THE BLOG
09/16/2013 05:48 pm ET Updated Nov 16, 2013

Climate Change This Week: Biblical Rains, Another Solar Breakthough, and More!

Colorado's "Biblical" Flood in Line with Climate Trends reports Andrew Freedman at Climate Central. He notes that this lethal catastrophic event is consistent with the increasing frequency of extreme rain storms occurring under, and sometimes definitely linked to, continued climate change.

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The yellow plume of water vapor that becomes historic rain in Colorado.
Credit CIMSS via Climate Central

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Credit Dennis Adams-Smith/Climate Central

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Credit Climate Central/National Climate Assessment

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Recent flooding in Colorado. Credit caseyj1231/twitter.

UN: Wasted Food World's Third Biggest Carbon Emitter after China and US, and wastes water, says a new study, reports Katie Valentine at Climate Progress. Richer countries waste more due to unnecessary personal purchases, and could cut waste by having businesses donate unwanted food to charities. In poorer countries, more efficient harvesting and storage are needed. Do you know what is wasting away in your refrigerator?

Oceans Are Acidifying Far Faster, Imperiling Marine Life On A Massive Scale, say studies, reports Craig Welch at the Seattle Times. Studies of ocean spots naturally acidified by carbon dioxide indicate massive marine extinctions will occur under current conditions; many edible shellfish are already being affected. For every person, a bowling ball weight of carbon dioxide enters the ocean daily. Ceviche, anyone?

Warming-Fueled Drought Affects Syria, Other Mediterranean Countries, reports Joe Romm at Climate Progress. Drought, a fast-growing population, and a corrupt regime have all fueled Syria's civil war. Climate may increasingly drive wars, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that by 2100 many areas worldwide will likely be experiencing much worse droughts.

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Palmer Drought Severity Index, PDSI: below -4 is extreme drought. The 2030-39 scenario, via Climate Progress

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Recent Climate Pacts Could Add Up to Significant Action reports Andrew Freedman at Climate Central. The US and China agreed recently to limit emissions of hydrofluorocarbons - potent, short-lived greenhouse gases; G20 nations also joined the bandwagon. The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollution now includes 33 nations, the European Commission, and numerous organizations; it has $60 million to fund projects like providing cleaner burning woodstoves worldwide. Every little bit counts, folks!

No Keystone? No Problem: TransCanada Pushing Another Major Tar Sands Pipeline reports Kiley Kroh at Climate Progress. The Energy East pipeline would run from Alberta to the Atlantic seaboard, and carry almost as much as the Keystone would. But Canadians are wary. Indeed, I personally overheard one Canadian worker recently observing that jobs produced would be relatively few, and gas would not get cheaper. Now where did he learn that?

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☼☼☼ On the Bright Side ☼☼☼

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OO California, Chinese Officials Announce Climate Deal

OO Pacific Nations, US Agree to Reduce Carbon Emissions - and made specific pledges to do so.

OO Invent Better Ocean Acidification Detector, Win $1 Million

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OO Fulfilling Rich Wireless Wishes Fuels Off-Grid Revolution in Poor Nations - inventions that allow developed nations more options to play are creating renewable energy options for poor nations lacking electricity.

OO A Major Advance For An Emerging Solar Cell Technology - perovskite solar cells can be produced cheaply but are far more energy efficient than their cheap silicon counterparts.

OO Panda Poo May Be Coup For Future Of Biofuels - just remember, all biofuels' energy efficiencies are limited by the conversion efficiency of sunlight to plant matter: 1%.

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OO Coffee Grounds, Spent Tea Are Untapped Biofuels - just remember, all biofuels' energy efficiencies are limited by the conversion efficiency of sunlight to plant matter: 1%.

OO Cooling The Fridge With CO2

OO Clean Cars Dominate Major Auto Show

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Courtesy, US Navy Office of Naval Research

OO Hawaii: US Navy Triples Clean Energy Startup Funding

OO California: Students Compete In Solar Decathlon

OO Young Students Object To Bad Science Education

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OO California Passes Bill To Strictly Regulate Oil Well 'Fracking'

OO Banding Together: Wisconsin Libertarians Join Greens In Favor Of Solar Energy

OO US Billionaire Investor Backs Anti-Keystone XL TV Ad Campaign

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OO Microgrids: A Safer Energy Net for Cities' Stormier Futures - but murky rules are obstacles.

OO US Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Reaches A High, Nearing Goal For 2016

OO Solar Panel Becoming Standard Option For Homebuilders

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OO New US Coal Plants Could See Serious Carbon Restrictions - despite hard push from industry.

OO U.S. Coal Companies Scale Back Export Goals - Goldman Sachs report says "The [global] window for thermal coal investment is closing."

OO EPA Expected To Set Limits On Carbon Emissions By New Power Plants

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When will your street flood next? Britain is developing a forecast system. Courtesy, NOAA

OO Britain: Flash Flood Forecasts Just For Your Street

OO Australia: Inside One Of The World's Most Sustainable Cities

OO UK Urged To Back EU Biofuels Cap

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OO China Will Ban New Coal-Fired Power Plants in 3 key industrial regions to fight air pollution.

OO Japan Hopes To Blow Ahead In Renewables With Floating Wind Farm

OO Activists Target Major Snack Makers Over 'Conflict' Palm Oil - a health hazardous edible oil, whose cultivation is a major destroyer of carbon-storing Asian rainforests and peat bogs.

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Credit Rhett Butler at www.mongabay.com

OO Indonesian Villagers Sue President Over Climate Change

OO Brazil Protects 2.4 Million Carbon-Storing Acres - with 2 new parks.

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The flag flies, May 21, 2013.

At Moore, OK, the day after a huge tornado demolished it.

Credit Major Jon Quinlan/defenseimagery.mil

***** US Climate Change News *****

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OO West Nile Virus Season To Last Longer As Climate Changes

OO Dengue Fever Presence In Florida At 'Pretty Serious Level' - as climate promotes spread of mosquitoes carrying it.

OO Valley Fever Hospitalizations Increase In California - as warm dry conditions of continued climate change fosters spread of the responsible fungus.

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OO US Gas Boom Adds To Climate Risks

OO Report: Climate Change Is Impacting California

OO California: In Drought, Water War Fought Underground

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Credit Fred Baudera at wikimedia

OO Michigan: Experts - Climate Primary Factor On Lakes Huron And Michigan Low Levels

OO Texas: Group Says Textbook Publishers Pressured To Adjust Evolution, Climate Lessons

OO North Dakota: Bakken Shale - As Wasted Gas Flares, State To Tighten Loose Rules

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Gas flaring not only wastes potential fuel but adds greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. Credit Dirk Ingo Franke at wikimedia

OO Colorado Flood Emergency: Streets Impassable, Dams Breached

OO Colorado: 'Biblical' Rains Cause Massive Floods, Destruction, Deaths, Evacuations

OO '50 Dirtiest' US Power Plants Emit More Greenhouse Gases Than South Korea

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OO Hawaii: Drought Conditions Return

OO Louisiana: New Water Plan Could Turn New Orleans Into Next Amsterdam

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OO Dust Bowl Worries Swirl Up As Shelterbelt Tree Line Dries - Drought threatens the 1,000-mile line of trees created in the 1930s as giant windbreak that shielded crops, and prevented erosion.

OO Live In A City? The More You Earn, The Bigger Your Carbon Footprint

OO As Pacific Islands Flood, A Climate-Driven Exodus To The US Grows

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A beach at risk from rising seas in American Samoa. Credit Acepharma via Wikimedia

OO EPA To Revise Climate Rule For New Power Plants - will still require carbon capture.

OO What Is America's Most Fuel-Efficient Airline? The smaller ones, with Alaska Airlines leading.

OO Carbon Inequality: 1 % Of US Power Plants Produce 12 % Of US Carbon Emissions

Poly Ticks

OO GOP Tries To Sink Uncontroversial Energy Bill With An Obamacare Amendment

OO States That Get The Most Disaster Aid Have Sent Dozens Of Climate Deniers To Congress

OO Oil Lobbyists Seek Environmental Exemption Ahead Of California Frack Bill Vote

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OO Scale of West Coast fracking Probed

OO Charged With Illegal Fracking Pollution, Exxon Claims 'No Lasting Environmental Impact'

OO Oil Industry Misleads Again: Counts Shale Gas As Carbon-Cutting Effort when studies have already indicated that it probably does not.

☼☼☼Acting Like You Care: The XL Keystone pipeline will make possible far more climate change, but President Obama might okay it anyway. Credo, 350.org and others are asking people to stand up and be counted as nonviolent resisters or help in other ways. I did. If you ever wanted to do something big for your future, now's your chance - here.
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OO As Keystone Battle Drags On, Oil Patch Takes Aim At Alternatives

OO Keystone XL: Canada Minister Offers Obama Emissions Deal To Win Pipeline Support

OO Climate Activist Billionaire Steyer Preparing For Battles Ahead

*****Ready to Invest Your Bucks in Solar? Check out Mosaic opportunities here!

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Via the University of East Anglia Climate Change webpage

<<<< Climate Change Round the World >>>>

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OO Small Islands Make Big Statement On Climate Change

OO Did Global Warming Cause The Syrian Civil War?

OO One Year Arctic Cooling Agrees With Expected Longterm Climate Change

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Despite a larger extent of summer sea ice in 2013, Arctic ice VOLUME continues to decrease. Courtesy, European Space Agency.

OO Warming Climate Begins To Taint Europe's Blood Supplies

OO IPCC Hires Moral Philosopher To Remind Economists Of Ethics In Climate Spending

OODid Deniers Intimidate IPCC To 'Lowball' Sea Level Rise And Climate Sensitivity?

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Pink areas currently have above normal wildfire potential. More than 1200 firefighters have already been battling four major fires in an early start to Australia's wildfire season. Credit Bushfire CRC

OO An Early Start To Bushfire Season Sparks Concern Across Australia

OO US Fracking Boom Sends Canada Gas Producers to Asia for Customers

OO Global Warming Is Very Real - motivating scientists and activists to fight back against deniers.

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US drought cuts back crops in the West; even less water will be available under continued climate change. Credit Mary Ellen Harte

OO Warming Will Worsen Water Scarcity

OO Climate Asia - New Study Reveals Most Vulnerable

OO Climate Threat To Southern Africa's Crops

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OO Preserving Forest, Birds Boosts Coffee Profit - up to $300 per hectare by controlling pests; it also preserves large carbon storage systems.

OO Brazil's Satellite Data Show Increase In Amazon Deforestation Over Past Year

OO Global Warming May 'Flatten' Rainforests - pushing canopy plants and animals out of tree tops as conditions get warmer and drier.

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OO Japanese Firms Buying Illegal Timber From Malaysia's Endangered Rainforests

OO Britain: Landslides Up Fivefold In A Year; Heavy Rainfall Blamed

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2013 Historic flooding along russo-china border is shown right, and in a natural unflooded state at the same time last year (circled area), left. Credit NASA

OO Historic Flooding On The Chinese-Russian Border Seen From Space

OO Climate Change Is a Real Problem in Australia. So Why Did They Elect a Leader Who Might Not Believe In It?

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Right image via Climate Progress

OO These Gigantic Companies Have The World's Worst Carbon Emissions

OO UK Urged To Invest £50bn In Greener Economic Recovery

OO How Climate Change Threatens A Double Blow To The Caribbean's Drinking Water

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Ten Global Warming Indicators. Credit NOAA

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(((((((( Seeking the Science ))))))))

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OO Arctic Death Spiral: Decline In Arctic Sea Ice Volume Continues

OO Atlantic's First 2013 Hurricane Late Because of Sahara Sand - African sand wafting across the Atlantic prevents the formation of large storms that evolve into hurricanes. 2013 has already seen several tropical storms.

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Hurricane Alberto is the first of the 2013 Atlantic season (left, Credit NOAA), a late start partly due to Sahara sand wafting off Africa (light yellow area, right, Credit: WeatherBELL Analytics) which dampens storm formation with heavy dry air.

OO Parts Of Europe Heating Faster Than Global Average

OO Unprecedented Rate And Scale Of Ocean Acidification Found In Arctic

OO Climate Change: Trees Are Speeding Up Their Life Cycles, But Migrating Little

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OO Bunnies Being Eaten as Winter White Coats Last Into Warming-Driven Spring - white coats stand out against the browns of early spring, making it difficult for hares to hide from predators.

OO Skyscraper-Sized Waves Recorded Beneath The Ocean - they play a crucial role in long-term climate cycles, transporting heat, carbon, and nutrients around the world.

OO Channels of Meltwater Detected in Antarctic Glacier - hastening its melt.

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OO Summer 2013 Weather Extremes Tied To Extraordinarily Unusual Polar Jet Stream - ie, the latest inexplicable aberrations of the Arctic jetstream that, scientists increasingly say, is connected to the Arctic warming and melting.

OO Bear-Human Encounters Are Expected To Rise Thanks To Climate Change

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@@@ Climate Change in the Media @@@

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Via Climate Nexus

OO @@ WEEKLY CLIMATE CHANGE VIDEO SERIES!! @@ Entitled "In Case You Missed It" via the good folks at Climate Nexus on Vimeo - select headlines delivered in less than 90 seconds with good graphics. Cool watching -- spread the word!!

@@ At Last, a Green Radio Show to counter the Lush Bimbaugh wasteland. Check out On the Green Front with Betsy Rosenberg at Progressive Radio Network to keep updated on climate change, and other green topics.

@@ Video of the Week: "The Time Is Now To Act On Climate" - NY Senator Paul Tonko excerpts here.

@@ Oregon's Massive Wildfires, As Seen Through Google Glass

@@ Alaska: Acidifying Oceans Threatens Alaskan Crabs - big commercial crabs are already being exposed to acid conditions lethal to their larvae, threatening a big industry.

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Delectable Alaskan crabs are at risk. Credit Frank Mayne at wikimedia

@@ Video: America's Dangerous Pipelines - the title says it all; compelling ....

To help you understand just what science does and does NOT do, check this out!


Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by these golden chanterelles I picked in Canada recently. (And, yes, they were delicious!) 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 join the increasing numbers of people who want to TELL Congress that they will vote for clean energy candidates you can do so here. It's our way of letting Congress know there's a strong clean energy voting bloc out there. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.

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