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Climate Change This Week: Hot Halloween, Global Basket Cases and More

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U.S. Set to Fry 'Til Halloween and Likely Beyond: You know that annoying drought that we are all SO tired of? It'll be hanging around 'til Halloween at least, and likely longer if the El Nino weather system reappears as predicted, say federal forecasters, reports Seth Borenstein at the Associated Press. Grab those hot little red devil costumes while they last!

Feeling Thirsty and Crowded? Better Get Used to It: A new study shows that both population growth and climate change will increase water scarcity globally, but to varying degrees, reports Jessica Orwig at the AGU Blogosphere. In the Andes, population growth will contribute much more to water scarcity than climate change.

U.S. Breadbasket's Drought Could Create Basket Cases Elsewhere: After the obvious push on food prices, drought experts say the cascading chain of secondary societal effects will range from higher utility prices and industry costs in the developed world to population displacements and potential political unrest in less developed regions, reports Gloria Goodale at the Christian Science Monitor.

What Goes Around, Comes Around... and Bites U.S. Solar: In yet another instance of the U.S. shooting itself in the foot, U.S. tariffs placed on Chinese solar panels are now hurting small U.S. solar businesses, which have to pay much more for the imported panels they install on U.S. rooftops, reports Maria Gallucci at Inside Climate News... too bad Congress didn't create tax breaks and subsidies for U.S. solar panel manufacturers instead -- like the Chinese do for theirs.

In the "When Shall We Exodus Climate Change?" Department: Colorado farmers already plagued by a debilitating drought and limited groundwater are now fighting crop-eating insects, like grasshoppers, which like the hot, dry weather that has settled over the state and elsewhere, reports Monte Whaley at the Denver Post. Unlike Egypt, we just can't walk away from this one, folks. If you haven't told Congress to promote clean energy yet, you can do so here.

Save Baby Arctic Chicks! Climate change has melted the ice pack food source of Arctic ice birds from seven miles to 250 miles away from them and is even starting to melt the frozen core of their nesting habitat, Cooper Island, making it a prime target for hungry polar bears. These Arctic "penguins" and puffins need more bear-proof nesting boxes from humans to keep their chicks safe. Time is running out. The bears are coming in August. You can help here, and find out more about how dramatically climate change is changing their lives.

Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by this photo of sky and mustard field taken by Jeff Mitton, who generously shares it with us. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future. If you'd like to tell Congress that you're voting for candidates that will support clean energy, join the increasing numbers of people doing so here. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.

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