Previous Climate Change News 2018

The case for “conditional optimism” on climate change 12-31-18

Limiting the damage requires rapid, radical change — but such changes have happened before.

Is there any hope on climate change, or are we just screwed? Read more at Vox

2018: A Year of Deadly Climate Disasters and an ‘Ear Splitting Wake-Up Call’ 12-28-18

2018 is set to rank as the fourth warmest year on record—and the fourth year in a row reflecting a full degree Celsius (1.8° Fahrenheit) temperature rise from the late 1800s, climate scientists say. Read more at EcoWatch

Hurricane Michael Cost This Military Base About $5 Billion, Just One of 2018’s Weather Disasters 12-18-18

Major hurricanes, devastating wildfires, a drought and a series of extreme storms ran up the count of billion-dollar U.S. climate and weather disasters. Read more at Inside Climate News

Hurricane Maria cut the height of Puerto Rico’s forests by a third 12-13-18

Hurricane Maria inflicted “unprecedented” and “fundamental” changes to Puerto Rico’s ecosystem, according to new studies conducted by NASA scientists and other experts. Read more at Grist

Already a Climate Change Leader, California Takes on Food Waste 12-10-18

The state’s innovative programs and laws to tackle excess food and reduce greenhouse gas emissions could be a template for the nation. Read more at Civil Eats

Here’s a way to fight climate change: Empower women 12-09-18

“Gender and climate are inextricably linked,” said environmentalist and author Katharine Wilkinson on stage at TEDWomen last week. Read more at Grist

The Best Technology for Fighting Climate Change Isn’t a Technology 12-05-18

Forests are the most powerful and efficient carbon-capture system on the planet.Forests’ power to store carbon dioxide through the simple process of tree growth is staggering: one tree can store an average of about 48 pounds of carbon dioxide in one year. Read more at Scientific American

Climate Change Is Shrinking Winter Snowpack and Harming Northeast Forests Year-Round 12-03-18

Climate change often conjures up images of heat, drought and hurricanes. But according to the latest U.S. National Climate Assessment, released on Nov. 23, 2018, winters have warmed three times faster than summers in the Northeast in recent years. Read more at EcoWatch

Climate change: Where we are in seven charts and what you can do to help 12-02-18

Representatives from nearly 200 countries are gathering in Poland for talks on climate change – aimed at breathing new life into the Paris Agreement. Read more at BBC

We broke down what climate change will do, region by region 11-29-18

Yeah, we read each chapter of the report so you don’t have to.

We really don’t have much time until the climate plagues start increasing in frequency. Read more at Grist

The Baseless Claim That Climate Scientists Are ‘Driven’ by Money 11-27-18

Critics of a major United States climate report, including the president and conservative pundits, have dismissed its findings with several inaccurate claims. Read more at The New York Times

As Trump questions warming, climate report warns of dire risks to U.S. 11-23-18

The United States already warmed on average 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century and will warm at least 3 more degrees by 2100 unless fossil fuel use is dramatically curtailed, scientists from more than a dozen federal agencies concluded in their latest in-depth assessment. Read more at Grist

Creating a Road Map for a “Green New Deal” 11-19-18

As the window for large-scale action on climate change closes, direct government intervention in other parts of the carbon economy will become more urgent. Read more at The New Yorker

U.S. Nuclear Fleet’s Dry Docks Threatened by Storms and Rising Seas 11-19-18

Damage to key military shipyards would undermine the Pentagon’s ability to respond to military crises and counter China’s ambitions. Read more at Inside Climate News

Want To Slow Down Climate Change? Plant A Tree 11-15-18

Massachusetts should plant more trees, and stop cutting them down, to help avert the worst consequences of climate change, according to a new study.Published Wednesday in Science Advances, the study is the most comprehensive to date that quantifies how much greenhouse gas emissions can be mitigated through “natural solutions” like better management of forests, farmlands, fields and wetlands. Read more at WBUR

The many ways climate change worsens California wildfires  11-13-18

Years of record-setting California wildfires are consistent with mounting evidence of climate change as a principal factor. Read more at Yale Climate Connections

Trump Responds to Tragedy With Cruelty 11-12-18

His tweet about California’s wildfires wasn’t just wrong. It was heartless.President Donald Trump signed a declaration providing federal money for the emergency response. But the president clearly wasn’t happy about it. About 10 hours later, he made a threat: If California goes up in flames like this again, he might just let it burn. Read more at The New Republic

Freedom to Breathe Tour Bus Visits Communities Across the Country Working on Climate Solutions 11-07-18

You don’t have to go far to find communities living with climate change impacts.

Wildfiressea level riseair pollution, asthma—you don’t have to go far to find communities living with climate change impacts. Read more at EcoWatch

Florida heat is already hard on outdoor workers. Climate change will raise health risks 10-31-18

Harvesting crops or building a house in the Florida sun is grueling work, and a new report shows that it’ll only get more miserable and unsafe for workers as climate change sends temperatures soaring. Read more at the Miami Herald

How to Shift Public Attitudes and Win the Global Climate Battle 10-25-18

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. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Not Just CO2: These Climate Pollutants Also Must Be Cut to Keep Global Warming to 1.5 Degrees 10-17-18

UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s landmark report warns policymakers of the risks ahead & the changes needed to stop global warming. Read more at Inside Climate News

What Local Climate Actions Would Have the Greatest Impact 10-17-18

In light of even more dire news about our warming planet, leading thinkers tell us the one thing cities and states could do to cut emissions significantly—and fast.

A landmark report released by the U.N. last week has laid out the stakes of a warming planet more starkly than ever. Warming of just 1.5 degrees Celsius could bring on the most severe consequences of climate change, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. Read more at CityLab

The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, U.N. scientists say 10-07-18

“There is no documented historic precedent” for the scale of changes required, the body found.

The world stands on the brink of failure when it comes to holding global warming to moderate levels, and nations will need to take “unprecedented” actions to cut their carbon emissions over the next decade, according to a landmark report by the top scientific body studying climate change. Read more at The Washington Post

Forgotten Lessons: Why Forest Protection is the Newest Old Solution to Our Environmental Crisis 10-02-18

By William McAuliff

We rarely think about how young our American forests are. Immersing ourselves in the quiet noise of a forest often feels like walking through something that always has and always will be right where it is now. But over the past two hundred years, our forests have changed dramatically. This transformation was not caused by climatic shifts or melting glaciers but by decisions made in the offices of industrialists and politicians. Click here for full article

How Global Warming Is Turbocharging Monster Storms Like Hurricane Florence 09-25-18

Anthony Norris watched the downpour from nearby Elizabethtown. As deputy fire chief, he’d seen his share of bad weather, and Florence didn’t impress him at first.As Hurricane Florence approached the tiny port town of Wilmington, North Carolina, Steven Pfaff took small solace in the knowledge that there hadn’t been much rainfall in August. Read more at Newsweek

Florence has made Wilmington, N.C., an island cut off from the rest of the world 09-16-18

WILMINGTON, N.C. — This city has always embraced the water, with a lively riverfront on one side and the ocean on the other. But in the wake of Hurricane Florence, water has rendered Wilmington an island, shut off from the rest of the world. Read more at The Washington Post

A groundbreaking Hurricane Florence study could change how we think about climate 09-15-18

As Hurricane Florence approached the Carolinas last week, up to 1 million residents boarded up their windowsemptied grocery shelves and gas pumps, and evacuated with their families to escape the storm’s impending wrath. Simultaneously, scientists in other parts of the country were scrambling to produce a landmark study: one that would put numbers to just how much worse climate change had made this dangerous storm. Read more at Grist

NASA Has Discovered Arctic Lakes Bubbling With Methane—and That’s Very Bad News 09-13-18

Lakes across Alaska and Siberia have started to bubble with methane releasing this highly potent greenhouse.Last month NASA released footage showing the bubbling Arctic lakes, which are the result of a little known phenomenon called “abrupt thawing.” Read more at Newsweek

6 Years Ago, North Carolina Chose To Ignore Rising Sea Levels. This Week It Braces For Disaster. 09-11-18

In 2012, North Carolina legislators passed a bill that barred policymakers and developers from using up-to-date climate science to plan for rising sea levels on the state’s coast. Now Hurricane Florence threatens to cause a devastating storm surge that could put thousands of lives in danger and costthe state billions of dollars worth of damage. Read more at Huffington Post

Trump Administration Wants to Make It Easier to Release Methane Into Air 09-10-18

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration, taking its third major step this year to roll back federal efforts to fight climate change, is preparing to make it significantly easier for energy companies to release methane into the atmosphere. Read more at The New York Times

How Climate Change Contributed to This Summer’s Wildfires 08-01-18

More than twelve thousand firefighters are working in California, and some have come from as far as Florida.The image of the day from NASA’s Earth Observatory shows gusting plumes of smoke veiling the western United States. Two hundred thousand acres are on fire in California, fuelled by strong winds and unrelenting hot, dry conditions. Read more at The New Yorker

California’s Carr Fire Grows Larger and More Deadly 07-30-18

The Carr Fire, which blazed into the northern California town of Redding Thursday, has grown even larger and deadlier over the weekend, offering a fiery vision of California’s future.

“This is climate change, for real and in real time. We were warned that the atmospheric buildup of man-made greenhouse gas would eventually be an existential threat,” The Sacramento Bee wrote in an editorial about the fire Friday. Read more at EcoWatch

Spring Is Springing Sooner, Throwing Nature’s Rhythms Out Of Whack 07-23-18

There’s a cycle that starts when the snow melts and the earth thaws high in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. It’s a seasonal cycle based on timing and temperature, two variables that climate change is pushing increasingly out of sync. Read more at NPR

Climate change isn’t just cooking the planet. It’s cooking our workforce. 07-19-18

We are smashing heat records again this summer. We hear this so much now that there’s a risk we will start ignoring it before the key message sinks in: Global warming is here, and it’s starting to cook us. Read more at The Washington Post

Heatwave seems to make manmade climate change real for Americans 07-11-18

The record-breaking high temperatures across much of North America appear to be shaping people’s thinking, a survey finds

The warm temperatures that have scorched much of the US appear to be influencing Americans’ acceptance of climate science, with a new poll finding a record level of public confidence that the world is warming due to human activity. Read more at The Guardian

7.5 Billion and Counting: How Many Humans Can the Earth Support? 07-09-18

Humans are the most populous large mammal on Earth today, and probably in all of geological history. This World Population Day, humans number in the vicinity of 7.5 to 7.6 billion individuals. Read more at EcoWatch

In the U.S. Southwest, ‘Drought’ Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story 07-04-18

Drought and wildfires across the U.S. Southwest this summer are a preview of what’s ahead in the decades to come. A shift to hotter, drier weather will also require a change in mind-set for the region’s residents. Read more at News Deeply

Watch the climate change in real time with these trackers 06-30-17

These tickers show the unrelenting rise in global temperatures and carbon dioxide. Global warming isn’t something that will happen decades down the line — it’s happening every day, bit by bit. Read more at Vox

Burning Wood as Renewable Energy Threatens Europe’s Climate Goals 06-22-18

Scientists say a new EU biomass policy is ‘simplistic and misleading’ & will increase emissions. U.S. forests are being turned into wood pellets to feed demand. Read more at Inside Climate News

The Refugees The World Barely Pays Attention To 06-20-18

Since 2008, an average of 24 million people have been displaced by catastrophic weather disasters each year. As climate change worsens storms and droughts, climate scientists and migration experts expect that number to rise. Read more at NPR

In Rebuke to Pruitt, EPA Science Board Votes to Review Climate Policy Changes 06-01-18

The board, with more than 12 Pruitt-appointed members, questioned his efforts to roll back the Clean Power Plan & weaken auto standards & other regs. Read more at Inside Climate News

Officials tried to censor a report on national parks.
Here’s what was in it 05-21-18

Roughly 25 percent of U.S. national parks are vulnerable to rising sea levels because they’re situated in coastal areas. For years, the National Parks Service has had a report in the works to quantify how higher ocean tides and storm surges could impact its sites. Read more at Grist

Assessing the Global Climate in April 2018 05-17-18

April was third warmest on record for the globe

The global land and ocean temperature departure from average for April 2018 was the third highest for April in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880. The year-to-date (January-April) global temperature was the fifth warmest such period in the 139-year record. Read more at National Centers for Environmental Information

Look! A federal agency is pushing for urgent climate action. 05-10-18

It’s well-understood at this point that the Trump Administration is no friend to science-based governance. But there’s one federal agency bucking that trend.

The Bureau of Reclamation, a division of the Department of Interior, raised fresh alarm in a press release this week about the dire drought in the Southwest. Read more at Grist

Despite Trump, more Republicans grasp that climate change is our fault 05-09-18

In the year after the 2016 election, Republican’s opinion on climate change strayed further from the scientific consensus. In October — even after record-breaking hurricanes and wildfireslinked to climate change hit the United States — conservative voters’ understanding of climate science had nearly hit a new low. Read more at Grist

Climate Scientist Won’t Back Down Despite Threats, Harassment 05-07-18

‘You don’t back off from a worthy battle when the stakes are important.’ —Michael Mann, Penn State

Michael Mann, creator of ‘hockey stick’ curve for greenhouse gases, says we now have to double sea rise projections. Read more at KQED Science

Humans didn’t exist the last time there was this much CO2 in the air 05-03-08

The last time atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were this high, millions of years ago, the planet was very different. For one, humans didn’t exist.

On Wednesday, scientists at the University of California in San Diego confirmed that April’s monthly average atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration breached 410 parts per million for the first time in our history. Read more at Grist

The military paid for a study on sea level rise. The results were scary. 04-25-18

More than a thousand low-lying tropical islands risk becoming “uninhabitable” by the middle of the century — or possibly sooner — because of rising sea levels, upending the populations of some island nations and endangering key U.S. military assets, according to new research published Wednesday. Read more at The Washington Post

With 250 babies born each minute, how many people can the Earth sustain 04-23-18

UN data suggests that the world’s population will hit 11 billion by 2100, with the fastest rises being recorded in Africa and Asia

How many people are there in the world? Read more at The Guardian

What Extremely Warm Winters Mean for the Future of the Arctic 04-18-18

In an interview with Yale Environment 360, polar scientist Mark Serreze talks about the rapid changes he has witnessed over more than three decades of working in the Arctic and the future stability of the region if temperatures continue to climb.Read more Yale Environment 360

This environmental group is launching its own satellite to learn more about greenhouse gas leaks 04-11-18

The satellite will enable EDF to more accurately measure methane emissions, which account for a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.

When the Environmental Defense Fund told commercial space guru Tom Ingersoll that it wanted to launch a satellite to measure methane from oil and gas operations, he says his reaction was “Whoa! You guys want to do what?” Read more at The Washington Post

Shell — yes, that Shell — just outlined a radical scenario for what it would take to halt climate change 03-26-18

Royal Dutch Shell on Monday outlined a scenario in which, by 2070, we would be using far less of the company’s own product — oil — as cars become electric, a massive carbon storage industry develops, and transportation begins a shift toward a reliance on hydrogen as an energy carrier. Read more at The Washington Post

Climate change will have its Scopes Monkey Trial this week 03-19-18

In 1925, a Tennessee substitute teacher was indicted by a grand jury for teaching evolution to his high school class. That case, the Scopes trial, became famous for pitting science against the Bible, and it helped pave the way for educational reform. Read more at Grist

Scientists have detected an acceleration in sea level rise 02-27-18

Faster melting of ice sheets is speeding up sea level rise

As humans emit heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide, the planet warms, and over time consequences become more apparent. Some of the consequences we are familiar with – for instance, rising temperatures, melting ice, and rising sea levels. Read more at the Guardian

North Pole surges above freezing in the dead of winter, stunning scientists 02-26-18

The sun won’t rise at the North Pole until March 20, and it’s normally close to the coldest time of year, but an extraordinary and possibly historic thaw swelled over the tip of the planet this weekend. Read more at The Washington Post

236 Mayors Urge EPA Not to Repeal U.S. Clean Power Plan 02-21-18

Hundreds of U.S. mayors, representing one in seven Americans, have told EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt that they need the Clean Power Plan’s emissions rules in order to fight climate change and protect their cities. Read more at Inside Climate News

Countries made only modest climate-change promises in Paris. They’re falling short anyway. 02-19-18

Barely two years ago, after weeks of intense bargaining in Paris, leaders from 195 countries announced a global agreement that once had seemed impossible. For the first time, the nations of the world would band together to reduce humanity’s reliance on fossil fuels in an effort to hold off the most devastating effects of climate change. Read more at The Washington Post

Intelligence Agencies Warn of Climate Risks in Worldwide Threat Assessment 02-13-18

While top Trump administration officials deny climate change, the intelligence agencies warn global warming can fuel disasters and violent conflicts.

In their annual summary of global threats, the nation’s intelligence agencies warned on Tuesday that climate change and other environmental trends “are likely to fuel economic and social discontent—and possibly upheaval—through 2018.” Read more at Inside Climate News

The WIRED Guide to Climate Change 02-01-18

The world is busted. For decades, scientists have carefully accumulated data that confirms what we hoped wasn’t true: The greenhouse gas emissions that have steadily spewed from cars and planes and factories, the technologies that powered a massive period of economic growth, came at an enormous cost to the planet’s health. Read more at Wired

On the Chesapeake, A Precarious Future of Rising Seas and High Tides 01-22-18

I’m making a film in the Chesapeake Bay landscapes of my boyhood, posing for a close-up with ball and glove where 60 years ago I shagged flies out front of my Dad’s fishing cabin. The camera backs away and I’m ass-deep in salt water — centerfield, this used to be. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Earth’s Warming Continued in 2017. And That Was Without El Niño 01-18-18

Earth’s long-term warming trend continued in 2017, government scientists reported Thursday, with average surface temperatures only slightly below the record heat of the previous year. But unlike 2016, last year’s warmth was not aided by El Niño, the Pacific weather pattern that is usually linked to record-setting heat. Read more at The New York Time

1.5 Degrees Warming and the Search for Climate Justice for the Poor 01-12-18

The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is ‘a greater likelihood of drought, flooding, resource depletion, conflict and forced migration,’ a new IPCC draft warns. Read more at Inside Climate News

Florida’s Exemption From Offshore Drilling Plan Called ‘Political Stunt’ 01-10-18

The Trump administration will exclude Florida from its controversial offshore oil drilling plan after a plea from the state governor, Rick Scott.

“I support the governor’s position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver,” Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke said Tuesday. Read more at EcoWatch

$306bn in one year: US bill for natural disasters smashes record 01-08-18

Major hurricanes, wildfires, drought and tornadoes have led to highest ever damage costs, as expert says extremes have ‘climate change fingerprints on them’ Read more at The Guardian