The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
With winter descending on the Arctic, sea ice should be expanding rapidly in the Bering and Chukchi seas off Alaska and eastern Siberia. But instead of sea ice, satellite sensors see thousands of square miles of open water stretching between the Alaska and Russia.
“It’s the lowest ice extent on record for this time of year for the combined basins,” according to Rebecca Lindsey of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
(CNN)Sea level rise is one of the most recognizable consequences of climate change and is likely to be one of the most destructive as well. Projecting when destructive coastal inundation could occur in your city just became easier, thanks to a new tool developed by NASA scientists.
By pinpointing which specific glaciers and ice sheets are contributing to local sea level rise for individual coastal cities, scientists can paint a more complete and accurate picture of what global warming will mean for rising ocean levels.
“This study allows one person to understand which icy areas of the world will contribute most significantly to sea level change (rise or decrease) in their specific city,” Eric Larour, one of the study’s authors, told CNN.
Coastal communities from Maine to California have been put on notice from one of the top credit rating agencies: Start preparing for climate change or risk losing access to cheap credit.
In a report to its clients Tuesday, Moody’s Investors Service Inc. explained how it incorporates climate change into its credit ratings for state and local bonds. If cities and states don’t deal with risks from surging seas or intense storms, they are at greater risk of default.
“What we want people to realize is: If you’re exposed, we know that. We’re going to ask questions about what you’re doing to mitigate that exposure,” Lenny Jones, a managing director at Moody’s, said in a phone interview. “That’s taken into your credit ratings.”
President Donald Trump is planning to drastically shrink two national monuments in Utah. According to documents obtained by the Washington Post, Bears Ears, which is currently 1.35 million acres could be shrunk by 85 percent, and the 1.9 million acres of Grand Staircase-Escalante will be reduced by 85 percent. Trump will be announcing the proposal when he visits Salt Lake City on Monday.
The move comes after Trump asked Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in April to review any national monument larger than 100,000 acres. Three months later, Zinke submitted a report with recommendations for reducing or eliminating 27 monuments, including Gold Butte in Nevada and Vermillion Cliffs in Arizona.
TransCanada Corp’s (TRP.TO) existing Keystone pipeline has leaked substantially more oil, and more often, in the United States than indicated in risk assessments the company provided to regulators before the project began operating in 2010, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.
The Canadian company is now seeking to expand the pipeline system linking Alberta’s oil fields to U.S. refineries with its proposed Keystone XL project, which has U.S. President Donald Trump’s backing.
NAGS HEAD, North Carolina—This hurricane season, Lance Goldner harbored an unusual wish: that his beach house on North Carolina’s scenic Outer Banks would collapse in a storm.
Goldner bought the property with his brother 14 years ago, when it was part of a row of cottages perched above the high-tide line. They’d planned to rent it out, but for much of the past decade, the faded yellow structure has stood vacant. Today, insulation spills from its bowels. Windows are boarded up. And high tides wash underneath between pilings, even on calm days.
Ever since a nor’easter slammed the Outer Banks in 2009, damaging hundreds of homes along these barrier islands, Goldner’s cottage has been largely uninhabitable. The storm sucked the land out from beneath the homes. Now only two remain in a row that once numbered 10. Erosion has gradually consumed the shoreline in the tourist town of Nags Head, seizing homes and threatening nearly a billion dollars’ worth of property.
Sea level rise from climate change is making matters worse. For homeowners caught in the middle, the damage has left some facing substantial financial losses.
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