Climate

Why Your Weathercaster Doesn't Mention Climate Change
August 27, 2012 09:14 AM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit

Call him one of the bravest weathercasters in the country. Broadcasting in South Carolina, a red state for sure, Jim Gandy is not afraid to link extreme weather events and patterns with climate change. Gandy does a segment called Climate Matters, a segment that Grist describes as placing "weathercasts in the context of climate change." One Climate Matters broadcast looked at global warming and heat waves.

Study confirms Arctic sea ice set to plunge to lowest measure on record
August 24, 2012 01:25 PM - ClickGreen staff, ClickGreen

Arctic sea ice is set to reach its lowest ever recorded extent confirming fears that the effects of man-made climate change are having a major impact on the polar region. With the melt happening at an unprecedented rate of more than 100,000 sq km a day, and at least a week of further melt expected before ice begins to reform ahead of the northern winter, scientists are expected to confirm the record – currently set in 2007 – within days.

Our Changing Forests: An 88-Year Time Lapse
August 23, 2012 08:52 AM - Andrew Prince, NPR Topics: Environment

Intense forest fires have been raging across the western United States this summer. So far this year, nearly 43,000 wildfires have torched almost 7 million acres of land. As NPR Science correspondent Christopher Joyce and photographer David Gilkey report from Arizona and New Mexico this week, the forests of the American Southwest have become so overgrown that they're essentially tinderboxes just waiting for a spark.

Arctic sea ice approaches another record melt
August 22, 2012 02:41 PM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM

Sea ice extent in the Arctic is very near to beating the previous record low set in 2007, according to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center. Researchers told Reuters that they expect the record to be beaten by the end of month, well over a week before the melt season ends in the frozen north. In 2007 the sea ice extent fell to a record nadir of 4.28 million square kilometers (1.66 million square miles), astonishing experts and prompting a second look on how quickly sea ice might disappear from the Arctic altogether during the summer. But researchers say sea ice extent could fall below 4 million square kilometers (1.5 million square miles) this year if current melt trends continue.

Species Adapting to Climate Change is more complicated than thought
August 21, 2012 12:12 PM - Allison Winter, ENN

With climate change happening, species will be forced to adapt or to move out of the habitats they are accustomed to. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are trying to understand how these species will respond to changing environmental conditions and where they will go. One study published in the journal Global Change Biology finds that changes in precipitation have been overlooked as a factor in driving bird species out of their normal range. The second study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, found a sharp decrease in range for the Belding's ground squirrel as it relies on human-modified areas for their new homes.

The Effect of Dams on Global Warming
August 20, 2012 09:34 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

A new study has revealed the under-appreciation that exists for the role dams play in climate change; how the reservoirs behind them can cause surges of greenhouse gases as the water levels go up and down. In a study of the water column at such a reservoir, marine scientists found an astonishing 20-fold increase in methane emissions as water levels were drawn down. Bubbles coming out of the mud and sediment at the bottom were chock full of this potent greenhouse gas.

Wind Power in the US Expected to Peak in 2012
August 19, 2012 07:42 AM - The Green Economy

The U.S. Department of Energy's "2011 Wind Technologies Market Report" finds that in 2011, the United States was still one of the fastest-growing markets for wind power. Around 6.8 gigwatts (GW) of new wind power capabilities were established in 2011, up from 5.2 GW in 2010. 2011 levels, however, were still beneath the 10 GW built in 2009. With the concerns of uncertain federal policies on the way, 2012 is expected to have the wind power market reach its peak, according to the research. Put together by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), the "2011 Wind Technologies Market Report" listed some other important points: Today, wind power accounts for over 10% of the total electricity production in six states, two of which have over 20%. Combined, these statistics comprise over 3% of the nation's entire supply of electricity. In 2011, wind power made up 32% of all the new additions to U.S. electricity capacity.

Landslide Fatalities Underestimated
August 17, 2012 11:48 AM - Allison Winter, ENN

According to research by Durham University, UK, landslides are causing more fatalities than previously thought. A new database, known as the Durham Fatal Landslide Database, was created to help identify global hotspots for landslides and the magnitude of their fatalities. This information is crucial to policymakers who can prioritize areas for action to manage these hazards. Between 2004 and 2010, 2620 fatal landslides were recorded worldwide, causing a total of 32,322 documented fatalities. This number is nearly ten times the previous estimated range of 3,000 to 7,000 fatalities. Researchers speculate the analysis may still underestimate the true fatality count especially since the study does not include seismic induced landslides because of the uncertainty of whether the deaths can be attributed to the earthquake itself, or the subsequent landslide.

Cold-Blooded species may adapt to climate change faster than thought
August 17, 2012 07:22 AM - ScienceDaily

In the face of a changing climate many species must adapt or perish. Ecologists studying evolutionary responses to climate change forecast that cold-blooded tropical species are not as vulnerable to extinction as previously thought. The study, published in the British Ecological Society's Functional Ecology, considers how fast species can evolve and adapt to compensate for a rise in temperature. The research, carried out at the University of Zurich, was led by Dr Richard Walters, now at Reading University, alongside David Berger now at Uppsala University and Wolf Blanckenhorn, Professor of Evolutionary Ecology at Zurich.

Slipping Sustainability Through The Back Door
August 16, 2012 08:37 AM - Jennifer Schwab, Sierra Club Green Home

aguna Niguel, CA — America is going green, but not the way environmentalists had planned it. The unlikely hero is none other than Corporate America, which is giving consumers the green whether they realize it or not. Why? Because it's good for the customer, it's good business, and let's face it, as MGM Senior Vice President of Environment and Energy Cindy Ortega articulates, "It is also good for employee morale and retention — people want to work for companies who care about the world around them."

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