The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
The 2018 hurricane season still has a few weeks to go, but it has already been one for the record books. Warming-fueled waters led to some of the strongest, most rapidly-intensifying hurricanes ever recorded.
It happened once before, and it could happen again.
That’s the warning from ocean scientists at the University of Toronto and the University of California, Santa Cruz in a study published recently in Science that shows how an increase in CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere more than 50 million years ago, dramatically changed the chemistry of the planet’s oceans.
The researchers suggest if contemporary global carbon emissions continue to rise, the future of many fish species in our oceans could be at risk.
“Our study shows that global warming is not only about extreme weather events, or hotter summers, but it has the potential to alter the ocean structure with unknown consequences for fisheries,” said Professor Uli Wortmann in the Department of Earth Sciences in the Faculty of Arts & Science at U of T, and co-author of the study.
Last October, then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the agency would repeal the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. But because the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that carbon dioxide is an air pollutant and the Obama EPA correctly concluded that it poses a threat to public welfare via climate change, the EPA is legally obligated to do something to address that threat. That meant they needed a replacement plan.
Last week, the Trump EPA unveiled that plan and inaccurately named it the ‘Affordable Clean Energy Rule.’ The rule basically just extends the life of some dirty coal power plants and encourages them to run a bit more efficiently. The rule’s costs in worsening public health far exceed its monetary benefits. It would more accurately be named the ‘Expensive Dirty Power Plan.’
When U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup dismissed San Francisco and Oakland’s climate liability suits against five of the world’s largest oil companies last week, his ruling ignored the central question of the suit: who should be responsible for paying for the impacts of climate change? In his earlier hearing, Alsup seemed to struggle with the idea that cities could even anticipate what those costs are, imagining them to be unpredictable and far in the future.
But climate change adaptation costs are already piling up for the Bay Area cities. And in place of another way to raise money, San Francisco is sending a referendum to voters this November to vote on paying $425 million to repair the Embarcadero seawall, which is only a small part of a projected $5 billion long-term plan to upgrade the seawall to protect the city from sea level rise.
An oil spill that has been quietly leaking millions of barrels into the Gulf of Mexico has gone unplugged for so long that it now verges on becoming one of the worst offshore disasters in U.S. history.
Between 300 and 700 barrels of oil per day have been spewing from a site 12 miles off the Louisiana coast since 2004, when an oil-production platform owned by Taylor Energy sank in a mudslide triggered by Hurricane Ivan. Many of the wells have not been capped, and federal officials estimate that the spill could continue through this century. With no fix in sight, the Taylor offshore spill is threatening to overtake BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster as the largest ever.
Research forecasts Iowa corn yields could drop in half within the next half-century thanks to extreme weather – yet it’s not part of the political conversation
Farmers around here are itching to go after that amber wave of soya beans, but there was that 5in rain a couple of weeks ago and then a 7in rain, and it drives even the retired guys batty.
Those beans aren’t worth much at the elevator thanks to a Trump trade war with China, but they’re worth even less getting wet feet in a pond that was a field which the glacier made a prairie bog some 14,000 years ago – until we came along and drained it.
Over the past few decades tornadoes have been shifting — decreasing in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas but spinning up more in states along the Mississippi River and farther east, a new study shows. Scientists aren’t quite certain why.
Tornado activity is increasing most in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa and parts of Ohio and Michigan, according to a study in Wednesday’s journal Climate and Atmospheric Science. There has been a slight decrease in the Great Plains, with the biggest drop in central and eastern Texas. Even with the decline, Texas still gets the most tornadoes of any state.
The world is making progress in decarbonizing economies, but not nearly fast enough, says the former U.S. chief climate negotiator. Here he spells out what forces must come together to marshal the public and political will needed to tackle climate change.
At BPI Campus our Progressive Agenda is:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.
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