The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
About 150 miles from where thousands have protested for months that the Dakota Access pipeline could threaten a Sioux tribe’s water supply, a pipeline in the western part of North Dakota has spilled more than 130,000 gallons of oil into a creek, state officials said.
In all, the Belle Fourche pipeline lost 4,200 barrels of crude oil, or more than 176,000 gallons, before operators shut it down, according to state Department of Health spokeswoman Jennifer Skjod. Most of the oil flowed into the Ash Coulee Creek near Belfield, Skjod said.
It’s unclear what caused the break, according to Wendy Owen, a spokeswoman for Wyoming-based True Companies, which owns the pipeline. A landowner discovered the leak Dec. 5. The company uses monitoring technology designed to detect leaks, but it possibly failed because of “the intermittent nature of the flow” of oil through the pipeline, Owen said.
Gov. Jerry Brown promised California would continue to vigorously pursue climate science the annual American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco. Video courtesy of American Geophysical Union
Scientists at institutions in the United States and Australia on Friday published a set of unprecedented ocean observations near the largest glacier of the largest ice sheet in the world: Totten glacier, East Antarctica. And the result was a troubling confirmation of what scientists already feared — Totten is melting from below.
Reindeer are getting smaller and lighter as a result of climate change’s disruption to their food supply, researchers revealed during the British Ecological Society annual meeting in Liverpool this week.
The findings come by way of ecologists from the James Hutton Institute, the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences who have been measuring reindeer in the high Arctic every winter since 1994. According to their measurements, adult reindeer have shown a 12 percent decrease in overall body mass over the years—from 121 pounds in 1994 to 106 pounds in 2010.
The Extinction Crisis is Worse Than You Think
Photos and video-heavy presentation of crisis.
The ill winds of climate change are irrevocably reshaping the Arctic, including massive declines in sea ice and snow and a record-late start to sea ice formation this fall. Those were the sobering conclusions of the 2016 Arctic Report Card released Tuesday.
The report card is sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and co-authored by more than 50 scientists from Asia, North America and Europe. The data shows that the Arctic is warming at double the rate of the global average temperature. Between October 2015 and September 2016, temperatures over Arctic land areas were 2.0 degrees Celsius above the 1981-2010 baseline, the warmest on record going back to 1900.
A new report, published Thursday as a special edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, provides some of the best evidence yet that climate change already has a hand in our worst weather. It points to a variety of extreme weather events in 2015 that were likely influenced by global warming, from heat waves in Australia to heavy rain in China to raging wildfires in Alaska.
The report, examining research on two dozen weather events, was compiled and edited by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research.
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