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Climate Change This Week: Speed Heating, Clean Energy Replaces Coal, and More

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You Think These Wildfires Are Bad? A new University of California study indicates that as climate change continues, we can expect more and worse wildfires throughout most fire-prone areas (think temperate forests especially) extending over half the planet, reports Nathanael Massey at ClimateWire.

Speed Heating: Climate Central's new report, The Heat Is On, shows that global warming in the U.S. has accelerated dramatically everywhere in the past 40 years, but fastest from Minnesota to Maine, and in the southwest, where several wildfires are now raging.

Dirty Coal Down, Clean Energy Up: U.S. coal use in generating electricity is falling fast, and predicted to go below 40 percent this year, as electric utilities switch to clean energy and to a lesser extent, natural gas, reports Jonathan Fahey at the Associated Press, and Zachary Shahan at Cleantechnica.

Smoke Gets In Your Lungs: The World Health Organization recently concluded that diesel exhuast fumes, the stuff that puffs out of the tailpipes of many U.S. trucks and European cars, can cause lung cancer -- it's as dangerous as tobacco smoke, reports Kate Kelland at World Environment News. WHO suggests we cut down on the stuff.

Speaking of Smoke: Geo-engineering, schemes that massively manipulate the planet's atmosphere to cool global warming, such as injection of tiny reflective particles in the stratosphere, entails great risks because some of the results could be wildly unpredictable and destructive to planetary life, reports Michael Specter at the New Yorker.

Save the Baby Puffins! And Ice Birds! Way up on the Arctic's Cooper Island, horned puffins and ice birds (aka guillemots) are relying on proven polar bear-proof nesting boxes supplied by humans to keep their babies safe from marauding polar bears, because climate change now makes it easier for polar bears to eat lots of baby birds rather than hunt on increasingly distant sea ice. Want to save some special baby birds this summer? Go here. I'll post updates on my adopted nesting family in future CCTWs as I get'em.


Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded when I saw this photo of a puffin and nesting ice bird that Rob Moir took and allowed me to share with you. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a clean, safe future. If you'd like to tell Congress that you support clean energy and will vote for clean energy candidates, 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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