Climate Change News: What’s Interesting This Week

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

Climate Change 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.

Ocean Acidification is Climate Change’s ‘Equally Evil Twin,’ NOAA Chief Says
Oceans’ rising acid levels have emerged as one of the biggest threats to coral reefs, acting as the “osteoporosis of the sea” and threatening everything from food security to tourism to livelihoods, the head of a U.S. scientific agency said Monday. The speed by which the oceans’ acid levels has risen caught scientists off-guard, with the problem now considered to be climate change’s “equally evil twin,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco told The Associated Press. (AP)

U.S. Sees Hottest 12 Months on Record: NOAA Calls Record Heat a One-in-1.6-Million Event
NOAA has released its “State of the Climate Global Analysis” for June 2012. The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during June was 71.2°F, which is 2.0°F above the 20th century average. The June temperatures contributed to a record-warm first half of the year and the warmest 12-month period the nation has experienced since record keeping began in 1895. During the June 2011-June 2012 period, each of the 13 consecutive months ranked among the warmest third of their historical distribution for the first time in the 1895-present record. The odds of this occurring randomly are 1 in 1,594,323. (Climate Progress)

Top 20 Cities with Billions at Risk from Climate Change
More than 130 port cities around the world are at increasing risk from severe storm-surge flooding, damage from high storm winds, rising and warming global seas and local land subsidence. Poorly planned development often puts more people in vulnerable areas, too, increasing risk. About $3 trillion of assets are at risk today, a tally on track to reach $35 trillion by 2070, according to an ongoing study by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. (Bloomberg News)

Companies Release Step-by-Step Guide to Build Resilience to Climate Change
For the first time, leading companies from the food and beverage, insurance, investment, technology, and energy industries today released a step-by-step tool, Business ADAPT, for businesses to assess and prepare for the risks and opportunities posed by climate change. The tool is part of the Value Chain Climate Resilience guide, showing examples of how companies are already addressing the risks caused by increasingly severe and frequent weather events and other climate threats. The companies called for businesses to take proactive steps to address risks to their operations and the communities they rely on. Community risks are business risks because communities provide key resources to companies, as well as a ‘social license to operate’. (Oxfam America)

Study: Wildfire Reporting Avoids Climate Change Links
Media Matters for America
, a nonprofit media watchdog, analyzed recent mainstream news coverage of wildfires and found that news outlets are avoiding the topic of climate change in wildfire stories. Their analysis of coverage between April 1 and June 30, 2012, reveals that “mainstream media outlets are not up to the task”—only 3 percent of news reports on wildfires in the West mentioned climate change, including 1.6 percent of television segments and 6 percent of text articles. (Sightline Daily)


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

Image Credits: babasteve (Great Barrier Reef Coral) and Incursion Voyages (Miami) via Flickr Creative Commons license. Chart courtesy of Media Matters for America.

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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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