Climate Change This Week: Warming Accelerating, US Utilities Going Green, and More!

03/23/2015 05:34 pm ET | Updated May 23, 2015

Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.

@@ Censoring South Florida Sea Level Rise - maybe state employees aren't allowed to say the words, but mother nature doesn't care - Florida is being increasingly flooded by rising sea levels from climate change.

@@ Brought to you by the Climate Change Youtube Channel



OO Malawi: 'God Commanded' Family Planning,
Says Muslim Leader
in a flood ravaged village, where climate change and population are intersecting --So much so, that long-held cultural assumptions are starting to change.

Related Headline:

OO Population Increases Flood And Drought Threat To Cities


A lush peat swamp, home to endangered wildlife. Rhett Butler at Mongabay

OO Scientists Warn Peat Fires, Global Warming May Intensify Each Other as peatlands are drained for agriculture or dry up from climate change.



OO Solar Power Got Cheaper at a Record-Breaking Pace in 2014


A new study implicates Arctic warming in helping create prolonged heat waves around the world, including Russia, as it did above during July and August 2010. Red dots indicate the heat wave, which also helped fuel many wildfires there. NASA

Summer Heat Waves May be Linked to Arctic Warming says a new study, reports Andrea Thompson at Climate Central. It implicates Arctic warming in helping create prolonged heat waves around the world by stagnating weather systems that allowed heat and dryness to build.

Related Headline:

OO Arctic Melt Brings More Persistent Heat Waves To US, Europe - the US, Europe and Russia face longer heat waves because summer jet stream winds that formerly brought cool ocean air have been weakened as climate change melts the Arctic, German researchers said.



@@ Time to Wake Up: Corporate Climate Responsibility 2.0

It's time for a a US corporate step up to recognizing the importance of taking steps to address climate change - and many are doing so. When will Congress?


The Kids Get It: climate change is real, and needs action. Now will Congress get it?

OO Poll: 90% Of 12-Year-Olds Understand That Climate Change Is Real - students will visit a dozen offices to ask senators -- including Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul -- to take a simple elementary school quiz on climate change science.


Credit Several Seconds at Flickr

Warming Could Hit Rates Unseen in 1,000 Years says a new study, reports Brian Kahn at Climate Central, especially affecting the northern hemisphere first, becoming so fast that "there's not going to be anything close to equilibrium," said lead researcher Steven Smith, underscoring the profound potential impacts on both the natural world and society.

Related Headline:

Rate Of Climate Change To Soar By 2020s
With Arctic Warming 1°F Per Decade
says a new study reports Joe Romm at Climate Progress. It projects that the rate of climate change, which has risen sharply in recent decades, will soar by the 2020s. This is consistent with several recent studies and has dangerous implications for extreme weather, sea level rise, and permafrost melt.



YOU CAN ACT: Keep It In the Ground Campaign

Join this new campaign launched by the UK Guardian, one of Britain's most reputable news organizations, in petitioning the world's top 2 charitable organizations to divest from fossil fuels. You can do so here.



Caroline Bennett at instagram
@@ Everyday Climate Change at Instagram
Bringing you the face of climate change daily

Smelling the Peril of Oil: Cofán leader Emergildo Criollo smells remnants of crude oil in a river in the northern Ecuadorian Amazon, where a legacy of destructive oil operations continues to contaminate the region's water supply and rainforest.


The Mississippi floods. Margaret Croft/AP archive

OO River Flooding To Affect 40 Million People Annually By 2030



OO US Solar Capacity Up 30% in 2014 Over 2013

OO Batteries Paired With Solar Panels Could Shake Up Electric Utility Sector - Emerging plans to pair residential solar panels with mass-produced residential batteries are on the verge of confounding the electric power industry.

OO US Utilities Increasingly Focused on Solar Energy and Its Storage says a new report.


OO You Can Now Invest In Solar Bonds
Through Your Retirement Account

"You can earn good economic returns and do good with your money at the same time."

OO Cities Could Be Ideal for Utility-Scale Solar Plants in California, says a Stanford University study.

OO California Is Building the Largest US Floating Solar Project - the 12.5-megawatt project will be able to serve 3,000 homes.


Check it out here, right now!



Eugene Garcia/AP

OO US Wind And Solar Are Growing Much Faster Than Fossil Fuels says a new federal report.

OO Wind Could Make Up 35% of US Electricity Generation by 2050 says the US Dept of Energy.

Related Headline:

OO Wind Could Power 35 Percent of U.S. Electricity by 2050 ...
IF Wind Power Got The Same Tax Breaks As The Fossil Fuel Industry
- but it doesn't look like Congress will renew it. Hey, what gives, Congress?



US Utilities Moving Towards Renewable Energy:

OO Florida Utility To Buy & Shut Down Coal Plant Early - stopping 1 million tons of CO2 emissions yearly.

OO California: Utilities Commission To Replace Nuclear, Gas Plants
With Green Energy Options like renewables, energy efficiency and energy storage.

OO Largest US Utility to Rely More on Natural Gas, Renewable Energy - it's the TVA.


Lithuania joins Sweden, Bulgaria, and Estonia in surpassing its clean energy goals.

OO Four Countries Surpass EU Renewable Goals Early

OO Record First: Global CO2 Emissions Went Flat In 2014 While The Economy Grew

China's use of coal dropped 3% last year, and now plans further cuts.

OO China Targets Coal Usage Cuts In Its New Energy Plan

OO China's Push To Cut Coal Use
May Be Bad News For US Exporters

OO The Electric Car Battery Race Is On: China vs. Tesla



Speaking Out:

Rhett Butler at Mongabay

OO Scientists Warn Of Global Warming Threat To Temperate Rainforests and call to reduce emissions before it's too late.

OO Scientists Warn G20: $60 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
Reinforces "A Dangerous Vision"
- infinite growth is unsustainable.

OO UN Report Warns Of Grave Consequences If Mangroves Not Protected impacting food security, biodiversity, and human coastal communites worldwide


OO Christian Duty: Cardinal Indicates Themes
Of Pope's Climate Change Document

OO US Secretary of State Kerry:
Ignoring Climate Change Is 'Just Plain Immoral'

OO Lawsuit Seeks Strict Limits On Massachusetts Greenhouse Gas Emissions - brought on by a group of teenagers trying to make a difference - more power to them!

Climate change is not good for brewing beer, and US brewers know it. Sources: Wikipedia,

OO US Beer Brewers Call for Action on Climate Change


OO UN Backs Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

OO Australia: Coal Is Burning Up Australia's Future say public groups, who are pushing elected leaders to account for their national commitments to lower carbon emissions to cap runaway global warming.

OO Bank of England: Climate Change Is One of the Biggest Risks
To Insurance Industry

OO London to Divest Fossil Fuels
From City's Pension Fund
- a $9 billion fund.

Good Ideas:

US Interior Department

OO Public Lands May Be America's Best Climate Defense - they protect forests that help store atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions while providing space for renewable energy development and protecting wildlife habitat and biodiversity, helping plants and animals adapt to climate change, says a federal official

OO Banks Increasingly Not Financing Mountantop Coal Mining

OO Germany Seeks To Boost Renewable Sources Of Heating for buildings.

Important Insights:

The two cyclones on the right could jolt the El Nino weather effect. The lower one, Pam, has already wrecked Vanuatu. NOAA

OO 'Twin' Cyclones Could Jolt Weak El Nino - spinning opposite each other on either side of the equator.

OO Climate Change Can Skew Fish
Gender Ratios Towards More Males
-- with fewer females actually producing fish.

OO Climate Change To Blame For Mysterious Siberia Craters - say Russian scientists.



Fossil Fuel Follies

One US legacy of coal: coal ash dumps pollute our landscape.

OO US, Chinese Companies Dominate List Of Most-Polluting Coal Plants

OO We Keep Spilling Oil Into America's Greatest Rivers

OO Crude-Oil Train Wrecks Raise Questions About Safety Claims - as 4 accidents in the last month show.

Credit CBS News, screenshot

Related Headlines

OO Fast-Growing Railroads Will Miss Safety System Deadline

OO Train Deaths Rise Amid Energy-Driven Rail Transformation

OO Crude Oil Price Collapse Busting North Dakota Oil Boom


Arctic drilling will add one more stress to the wildlife already stressed by rapid warming.
Credit Gerard Van der Leun, Flickr

OO Shell To Start Arctic Oil Drilling This Summer

OO Shell Using Seattle Ports For Arctic Drilling Rigs
"If I had to pick a logo that says, 'I'm for climate chaos,' I could hardly do better than an Arctic drilling rig."

Clueless Leadership:

OO Ohio: Paying An Ecnomic Price for Stalling on Clean Energy

OO Four US States Push Koch-Backed Legislation
To Ban Funding EPA's Climate Rule
- as oil barons try to rule over the public.

Croatia's lucrative beauty is at risk from developing fossil fuels industry in the Adriatic.

OO Croatia 'Sleep-Walking' Into Destroying Tourism
With Adriatic Energy Industry

OO EU Nations Climate-Minded At Home,
But Promoting Coal Products Abroad

OO India: Solar Minded Minister Slashes Environmental Funding




Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Mar 22, 2015

How unusual has the weather been? No one event is "caused" by climate change, but global warming, which is predicted to increase unusual, extreme weather, is having a daily effect on weather, worldwide.

Looking above at recent temperature anomalies, much of the US and the waters surrounding it are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures: the eastern Pacific warm spot continues to prevent much rain from reaching California, sending it into further drought.

Much of the areas surrounding the North Pole are experiencing much warmer than normal temperatures - not good news for our Arctic thermal shield of ice. Hotter than usual temperatures continue to dominate human habitats.

Natural Repercussions:


OO NASA: Earth Tops Hottest 12 Months On Record Again,
Thanks To Warm February

OO Arctic Sea Ice Dwindling Toward Record Winter Low

OO Land, Ocean Carbon Sinks Are Weakening,
Making Climate Action More Urgent

Pacific Marine Mammal Center, AP photo

OO Hundreds Of Sick, Dying Sea Lion Pups
Are Washing Up On California's Shores
- as warmer waters have driven their food supplies away.

Social Repercussions:

OO Why Fresh Water Shortages Will Cause The Next Great Global Crisis

OO Climate Change on International Disaster Talks Agenda

OO "Monster" Cyclone Pam Destroys Much Of Vanuatu,
Officials Blame Climate Change

A disappearing act? Concrete in southern California has contributed to the disappearance of cool, moist fog. Source

OO Southern California's Concrete Contributes to Drought,
By Discouraging Coastal Fog

OO Washington State Rain No Cure For Drought,
Due To Bleak Snowpack
- It is possible to have rain -- lots of it -- and still be plagued by drought.

OO Baked Alaska - If the Last Frontier is the canary in the climate coal mine, we're in trouble.


OO Canada: Climate Change Spells End To Ice Hockey say experts.


Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon

We all suffer when forests are destroyed. Source SOB - IAR Indonesia, RAN


OO Soil Releases Carbon For Decades After Forests Are Felled study finds.

OO Endangered Forests Shrink As Demand For Soy Rises

OO Myanmar: Commercial Agricultural Expansion Fueling Illegal Logging, Land Conflicts


One of the many gifts of carbon-storing forests. Credit Rhett Butler at

OO Brazil Confirms Rising Deforestation In The Amazon

OO Proposed Law Could Decimate Indonesia's Remaining Forests

OO Liberia: Local Land Rights At Risk From Push For Palm Oil


Suriname elders. Mongabay

OO Suriname: Indigenous Leaders Present Plan
To Govt For Largest Official Protected Area

OO Palm Oil Giant Buys PNG Firm
Noted For Environmental Practices

There is, of course, much more news on the consequences and solutions to climate change. To get it, check out this annotated resource list I've compiled, "Climate Change News Resources," at here. For more information on the science of climate change, its consequences and solutions you can view my annotated list of online information resources here.

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 this tundra rhododendron I photographed one summer. 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.