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.
Climate Change Will Extend Hay Fever Season by Six Weeks, Report Warns
Hay fever sufferers face longer pollen seasons and highly allergenic new strains from invasive plants, a new report on the health effects of climate change on the UK warned on Tuesday. Global warming will cause earlier flowering, possibly extending the hay fever season by six weeks, and enable new species to grow in the UK. Pollen is also getting more potent, packing more allergen into each grain. The report, from the Health Protection Agency (HPA), analyses a wide range of risks including killer heatwaves, increased flooding, greater food poisoning and new infectious diseases carried by mosquitoes. (The Guardian)
Record West Nile Cases Due to Climate Change and Globalization
West Nile is poised to break records this year. Almost 1,600 cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so far, including 66 deaths. The virus has been in the U.S. since 1999, sickening 30,000 altogether; this year the worst outbreak has been centered around Dallas. West Nile’s cousin, dengue, also a sometimes fatal infection, has been in the U.S. since 1980, with outbreaks in Texas, Hawaii and Florida, most recently in 2010. The two illnesses have come to the U.S. courtesy of climate change and globalization. Rising temperatures promote mosquito reproduction and survival. And infected mosquitoes easily travel via the cross-border exchange of goods. Globetrotting people, for their part, carry viruses from endemic to non endemic zones. (Bloomberg)
Rising Number of Top Firms Believe Climate Change is a Threat to Business
Major companies are increasingly concerned that they are at risk from climate change in the face of recent extreme weather events such as drought and floods, according to a report published on Wednesday. More than one-third (37%) see the physical risks of a changing climate as a real and present danger, up from just 10% two years ago, says the latest Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Global 500 report, a survey of top global companies. (The Guardian)
Two New NRDC Reports Highlight the Emerging Strength of the Wind Industry
Wind energy provides clean, renewable power that doesn’t pollute our air, harm our health or keep us tied to the fuels of last century. But as two new NRDC studies (here and here) show that’s just the beginning of the benefits of wind energy. The wind energy industry is creating jobs for American workers and breathing fresh air into economically struggling communities by providing new sources of revenue for landowners, cities, and towns, the two reports show. Wind energy is also giving American companies the opportunity to participate in a booming global industry. (NRDC Switchboard)
New York Is Lagging as Seas and Risks Rise, Critics Warn
With a 520-mile-long coast lined largely by teeming roads and fragile infrastructure, New York City is gingerly facing up to the intertwined threats posed by rising seas and ever-more-severe storm flooding. So far, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has commissioned exhaustive research on the challenge of climate change. His administration is expanding wetlands to accommodate surging tides, installing green roofs to absorb rainwater and prodding property owners to move boilers out of flood-prone basements. (New York Times)
Stephanie Hedean is a Strategic Marketing and Communications Consultant and a Volunteer at The Nature Conservancy.
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