Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium

Climate Ark Climate Change & Global Warming RSS News Feed


07/22/2014 08:00 AM
Drier Dust Bowl: Waiting for relief in rural America
Washington Post: The water could start at any time. Every few hours, Anita Pointon refreshes the Web site that tells when it’s coming, because the work begins as soon as they know. Her husband, Chuck, 62, will set out to walk the farm with a moisture probe to see which fields are the driest. One run of water covers only about 18 acres of their 500, so they have to choose carefully. As rural America wilts, this is how those left working its powder-dry land get by: At the appointed hour, Chuck turns the head...


07/21/2014 11:02 PM
Climate change wins precarious slot in proposed development goals
Reuters: Proposed new global development goals, drafted by a U.N. working group, include a goal to take urgent action on climate change, despite opposition from some countries - even though the goal is weaker than many campaigners would like. How the "post-2015 development agenda' -- which will follow the expiring Millennium Development Goals -- should approach climate change has been a thorny issue for the past 18 months, not least because the world is simultaneously trying to hammer out a new deal to...


07/22/2014 02:03 AM
South-west is the UK's jellyfish hotspot, survey finds
Guardian: The south-west may be home to some of the cleanest beaches in the UK, but the first survey of its kind in over 40 years shows that it is also a thriving area for the country's jellyfish. More jellyfish were spotted per kilometre along the south-west coast than anywhere else in Britain's waters, with the south-east home to the fewest, according to an analysis of nine years of data collected by the public. The study by a team at the University of Exeter also shows that reports this year of swarms...


07/21/2014 11:00 PM
Tinderbox Explodes in Wildfires Across Northwest
New York Times: A cool, wet spring that drew out luxuriant growth in parts of the Pacific Northwest, followed by a ferociously hot and dry early summer, has created a fire-season tinderbox across the Pacific Northwest that exploded over the past week with dozens of wildfires burning hundreds of thousands of acres and forcing thousands of residents from their homes. More than 3,500 people, including fire crews from all over the country and National Guard troops in Washington and Oregon, have been battling the...


07/21/2014 08:52 PM
Scientists blast Australian government moves dismantle environmental protections
Mongabay: On Tuesday a prominent group of conservation scientists condemned the Australian government's recent moves to eliminate protections for native ecosystems, cut research funding, backtrack on commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and step up persecution of individuals and organizations that speak out on environmental matters. Convening in Cairns, Australia at its annual meeting, The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) issued a resolution in support of stronger laws...


07/21/2014 03:03 PM
Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert
Guardian: Beef’s environmental impact dwarfs that of other meat including chicken and pork, new research reveals, with one expert saying that eating less red meat would be a better way for people to cut carbon emissions than giving up their cars. The heavier impact on the environment of meat production was known but the research shows a new scale and scope of damage, particularly for beef. The popular red meat requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water and results in...


07/21/2014 01:46 PM
Climate: Meat turns up the heat as livestock emit greenhouse gases
ScienceDaily: Eating meat contributes to climate change, due to greenhouse gasses emitted by livestock. New research finds that livestock emissions are on the rise and that beef cattle are responsible for far more greenhouse gas emissions than other types of animals. It is published by Climactic Change. Carbon dioxide is the most-prevalent gas when it comes to climate change. It is released by vehicles, industry, and forest removal and comprises the greatest portion of greenhouse gas totals. But methane and...


07/21/2014 01:46 PM
Replacing coal, oil with natural gas will not help fight global warming, expert argues
ScienceDaily: Both shale gas and conventional natural gas have a larger greenhouse gas footprint than do coal or oil, especially for the primary uses of residential and commercial heating. Dr. Robert Howarth, a professor of ecology and environmental biology, came to this conclusion after assessing the best available data and analyzing greenhouse gas footprints for both methane (including shale gas and conventional gas) and carbon dioxide over a timescale of 20-years following emissions. The findings are...


07/21/2014 06:59 PM
Activists say arrests made in protest at Utah tar sands mine project
Reuters: Sheriff's deputies in Utah arrested nearly two dozen environmental protesters who chained themselves to fences and construction equipment on Monday at a tar sands mining project in the remote Book Cliffs mountains, an activist group said. The Tar Sands Resistance group said about 80 activists set up a "blockade" at the PR Springs mine to highlight what it said would be huge environmental damage if it goes ahead. "These projects do nothing but devastate the land and pollute the water and air,"...


07/21/2014 01:17 PM
Washington state wildfire claims first fatality, weather improving
Reuters: Cooler weather and lower winds aided firefighters on Monday as they battled a week-old wildfire in Washington state that has destroyed up to 150 homes, scorched a wide swath of wilderness east of the Cascade Mountains and left one person dead. Several miles of containment lines have been put in place around the perimeter of the Carlton Complex Fire, which has burned through 243,000 acres since it was sparked by lightning on July 14, fire officials said. A drop in temperatures on Sunday, with...


07/21/2014 01:27 PM
California marks warmest winter and spring on record
Reuters: California had its warmest winter and spring on record this year, leading to stresses on water resources and agriculture, as well as increased risk of wildfire in the most populous U.S. state, the National Weather Service said Monday. In an overview of the nation's weather released on the agency's website, meteorologists said temperatures in California were about 5 degrees Fahrenheit above normal during the first six months of 2014, and just over 1 degree hotter than the previous record. "Despite...


07/21/2014 03:26 PM
Poll 60% back carbon tax if used for renewables
USA Today: Most Americans oppose a carbon tax, considered by many economists a cost-effective way to fight climate change, but they are willing to support it if the money is returned to them or used to fund renewable energy, a poll Monday finds. Only a third, or 34%, say they support taxing fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas that emit heat-trapping carbon dioxide when burned, according to researchers at the University of Michigan's Center for Local, State and Urban Policy and Muhlenberg College's Institute...


07/21/2014 01:09 PM
Beef's greater environment burden
BBC: A new study suggests that the production of beef is around 10 times more damaging to the environment than any other form of livestock. Scientists measured the environment inputs required to produce the main US sources of protein. Beef cattle need 28 times more land and 11 times more irrigation water than pork, poultry, eggs or dairy. The research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While it has long been known that beef has a greater environmental...


07/21/2014 05:08 PM
Report: Sunday shows give climate change more air time
Hill: Sunday shows have given climate change issues more air time in the first half of 2014 than in the last four years combined, according to a new analysis. The group Media Matters released the analysis Monday, which regularly tracks coverage of climate change by broadcast news, found that coverage in 2014 is substantially greater than previous years, but still down from its peak in 2009. The report credits a letter led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sent late last year, which railed against Sunday...


07/21/2014 06:01 AM
Climate Change Already Profound Impacts on Lakes in Europe
National Geographic: For perspective on how climate change is affecting lakes, those of us here in the U.S. can just look across the pond, where scientists and the agencies involved in meeting the European Union’s Water Framework Directive have amassed an impressive body of research on the topic. Not only are extreme weather events such as droughts and intense rainstorms becoming more common, climate warming is leading to increased algal growth and more frequent toxic algal blooms. It also affects the entire aquatic...


07/21/2014 01:18 PM
Your Cheeseburger Is Leaving a Giant Environmental Footprint
LiveScience: Beef production takes a big toll on the environment, according to one of the most comprehensive studies to date on livestock management in the United States. To make one steak, 28 times more land, 11 times more irrigation water, five times more greenhouse-gas emissions and six times more fertilizer is needed compared to what's required for other sources of commonly eaten protein, like pork and poultry, the researchers found. "We were trying to see how many resources we take from planet Earth...


07/21/2014 11:08 AM
Surprising habitat: camera traps reveal high levels mammal diversity in oil palm plantations
Mongabay: At first the forest seems still, with only the sounds of busy insects and slight movement of wind betraying activity in the patchy undergrowth. Then, curiously, a Malay civet (Viverra tangalunga), an animal resembling half cat and half weasel, scampers out to claim its prize: a stick smeared with margarine and honey. CLICK! Sensing the animal’s body heat, a camera trap strapped to a nearby tree captures an image of this creature's inquisitive behavior. After more than four and a half years of...


07/21/2014 06:35 PM
Global warming emissions from meat consumption rising rapidly
Mongabay: Greenhouse gas emissions from livestock production have increased by more than 50 percent over the past 50 years and are set to zoom higher as the developing world consumes more meat, finds a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The research is based on analysis of the impacts of livestock production per calorie consumed, including water and fertilizer use, land area requirements, and other factors. It went beyond carbon dioxide, evaluating...


07/21/2014 04:01 PM
Roads through the rainforest: an overview of South America's 'arc of deforestation'
Mongabay: When a new road centipedes its way across a landscape, the best of intentions may be laid with the pavement. But roads, by their very nature, are indiscriminate pathways, granting access for travel and trade along with deforestation and other forms of environmental degradation. And as the impacts of roads on forest ecosystems become clear, governments and planning agencies reach a moral crossroads. Roads have the potential to greatly cut costs for businesses and farms, grant rural communities...


07/21/2014 09:48 AM
Germany tops energy efficiency rating U.S. remains stuck near bottom
Mongabay: Two years after the first energy efficiency ranking report put out by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and the U.S. still lags widely behind most of the world's other large economies. In the second report, the U.S. came in at number 13 out of 16 nations-even beaten by new-comer to the report, India-while Germany took the top spot. "Germany is a prime example of a nation that has made energy efficiency a top priority," said ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel. "The...