog pollution, according to a new analysis of government air pollution data by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Rains bring only brief relief to drought-stricken Texas
August 13, 2011 08:50 AM - Jim Forsyth, Reuters, SAN ANTONIO

Scattered heavy rains brought badly needed relief to parched north and west Texas overnight, but forecasters said on Friday that the storms quickly passed and were not enough to break the devastating drought that has gripped the state. Hardest hit was the town of Del Rio, which received nearly four and a half inches of rain in two hours, according to the National Weather Service. Scattered rain in the Dallas area prevented the region from hitting 100 degrees for the first time in forty days, two days shy of the record. "No, unfortunately, none of it was nearly enough," said meteorologist Ken Boone of the Weather Channel. "Those people who got rain were lucky to have a cell right over them. This is not the sweeping frontal system that we need." All possibility of rain goes away after Saturday night, Boone added. "After that, the state is dry through the week," he said.

Climate change 'to increase malaria' in Indian Himalayas
August 12, 2011 08:25 AM - T. V. Padma, SciDevNet

[NEW DELHI] Climate change is likely to spread malaria to new areas in the Indian Himalayas, and lengthen the periods in which the infection is spread in a number of districts, according to projections from malaria researchers in India.

Methane may be more important than CO2 in warming
August 12, 2011 07:00 AM - David Fogarty, Reuters, SINGAPORE

Atmospheric levels of methane, 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2) at trapping heat, stayed steady for two decades to 2006 on wider fertilizer use to grow rice or a surge in natural gas demand, according to two separate studies in the journal Nature. Climate researcher Fuu Ming Kai from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Singapore research center said in one study that methane output from rice fields in the Northern Hemisphere dropped during the period as fertilizers replaced manure and because of reduced water use. In the second study, Murat Aydin at the University of California, Irvine, concluded that a drop in methane emissions from more efficient burning of fossil fuels and a surge in natural gas demand.

MIT Researchers Claim UN Arctic Predictions are Inaccurate
August 11, 2011 01:04 PM - David A Gabel, ENN

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had released its most recent report in 2007. It forecasts that the Arctic Ocean will have an ice-free summer by the year 2100. However, that finding has been contradicted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They say the Arctic summer will be ice-free several decades earlier, within the lifetimes of many of us.

NOAA Releases July Climate Assessment
August 9, 2011 02:37 PM - David A Gabel, ENN

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has compiled and analyzed climate data for the United States in the month of July. The results will come as no surprise for many in the country, but now there is solid data to back up what we all know. In brief, it was hot, unbearably and persistently hot. Only now, a week into the month of August, has the heat begun to dissipate for the northern half of the country. The scorching July has shattered records in many places, making it the fourth warmest July on record in the US.

Did Past Climate Change Encourage Tree-Killing Fungi?
August 8, 2011 08:30 AM - Editor, Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Aug. 7, 2011) — The demise of the world's forests some 250 million years ago likely was accelerated by aggressive tree-killing fungi triggered by global climate change, according to a new study by a University of California, Berkeley, scientist and her Dutch and British colleagues.

US South deep in heat, unrelenting drought
August 7, 2011 08:06 AM - Karen Brooks, Reuters, HOUSTON

The southern United States stood mired on Saturday in an unrelenting heat wave that promised more of the triple-digit temperatures that have roasted the region for weeks. Forecasters predicted the heat and dryness will continue in the area at least through next week, though they looked for remnants of former tropical storm Emily to bring some rain to coastal Florida on Saturday night. Heat advisories across much of the South and Central Plains were common Saturday and cut into the Midwest. Temperatures across the Missouri Ozarks and parts of Kansas reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Weather Service. In the Northeast, extreme heat was easing with temperatures expected to dip into the low 70s in Trenton, New Jersey to give residents an escape from what AccuWeather.com forecasters called a "heat bubble" that had blistered the area in July.

Himalayan nations develop energy, water roadmap in lead up to climate summit
August 5, 2011 09:05 AM - Editor, World Wildlife Fund

Kathmandu, Nepal: Experts from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal gathered in Kathmandu in late July for discussions on long-term energy security in the Himalayas, concluding a series of planning sessions that aim to put an ambitious 10-year regional climate change adaptation plan in motion.

Green House Gases Other than CO2
August 4, 2011 11:40 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

Carbon dioxide remains the largest by mass of potential green house gases affecting climate change, but other greenhouse gases measurably contribute to the problem. A new study, conducted by NOAA scientists and published online today in Nature, shows that cutting emissions of those other gases could slow changes in climate that are expected in the future. Discussions with colleagues around the time of the 2009 United Nations’ climate conference in Copenhagen inspired three NOAA scientists – Stephen Montzka, Ed Dlugokencky and James Butler of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo. – to review the sources of non-carbon dioxide (CO2) greenhouse gases and explore the potential climate benefits of cutting their emissions.

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