Climate Change in the News

Written by Stephanie Hedean on . Posted in Learn, The Wonk Room

Climate Change in the News is a Planet Change selection of the latest news on climate change, nature, our environment and the impacts of a changing planet. Here’s what we’ve found and are reading. Tell us what interesting news has hit your screens this week.

Court Backs E.P.A. Over Emissions Limits Intended to Reduce Global Warming
A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a finding by the Environmental Protection Agency that heat-trapping gases from industry and vehicles endanger public health, dealing a decisive blow to companies and states that had sued to block agency rules. A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia declared that the agency was “unambiguously correct” that the Clean Air Act requires the federal government to impose limits once it has determined that emissions are causing harm. (New York Times)

Role of Urban Greenery in CO2 Exchange Demonstrated
In what might be the first study to report continuous measurements of net CO2 exchange of urban vegetation and soils over a full year or more, scientists from UC Santa Barbara and the University of Minnesota conclude that not only is vegetation important in the uptake of the greenhouse gas, but also that different types of vegetation play different roles. (Science Daily)

Three New Studies on Sea Level Rise Bring New Concerns
Three new sea level rise studies published during the past week offer sobering lessons for coastal residents and policy makers, spelling trouble for portions of the East and West Coasts of the U.S. Sea levels won’t rise at the same rate everywhere. Specifically, the 600-mile stretch of coastline from North Carolina to Massachusetts is experiencing rates that are nearly three to four times higher than the global average, a trend that may continue during the coming decades. (Climate Central)

Interactive: Mapping the Sahel drought
More than 15 million people are affected by a drought in the Sahel region of West Africa. Aid agencies say that the combined effects of poor weather conditions – including severe heat and low rainfall – with poor governance and low levels of infrastructure to handle extreme shifts in the climate – have placed millions of lives at risk. Here is a breakdown of the precise dilemmas in each of the eight countries most impacted. (Al Jazeera English)

STUDY: More MPG = More Jobs
The connection may not seem obvious but improving the miles per gallon of our cars spurs job creation. This is for two reasons: (1) improving automobile efficiency requires the addition of new technologies, which are designed and manufactured by adding workers in the auto industry and (2) money saved on gasoline by drivers will be spent on other goods and services, increasing jobs across the economy. (NRDC Switchboard)

How CO2 Pollution is Affecting Life in the Ocean
Most of the news about climate change is about how it affects the atmosphere and land creatures. But we shouldn’t forget the source of life that covers nearly three-quarters of Earth’s surface: the ocean. About a quarter to a third of all carbon dioxide emissions from our cars and factories are absorbed by the Earth’s oceans. Much of it becomes “fixed” and stored in ocean plants like seagrass. But, any of the CO2 that is not fixed dissolves into the seawater, altering the chemistry of the waters. The result is ocean acidification. (Native Energy)

Stephanie Hedean is a Strategic Marketing and Communications Consultant and a Volunteer at The Nature Conservancy.

Image Credits: Nick Humphries (Smoke Stacks) and Richard Ling (Puffer Fish) via Flickr Creative Commons license. Video courtesy of Al Jazeera.


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Planet Change is a Nature Conservancy blog site designed to share stories about actions the Conservancy and others around the world are taking to fight carbon pollution and the impacts of climate change, and to help people feel the connections between climate change and their daily lives and understand actions they can take.

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