EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt hinted Tuesday at plans to rid the agency’s scientific advisory boards of researchers who get EPA grants, arguing that the current structure raises questions about their independence. Washington Post.
Top Climate News
California is beginning to take stock of the damage caused by a series of wildfires that tore through the state’s wine country and resulted in more than 40 confirmed fatalities. Water Deeply.
Hundreds of Victorian doctors and medical staff are pressuring their super funds to quit investing in coal and oil for the sake of health, as they did with tobacco five years ago. Melbourne Age, Australia.
Our Reporting on Climate Change
Arctic ice cover reaches low (someone tell NASA). Daily Climate.
Cable News awakens. Sort of. Daily Climate.
For all of its A-plus, life-saving urgency in backing up evacuation efforts, TV news still can't bring itself to even ask the question. Daily Climate.
The world’s latest carbon-monitoring satellite has advanced our understanding of how the planet functions. US politicians should take note. more…
Impacts on biodiversity
NovoNutrients wants to replace that fish food with something more sustainable: microbes grown with carbon dioxide. Fast Company.
The Napa Valley wildfires are eerily similar to those that often flare up near Los Angeles. The Atlantic.
NASA data collected in 2015, an exceptionally warm year, raises more concerns about spiraling global warming feedback. InsideClimate News.
U.S. Senate Democrats vowed on Tuesday to fight a measure expected to be slipped into budget legislation that would open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Reserve to oil and gas drilling, saying it would destroy one of earth’s remaining paradises. Reuters.
To combat climate change, every country on Earth could stop the burning of oil completely. Or they could simply pay attention to the way they manage their land. Toronto Star, Ontario.
Chasing warmer waters, the market squid might be here to stay. Juneau Empire, Alaska.
Scientists investigating marine life in the Baltic Sea have found mussels, oysters and clams are emitting greenhouse gases - but cows still trump them. The Guardian.
Planting forests and other activities that harness the power of nature could play a major role in limiting global warming under the 2015 Paris agreement, an international study showed on Monday. Reuters.
The wildfires displayed a cruel California truth: Living in the state's most beautiful spots has always required a sacrifice in safety. Washington Post.
Impacts on water quantity
The Atlas fire has burned more than 51,000 acres, killed six people and destroyed more than 300 homes. But as of late Sunday, the Atlas fire was 65 percent contained. Los Angeles Times.
As portrayed in novels, the California of the future is barely habitable. Brutal storms alternate with crushing droughts. Mudslides and wildfires create waves of climate change refugees. McClatchy Newspapers.
The long and brutal 2017 wildfire season is stressing the state and federal agencies that have to pay for the army of ground crews and machinery required to fight them. Associated Press.
We fuel them, we build houses by them, we ignite them. Vox.
Home Depot is sold out of face masks, people sleeping in shelters have bandanas tied around their faces. USA Today.
Editor comments: Think health aftermath of 9-11. Burning construction materials and household goods is likely to have lasting health consequences for residents and first responders. -JPM
The Carmichael coal mine was once pitched as a choice between jobs and the environment. So where are the jobs? more…
Beijing sees an interconnected world where environmental sustainability is crucial to maintaining political support, global stability and economic growth. more…
Impacts on food
Many of the foreign-born workers the region depends on are undocumented and do not qualify for most disaster aid. They may struggle to find affordable housing. New York Times.
Jobs, homes and lives are at risk when extreme weather strikes the communities that grow America's food. InsideClimate News.
Using imported seed, "you are not sure if you will harvest enough to offset the costs" - so local seed is gaining ground, farmers say. Thomson Reuters Foundation.
People in poor communities hit hard by the hurricane are rationing their food, water and propane, and hospitals are trying to operate on shaky power supplies. InsideClimate News.
A plant conservationist from Syria and his colleagues are safeguarding seeds that might be crucial when more parts of the world become as hot and arid as the Middle East. New York Times.
Less rain and higher temperatures means herders in Algeria are increasingly struggling to make ends meet. Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Global hunger has fallen more than a quarter since 2000, but conflict and climate shocks are beginning to reverse these gains, an annual global hunger index said on Thursday. Thomson Reuters Foundation.
A rapidly spreading invasive pest now threatens crops across the continent. Sierra.
A heat-exchange technique to transfer the warmth from the exhaust exiting a poultry house to the fresh – but often extremely cold – air coming in are saving poultry farmers big bucks. Midwest Energy News, United States.
United Nations and climate
Pope Francis implicitly criticized the United States on Monday for pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate change, praising it as a means to control the devastating effects of global warming. Reuters.
EU environment ministers agreed national emissions-reduction targets and forest management rules in a push to show the bloc is delivering on its climate goals ahead of United Nations talks next month to fight global warming. Reuters.
Coal, oil and gas finance from major development banks totalled $5bn in year after historic climate pact, according to estimates. The Guardian.
International agreements are increasingly looking at conserving forests as a way to mitigate global warming, preserve biodiversity and safeguard human communities from environmental disasters. Mongabay.
World leaders must do more to defend custodians of natural world whose lives are at risk from big business, says UN rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz. The Guardian.
Deputy premier brands Australia ‘deforestation hotspot’ after a 45 percent jump in her state’s reef catchment clearing. The Guardian.
Solutions and Good News
The faithful at Mount Olive Lutheran Church just wanted to make their 80-year-old building energy-efficient, a tangible step to care for God's creation. Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota.
From log trails to lava houses, from mud baths to melting glaciers, US photographer Lucas Foglia explores our relationship with the natural world in his new book Human Nature. The Guardian.
Could Puerto Rico rebuild its electrical system in a radical new way to use more renewable energy, lower costs and improve reliability? Two heavyweight players appear interested in the idea. InsideClimate News.
While his competitors wait for diesel to restart generators knocked out by Hurricane Maria, flower grower Hector Santiago is already back in business because of solar panels powering his 40-acre (16.2-hectare) nursery in central Puerto Rico. Reuters.
The threat of global annihilation may feel as present as it did during the Cold War, but today's high-security shelters could not be more different from their 20th-century counterparts. CNN.
Editor comments: This is a less nuanced version of a similar story that appeared in the New Yorker in January 2017. -JPM
The state’s oyster farming industry is gaining ground as growers elsewhere struggle. Hakai Magazine.
As oceans around the world absorb carbon dioxide and acidify, the changes are likely to come faster to the nation’s largest estuary. Baltimore Sun, Maryland.
During his speech to the 2017 “Our Oceans” environmental conference, Charles said that the world had “catastrophically underestimated” the sea’s “vulnerability to climate change, acidification and pollution.” Newsweek.
A team of scientists and reef managers say it's time to consider 'riskier' and unconventional ways to save the world's coral habitats. The Guardian.
Restoring depleted reefs with nursery-grown coral is a captivating idea, but how do its goals measure up? Undark.
As hurricane after hurricane ravages Puerto Rico and the Gulf Coast, the Trump administration has quietly walked away from a government-wide effort to help the growing number of American communities whose very existence is threatened by climate change. Mother Jones.
A key argument used by climate skeptics to downplay the consequences of anthropogenic climate change is resurfacing: the idea that carbon dioxide emissions are a net positive for the planet's vegetation. ClimateWire.
Malcolm Turnbull has secured party room backing to impose new reliability and emissions reduction guarantees on energy retailers and large energy users from 2020. The Guardian.
Fiji called on Tuesday for “absolute dedication” to the strictest limits on global warming as it prepares to preside over U.N. talks next month seeking to keep the Paris climate agreement on track despite a U.S. pullout. Reuters.
The head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said on Tuesday that a directive from the U.S. energy secretary to prop up struggling nuclear and coal power plants has initiated an important conversation, but hinted the agency may not pass the plan without changes. Reuters.
Climate and oceans
Congressional Republicans have found a way to use the federal budget to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling— and they don’t plan on stopping there. Bloomberg News.
The Delta House floating production facility southeast of Venice, Louisiana, released 7,950 to 9,350 barrels of oil making it the largest spill in more than seven years, even though it’s a fraction of the millions of barrels ejected in the 2010 incident. Bloomberg News.
A rare hole the size of Tasmania has opened up in the sea ice off Antarctica, enthralling scientists keen to understand its cause and the possible role of climate change in its formation. Sydney Morning Herald, Australia.
As a hurricane and an extratropical storm, Ophelia has over-performed. Mashable.
How anti-erosion measures hurt fish—and living shorelines may help. Hakai Magazine.
Robert Trice is pursuing his quixotic 12-year quest to prove that undiscovered troves of oil still lie in British waters, if you just know where to look. New York Times.
The controversial expansion of a pipeline that would carry tar sands crude from Alberta to British Columbia’s coast will be doomed by the rising power of Indigenous land rights. The Guardian.
t's been three weeks since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, and conditions are deteriorating due to a pervasive lack of access to food, water, and electricity. Some residents in Puerto Rico have little recourse left than to seek out water supplies at wells located on the island's Superfund sites. Mashable.
The fossil fuel has been an environmental threat and economic necessity for Native American tribes in Arizona. What happens when it's gone? Bloomberg News.
The judge refused to shut down the oil pipeline during an environmental review. Lawyers pointed to a ‘historic pattern of putting all the risk and harm on tribes.’ InsideClimate News.
Forcing a group of Ecuadorian villagers to come up with almost $1 million before they can pursue a claim against oil behemoth Chevron would deprive them of access to justice, Ontario's top court heard Wednesday. Canadian Press.
Oil can keep flowing through the contested Dakota Access Pipeline while the Army Corps of Engineers conducts a new environmental review of the duct through next April, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday. Reuters.