In the News is a Planet Change selection of the latest news, stories and images on climate change, nature, our environment and the impacts of a changing planet. This is what we’ve found and what we’re reading. What about you?
Image: Day and night temperature records, March 2012. Credit: National Climate Data Center/NESDIS/NOAA
March 2012 Sets Record as the Warmest Ever in US
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has maintained records of weather and climate since the late 1800s. According to these records, the month of March, 2012 has set a new record as the warmest March ever for the contiguous United States. Across the nation, 15,000 local warm temperature records were broken. The average temperature was 51.1 degrees F, which is 8.6 degrees higher than the average 20th century March temperature. It is 0.5 degrees higher than the previous warmest March in 1910. (Environmental News Network)
Bill to Provide Solar Rooftops in Poor California Communities
A bill [PDF] before the California Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce this month seeks to equalize renewable energy installation in the state by promoting small-scale solar rooftops in the disadvantaged communities. The legislation would require the state to install enough systems to produce 375 megawatts of renewable energy – or about 1,000 small-scale projects – in disadvantaged communities between 2014 and the end of 2020. (California Watch)
U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increasing
After dropping for two years during the recession, emissions of the gases blamed for global warming rose in 2010 as the economy heated up, the Environmental Protection Agency reports. Output of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gasses were up 3.2 percent from 2009 as the nation climbed slowly out of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, the E.P.A. said. (Green, NYT)
Video: Bats Fold Wings for Ultra-Efficient Flight
Despite their relatively cumbersome wings, bats are champions of nocturnal aviation, a feat accomplished through an ingenious bit of aeronautical engineering. Bats fold their wings inward while lifting them in flight, saving 65 percent of the energy that would be required to lift wings still outstretched, say Brown University researchers who used high-speed video to analyze the aerial kinematics of fruit bats. (Wired Science)
Stephanie Hedean is a Strategic Marketing and Communications Consultant and a Volunteer at The Nature Conservancy.
Credits: National Climate Data Center/NESDIS/NOAA (temperature map); Flickr user BuddaBoy under a Creative Commons license (solar panels); Daniel K. Riskin, Attila Bergou, Kenneth S. Breuer and Sharon M. Swartz. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, April 10, 2012 (bat video).
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