09/14/2014 03:01 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Climate Change This Week: Solar Jobs Rise, So Does Global Heat, and More!

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


Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Sep 13, 2014

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, the jet stream has once again wobbled down into the US, bringing unusually cool but refreshing weather to much of the US as California and Alaska bake; the eastern Pacific warm spot continues to prevent much rain from reaching California sending the region into ever 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.

(Add 0.3-0.4 C to have these anomaly values calibrate with those of NASA.) Daily updates of can be seen here for both the temperature anomalies map, and the jetstream map. For real time animated US surface wind patterns, click here, and here, for the planet. (Clicking on "earth" there reveals data and map options.)



OO US Solar Industry Nears 16GW of Installed Capacity

OO Green Jobs: SolarCity Adds 2,900 Employees in 2014, and More

OO Better, Cheaper Loans Challenge the Solar Leasing Model

@@ Birthing a Solar Age - from the Yale Climate Forum, is a powerful youtuber on just how much solar and wind power are revolutionizing our energy world. There are 3 big takeaways here:

a. getting power will become much cheaper, safer, and cleaner via solar and wind

b. generation of power will be greatly distributed - think solar rooftops, microgrids, windfarms; it's the birth of energy independence -- TEA PARTY people love this!

c. Utilities' new role will be to technically manage energy distribution efficiently over the grid and through our homes.


OO New China Energy Policy: Distributed Solar and Innovative Financing Tools



OO US Clean Energy YieldCos Paying High Dividends to Investors

OO How Govt Is Saving Taxpayers Money With Renewable Energy and Efficiency - Obama's challenging mandate is working.

OO Energy Efficiency Company Partners With Airbnb to Help Homes Save Energy - free thermostats help save energy, boost green image, and advertize Nest company's other services.
Credit: Chris J Dixon at Wikimedia Commons

OO Wind, Solar Power Boosting Investment in US Power Lines - as distribution of more energy comes into play.

OO Nevada Gets $5 Billion Tesla 'Gigafactory' - And 6,500 New Jobs

OO China Works Toward Kicking Its Coal Habit - coal imports have leveled off as the country becomes a leader in hydro, solar and wind power.


Speaking Out:

Wikipedia Commons

OO Judge Finds BP Was 'Reckless' And Grossly Negligent
In 2010 Deepwater Horizon Spill - people died, businesses were wrecked, and the whole gulf contaminated because of it.

OO Prosecutors Side with Coal Blockaders, Drop Charges - and will join the climate march on September 21st.

Credit Friends of Nelson County

OO Locals Protest Planned Gas Pipeline Through George Washington Natl Forest


OO Daughter to Famous Preacher Climate-Denying Father:
We Need to Be Planetary Caregivers
- "You don't want to be on the side that said I had a chance and I didn't do anything."

OO New York To West Virginia: Stop Trying To Kill EPA's Carbon Rule


OO Michigan Senate Candidate: Climate Change Is A Job Creation Issue
"You can do what's right for the environment and what's right for the economy at the same time."

OO Nova Scotia To Ban Fracking:
'We Need To Respect The Trust The People Have Put In Us'

Energy Minister says Nova Scotians "overwhelmingly expressed concern" about fracking.

OO UK: Sir Paul Nurse Criticizes Those Who Distort Science,
Urges Peers To Challenge Those Who Do So
- especially influential figures, says the senior scientist.

Good Ideas:

Credit Lennart Batenburg at flickr

OO As Aircraft Emissions Zoom, EPA Looks Into Regulating Them

OO Agency Awards Grant To Study Wind Turbines' Impact On Birds, Bats
By better understanding how birds and bats interact with wind turbines, developers can create wind farms that are safer for winged creatures.

OO Foresters Replant With Trees From Warmer Climes
To Keep Up With Climate Change

Introducing roads into forests promotes a cancer of deforestation via logging and mining. Over the next 30 years, almost all new roads will be build in developing nations, which sustain the most vitally important ecosystems on Earth. Credit NASA

OO New Global 'Roadmap' Shows Where to Put Future Roads - Siting roads that benefit people, like farmers, the most and minimize environmental damage.

Scientific Insights:

OO Earth's Soils Could Contribute More To Climate Change Than Formerly Thought
research indicates the microbes in the Earth's soils will emit more carbon as global temperatures increase.


Fossil Fuel Follies:

OO Lack Of Water Could Limit Oil And Gas Development In Energy-Rich Nations - 40% of the world's countries with the largest shale oil and shale gas resources are arid or compete strongly for water.

On the eve of another climate summit, a new report shows that humans are not cutting carbon emissions fast enough to prevent further, even more catastrophic climate change. Credit Peter Essick

OO World On Track To Be 8F Warmer By 2100 Because Of Missed Carbon Targets

OO The World Is Falling Behind Goal Of Limiting Warming To 4F Rise

OO 'Alarming' Amount Of Arsenic Found In Groundwater Near Texas Fracking Sites

Clueless Leadership:

Credit: Tom Toles at the Washington Post

OO House GOP Will Spend Last of Current Session Doing Nothing constructive on energy or the economy. They plan to repackage flawed energy and economy bills they already passed, but which were rejected by a Democratic Senate.

OO On 50th Anniversary, Two Major, Wildly Successful Environmental Acts Are In Danger

OO For Air Pollution, Trash Is a Burning Problem



OO Everything You Need To Know To Attend The Biggest Climate March In History - as well as the climate summit and over 100 other climate events in September.

OO Activists Promise Biggest Climate March In History - the People's Climate March in New York and cities worldwide hopes to put pressure on heads of state at UN climate summit


OO Urge Congress to Support Clean Energy Victory Bonds Bill


Pretty Please?

Vote for Clean Energy Leaders This November!




OO Labor Day 2050:
Global Warming Will Collapse Labor Productivity
- as extreme heat limits outdoor work in peak months, say new studies.


This could be us, a century from now, if we don't start seriously tackling climate change today.
Credit Alexander Cahlenstein at flickr

OO Global Warming Ups Chances of Megadroughts Threatening Civilization here and worldwide.

OO Fire And Water: Global Warming Is Making Weather More Extreme
& Costing Us Money
-- droughts, wildfires, heat waves, floods - climate research is linking more extreme weather to global warming.


Maine's economy, and a treasured culinary delicacy, are threatened by rapidly warming waters.

OO Maine: Lobster, Cod Industries Threatened By Rapidly Warming Seas - in the Gulf of Maine, practically the fastest heating seawaters on the planet.

OO Texas: Water District Fight In Texas Shows
Climate Change And Water Rights Colliding

OO US Drought Divide:
Recent Tropical Rains to Help Plains, Not California

On this finite planet, more people means more fossil fuel pollution, worsening crop conditions, and less land per person to grow food.

OO Fossil Fuel Pollution Threatens To Push Back Fight Against Hunger By Decades
NGOs react to new research showing air pollution is having a worse effect on food security than previously thought.

OO Africa: Rising Populations Threaten Food Security

OO Pakistan: Extreme Rains Kill Many, Create Worst Flooding In Decades

Forests: the cheapest way to sequester carbon


This used to be a forest, before tar sands mining turned it into a moonscape.

OO Canada Tops The World In Forest Degradation - due to climate change, logging and energy development, as illustrated by a new mapping project.

OO Four People Killed By Loggers In Peru - one, a top conservationist for a tribal community, was a top target for assassination.

Rhett Butler receives his award from Dr Richard Lariviere of the Field Museum. Source:

Mongabay Founder Rhett Butler Wins Top Conservation Prize bestowed by the reknowned Field Museum in Chicago, reports Jeremy Hance at Mongabay.

A Wolf's Guenon: just one of thousands of pictures from Rhett Butler's collection at

Mongabay is the world's foremost website for timely reporting on what is happening to our forests and biodiversity. Included are a children's site in almost 30 languages, and over 10,000 images of wildlife and ecosystems from Butler's reporting trips. It attracts over 2 million visitors monthly.

Rhett Butler in some of his favorite habitat.

Butler put conservation reporting, especially in the tropics, on the map of journalism with Mongabay and the other various media outlets that he continues to create and co-found. (Does the guy ever sleep?) I'm waiting for the Pulitzer committee to take notice... Way to go, Rhett!

OO Indonesia To Verify Ownership Of 150+ Million Acres Disputed Forest Land - important, because ownership determines who is responsible for preserving these important carbon-storing systems.

OO Indonesia: Islam Could Help Save Special Sumatran Forests - with Sharia law, which prohibits the corruption that enables illegal exploitation and destruction of its forests. Indonesia is overwhelmingly Muslim.

Over 10% of the world's old growth forests have been lost over the past dozen years. This inset of a new map shows just how much of the intact forest in a sizeable portion of the Amazon has been degraded (light green) from 2000 to 2013. Pink shows forest loss over a greater timescale. We've got to do better. Source: Global Forest Watch via

Every Day, the World Loses 100,000+ Acres of Forests
-- Canada, Russia, Brazil Lead World In Old-Growth Forest Loss
and new maps show these last vestiges are disappearing quickly, with 250+ million acres of forests degraded since 2000, reports Morgan Erikson-Davis at Mongabay.

A logging road penetrates a supposedly protected Intact Forest Landscape in western Russia. Photo courtesy of Greenpeace.


Some of the last Siberian tigers live in Intact Forest Landscapes in western Russia.

OO Major Palm Oil Companies Buying Illegal Palm Fruit,
Despite Public Commitments Not To
- finds a new investigation. Read your food labels and keep this unhealthy, forest-destroying oil out of your diet.

Fantastic DEAL! World's Rainforests Could Be Carbon Assessed For Under $250 Million by mapping them in 3D at high resolution by 2020, argues a new study, reports Rhett Butler at Mongabay. This would accurately assess the carbon stored above ground in these ecosystems, at a fraction of the cost for a satellite observation mission or on-the-ground sampling.

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 Cape Zebra I photographed recently in South Africa. 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.