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Nature World: The Colorado River basin is drying up. According to data recently released by NASA, the basin has lost nearly 53 million acre feet of freshwater since 2004, taking away far more water than the nation's largest reservoirs can refill. The Colorado River basin is drying up. According to data recently released by NASA, the basin has lost nearly 53 million acre feet of freshwater since 2004, taking away far more water than the region can hope to refill. Based on data from NASA's Gravity Recovery...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 8:04 pm
Nature World: Scientists have long been concerned that global warming may push the Earth's climate system past a "tipping point," and a new study from Oregon State University (OSU) may have finally identified that threshold. According to the research, synchronization of climate variability in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans is that tipping point - where rapid melting of ice and further warming may become irreversible. This is what happened a few hundred years before the rapid warming that took place...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 8:04 pm
EcoWatch: A new ad campaign from the League of Conservation Voters characterizes the recent behavior of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other fossil fuel supporters and donors with three D’s—dirty, desperate and dangerous. The $250,000 “Desperate” campaign blasts the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its allies’ attempts to kill the Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions proposal in advance of next week’s public hearings in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Denver and Washington D.C. The ad is in response to the analysis...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 7:13 pm
LiveScience: Wild monkeys living in forests of Fukushima — the Japanese city that was the site of a nuclear power plant meltdown in 2011 — have lower blood cell counts than monkeys from northern Japan, and carry detectable levels of cesium in their bodies, researchers have found. The researchers studied blood changes and signs of radiation exposure in 61 monkeys living 43 miles (70 kilometers) from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, about one year after an earthquake and tsunami struck the region in...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 6:49 pm
Grist: Whether or not you think that`s alright depends on your perspective. According to Patrick Creighton, those numbers are pretty good -- so many oil and natural gas wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania in the past seven years that 209 problem wells is a mere 1 percent of the total. But Creighton happens to be the spokesperson for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a trade group composed of natural gas drillers. So there`s that. According to Steve Hvozdovich, 209 is a lot. "You are talking about somebody’s...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 4:52 pm
National Public Radio: Here in southeastern Virginia, our biggest city, Norfolk, is saddled with an unwanted claim to fame. As The Washington Post has reported, Norfolk is the place "where normal tides have risen 1.5 feet over the past century and the sea is rising faster than anywhere else on the East Coast." NPR notes that the Norfolk area "is particularly vulnerable because the land is sinking as sea levels are rising." Scientists from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science here at the College of William and...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 4:44 pm
EcoWatch: In addition to the area residents, cleanup crew members and consumers of regional seafood, monkeys have also suffered health issues likely attributable to the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011. In the case of the Japanese macaques, the radioactive material spewed by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has led to abnormally low white and red blood cell levels and low haemoglobin. The findings, published Thursday in the Scientific Reports journal, show that the low counts make the monkeys...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 4:41 pm
New York Times: As we pour heat-trapping gases into the air, we’re running an experiment. We’re going to see what a rapidly changing climate does to the world’s biodiversity—how many species shift to new ranges, how many adapt to their new environment and how many become extinct. We don’t have a very good idea of how the experiment will turn out. Scientists are coming to appreciate that there’s a lot about how climate affects life that they still don’t understand. That’s true, it turns out, even for species that...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 4:36 pm
Yale Environment 360: Expanding and strengthening the community forest rights of indigenous groups and rural residents can make a major contribution to sequestering carbon and reducing CO2 emissions from deforestation, according to a new report. The World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Rights and Resources Initiative said that indigenous people and rural inhabitants in Latin America, Africa, and Asia have government-recognized rights to forests containing nearly 38 billion tons of carbon, equal to 29 times the annual...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 4:02 pm
EcoWatch: The shuffling of lobby dollars that keeps fossil fuel-friendly policies on the books for the benefit of huge corporations and their legislative pals isn`t specific to the U.S. A new report from Friends of the Earth Europe aims to expose Shell, Total and ExxonMobil, along with groups like BusinessEurope and OGP, to reveal what it calls a "thick web of lobbying activity." The report says public relations and law firms, paid-for scientific reports, and even members of Parliament have all been used...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 3:10 pm
Voice of America: Researchers meeting in Cameroon say Africa may lose up to 30 percent of its animal and plant species by the end of the century due to global warming, population growth and unregulated development. The researchers from 20 African, American and European universities say sub-Saharan Africa is losing forest land faster than any place on Earth. Loggers are cutting down trees to meet unrelenting timber demand from China, Europe and the United States. Meanwhile, countries are recording 3 percent population...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 2:00 pm
Al Jazeera: China’s plan to build coal-to-gas plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions may actually exacerbate pollution that in recent years has caused public health scares and driven environmentalists to protest on the streets and online, according to findings published Wednesday by Greenpeace China. If Chinese environmental regulators approve 50 projects to turn some of the nation’s vast coal resources into synthetic natural gas -- a program heralded by some as a means of reducing the nation’s carbon...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 2:00 pm
KQED: Drought has moved to the top of the list in the latest survey of Californians` environmental worries. In a statewide poll conducted during the second week of July, more than a third of respondents (35 percent) cited water supply and drought as "the most important environmental issue facing California today." That more than doubled the second most popular response, which was air pollution. It`s the first time since the annual survey was launched in 2000 that Californians have cited water supply...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 2:00 pm
New York Times: Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma are among the most vocal Republican skeptics of the science that burning fossil fuels contributes to global warming, but a new study to be released Thursday found that their states would be among the biggest economic winners under a regulation proposed by President Obama to fight climate change. The study, conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Rhodium Group, both research organizations, concluded that...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 2:00 pm
Vancouver Sun: Are the forest fires ripping through British Columbia’s vast stands of beetle-killed forests on the parched Interior plateau a portent of the growing economic consequences of impending climate change? There’s compelling evidence they are, and that we should be paying close attention. First, there’s the trend to mild winters that permit the pine beetle, whose population is normally controlled by severe temperatures, to both grow explosively and broaden its range exponentially. In a scant decade,...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 2:00 pm
Daily Climate: A generation ago Jimmy Carter was in the White House, donning sweaters and telling Americans to turn down the thermostat. In the 35 years since, global emissions have almost doubled, from 18 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide a year in 1980 to almost 32 billion in 2011, the latest year available. The impacts are increasingly being felt everywhere -- bigger storms in the Midwest, soggy summers in England, drought in Colorado. But nowhere on the planet are the impacts as dramatic as the Arctic,...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 2:00 pm
Blue and Green: The EU Commission announced their approval of Germany’s new renewable energy law in Brussels on Wednesday. The Commission thinks the new law will help the country move away from fossil fuels and will not stop competition in the single market. The German Renewable Energy Act or EEG 2014 will support the production of electricity from renewable sources, helping to meet carbon emission targets and will come into force on August 1 2014. The EU Commission estimated the support of renewable electricity...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 12:28 pm
National Public Radio: Oklahoma has been battling the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over new environmental regulations since Gov. Mary Fallin came into office in 2010, and Attorney General Scott Pruitt is vowing to fight the latest proposed rule that would cut carbon emissions by 30 percent nationally. But a new study from Strategic and International Studies and the Rhodium Group shows the state might be shooting itself in the foot by fighting what could end up being an economic boom. From The New York Times'...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 11:34 am
BusinessGreen: The government will spend two years looking for a new site to store nuclear waste from power stations, industry and submarines, it was announced today. A new long term plan to find a site to host a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) has been launched following a consultation on improving the controversial process of site identification, which previously failed to deliver a permanent storage site. Currently, nuclear waste is stored temporarily at secure nuclear sites across the country, but...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 11:09 am
Reuters: Twenty new coal mine projects by state-run Coal India, planned with annual capacity of 52 million tonnes (46 million tons), have been delayed by difficulties acquiring land and environmental clearances, the coal minister said on Thursday, underlining the uphill task he faces in reforming the sector. The new government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is hastening environmental clearances - which slowed to a trickle under the previous administration - to help fire up power plants and fulfill Modi's...
Posted: July 24, 2014, 10:46 am
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