Previous Climate Change News 2019

We broke down the last decade of climate change in 7 charts 12-31-19

As this hottest-on-record, godforsaken decade draws to a close, it’s clear that global warming is no longer a problem for future generations but one that’s already displacing communities, costing billions, and driving mass extinctions. Read more at Grist

Converting coal plants to biomass could fuel climate crisis, scientists warn 12-16-19

Experts horrified at large-scale forest removal to meet wood pellet demand. Read more at The Guardian

To Save the Redwoods, Scientists Debate Burning and Logging 12-16-19

Some scientists question whether controlled burns and logging are really the best way to preserve California’s redwoods. Read more at Undark

Secondhand Gifts and ‘Experiences’ Still Top Holiday Lists 12-15-19

Milo Bernstein, one of the owners of Ina, said that sales for Nov. and Dec. in the last four years had been steady or even ticked up. Credit: Maridelis Morales Rosado for The New York Times. Read more at The New York Times

It’s a Vast, Invisible Climate Menace. We Made It Visible. 12-12-19

The leak, and many more, were invisible. Until we photographed them. Read more at The New York Times

The 2010s will go down in history as Earth’s warmest 12-05-19

The planet is also finishing its warmest five-year period as effects are felt from the oceans to the Greenland ice sheet. Read more at The Washington Post

The Arctic Is Warming Much Faster Than the Rest of Earth 12-04-19

Rising temperatures in the northern polar cap are driving extreme heat, drought, and sea level rise in the continental US, a study says. Read more at Wired

The New Climate Math: The Numbers Keep Getting More Frightening 11-25-19

Scientists keep raising ever-louder alarms about the urgency of tackling climate change, but the world’s governments aren’t listening. Yet the latest numbers don’t lie: Nations now plan to keep producing more coal, oil, and gas than the planet can endure. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Cut Greenhouse Gases Immediately or Face Catastrophe, New UN Report Warns 11-26-19

new report from the United Nations found that the world is headed toward climate catastrophe if countries around the world do not reduce their greenhouse emissions drastically and quickly. It came out one week before the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25, opens in Madrid. Read more at EcoWatch

The historic protest at the Harvard-Yale football game was years in the making 11-25-19

Saturday marked the 136th annual Harvard-Yale football game, a tradition known simply as “The Game” by students and alumni of the rival Ivy League schools. Tens of thousands of people flocked to the Yale Bowl in New Haven to watch. Many more tuned in on ESPNU. But what viewers likely didn’t expect to witness was a historic show of unity between the two schools in the name of fighting climate change. Read more at Grist

Awareness is Not Action 11-19-19

The first time I heard the words “climate change,” I was thirteen years old. My older brother urged my parents to take us to a documentary called “An Inconvenient Truth.” Read more at RCC

Skip the holiday rush this year — for the planet’s sake 11-16-19

It’s that time of year again! Time for holiday cheer, good dark beer, and spending all your freakin’ money getting laptop-friendly bath trays rush-delivered to your house. Read more at Grist

The Price Tag for Climate Change Is in the Trillions 11-14-19

Three new books document how much we’re already spending to mitigate the effects of global warming and how much more we have to lose if we continue to burn fossil fuels. Read more at Outside

Climate Change Poses Threats to Children’s Health Worldwide 11-13-19

The health effects of climate change will be unevenly distributed and children will be among those especially harmed, according to a new report from the medical journal The Lancet. Read more at The New York Times

How coastal communities can prepare for the challenges of storms and rising seas 11-13-19

What can a small or medium sized community do to be better prepared for risks of storms and rising seas? Major coastal storms commonly kill hundreds of people and wreck homes, businesses and communities. Read more at The Daily Climate

Taking a Different Approach to Fighting Climate Change 11-07-19

The research of Narasimha Rao, a Yale professor, shows that reducing inequality could improve our ability to mitigate some of the worst effects on the environment. Read more at The New York Times

They’ve managed the forest forever. It’s why they’re key to the climate change fight 11-05-19

The first time Mandy Gull visited Canada’s Broadback Forest, she was struck by the displays of delicate lichen. By the dense, ancient trees. By the moss-covered floor, which rose and fell like a rumpled green blanket. Read more at The Los Angeles Times

Earth sizzles through October as another month ranks as the warmest on record 11-05-19

This is the fifth straight month with record or near-record heat. Read more at The Washington Post

This classroom on a Chesapeake Bay island taught generations of students. As the sea rises, its doors are closing. 10-31-19

In the hallway of a weatherworn lodge that has stood on stilts in the Chesapeake Bay for more than 90 years, a negotiation is underway. Read more at The Washington Post

Climate change is wiping out Harriet Tubman’s homeland, and we’re doing little 10-24-19

Time has not been kind to the lands that Tubman left behind, or the descendants of the first free African-American communities that called them home. Read more at The Boston Globe

The Worst Day in Earth’s History Contains an Ominous Warning 10-22-19

One of the planet’s most dramatic extinctions was caused in part by ocean acidification, which has become a problem in our own era. Read more at The Atlantic

New study pinpoints the places most at risk on a warming planet 10-17-19

As many as five billion people will face hunger and a lack of clean water by 2050 as the warming climate disrupts pollination, freshwater, and coastal habitats, according to new research published last week in Science. People living in South Asia and Africa will bear the worst of it. Read more at Grist

Why Keeping Mature Forests Intact Is Key to the Climate Fight 10-15-19

William Moomaw has had a distinguished career as a physical chemist and environmental scientist, helping found the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. Read more at Yale Environment 360

The Great Biomass Boondoggle 10-14-19

The problem with this so-called green energy source is that instead of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, it increases the amount of CO2 coming out of the smokestack compared to fossil fuels. Read more at the NYR Daily

A Brief Guide to the Impacts of Climate Change on Food Production 10-05-19

Food may be a universal language — but in these record-breaking hot days, so too is climate change. With July clocking in as the hottest month on Earth in recorded history and extreme weather ramping up globally, farmers are facing the brunt of climate change in croplands and pastures around the world. Read more at EcoWatch

Some economics nerds just realized how much climate change will cost us 10-03-19

A bunch of economists just put down their calculators and concluded that we should act on climate change sooner rather than later. Really. Read more at Grist

A successful climate plan must also tackle the housing crisis 10-01-19

The Democratic nominee should be able to answer the question: what will your climate plan do for the housing crisis? Read more at The Guardian

World’s oceans are losing power to stall climate change 09-25-19

UN report predicts more powerful storms, increased risk of flooding and dwindling fisheries if greenhouse-gas output doesn’t fall. Read more at Nature

4 Million Attend Biggest Climate Protest in History, Organizers Declare ‘We’re Not Through’ 09-23-19

As organizers behind Friday’s Global Climate Strike reported that four million children and adults attended marches and rallies all over the world — making it the biggest climate protest ever. Read more at EcoWatch

Trump Admin Ignored Its Own Data Linking Migrant Crisis to Climate Change 09-23-19

The Trump administration ignored its own evidence on how climate change is impacting migration and food security when setting new policies for cutting aid to Central America, NBC reports. Read more at EcoWatch 

TIME magazine devoted an entire issue to climate change AGAIN 09-13-19

Every story in this week’s edition of TIME is about the climate crisis — one of only five times the magazine has devoted an entire issue to a single topic. “2050: The Fight for Earth” comes 30 years after TIME’s first climate issue, when they put “Endangered Earth” on the cover instead of their usual Person of the Year in 1989. Read more at Grist 

To Fight Global Warming, Think More About Systems Than About What You Consume 08-28-19

INCONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION: The Environmental Impacts You Don’t Know You Have Read more at The New York Times

A Joy of Summer Is Vanishing Fast 08-21-19

As the climate warms up, cool summer evenings are becoming a distant memory. Read more at The Atlantic

2°C: BEYOND THE LIMIT 08-13-19

Extreme climate change has arrived in America. A century of climbing temperatures has changed the character of the Garden State. Read more at The Washington Post

Homelessness is already a crisis—but climate change makes it much worse 08-07-19

It’s time to stop treating the housing crisis and the climate crisis as two separate issues—and start designing solutions for both at once. Read more at Fast Company

How Hot Was July? Hotter Than Ever, Global Data Shows 08-05-19

With temperatures soaring in Europe and Alaska, ice melting in Greenland and forests burning across Siberia, last month seemed like a blistering one worldwide. It was. Read more at The New York Times 

Who Will Pay for the Huge Costs of Holding Back Rising Seas? 08-05-19

U.S. coastal cities face billions of dollars in costs for the extensive infrastructure projects needed to protect against rising seas and worsening storms. From Boston to Miami, government officials are only beginning to grasp the enormous expense of what will be required. Read more at Yale Environment 360

We must change food production to save the world, says leaked report 08-04-19

Cutting carbon from transport and energy ‘not enough’ IPCC finds. Attempts to solve the climate crisis by cutting carbon emissions from only cars, factories and power plants are doomed to failure, scientists will warn this week. Read more at The Guardian

States sue Trump administration for reduced penalties on fuel efficiency 08-02-19

While parts of the world have warmed or cooled in the past, modern climate change is happening just about everywhere at the same time. Read more at The Hill

No Climate Event in 2,000 Years Compares to What’s Happening Now 07-24-9

While parts of the world have warmed or cooled in the past, modern climate change is happening just about everywhere at the same time. Read more at The Atlantic

E-commerce’s sustainability problem isn’t just the packaging 07-23-19

With the click of a button, our groceries, clothes, personal care products, household items — just about anything — could arrive on our doorsteps in a neatly packaged cardboard box. It’s convenience, delivered. But at what cost? Read more at Green Biz 

The town fighting the climate crisis to stay afloat, one hurricane at at time 07-21-19

Fair Bluff has already been hit by two hurricanes – but if another arrives this year, it could become one of the US’s first climate crisis ghost towns. Read more at The Guardian

Cut Beef Consumption in Half to Help Save the Earth, Says New Study 07-18-19

The world’s population will hit 10 billion in just 30 years and all of those people need to eat. To feed that many humans with the resources Earth has, we will have to cut down the amount of beef we eat. Read more at EcoWatch

From Atlantic City to Key West: 21 beach towns that will soon be under water 07-18-19

There are about 13,000 miles of coastline in the 48 contiguous United States, and by the end of the century, these contours will be greatly altered by climate change. Read more at USA Today

California’s Wildfires Are 500 Percent Larger Due to Climate Change 07-16-19

“Each degree of warming causes way more fire than the previous degree of warming did. And that’s a really big deal.” Read more at The Atlantic

D.C. Averages A Week Of 100-Degree Days. Climate Change Could Make That Two Months. 07-16-19

Washingtonians love to complain about the region’s sultry summer weather. Well, get ready to complain some more. Read more at WAMU – American University Radio

World Hunger Rises with Climate Shocks, Conflict and Economic Slumps 07-15-19

An annual UN report shows an estimated 2 billion people now face moderate or severe food insecurity as the planet warms. Read more at Inside Climate News

Stop building a spaceship to Mars and just plant some damn trees 07-05-19

When it comes to climate change research, most studies bear bad news regarding the looming, very real threat of a warming planet and the resulting devastation that it will bring upon the Earth. Read more at Grist

This was the hottest June in history, and summer is just getting started 07-02-19

If sometime during the past month you wiped sweat from your brow and thought, “Damn, it’s hot!” then congrats, your body knows what’s up. Read more at Grist

Ancient North Carolina trees that hold climate clues are under threat 06-26-19

Logging and sea level rise spell trouble for bald cypress trees—some more than 2,000 years old—which contain precious climate records. Read more at Environmental Health News

Soggy springs, scorching summers: Higher temperatures taking toll on US staple crops 06-24-19

As a changing climate continues to increase average temperatures in the US, researchers estimate yield losses that could cost billions Read more at Environmental Health News  

2019 On Track to Be Earth’s Third Warmest Year on Record, NOAA Says 06-18-19

The first five months of 2019 have been among Earth’s top three warmest in 140 years of temperature records, according to a just-released analysis. Read more at The Weather Channel

U.S. Forests Are Being Devastated to Supply Biomass Energy Industry, Report Finds 06-18-19

According to the UN’s biodiversity report released last month, forests in the U.S. Southeast are being logged at four times the rate as those in the Amazon. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Climate Change-Fueled Valley Fever is Hitting Farmworkers Hard 06-17-19

The potentially deadly disease is caused by a soil-borne fungus made worse by rising rates of dust storms. In California’s Central Valley, farmworkers are bearing the brunt of the problem. Read more at Civil Eats

‘Single Most Important Stat on the Planet’: Alarm as Atmospheric CO2 Soars to ‘Legit Scary’ Record High 06-06-19

In another alarming signal that the international community is failing to take the kind of ambitious action necessary to avert global climate catastrophe, NOAA released new data Tuesday showing that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels — which environmentalist Bill McKibben described as the “single most important stat on the planet” — reached a “record high” in the month of May. Read more at EcoWatch

Our food system’s reckoning with nature is coming 06-05-19

Agriculture expert explores how today’s relationship to food banishes nature and the environment to the periphery of how we live, instead of at the center. Read more at The Daily Climate

Long-term ecological research threatened by short-term thinking 06-03-19

When pioneering ecologist Alton Lindsey founded the Ross Biological Reserve at Purdue University in 1949, he envisioned a “living laboratory” where time-extensive ecological studies could be carried out and flourish. Read more at Mongabay 

Has Climate Change Made Tornadoes Worse? It’s Not So Simple. 05-31-19

As the seemingly endless barrage of violent tornadoes continued to pummel a large swath of the United States this week, lawmakers and concerned citizens declared on social media that the storms offered a front row seat to the unfolding climate crisis. Read more at Mother Jones

The Energy 202: Green New Deal is alive and well in liberal cities and states 05-28-19

The Green New Deal may be floundering in Washington. But it is alive and well in left-leaning states and cities across the country. Read more at The Washington Post

Scientists are baffled by a giant spike in this greenhouse gas (it’s not CO2) 05-17-19

The unexpected culprit that could throw a wrench in the world’s efforts to stop climate change? Read more at Grist

Plastics Threaten Global Climate at a Massive Scale During Each Point of Lifecycle, Report Finds 05-17-19

Plastics in the environment play a huge role on the climate as it degrades, continually releasing methane and other GHGs that increase as plastics break down further. Read more at Ecowatch

Carbon dioxide levels just hit 415 ppm. Who saw this coming? Exxon Mobil. 05-15-19

This emissions update comes from daily data collected via analyzer at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii, since 1956. After breaking the 400 ppm threshold in 2013, data from 2019 puts emissions at 415 ppm. The “upward trajectory continues,” the video ends on an ominous note. Read more at Grist

From making it to managing it, plastic is a major contributor to climate change 05-15-19

New report finds plastic production and use could have the equivalent impact of nearly 300 new coal power plants on Earth’s climate over the next decade. Read more at Environmental Health News 

The Next Regeneration 04-30-19

New York wants to fight climate change through good farming. Here’s the dirt. Read more at Grist

Tree-planting programs can do more harm than good 04-26-19

Conventional wisdom holds that all tree planting is good for fighting climate change and supporting wildlife, but research shows some techniques can be a problem. Read more at National Geographic

The Uncertain Future of D.C.’s Cherry Blossoms 04-19-19

The cherry trees at the Tidal Basin look beautiful, but daily flooding at high tide and crumbling infrastructure are threatening their survival. Read more at CityLab

Why Green Pledges Will Not Create the Natural Forests We Need 04-16-19

There are growing concerns that the reforestation agenda is becoming a green cover for the further assault on ecosystems. Read more at Yale Environment 360

An easy, cost-effective way to address climate change? Massive reforestation. 04-11-19

As the implications of climate change become starker and the world faces up to a biodiversity crisis that threatens humanity’s existence, a group of campaigners from across the world are saying there is one clear way to get us out of this mess, but that governments are ignoring it. Read more at Grist

The Uncertain Future of D.C.’s Cherry Blossoms 04-09-19

The cherry trees at the Tidal Basin look beautiful, but daily flooding at high tide and crumbling infrastructure are threatening their survival. Read more at CityLab

As Mass Timber Takes Off, How Green Is This New Building Material? 04-09-19

Some are questioning whether the logging and manufacturing required to produce the new material outweigh any benefits. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Inside John Kerry’s shadow diplomacy on climate change 04-08-19

Former Secretary of State John Kerry is speaking publicly for the first time about a new chapter in his half-century history with Vietnam: an initiative aiming to get the country off coal-fired power. Read more at Axios

Citing climate differences, Shell walks away from U.S. refining lobby 04-02-19

Royal Dutch Shell Plc on Tuesday became the first major oil and gas company to announce plans to leave a leading U.S. refining lobby due to disagreement on climate policies, citing its support for the goals of the Paris climate agreement. Read more at Reuters

Global carbon emissions hit record high in 2018, International Energy Agency says 03-26-19

Greater demand for energy and more extreme temperatures saw global carbon emissions reach a record high in 2018 partly because of higher coal use, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Read more at ABC

What the Northward March of Mangroves Means for Fishing, Flooding and Carbon 03-22-18

Ranges of mangroves have naturally waxed and waned over the years, influenced by the weather, but with climate change has come a crucial reduction in crop- and tree-killing freeze events. Read more at Climate Central

It’s 2050 And This Is How We Stopped Climate Change 3-11-19

When NPR interviewed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in February about her Green New Deal, she said that her goal was bigger than just passing some new laws. “What I hope we’re able to do is rediscover the power of public imagination,” she said. Read more at WNPR

Atlantic City can’t afford to roll the dice on sea-level rise 02-23-19

Atlantic City, the once-proud gambling and resort destination, is treading water. In 2017, it was one of three U.S. cities that experienced the most record flooding from high tides, according to a June report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Read more at Grist

Planting 1.2 Trillion Trees Could Cancel Out a Decade of CO2 Emissions, Scientists Find 02-20-19

There is enough room in the world’s existing parks, forests, and abandoned land to plant 1.2 trillion additional trees. Read more at Yale Environment 360

TVA Votes to Close 2 Coal Plants, Despite Political Pressure from Trump and Kentucky GOP 02-14-19

The aging Paradise coal-fired power plant is unreliable, expensive and polluting, TVA data show. The federally owned utility said its decision is based on economics. Read more at Inside Climate News

Climate Change, ISIS and Cyberattacks Are Seen as the World’s Top Threats in a New Pew Poll 02-11-19

Climate change increasingly ranks as the world’s most pressing security threat, with terrorism and cyberattacks also topping the list, according to a new survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center. Read more at Time

5 Science Teams Racing Climate Change as the Ecosystems They Study Disappear 02-06-19

From mountain glaciers to coastal seabeds, five research projects to watch as scientists race to understand the human drivers of global warming. Read more at Inside Climate News

It’s Official: 2018 Was the Fourth-Warmest Year on Record 02-06-19

The Earth’s temperature in 2018 was more than 1 degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, above the average temperature of the late 19th century. Read more at The New York Times

Atlantic Coast Pipeline delayed to 2020, Dominion adds $1B to cost estimate 02-04-19

Dominion Energy disclosed on Friday that its Atlantic Coast Pipeline project has been delayed and costs are rising, a result of environmental lawsuits that have forced a stop in construction. Read more at Utility Dive

Despite the U.S. cold snap, January was hot hot hot 01-31-19

This January should be remembered for its unusual warmth, not its cold.

Yes, it’s so cold right now that even hardy Minneapolis is shutting down schools, but even with these few days of extreme cold, Minnesota should end up with a near “normal” month thanks to weeks of unusual warmth. Read more at Grist

Investors Join Calls for a Food Revolution to Fight Climate Change 01-29-19

A series of new reports shows how climate change is intertwined with the world’s worsening health, and suggests changes in the global food production system Read more at Inside Climate News

Germany sets ‘historic’ deadline to end coal use by 2038 in bid to curb climate change 01-27-19

Expert panel recommends creating up to 5,000 new jobs in regions affected by transition Read more at The Independent

Industrial Agriculture, an Extraction Industry Like Fossil Fuels, a Growing Driver of Climate Change 01-25-19

Industrial farming encourages practices that degrade the soil and increase emissions, while leaving farmers more vulnerable to damage as the planet warms. Read more at Inside Climate News

Carbon tax backers grapple with ‘Green New Deal’ 01-23-19

Congressional carbon tax supporters are planning to introduce a slew of emissions pricing bills in the coming months, even as progressives coalesce around a broader plan to tackle climate change, but one thing is clear: The “Green New Deal” has left its mark. Read more at E & E News

The Energy 202: ‘Year from hell’ means more Americans are taking climate change personally, new polling shows 01-23-19

A pair of polls published Tuesday found broad recognition among Americans that the world is getting warmer after they endured a year of intense wildfires and devastating hurricanes. Read more at The Washington Post 

More Americans Than Ever Believe in Climate Change, No Matter What Trump Says 01-22-19

New rates of melting ice underscore the results of an encouraging survey about environmental attitudes. This country may be run by a rabid climate denier, but when it comes to the existential issue of our time, most Americans aren’t taking their cues from President Trump. Read more at Rolling Stone

8 percent of Americans recently changed their minds on climate. What gives? 01-16-19

For some people, the awakening comes in science class. Read more at Grist

The ‘Green New Deal’: Six things to know 01-15-19

The ‘Green New Deal’ has inspired lots of conversation in the climate world. Here are a few key points to consider. Read more at Yale Climate Connections

600+ environmental orgs say this is what they want in a Green New Deal 01-10-19

The urgency to get to a fossil fuel-free future is growing. Now comes the discussion over just how to get there. Read more at Grist 

Something Old, Something New 01-09-19

The Green New Deal is touching up its (grass)roots

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Elizabeth Warren. Beto O’Rourke. Those are just a few of the high-profile names either leading the development of or jumping to endorse today’s environmental cause célèbre, the Green New Deal. Read more at Grist