09. Governments


9. What Are Governments Doing About Climate Change?

See also articles from
2011 |~| 2010 |~| 2009 |~| 2008 

Non-chronological links:

Kyoto Treaty text

National Climate Assessment (NCA), originally required by the Global Change Research Act of 1990 and periodically updated, can be found on the U.S.Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) website. It informs the nation about already observed climate changes, the current status of the climate, and anticipated trends for the future. It integrates scientific information from multiple sources and sectors and provides input to Federal agencies, U.S. citizens, communities, and businesses as they create more sustainable and environmentally sound plans for the nation’s future. Prior and current drafts of the NCA can be found at http://www.globalchange.gov/what-we-do/assessment.

Climate Change Education.org

Carbon Mitigation Initiative - a joint project of Princeton University, BP and the Ford Motor Company to find solutions to the greenhouse and global warming problem. Researchers are developing strategies to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions that will be safe, effective, and affordable.

ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability was founded in 1990 by local governments at the United Nations Headquarters in New York as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). It's an association of cities, towns, counties, and local government associations ( (more than 600 in the U.S.) whose mission is to build and serve a worldwide movement to achieve tangible improvements in global sustainability. 

Nature Conservancy pages on Climate Change

NOAA Global Climate Change page

Permafrost Lab

RealClimate -http://www.realclimate.org/
a commentary site (blog) on climatology by climate scientists. Provides quick response to developing stories.

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) - Climate & Energy Publications

Articles from 2012–present

2021-08-09. Latest IPCC Report Points to Urgent Need to Cut Emissions. Source: By Julie Chao, Berkeley Lab News Center. Excerpt: Our planet’s oceans, forests, and soils perform a valuable service, absorbing half of our carbon dioxide emissions. But the more that our planet warms, the more that these so-called “carbon sinks” weaken in their ability to perform this service. If we continue on our current trajectory of high emissions of greenhouse gases, by the next century not only will oceans and forests absorb less carbon dioxide, they could even reverse their role and become carbon sources. This is one of the key messages from Working Group I of the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released today. ...Reports from Working Groups II and III, which focus on adaptation and mitigation, respectively, will be out next spring. ...Another potent short-lived climate forcer is hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which are commonly used as refrigerants, such as in air-conditioning. Almost 40% of the warming caused by residential and commercial emissions are from HFC emissions. “They have a very high global-warming potential,” said Kuo, also a contributing author on the chapter. “That’s a concern with global warming, with more people buying air conditioners in regions where they typically weren’t needed, such as the Pacific Northwest in the United States.” ...The chapter on extreme weather is of particular interest in this summer of record-shattering heat, floods, and other severe weather. A key message is that human influence is making many types of extreme climate events, including heat waves, heavy rainfall, and droughts, more frequent and severe.... [https://newscenter.lbl.gov/2021/08/09/latest-ipcc-report-points-to-urgent-need-to-cut-emissions/] - See also New York Times: A Hotter Future Is Certain, Climate Panel Warns. But How Hot Is Up to UsClimate Change Is a ‘Hammer Hitting Us on the Head,’ Developing Nations Say; Washington Post: Humans have pushed the climate into ‘unprecedented’ territory, landmark U.N. report finds; and National Geographic: Some irreversible changes to the climate can still be headed off, report says.  

2021-08-04. Democrats Seek $500 Billion in Climate Damages From Big Polluting Companies. Source: By Lisa Friedman, The New York Times. Excerpt: Under a draft plan Democrats are circulating, the Treasury Department would tax a handful of the biggest emitters of planet-warming pollution to pay for climate change.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/04/climate/tax-polluting-companies-climate.html]  

2021-08-03. In the Infrastructure Bill, a Recognition: Climate Change Is a Crisis. Source: By Christopher Flavelle, The New York Times. Excerpt: For the first time, both parties have acknowledged — by their actions, if not their words — that the United States is unprepared for global warming and will need huge amounts of cash to cope.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/03/climate/infrastructure-bill-climate-preparation.html]  

2021-07-16. [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/16/business/energy-environment/china-carbon-market.html] - China Opened a National Carbon Market. Here’s Why It Matters. Source: By Chris Buckley, The New York Times. Excerpt: China, the world’s biggest source of greenhouse gas pollution, opened a national carbon emissions trading market on Friday, a long-awaited step aimed at fighting climate change. The market turns the power to pollute into an allowance that can be bought and sold, and is part of an array of policies that the Chinese government is putting in place as it tries to demonstrate its commitment to significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the coming decades. ...China’s leader, Xi Jinping, has sought to cast his country as an environmentally responsible world power, and has pledged to tackle climate change. The new carbon market, which is immediately the world’s largest by volume of emissions, is the latest of Beijing’s efforts....  

2021-07-14. [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/14/climate/renewable-energy-batteries.html] - Energy Department Targets Vastly Cheaper Batteries to Clean Up the Grid. Source: By Brad Plumer, The New York Times. Excerpt: WASHINGTON — The Energy Department on Wednesday announced a new effort to tackle one of the toughest technical challenges facing President Biden’s push for an electric grid dominated by solar and wind power — namely, what to do when the sun stops shining and the wind stops blowing. The government is chasing a promising but uncertain solution: a low-cost way to store electricity generated by the sun or wind for hours, days or even weeks at a time, saving it for when it’s most needed. ...While dozens of companies are working on different ideas for so-called “long-duration energy storage,” most are still too expensive to be useful. As part of its initiative, the Energy Department wants to drive down the cost of long-duration storage 90 percent below the cost of today’s lithium-ion batteries by 2030. ...The announcement is part of the agency’s Energy Earthshots Initiative, which aims to accelerate the deployment of nascent technologies to fight climate change. The program is an acknowledgment that the United States has not yet fully developed all the technologies it needs to meet Mr. Biden’s goal of zeroing out the nation’s planet warming emissions by 2050....  

2021-07-14. [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/14/climate/border-carbon-tax-united-states.html] - Democrats Call for a Tax on Imports From Polluting Countries. Source: By Lisa Friedman, The New York Times. Excerpt: The party’s $3.5 trillion budget plan would include a carbon tariff, as well as a host of other climate actions.... See also Europe Unveils Plan to Shift From Fossil Fuels, Setting Up Potential Trade Spats, ... Europe Is Proposing a Border Carbon Tax. What Is It and How Will It Work?, and How Europe’s Ambitious New Climate Agenda Will Affect Businesses.

2021-06-11. [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/11/climate/wind-energy-Atlantic-Biden.html] - For Lease: Windmill Space in the Atlantic Between Long Island and New Jersey. Source: By Lisa Friedman, The New York Times. Excerpt: The proposed lease sale is part of the Biden administration's push to develop 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2030. ...The proposed sale, the first of the Biden administration, includes eight lease areas in the New York Bight, a triangular area in the Atlantic Ocean between Cape May in New Jersey and Montauk Point on the eastern tip of Long Island. Administration officials estimated wind turbines there could generate more than seven gigawatts of electricity — enough to power more than 2.6 million homes....  

2021-06-11. [https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/g7-2021-carbon-neutral/2021/06/10/eaa2bd5a-c7cd-11eb-8708-64991f2acf28_story.html] - G-7 in Cornwall aims to be first carbon-neutral summit. What will it take to offset all the jet fuel? Source: By William Booth. The Washington Post. Excerpt: LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is promising to host the first "carbon-neutral" summit for the Group of Seven this week — seeking to slash the emissions of greenhouse gases by sourcing the crab and lamb locally, deploying ­generators powered by hydro-treated vegetable oil and offsetting all that international jet travel by building a composting facility in Vietnam. ...Going all-in on “net zero” also plays into Johnson’s pitch to make this week’s G-7 in Cornwall a steppingstone toward November’s huge COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which will seek to set tougher goals and firmer commitments to curb planetary warming. Johnson promised that the Cornwall meeting itself “will be completely carbon-neutral” and that, “more significantly, it will be the first G-7 at which every member has committed to hitting net zero by 2050.” But the devil is in the details, and the British government has released scant information on how it will tabulate the total carbon emissions of the three-day event.... 

2021-06-03. [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/03/world/europe/climate-change-un-international-maritime-organization.html] - Tasked to Fight Climate Change, a Secretive U.N. Agency Does the Opposite. Source: By Matt Apuzzo and Sarah Hurtes, The New York Times. Excerpt: LONDON — During a contentious meeting over proposed climate regulations last fall, a Saudi diplomat to the obscure but powerful International Maritime Organization switched on his microphone to make an angry complaint: One of his colleagues was revealing the proceedings on Twitter as they happened. It was a breach of the secrecy at the heart of the I.M.O., a clubby United Nations agency on the banks of the Thames that regulates international shipping and is charged with reducing emissions in an industry that burns an oil so thick it might otherwise be turned into asphalt. Shipping produces as much carbon dioxide as all of America’s coal plants combined. ...The organization has repeatedly delayed and watered down climate regulations, even as emissions from commercial shipping continue to rise, a trend that threatens to undermine the goals of the 2016 Paris climate accord. One reason for the lack of progress is that the I.M.O. is a regulatory body that is run in concert with the industry it regulates. Shipbuilders, oil companies, miners, chemical manufacturers and others with huge financial stakes in commercial shipping are among the delegates appointed by many member nations.... 

2021-05-25. [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/25/climate/biden-california-wind-farm.html] - Biden Opens California’s Coast to Wind Farms. Source: By Coral Davenport, The New York Times. Excerpt: WASHINGTON — The notion of wind farms churning in the Pacific Ocean, creating clean energy to power homes and businesses, has long been dismissed because of logistical challenges posed by a deep ocean floor and opposition from the military, which prefers no obstacles for its Navy ships. But evolving technology and a president determined to rapidly expand wind energy have dramatically shifted the prospects for wind farms in the Pacific. On Tuesday, the Navy abandoned its opposition and joined the Interior Department to give its blessing to two areas off the California coast that the government said can be developed for wind turbines. The plan allows commercial offshore wind farms in a 399-square-mile area in Morro Bay along central California, and another area off the coast of Humboldt in Northern California. It marked the most significant action the federal government has taken to promote wind energy along the West Coast and is part of President Biden’s aggressive plan to expand renewable energy and shift the nation away from fossil fuels. “This is a breakthrough that will allow the siting of offshore wind in the Pacific Ocean,” said Gina McCarthy, the White House climate adviser....  See also Washington Post article,  Biden looks to California for next phase of offshore wind.

2021-05-21. [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/05/21/g7-climate-coal/] - G7 nations vow to phase out international financing for coal projects. Source: By Brady Dennis, The Washington Post. Excerpt: ...The outcome of the Group of Seven ministerial meeting — in which nations agreed to limit international financing for coal projects and eventually to end financing for such projects around the world — underscored the return of the United States as a force for global climate action after the country remained on the sidelines under President Donald Trump.... 

2021-05-19. [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/19/business/macron-france-climate-bill.html] - Going Green, or Greenwashing? A Proposed Climate Law Divides France. Source: By Liz Alderman and Constant Méheut, The New York Times. Excerpt: ...As President Emmanuel Macron moves to make France a global champion in the fight against climate change, a wide-ranging environmental bill passed by the French National Assembly this month promises to change the way the French live, work and consume. It would require more vegetarian meals at state-funded canteens, block expansion of France’s airports and curb wasteful plastics packaging. Polluters could be found guilty of “ecocide,” a new offense carrying jail terms of up to 10 years for destroying the environment. If Mr. Macron gets his way, the fight against climate change would even be enshrined in the French constitution through a referendum. But those lofty ambitions are running into a barrage of resistance. Environmentalists and politicians from France’s Green party, rather than backing the legislation, have accused Mr. Macron’s government of watering down ambitious measures and putting corporate interests above tough proposals by a 150-person “citizens climate panel,” which Mr. Macron himself convened last year to address climate concerns.... 

2021-05-17. [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/05/18/narrow-pathway-net-zero-future-greenhouse-gases-iea-says/] - A ‘narrow’ pathway to a net zero future for greenhouse gases, IEA says. Source: By Steven Mufson, The Washington Post. Excerpt: To limit climate change, by 2030 the world must install the equivalent of the current largest solar park — every day. The rate of energy efficiency improvements will have to triple the rate of the past two decades. And by 2035, the sale of the internal combustion engine needs to be a thing of the past. Those are some of the items in a new International Energy Agency report titled “Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector,” which warns that the pathway to net zero is “achievable” but “narrow.” The report hails the rapid growth in the number of countries that have pledged to achieve net zero emissions; those pledges now cover about 70 percent of global emissions of carbon dioxide. China has pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2060. But the report warns that in many cases there is nothing backing up the pledges. Most of them “are not yet underpinned by near-term policies and measures,” the report said. Even if successfully fulfilled, the pledges to date would still fail to cover 22 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide in 2050....  See also New York Times article - https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/18/climate/climate-change-emissions-IEA.html

2021-05-12. [https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/05/12/climate/climate-change-weather-noaa.html] - There’s a New Definition of ‘Normal’ for Weather. Source: By Henry Fountain and Jason Kao, The New York Times. Excerpt: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last week issued its latest “climate normals”: baseline data of temperature, rain, snow and other weather variables collected over three decades at thousands of locations across the country. ...Because the normals have been produced since 1930, they also say a lot about the weather over a much longer term. That is, they show how the climate has changed in the United States, as it has across the world, as a result of emissions of heat-trapping gases over more than a century. “We’re really seeing the fingerprints of climate change in the new normals,” Dr. Palecki said. “We’re not trying to hide that.” Not that they could. The maps showing the new temperature normals every 10 years, compared with the 20th century average, get increasingly redder [hotter]....

2021-05-13. [https://eos.org/articles/forecasters-navigate-a-highway-to-success-around-lake-victoria] - Forecasters Navigate a Highway to Success Around Lake Victoria. Source: By Munyaradzi Makoni, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: ...Four years of testing an early-warning system (EWS) to inform fisherfolk in East Africa of approaching high-impact weather events on Lake Victoria recently concluded. The High Impact Weather Lake System (HIGHWAY) project successfully demonstrated how improved weather, water, and climate services can save lives and livelihoods, as well as support socioeconomic development of vulnerable communities. ...Lake Victoria’s size (it is the world’s second-largest freshwater lake, behind only Lake Superior in North America) allows it to generate its own weather patterns, sometimes suddenly and with human and economic casualties. According to its website, HIGHWAY aimed to “enhance the resilience of African people and economic development to weather and climate related shocks, with an initial focus on the Lake Victoria Basin.” The project was funded by £4.5 million from the U.K. Department for International Development, under Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa.... 

2021-05-05. NASA’s new fleet of satellites will offer insights into the wild cards of climate change. By Paul Voosen, Science Magazine. Excerpt: NASA is about to announce its next generation of Earth-observing satellites... “Earth system observatory,” as NASA calls it, will offer insights into two long-standing wild cards of climate change—clouds and aerosols—while providing new details about the temperatures and chemistry of the planet’s changing surface. The satellite fleets also mark a revival for NASA’s earth science, which has languished over the past decade compared with exploration of Mars and other planets.... [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/05/nasas-new-fleet-satellites-will-offer-insights-wild-cards-climate-change]

2021-05-03. E.P.A. to Sharply Limit Powerful Greenhouse Gases. By Lisa Friedman, The New York Times. Excerpt: WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency moved on Monday to sharply reduce the use and production of powerful greenhouse gases central to refrigeration and air-conditioning, part of the Biden administration’s larger strategy of trying to slow the pace of global warming.The agency proposed to regulate hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, a class of man-made chemicals that are thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming the planet. The proposal is the first significant step the E.P.A. has taken under President Biden to curb climate change. The move is also the first time the federal government has set national limits on HFCs, which were used to replace ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons in the 1980s but have turned out to be a significant driver of global warming. More than a dozen states have either banned HFCs or are formulating some restrictions.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/03/climate/EPA-HFCs-hydrofluorocarbons.html]  See also Washington Post article, Swift action to cut methane emissions could slow Earth’s warming by 30 percent, study finds.

2021-04-28. Senate Reinstates Obama-Era Controls on Climate-Warming Methane. By Coral Davenport, The New York Times. Excerpt: The Senate voted on Wednesday to effectively reinstate an Obama-era regulation designed to clamp down on emissions of methane, a powerful, climate-warming pollutant that will have to be controlled to meet President Biden’s ambitious climate change promises. Taking a page from congressional Republicans who in 2017 made liberal use of a once-obscure law to roll back Obama-era regulations, Democrats invoked the law to turn back a Trump methane rule enacted late last summer. That rule had eliminated Obama-era controls on leaks of methane, which seeps from oil and gas wells. The 52-42 vote was the first time congressional Democrats have used the law, called the Congressional Review Act, which prohibits Senate filibusters and ensures one administration’s last-minute regulations can be swiftly overturned with a simple majority vote in both chambers of Congress. Three Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Rob Portman of Ohio — joined Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents to vote for the measure.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/28/climate/climate-change-methane.html] See also Washington Post article, Senate votes to restore Obama-era limits on methane gas emissions 

2021-04-26. EPA moves to give California right to set climate limits on cars, SUVs. By Juliet Eilperin and Dino Grandoni, The Washington Post. Excerpt: The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that it will move to grant California permission to set more stringent climate requirements for cars and SUVs, a reversal of a key Trump administration policy. The step, coming days after the Transportation Department withdrew Trump-era restrictions of state tailpipe emission rules, could help pave the way for a broader climate deal with the nation’s automakers. The EPA will hold a virtual public hearing on its proposal June 2, and will take comment on the plan until July 6.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/04/26/california-car-climate-waiver/

2021-04-23. Biden closes landmark summit with a message: Climate action equals jobs. By Brady DennisSteven Mufson and Sean Sullivan, The Washington Post. Excerpt: President Biden used the waning hours of a White House climate summit to hammer home a message aimed as much at Americans as at the dozens of world leaders he had convened: Combating the Earth’s warming is not simply a responsibility, but a chance to boost battered economies. “Today’s final session is not about the threat climate change poses,” Biden said Friday morning from the East Room. “It’s about the opportunity that addressing climate change provides, an opportunity to create millions of good-paying jobs around the world in innovative sectors.”.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/04/23/climate-summit-job-biden/]

2021-04-23. Biden Wants to Slash Emissions. Success Would Mean a Very Different America. By Brad Plumer, The New York Times. Excerpt: Hitting the targets could require a rapid shift to electric vehicles, the expansion of forests nationwide, development of complex new carbon-capture technology and many other changes, researchers said.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/22/climate/biden-emissions-target-economy.html

2021-04-22. Biden Calls to Cut US Emissions in Half by 2030. By Piper McDaniel, Mother Jones. Excerpt: President Biden today addressed 40 world leaders at a virtual climate summit, emphasizing the urgency of the climate crisis and announcing plans to reduce US emissions by 50 to 52 percent by 2030. “By maintaining those investments and putting these people to work, the United States sets out on the road to cut greenhouse gases in half—in half—by the end of this decade,” Biden said. “That’s where we’re headed as a nation.”.... [https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2021/04/biden-calls-to-cut-us-emissions-in-half-by-2030/]  See also Washington Post articles, As Biden convenes world leaders, U.S. pledges to cut emissions up to 52 percent by 2030 and Biden ushers in a new era of climate geopolitics.

2021-04-15. Seeking Cooperation on Climate, U.S. Faces Friction With China. By Steven Lee Myers and Chris Buckley, The New York Times. Excerpt: John Kerry, President Biden’s climate envoy, is pressing China to do more to address global warming. But he faces an emboldened Beijing leadership that thinks the United States has lagged behind. ...both countries are publicly pledging to do more to fight global warming. The problem will be working together on it. ...On Thursday, President Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry, met in Shanghai with his counterpart to press China on reducing its carbon emissions, at a time when an emboldened Communist Party leadership has become increasingly dismissive of American demands. In Beijing’s view, the United States still has much ground to recover after walking away from the Paris climate agreement, the 2015 accord to address the catastrophic effects of warming. ...“The U.S. has neither the moral standing nor the real power to issue orders to China over climate issues,” the Global Times, a Chinese newspaper that often echoes official thinking in brashly nationalist tones, said in an article on Wednesday before Mr. Kerry’s visit.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/15/world/asia/us-china-climate-john-kerry.html

2021-03-31.  Biden’s infrastructure plan aims to turbocharge U.S. shift from fossil fuels. By Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post. Excerpt: New standard would mandate renewable-energy use by utilities, while tax breaks and spending would promote climate-friendly technologies. ...The linchpin of Biden’s plan, which he detailed in a speech Wednesday in Pittsburgh, is the creation of a national standard requiring utilities to use a specific amount of solar, wind and other renewable energy to power American homes, businesses and factories. ...Biden said his plan would confront climate change, while putting the U.S. ahead of its economic competitors. “It’s going to boost America’s innovative edge in markets where global leadership is up for grabs,” he said.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/03/31/biden-climate-infrastructure

2021-03-29. Biden Administration Announces a Major Offshore Wind Plan. By Lisa Friedman and Brad Plumer, The New York Times. Excerpt: WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Monday announced a plan to vastly expand the use of offshore wind power along the East Coast, aiming to tap a potentially huge new source of renewable energy that has so far struggled to gain acceptance in the United States. The plan sets a goal of deploying 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind turbines in coastal waters nationwide by 2030, enough to power 10 million homes. ...The administration also plans to offer $3 billion in federal loan guarantees for offshore wind projects and invest in upgrading the nation’s ports to support wind construction. The moves come as President Biden prepares a roughly $3 trillion economic recovery package that will focus heavily on infrastructure to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and tackle climate change, an effort he has framed as a jobs initiative. Officials made a similar case on Monday, saying offshore wind deployment would create 44,000 new jobs directly in the offshore wind sector, such as building and installing turbines, as well as 33,000 new indirect jobs.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/29/climate/biden-offshore-wind.html]

2021-03-18. Biden administration revives EPA Web page on climate change deleted by Trump. By Dino Grandoni and Brady Dennis, The Washington Post. Excerpt: The return of the website again marks the chasm between the two administrations when it comes to climate policy.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/03/18/epa-website-climate/

2021-03-08. Biden administration backs nation’s biggest wind farm off Martha’s Vineyard. By Dino Grandoni and Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post. Excerpt: The Biden administration took a crucial step Monday toward approving the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind farm about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., a project that officials say will launch a massive clean-power expansion in the fight against climate change.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/03/08/biden-climate-windfarm/]  

2021-01-29. What a New Executive Order Means for Curbing Methane Emissions. By Rishika Pardikar, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: On 20 January, the new administration of President Joe Biden issued an executive order calling for consideration of new methane regulations in the oil and gas sector. More stringent regulations could be a major part of climate change mitigation, as the United States is the world’s largest producer of natural gas with steadily increasing production. ...Biden’s executive order comes just days after the release of a Methane Tracker report released by the International Energy Agency on 18 January. “Regulatory action to reduce methane emissions is more important now than ever before.…[Because] oil and gas will continue to be part of the energy mix for years to come, even in rapid clean energy transitions, it is crucial for the oil and gas industry to be proactive in limiting, in all ways possible, the environmental impact of their supply,” according to the report.... [https://eos.org/articles/what-a-new-executive-order-means-for-curbing-methane-emissions

2021-01-22. Trump downplayed the costs of carbon pollution. That’s about to change.By Paul Voosen, Science Magazine. Excerpt: Carbon pollution is about to get a lot more expensive. Over the past 4 years, the Trump administration low-balled the “social cost of carbon”—a number representing the burden that carbon emissions place on present and future generations, in terms of the cost of floods, droughts, farming losses, and death. The low estimate served to justify a permissive approach to regulating greenhouse gases, whether through power plant emissions rules or appliance efficiency standards. But now the cost—the price per ton of emitted carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide—is set to rise drastically. On 20 January, its first day in office, the Biden administration recreated an interagency working group (IWG) and ordered it to update the social cost of carbon within 30 days. Many economists believe the cost, set as low as $1 during the Trump administration, will rise as high as $125 in the next month—and higher still come January 2022, when the IWG is due to provide a final number. The update could lead to tighter greenhouse gas regulations. And it is long overdue, says Tamma Carleton, an economist at the University of California (UC), Santa Barbara. “There’s been this huge change in science that hasn’t been reflected in policy.”.... [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/01/trump-downplayed-costs-carbon-pollution-s-about-change

2021-01-01.  How Trump Tried, but Largely Failed, to Derail America’s Top Climate Report. By Christopher Flavelle, The New York Times. Excerpt: The National Climate Assessment, America’s premier contribution to climate knowledge, stands out for many reasons: Hundreds of scientists across the federal government and academia join forces to compile the best insights available on climate change. The results, released just twice a decade or so, shape years of government decisions. ...“Thank God they didn’t know how to run a government,” said Thomas Armstrong, who during the Obama administration led the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which produces the assessment. “It could have been a lot worse.” ...For Mr. Trump, who has called climate change a hoax, the assessment posed a particular challenge. Trying to politicize or dismiss climate science is one thing when the warnings come from Democrats or academics. But this report comes from his administration’s very own agencies. ...Having failed to either change or bury the report, Mr. Trump and his senior officials then tried dismissing it.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/01/climate/trump-national-climate-assessment.html]

2020-12-21. Climate Change Legislation Included in Coronavirus Relief Deal. By Coral Davenport, The New York Times. Excerpt: WASHINGTON — In the waning days of the 116th Congress, lawmakers have authorized $35 billion in spending on wind, solar and other clean power sources while curtailing the use of a potent planet-warming chemical used in air-conditioners and refrigerators.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/21/climate/climate-change-stimulus.html

2020-12-18. The Debate over the United Nations’ Energy Emissions Projections. By Kate Wheeling, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: A new study finds the economic factor driving the divergence between emissions trajectories in climate assessments and reality. ...There is no question that climate change is reshaping Planet Earth and that things are getting ugly as global warming progresses. The debate now centers on just how bad things will get. But there are still major uncertainties when it comes to modeling future climate. Chief among them: How much more carbon dioxide will humans emit, and how sensitive is the climate system to all those emissions anyway?...To account for those uncertainties, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) created several baseline scenarios, known as Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), to describe just how much warming might result from a range of carbon emissions. ...The most extreme model, RCP 8.5—sometimes called the business-as-usual scenario—describes rampant burning of fossil fuels, a global average temperature increase of nearly 5°C, and mean sea levels roughly a meter higher than they are today. But climate and energy experts disagree over how likely it is that this high-emissions scenario will come to pass. A recent study published in Environmental Research Letters found that the emissions trajectories in climate assessments from the IPCC overshot actual energy emissions over the past 15 years. ...Economic growth and emissions have grown more or less in tandem since the Industrial Revolution began, and the high-emissions scenarios rely on continued economic growth. But many economists are now questioning whether the high growth rate of the past century can continue throughout the present one. “What if it’s just inevitable that growth is going to slow almost to a halt in this century in developed countries for a bunch of reasons that have very little to do with the environment?” Aging populations, debt, plateauing rates of educational attainment, urbanization, and women entering the workforce have all been shown to slow economic growth and could continue to do so in the coming years. ...not many people on the environmental side of climate discussions were paying attention to this economic debate, despite its clear implications for global warming models. ...For one thing, RCP 8.5 predicts that coal use will increase sixfold by the end of the century, although current data suggest that global coal use peaked in 2014…. [https://eos.org/articles/the-debate-over-the-united-nations-energy-emissions-projections

2020-12-15. Fed Joins Climate Network, to Applause From the Left. By Jeanna Smialek, The New York Times. Excerpt: WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is joining a network of central banks and other financial regulators focused on conducting research and shaping policies to help prepare the financial system for the effects of climate change. The Fed’s board in Washington voted unanimously to become a member of the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System, it said in a statement on Tuesday. The central bank began participating in the group more than a year ago, but its formal membership is something that Democratic lawmakers have been pushing for and that Republicans have eyed warily. ...The network exists to help central banks and other regulators exchange ideas, research and best practices as they figure out how to account for environment and climate risk in the financial sector. While the Fed had participated informally, its decision to join as a member is the latest sign of its recognition that the central bank must begin to take extreme weather events into account as they occur with increasing frequency and pose a growing risk to the financial system — whether doing so is politically palatable or not. “The public will expect that we do figure out what are the implications of climate change for financial stability, and that we do put policies in place,” Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, said this month at a Senate hearing. “The broad response to climate change on the part of society really needs to be set by elected representatives — that’s you. We see implications of climate change for the job that you’ve given us, and that’s what we’re working on.”.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/15/business/economy/fed-climate-network.html

2020-12-11. The Paris climate pact is 5 years old. Is it working? By Warren Cornwall, Science Magazine. Excerpt: When world leaders celebrated reaching a landmark climate change agreement in Paris in December 2015, the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe were illuminated with green floodlights and the message “Accord de Paris c’est fait!” (the Paris agreement is done!). Now, five tumultuous years later, a new slogan might be “travail en cours” (work in progress). That will be the implicit message sent tomorrow when nations gather—virtually—to look back on what the Paris agreement has achieved in its first half-decade and, more importantly, to unveil new pledges to further cut planet-warming emissions. Although analysts say the pact has helped make progress toward its goal of preventing average global temperatures from increasing by 2°C above preindustrial levels, the effort is also shadowed by ample evidence that many countries aren’t living up to the promises they made in 2015. And even if nations had kept those promises, some researchers forecast that global temperatures would rise by 2.6°C by the end of the century, underlining the need for stronger action. If a grade is awarded to the Paris pact “based on whether we have any prospect of meeting a 2°C target, from that point of view, it’s probably a D or an F,” says Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist and policy expert at Princeton University. But at the same time, he says, the pact has made a “real difference” by helping make climate change “a top concern of all countries.”.... [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/12/paris-climate-pact-5-years-old-it-working]

2020-12-04. Denmark becomes first major oil-producing nation to set deadline to end extraction. By Florian Elabdi, Rick Noack and Steven Mufson, The Washington Post. Excerpt: COPENHAGEN — Denmark on Friday became the first major oil-producing nation to announce an end to state-approved exploration in the North Sea, with the aim of phasing out all extraction by 2050.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/denmark-phaseout-oil-production/2020/12/04/c5559eb4-35b0-11eb-9699-00d311f13d2d_story.html]

2020-12-02. Pace of climate change shown in new report has humanity on ‘suicidal’ path, U.N. leader warns. By Andrew Freedman, The Washington Post. Excerpt: This year will be one of the three hottest on record for the globe, as marine heat waves swelled over 80 percent of the world’s oceans, and triple-digit heat invaded Siberia, one of the planet’s coldest places. These troubling indicators of global warming are laid out in a U.N. State of the Climate report published Wednesday.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2020/12/02/un-climate-report-2020-warmest-year]

2020-11-23. Biden names John Kerry as presidential climate envoy. By Brady DennisSteven Mufson and  Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post. Excerpt: ‘America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is,’ Kerry tweeted after the announcement.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2020/11/23/kerry-climate-change/]  

2020-11-23. The Most Important Climate Legislation Has Already Passed. By Justin Guay, Greentech Media. Excerpt: one of the most powerful pieces of climate change legislation the Biden administration will need has already been passed: the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. This legislation, known for creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other public safeguards against financial wrongdoing, also empowers key agencies including the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission to limit systemic risks to financial stability. The largest systemic risk of them all, climate change, is driven by reckless investments in fossil fuels, exactly the kind of speculative activities Dodd-Frank was designed to bring to a halt ...For investors, one of the greatest risks is losing money on coal, oil and gas infrastructure that is forced into early retirement due to the inevitable policy response to climate change and a resulting clean energy transition (referred to as "transition risk"). However, even absent a concerted climate policy, the U.S. has seen a wave of bankruptcies across the oil and gas industry, and the continued secular decline of the coal industry despite desperate attempts to reverse its fortunes.... [https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/the-most-important-climate-legislation-has-already-passed

2020-11-10. Trump to put climate change denier in charge of key U.S. report. By Scott Waldmann, E&E News. Excerpt: President Donald Trump’s administration is focused on promoting climate denial even as it counts down the president’s final days. The Trump team is preparing to appoint a climate denier to head development of the National Climate Assessment for the next two months, …. On Friday, the administration quietly removed Michael Kuperberg from his job as executive director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP), …. Meanwhile, planning has been underway for weeks to appoint the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s David Legates, a climate change denier recently named as deputy assistant Commerce secretary…. Legates is a geologist from the University of Delaware and an affiliate of the Heartland Institute, which exists to muddy the public’s understanding of climate change. He has said burning more fossil fuels would benefit humanity and that policy to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions is a regulatory scheme that runs counter to market principles.... [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/11/trump-put-climate-denier-charge-key-us-report]  

2020-11-04. U.S. Quits Paris Climate Agreement: Questions and Answers. By Lisa Friedman. The New York Times. Excerpt: WASHINGTON — Au revoir, Paris Agreement. ...Ever since 2017, when President Trump announced his intention to abandon the pact, he’s spoken about withdrawal as if it was a done deal. In fact, however, pulling out of the Paris Agreement has been a lengthy process. On Nov. 4, 2019, the earliest possible day under United Nations rules that a country could begin the final withdrawal process, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo filed paperwork to do so. It automatically finalized a year later. So, as of Wednesday morning [Nov 4], the United States is officially no longer a part of the group of nations pledging to address climate change. ...Who’s still in, and what are they doing? Almost every country in the world. Of the 195 countries that signed the Paris Agreement, 189 went on to formally adopt the accord. Initially Nicaragua and Syria withheld their support from the pact but both eventually joined the agreement. As of Wednesday, in addition to the United States, the countries that originally signed but have not formally adopted the Paris Agreement are: Angola, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, South Sudan, Turkey and Yemen. So far, no other country has followed the United States in renouncing the Paris Agreement. At one point President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil threatened to do so but he later reversed course. ...Is the U.S. withdrawal final? No. Any future president could opt back in.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/04/climate/paris-climate-agreement-trump.html

2020-10-30. How Scientists Can Engage to Solve the Climate Crisis. By Raleigh L. Martin, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: Policymakers need scientists. Here’s how one geoscientist contributed to a U.S. congressional report that’s already churning out legislation—and real action. ...The gap between scientific consensus and political action on the unfolding climate crisis can be frustrating. For decades, geoscientists have been warning about the dangers of unmitigated climate change. Synthesis documents, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2018 Global Warming of 1.5°C report, express the consensus scientific view that immediate and dramatic reductions in carbon emissions are needed to avert climate catastrophe. But translating this alarm into tangible policy action can feel daunting when some political leaders continue to deny the science of climate change. To counter this pessimism, I offer here a motivating example of science-driven work by the U.S. Congress to solve the climate crisis, and I describe ways in which scientists can be partners in advancing climate action.... [https://eos.org/opinions/how-scientists-can-engage-to-solve-the-climate-crisis

2020-10-29. Fleet of robotic probes will monitor global warming’s impact on microscopic ocean life. By Paul Voosen, Science Magazine. Excerpt: A single drop of seawater holds millions of phytoplankton, a mix of algae, bacteria, and protocellular creatures. Across the world’s oceans these photosynthesizing microbes pump out more than half of the planet’s oxygen, while slowing climate change by capturing an estimated 25% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released from humanity’s burning of fossil fuels. But the scale of this vital chemistry is mostly a guess, and there’s little sense of how it will change as temperatures rise. ...Soon, 500 drifting ocean floats studded with biogeochemical sensors will deliver answers. Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced it will spend $53 million to fund the new floats, marking the first major expansion of the Argo array, a set of 4000 floats that for 15 years has tracked rising ocean temperatures. ...In addition to standard Argo measurements of temperature and salinity, the new floats will have sensors measuring oxygen, sunlight, particles, chlorophyll (a gauge of phytoplankton abundance), nitrate (a key nutrient), and pH (acidity). Researchers will be watching that last reading closely, because acidity reflects both the ocean’s uptake of CO2 and its pernicious effect. When the gas dissolves in seawater, it forms carbonic acid that eventually splits into bicarbonate and hydrogen ions, the latter increasing the water’s acidity. Ecologists are concerned that acidification, already 30% worse in surface waters than preindustrial times, will make it more difficult for some phytoplankton, corals, bivalves, and many other species to assemble their shells of calcium carbonate.... [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/10/fleet-robotic-probes-will-monitor-global-warming-s-impact-microscopic-ocean-life

2020-10-29. Jury duty for global warming: citizen groups help solve the puzzle of climate action. By Cathleen O’Grady, Science Magazine. Excerpt: Until recently, Sue Peachey, an apartment building manager in Bath, U.K., didn’t think much about climate change. ...She never imagined the U.K. Parliament asking for her advice on climate policy. But last year, a letter arrived in her mailbox inviting her to do just that, by joining the United Kingdom’s first ever climate assembly. ...The assembly was more than a focus group or a town hall meeting: It was an experiment in handing political power to a random but representative set of citizens. Last month, it produced its final report, and its recommendations will shape debates in Parliament.The U.K. Climate Assembly is one of a growing number of similar gatherings popping up across Europe, many of them charged with addressing climate change and other science-heavy issues. A citizens’ assembly in Ireland that deliberated from 2016 to 2018 led to ...a government plan to quadruple its carbon tax by 2030. This year in France, an assembly made 149 climate policy recommendations, and President Emmanuel Macron has agreed to push for 146 of them, including making “ecocide” a crime an ...including climate goals in the French constitution. Spain, Denmark, and Scotland have announced their own upcoming climate assemblies, although they have been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. ...Advocates say these carefully designed “minipublics” can break political stalemates by bringing together citizens to hear evidence and deliberate. They point to evidence of high-quality policy created by fresh and diverse perspectives, and to behavioral research showing the power of guided deliberation to change minds and reduce polarization. ...Letting ordinary people determine climate policy might seem risky, but “if climate scientists have learned anything over the last couple of decades, it’s that they can’t just do the science and expect it to speak for itself,” says John Dryzek, a political scientist at the University of Canberra who wants to use the approach to tackle another fraught science issue. ...RANDOMLY ASSIGNING CITIZENS to positions of political power has a history stretching back to ancient Greece, where the Athenians used the practice to select magistrates and members of their representative Council of Five Hundred.... [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/10/jury-duty-global-warming-citizen-groups-help-solve-puzzle-climate-action

2020-10-26. Japan’s New Leader Sets Ambitious Goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2050. By Ben Dooley, Makiko Inoue and Hikari Hida, The New York Times. Excerpt: TOKYO — Japan will be carbon neutral by 2050, its prime minister said on Monday, making an ambitious pledge to sharply accelerate the country’s global warming targets, even as it plans to build more than a dozen new coal-burning power plants in the coming years. The prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, laid out the goal during his first major policy speech since taking office in September.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/26/business/japan-carbon-neutral.html]  See also article in The Washington Post.

2020-10-22. U.S. cities struggling to meet lofty climate goals. By Peter Behr, E&E News. Excerpt: Most major U.S. cities that have signed on to the climate fight with pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions are failing to meet their goals or haven't even started to track local progress, according to a survey by the Brookings Institution. The report, "Pledges and Progress," looked for climate policy and actions in the nation's 100 most populous cities, finding that two-thirds have made commitments to address citywide emissions.President Donald Trump's rejection of the Paris climate accord after he took office sparked a strong response at the local level. Mayors joined governors, business leaders and academics in taking the "We Are Still In" pledge to help meet targets for cutting emissions under the 2015 Paris Agreement. The pledge now lists 3800 signers. "At their best, the plans have exemplified the hope that 'bottom-up' actions could add up to a powerful approach to climate mitigation, especially given rollbacks in federal policy under the Trump administration including the government's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement," the report said. But the Brookings analysis found that actions taken by cities aren't matching up with their pledges to address climate change. Among the 100 largest cities, only 45 set specific targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions during the past decade and inventoried emissions levels within city boundaries as baselines for measuring progress.... [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/10/us-cities-struggling-meet-lofty-climate-goals

2020-09-14. Climate change denialist given top role at major U.S. science agency. By Scott Waldman, E&E News/Science Magazine. Excerpt: A controversial researcher who rejects climate science was hired by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for a senior position, in a move suggesting the Trump administration is asserting growing influence over the study of rising temperatures. David Legates, a geography professor at the University of Delaware, has a long history of questioning fundamental climate science and has suggested that an outcome of burning fossil fuels would be a more habitable planet for humans.... [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/09/climate-change-denialist-given-top-role-major-us-science-agency

2020-03-02. A Trump Insider Embeds Climate Denial in Scientific Research
. By Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times. Excerpt: An official at the Interior Department embarked on a campaign that has inserted misleading language about climate change — including debunked claims that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is beneficial — into the agency’s scientific reports, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times. ...The wording ... inaccurately claims that there is a lack of consensus among scientists that the earth is warming. In Interior Department emails to scientists, Mr. Goklany pushed misleading interpretations of climate science, saying it “may be overestimating the rate of global warming, for whatever reason;” climate modeling has largely predicted global warming accurately.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/02/climate/goks-uncertainty-language-interior.html]

2020-01-17. U.S. appeals court tosses children’s climate lawsuit. By Jennifer Hijazi, Science Magazine. [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/01/us-appeals-court-tosses-children-s-climate-lawsuit] Excerpt: Judges for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals “reluctantly” ruled in favor of the government in the kids’ climate case today, thwarting the young people’s historic legal fight while acknowledging the “increasingly rapid pace” of climate change. The arguments presented by the 21 young people in Juliana v. United States proved too heavy a lift for Circuit Judges Mary Murguia and Andrew Hurwitz, who found that the kids failed to establish standing to sue....  

2020-01-05. To Fight Climate Change, One City May Ban Heating Homes With Natural Gas. By Mike Baker, The New York Times.

2020-01-03. Trump Rule Would Exclude Climate Change in Infrastructure Planning. By Lisa Friedman, The New York Times.

2019-12-15. U.N. Climate Talks End With Few Commitments and a ‘Lost’ Opportunity. By Somini Sengupta, The New York Times.

2019-12-05. California Bans Insurers From Dropping Policies Made Riskier by Climate Change. By Christopher Flavelle and Brad Plumer, The New York Times.

2019-12-05. ‘The Amazon Is Completely Lawless’: The Rainforest After Bolsonaro’s First Year. Photographs and Video by Victor Moriyama, Written by Matt Sandy, The New York Times.

2019-11-26. New U.N. climate report offers ‘bleak’ emissions forecast. By Nathaniel Gronewald, E&E News, Science Magazine.

2019-11-04. Trump Serves Notice to Quit Paris Climate Agreement. By Lisa Friedman, The New York Times.

2019-09-20. Germany Unveils $60 Billion Climate Package. By Melissa Eddy, The New York Times.

2019-09-10. Canada Tries a Forceful Message for Flood Victims: Live Someplace Else. By Christopher Flavelle, The New York Times.

2019-08-08. Climate Change Pressures Land and Food Resources, Report Warns. By Randy Showstack, Eos/AGU.

2019-08-08. Bioenergy plantations could fight climate change—but threaten food crops, U.N. panel warns. By Erik Stokstad. Science Magazine. 

2019-07-06. As Floods Keep Coming, Cities Pay Residents to Move. By John Schwartz, The New York Times.

2019-07-05. Tracking Earth’s Shape Reveals Greater Polar Ice Loss. By Elizabeth Thompson, Eos/AGU.

2019-06-21. Blue States Roll Out Aggressive Climate Strategies. Red States Keep to the Sidelines. By Brad Plumer, The New York Times.

2019-06-19. America’s Skies Have Gotten Clearer, but Millions Still Breathe Unhealthy Air. By Nadja Popovich, The New York Times.

2019-06-06. Automakers Tell Trump His Pollution Rules Could Mean ‘Untenable’ Instability and Lower Profits. By Coral Davenport, The New York Times.

2019-05-24. Latest Arena for China’s Growing Global Ambitions: The Arctic.By Somini Sengupta and Steven Lee Myers, The New York Times. 

2019-05-02. The International Space Station has found its scientific calling. By Paul Voosen, Science Magazine.

2019-04-04. A Framework for Sustained Climate Assessment in the United States. By R.H. Moss et al (Climate advisory panel disbanded by President Trump).

2019-03-25. Copenhagen Wants to Show How Cities Can Fight Climate Change. By Somini Sengupta, Photographs by Charlotte de la Fuente, The New York Times.

2019-03-22. Judge Blocks Oil and Gas Leases on Public Land, Citing Climate Change. By Jenessa Duncombe, Eos/AGU.

2019-01-18. Mayor Signs Landmark Clean Energy Law for D.C. By Randy Showstack, Eos/AGU.

2018-12-15. Climate Negotiators Reach an Overtime Deal to Keep Paris Pact Alive. By Brad Plumer, The New York Times.

2018-11-26. Five Big Ways the United States Will Need to Adapt to Climate Change. By Brad Plumer, The New York Times.

2018-11-26. How Trump Is Ensuring That Greenhouse Gas Emissions Will Rise. By Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman, The New York Times.

2018-11-20. Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe. By Abrahm Lustgarten, The New York Times. 

2018-11-15. World off Course to Meet Emissions Reduction Goals. By Randy Showstack, Eos/AGU.

2018-10-24. New York Sues Exxon Mobil, Saying It Deceived Shareholders on Climate Change. By John Schwartz, The New York Times.

2018-10-19. Climate change prompts a rethink of Everglades management. By Richard Blaustein, Science Magazine.

2018-10-08. Key climate panel, citing impending crisis, urges crash effort to reduce emissions. By Dennis Normile, Science Magazine.

2018-06-09. Pope Tells Oil Executives to Act on Climate: ‘There Is No Time to Lose’. By Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times.

2018-05-26. Climate change skeptics working closely with EPA. By Ellen Knickmeyer. Associated Press.

2018-05-15. ‘Impossible to Ignore’: Why Alaska Is Crafting a Plan to Fight Climate Change. By Brad Plummer, The New York Times.

2018-05-09. California Will Require Solar Power for New Homes. By Ivan Penn, The New York Times. 

2018-05-09. Trump White House quietly cancels NASA research verifying greenhouse gas cuts. By Paul Voosen, The New York Times.

2018-01-29. New Jersey Embraces an Idea It Once Rejected: Make Utilities Pay to Emit Carbon. By Brad Plumer, The New York Times.

2017-12-11. France names winners of anti-Trump climate change grants. By Sylvie Corbet, AP.

2017-11-17&18. Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany.

2017-11-17. Treaty to Phase Out ‘Greenhouse Gasses on Steroids’ to Enter Force. By Somini Sengupta, The New York Times. 

2017-11-01. IPCC Chair Discusses Limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C. By Randy Showstack, Eos/AGU.

2017-10-23. Congressional Auditor Urges Action to Address Climate Change. By Lisa Friedman, The New York Times.

2017-10-22. E.P.A. Cancels Talk on Climate Change by Agency Scientists. By Lisa Friedman, The New York Times. 

2017-10-20. E.P.A. Scrubs a Climate Website of ‘Climate Change’. By Lisa Friedman, The New York Times.

2017-10-14. Australia Debates: Does a Warming Planet Really Need More Coal? By Jacqueline Williams, The New York Times.

2017-09-27. U.S. Climate Change Policy: Made in California. By Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times.

2017-08-28. Hurricane Harvey provides lab for U.S. forecast experiments. By Paul Voosen, Science.

2017-08-10. Students, Cities and States Take the Climate Fight to Court. By John Schwartz, The New York Times.

2017-07-26. Britain to Ban New Diesel and Gas Cars by 2040. By Stephen Castle, The New York Times.

2017-07-01. As Beijing Joins Climate Fight, Chinese Companies Build Coal Plants. By Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times.

2017-07-01. Counseled by Industry, Not Staff, E.P.A. Chief Is Off to a Blazing Start. By Coral Davenport, The New York Times.

2017-06-01. Bucking Trump, These Cities, States and Companies Commit to Paris Accord. By Hiroko Tabuchi and Henry Fountain, The New York Times.

2017-01-23. US health officials cancel climate conference; don’t say why. By Mike Stobbe | AP.

2016-10-10. World leaders discuss ban of climate-busting refrigerants. By Robynne Boyd, Nature.

2016-10-03. In a dramatic move, Trudeau says Canada will put a price on carbon. By Wayne Kondro, Science Insider (AAAS).

2016-09-08. Gov. Brown orders big greenhouse gas cuts. By  David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle.

2016-05-03. Resettling the First American ‘Climate Refugees’. By Coral Davenport and Campbell Robertson, The New York Times.

2016-05-02. Researchers Aim to Put Carbon Dioxide Back to Work. By Henry Fountain, The New York Times.

2016-04-08. Youth Climate Change Laws Upheld in Oregon. Our Children's Trust.

2016-03-08. A third of Congress members are climate change deniers. By Katie Herzog, Grist.

2016-03-01. Does a Carbon Tax Work? Ask British Columbia. By Eduardo Porter, The New York Times.

2016-02-17. 17 Governors Agree to Pursue Clean Energy Goals. By Debra Kahn, Scientific American, ClimateWire.

2016-01-25. Climate Deal’s First Big Hurdle: The Draw of Cheap Oil. By Clifford Krauss and Diane Cardwell, The New York Times.

2015-12-12. We Have An Agreement. By Brian Palmer, onEarth, NRDC.

2015-12-10. Ted Cruz Chairs Heated Senate Hearing on Climate Change. By Randy Showstack, EoS Earth & Space News.

2015-11-30. Live: Chasing Down a Deal in Paris. By New York Times.

2015-11-23. U.S. government agencies to slash greenhouse gas emissions 41.8 percent. By Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Alan Crosby, Reuters.

2015-11-12. NASA's Carbon and Climate campaign. NASA Release 15-219. 

2015-09-16. Tunisia Submits its Climate Action Plan Ahead of 2015 Paris Agreement. UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).

2015-10-13. 150 countries pledge to curb carbon emissions. By Arthur Nelson, The Guardian.

2015-08-18. Islamic leaders issue bold call for rapid phase out of fossil fuels. The Guardian.

2015-08-03. Fact Sheet: President Obama to Announce Historic Carbon Pollution Standards for Power Plants. The White House.

2015-07-28. Leading Companies Take White House Climate Pledge. By Randy Showstack, Earth & Space Science News—EoS (AGU).

2015-07-21. At Vatican, Mayors Pledge Climate Change Fight. By Gaia Pianigiani, The New York Times.

2015-06-30. China climate change plan unveiled. By Helen Briggs, BBC News.

2015-06-23. The Pope Is Not Alone! By Nicole Greenfield, OnEarth, NRDC.

2015-05-21. Findings from Select Federal Reports: THE NATIONAL SECURITY IMPLICATIONS OF A CHANGING CLIMATE. Source: The White House.

2015-05-15. In Brazil, cattle industry begins to help fight deforestation. By Allie Wilkinson, Science.

2015-04-29. California Governor Orders New Target for Emissions Cuts. By Adam Nagourney, The New York Times.

2015-02-10. Panel Urges Research on Geoengineering as a Tool Against Climate Change. Henry Fountain, The New York Times.

2015-01-22. Senate Rejects Human Role in Climate Change. By Coral Davenport, The New York Times.

2014-12-14. A Climate Accord Based on Global Peer Pressure. By Coral Davenport, The New York Times.

2014-11-17. A Toolkit to Help Communities Respond to a Changing Climate. President's Council on Environmental Quality.

2014-11-11. U.S. and China Reach Climate Accord After Months of Talks.  Mark Landler, The New York Times.

2014-11-02. U.N. Panel Issues Its Starkest Warning Yet on Global Warming.  By Justin Gillis, The New York Times. The IPCC Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report is at http://ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/SYR_AR5_LONGERREPORT.pdf

2014-10-31. NASA Program Enhances Climate Resilience at Agency Facilities.  NASA RELEASE 14-292.

2014-10-31. EPA Adaptation Implementation Plans.

2014-10-30. The military is planning for global warming. By Brian Palmer, onEarth, NRDC.

2014-10-24. State and Local Climate Adaptation Plans. Georgetown Climate Center.

2014-10-13. Pentagon Signals Security Risks of Climate Change.   By Coral Davenport, The New York Times.

2014-08-31. China Plans a Market for Carbon Permits.  Excerpt: BEIJING — China plans to introduce its national market for carbon permit trading in 2016, a government official said on Sunday, adding that Beijing is close to completing rules for what will be the world’s biggest emissions trading program. The nation accounts for nearly 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and it plans to use the carbon market to slow its rapid growth in climate-changing emissions. China has pledged to reduce the amount of carbon it emits per unit of its gross domestic product to 40 to 45 percent below its 2005 levels by 2020. ...The Chinese market will cap carbon dioxide emissions from sources like electricity generators and manufacturers. Those that emit above their cap must buy permits in the market.... http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/01/business/international/china-plans-a-market-for-carbon-permits.html. By Reuters.

2014-08-14. NASA to Investigate Climate Impacts of Arctic Sea Ice Loss. Excerpt: A new NASA field campaign will begin flights over the Arctic this summer to study the effect of sea ice retreat on Arctic climate. The Arctic Radiation IceBridge Sea and Ice Experiment (ARISE) will conduct research flights Aug. 28 through Oct. 1, covering the peak of summer sea ice melt. ARISE is NASA's first Arctic airborne campaign designed to take simultaneous measurements of ice, clouds and the levels of incoming and outgoing radiation, the balance of which determines the degree of climate warming.  ..."A wild card in what's happening in the Arctic is clouds and how changes in clouds, due to changing sea-ice conditions, enhance or offset warming," said Bill Smith, ARISE principal investigator at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. ..."The clouds and surface conditions over the Arctic as we observe them from satellites are very complex," Smith said. "We need more information to understand how to better interpret the satellite measurements, and an aircraft can help with that."... http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/august/nasa-to-investigate-climate-impacts-of-arctic-sea-ice-loss/. NASA RELEASE 14-218.

2014-07-23. China’s Energy Plans Will Worsen Climate Change, Greenpeace Says. Excerpt: BEIJING — China’s plans for 50 coal gasification plants will produce an estimated 1.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year and contribute significantly to climate change, according to a report released Wednesday by Greenpeace East Asia. ...If China builds all 50 plants, the carbon dioxide they produce will equal about an eighth of China’s current total carbon dioxide emissions, which come mostly from coal-burning power plants and factories, the organization said.... http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/24/world/asia/greenpeace-says-chinas-energy-plans-exacerbate-climate-change.html. By Edward Wong, The New York Times. See also article China’s Plan to Limit Coal Use Could Spur Consumption for Years.

2014-06-24. Bipartisan Report Tallies High Toll on Economy From Global Warming. Excerpt: More than a million homes and businesses along the nation’s coasts could flood repeatedly before ultimately being destroyed. Entire states in the Southeast and the Corn Belt may lose much of their agriculture as farming shifts northward in a warming world. Heat and humidity will probably grow so intense that spending time outside will become physically dangerous, throwing industries like construction and tourism into turmoil. That is a picture of what may happen to the United States economy in a world of unchecked global warming, according to a major new report released Tuesday by a coalition of senior political and economic figures from the left, right and center, including three Treasury secretaries stretching back to the Nixon administration. ...The former Treasury secretaries — including Henry M. Paulson Jr., a Republican who served under President George W. Bush, and Robert E. Rubin, a Democrat in the Clinton administration — promised to help sound the alarm. All endorse putting a price on greenhouse gases, most likely by taxing emissions. ...“I have come to believe that climate change is the existential issue of our age,” Mr. Rubin said. “I believe that investors should insist that companies disclose their risks, including the value of assets that could be stranded.” He was referring to warnings that assets worth trillions of dollars are at risk of being stranded, or rendered obsolete, including vast coal and oil deposits that will most likely have to be left in the ground if dangerous levels of global warming are to be prevented.... http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/science/report-tallies-toll-on-economy-from-global-warming.html. By Justin Gillis, The New York Times. See also Researcher calls report on economic impacts of U.S. climate change ‘like a flashlight at night’ from UC Berkeley News Center.

2014-06-02. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Announces Clean Power Plan. On June 2, 2014, the EPA proposed the Clean Power Plan to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants. Under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, EPA is proposing commonsense approaches to reduce carbon pollution from new and existing power plants. http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/regulatory-actions

2014-05-06. U.S. Climate Has Already Changed, Study Finds, Citing Heat and Floods. Excerpt: The effects of human-induced climate change are being felt in every corner of the United States, scientists reported Tuesday, with water growing scarcer in dry regions, torrential rains increasing in wet regions, heat waves becoming more common and more severe, wildfires growing worse, and forests dying under assault from heat-loving insects. ...The report is ... region-by-region documentation of changes occurring in the United States, .... ...The study, known as the National Climate Assessment, was prepared by a large scientific panel overseen by the government and received final approval at a meeting Tuesday. ...One of the report’s most striking findings concerned the rising frequency of torrential rains. Scientists have expected this effect for decades because more water is evaporating from a warming ocean surface, and the warmer atmosphere is able to hold the excess vapor, which then falls as rain or snow. But even the leading experts have been surprised by the scope of the change. ...over the past half-century, the proportion of precipitation that is falling in very heavy rain events has jumped by 71 percent in the Northeast, by 37 percent in the Midwest and by 27 percent in the South, the report found. ...“There is mounting evidence that harm to the nation will increase substantially in the future unless global emissions of heat-trapping gases are greatly reduced,” the report warned.... http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/07/science/earth/climate-change-report.html.  By Justin Gillis, New York Times. Other articles/reports:

2014-02-06. New U.S. 'Climate Hubs' to Provide Data to Farmers. Excerpt: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants to provide more useful data on climate to farmers, ranchers, and others affected by climate change. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced yesterday that he is designating seven so-called Climate Hubs at federal agriculture laboratories across the country that will seek to create more useful climate data and disseminate it more broadly. USDA already dedicates about $120 million to climate research, Vilsack told reporters at a press briefing. The new effort “will add on top of that,” he said. ...The nation must “be able to adapt and mitigate, because if we don’t, our economy is going to be impacted," Vilsack said at the White House yesterday. ...hubs could help visualize data in ways that make it more useful to the public ...Researchers have long had access to such data, but it hasn’t “been put into this kind of picture that people could readily understand,” says Sutherland, who works at OSU's Mesonet, which creates forecasts and other “data products” using weather stations and federal climatological data. (The precipitation and temperature data are updated yearly here)....  http://news.sciencemag.org/climate/2014/02/new-u.s.-climate-hubs-provide-data-farmers. Eli Kintisch, Science Magazine (AAAS).

2014-02-01. Tunisia embeds protection of climate in new constitution.   Excerpt: Tunisia, the starting place for the massive protests three years ago that came to be known as the Arab Spring, did something remarkable this week: it embedded climate change into its constitution. The constitution, praised as one of the most progressive in the region, now obliges the state to “contribute to the protection of the climate … for future generations.” ...Tunisia ... has not only given its citizens the right to ask their government to deal with climate change — it has also “elevated the concept (of climate change) to one of an international law.” ...it could ...eventually allow bodies like the International Court of Justice to act on complaints that one country is causing harm to another by not abating its emissions.” ...Tunisia is the third country to include climate change in its constitution: Ecuador and Dominican Republic are the others....  http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/02/01/tunisia_embeds_protection_of_climate_in_new_constitution.html. Hassene Dridi, Associated Press (article in Toronto Star).

2014-01-28. Popular Flood Insurance Law Is Target of Both Political Parties.  Excerpt: ...This week the Senate is expected to approve a measure that would block, repeal or delay many of the key provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which...sought to reform the nation’s nearly bankrupt flood insurance program, ending federal subsidies for insuring buildings in flood-prone coastal areas. Over the past decade, the cost to taxpayers of insuring those properties has soared, as payouts for damage from Hurricanes Katrina, Irene, Isaac and Sandy sent the program $24 billion into debt. The aim of the measure was to shift the financial risk of insuring flood-prone properties from taxpayers to the private market. Homeowners, rather than taxpayers, would shoulder the true cost of building in flood zones ...it would reflect the true cost of climate change, which scientists say is ushering in an era of rising sea levels and more damaging extreme weather, including more flooding.  ...a year after the law passed, coastal homeowners received new flood insurance bills that were two, three, even 10 times higher than before. ...[a new bill] would delay most insurance rate increases by four years.... 
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/us/politics/popular-flood-insurance-law-is-target-of-both-political-parties.html. By Coral Davenport, The New York Times.

2014-01-21. NASA Finds 2013 Sustained Long-Term Climate Warming Trend.     Excerpt: NASA scientists say 2013 tied with 2009 and 2006 for the seventh warmest year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures....  http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/january/nasa-finds-2013-sustained-long-term-climate-warming-trend/#.Uuc5cPbTl9I. NASA RELEASE 14-024. See also NOAA Global Analysis - Annual 2013 - http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2013/13

2014-01-16. U.N. Says Lag in Confronting Climate Woes Will Be Costly.  Excerpt: Nations have so dragged their feet in battling climate change that the situation has grown critical and the risk of severe economic disruption is rising, according to a draft United Nations report. Another 15 years of failure to limit carbon emissions could make the problem virtually impossible to solve with current technologies, experts found... http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/17/science/earth/un-says-lag-in-confronting-climate-woes-will-be-costly.html?ref=science&_r=0 Coral Davenport, The New York Times

2013-12-05. Large Companies Prepared to Pay Price on Carbon.  Excerpt:   WASHINGTON — More than two dozen of the nation’s biggest corporations, including the five major oil companies, are planning their future growth on the expectation that the government will force them to pay a price for carbon pollution as a way to control global warming....  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/business/energy-environment/large-companies-prepared-to-pay-price-on-carbon.html. Coral Davenport, The New York Times.

2013-11-16. Growing Clamor About Inequities of Climate Crisis.   Excerpt:   WARSAW — Following a devastating typhoon that killed thousands in the Philippines, a routine international climate change conference here turned into an emotional forum, with developing countries demanding compensation from the worst polluting countries for damage they say they are already suffering. Calling the climate crisis “madness,” the Philippines representative vowed to fast for the duration of the talks. Malia Talakai, a negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States, a group that includes her tiny South Pacific homeland, Nauru, said that without urgent action to stem rising sea levels, “some of our members won’t be around.” ... Growing demands to address the issue have become an emotionally charged flash point at negotiations here at the 19th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which continues this week.  ...John Kioli, the chairman of the Kenya Climate Change Working Group, [said] Developed countries...have a moral obligation to shoulder the cost, considering the amount of pollution they have emitted since the Industrial Revolution. ...The United States and other rich countries have made their opposition to large-scale compensation clear.... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/world/growing-clamor-about-inequities-of-climate-crisis.html Steven Lee Myers and Nicholas Kulish, The New York Times. [See also Japan Slashes CO2 Emissions Targets At UN Climate Talks, Prompting Criticism]

2013-11-12. Two years early, UC Berkeley meets its carbon-reduction target.  For Excerpt:  Two years ahead of schedule, a pledge made by UC Berkeley to reduce its carbon footprint to 1990 levels has been met, campus officials announced today (Tuesday, Nov. 12). The achievement also puts UC Berkeley eight years ahead of meeting the University of California Sustainable Practices Policy guidelines and of observing the state’s Global Solutions Warming Act of 2006. Both call for the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. UC Berkeley sustainability leaders said greenhouse-gas emissions were reduced by: Investing in energy efficiency and sustainable transportation practices...Buying greener power...from Pacific Gas & Electric, a utility that is required by state law to provide power that by 2020 will include 33 percent renewable energy...Improving data and methods. ...Specific projects included LED retrofits to the 1,000 exterior lamps throughout the campus and an incentive program that returns money to campus units that reduce their electricity use. UC Berkeley has completed 11 LEED-certified green building projects, which represent almost 7 percent of the campus’s total square footage. In addition, all major construction projects currently in the planning and design phase are expected to be LEED-certified.... http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2013/11/12/two-years-early-uc-berkeley-meets-its-carbon-reduction-target/. Gretchen Kell, UC Berkeley News Center.

2013-09-19.  EPA moves to limit emissions of future coal- and gas-fired power plants.   Excerpt:  The Environmental Protection Agency will move Friday to strictly limit the amount of carbon that future coal- and gas-fired power plants can pour into the atmosphere, the first such restrictions on greenhouse gases imposed by the agency. ...The industry almost certainly will challenge it in court. For the administration, the revised rule is the first major domestic initiative since President Obama laid out his climate action plan in June. Ahead is the EPA’s decision on limiting emissions from existing power plants, which Administrator Gina McCarthy said Thursday will be made in June 2014. “We’re providing at least some certainty here that [coal plants] have an opportunity to be around in a carbon-constrained world,” McCarthy said in an interview. “The president wants every fuel to be able to compete in a clean environment.” ...Dan Lashof, director of the climate and clean air program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the Clean Air Act requires pollution controls to be adequately demonstrated, but “there’s nothing in the statute that says it’s the cheapest way to make electricity.” McCarthy said: “Clearly the technology is available. It’s been fully demonstrated.” The Energy Department has a $6 billion loan fund to help finance development of clean energy technologies, she said. “We’re not trying to deny that there is a cost associated with these, but any first-generation technology is going to have that,” she said. ...The standard, which would be finalized in a year, would require new coal plants to emit no more than 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour.  ...Hal Quinn, president and chief executive of the National Mining Association, said the new standard “effectively bans coal from America’s power portfolio, leaving new power plants equipped with even the most efficient and environmentally advanced technologies out in the cold.” ...But John Thompson, who directs the Fossil Transition Project for the Clean Air Task Force, an advocacy group, said his group has estimated that under a worst-case scenario, partly capturing CO2 from coal plants would increase the cost of electricity by 13 percent over 30 years.... http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/epa-moves-to-limit-emissions-of-future-coal--and-gas-fired-power-plants/2013/09/19/e71728bc-2139-11e3-a358-1144dee636dd_story.html. By Lenny Bernstein and Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post.

2013-09-03. NASA-Led Study Reveals Industrial Soot's Role in 1800s Glacier Retreat.   Excerpt: A NASA-led team of scientists has uncovered strong evidence that soot from a rapidly industrializing Europe caused the abrupt retreat of mountain glaciers in the European Alps that began in the 1860s, a period often thought of as the end of the Little Ice Age. ...Black carbon is the strongest sunlight-absorbing atmospheric particle. When these particles settle on the snow blanketing glaciers, they darken the snow surface, speeding its melting and exposing the underlying glacier ice to sunlight and warmer spring and summer air earlier in the year.  ...The Little Ice Age, loosely defined as a cooler period between the 14th and 19th centuries, was marked by an expansion of mountain glaciers and a drop in temperatures in Europe of nearly 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius). But glacier records show that between 1860 and 1930, while temperatures continued to drop, large valley glaciers in the Alps abruptly retreated by an average of nearly 0.6 mile (1 kilometer) to lengths not seen in the previous few hundred years. Glaciologists and climatologists have struggled to reconcile this apparent conflict between climate and glacier records. ...Thomas Painter, a snow and ice scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., [said] "Before now, most glaciologists believed the end of the Little Ice Age came in the mid-1800s when these glaciers retreated, and that the retreat was due to a natural climatic shift, distinct from the carbon dioxide-induced warming that came later in the 20th century. This result suggests that human influence on glaciers extends back to well before the industrial temperature increases." To help the scientists understand what was driving the glacier retreat, Painter and his colleagues turned to history. The researchers studied data from ice cores drilled from high up on several European mountain glaciers.... ...they were able to estimate how much black carbon was deposited on glacial surfaces at lower elevations, where levels of black carbon tend to be highest. The team then ran computer models of glacier behavior, ...the simulated glacier mass loss and timing finally were consistent with the historic record of glacial retreat, despite the cooling temperatures at that time. "We must now look closer at other regions on Earth, such as the Himalaya, to study the present-day impacts of black carbon on glaciers in these regions," said Georg Kaser, a study co-author from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, ..."This study uncovers likely human fingerprints on our changing environment," said co-author Waleed Abdalati, director of the Cooperative Institute for Research and Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder. "It's a reminder that the actions we take have far-reaching impacts on the environment in which we live.".... http://www.nasa.gov/press/2013/september/nasa-led-study-reveals-industrial-soots-role-in-1800s-glacier-retreat/. Alan Buis, NASA Release 13-273.

2013-07-16.  Australian Leader Scraps Tax on Carbon Emissions.  Excerpt:  SYDNEY, Australia — Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia announced a plan Tuesday to replace a deeply unpopular tax on carbon emissions with a market-based trading system a full year ahead of schedule. ... Under the current system, Australia’s worst polluters pay a high fixed price on their carbon emissions. Since it went into effect last year ...the tax has proved wildly unpopular with big business and voters, due in part to a relentlessly negative campaign by the opposition.  The current system was supposed to remain in place until 2015, then be replaced by a system in which market mechanisms would determine the cost of producing a ton of carbon. The move to bring forward the market-based system a full year earlier is expected to quickly produce a sharp drop in the cost of carbon, from a predicted $23.30 per metric ton in July 2014 to around $5.50 per ton in American dollars.... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/17/world/asia/australian-leader-scraps-tax-on-carbon-emissions.html. Matt Siegel, New York Times.

2013-07-10.  US and China to extend co-operation in effort to curb climate change.   Excerpt: New initiatives announced in Washington by both countries – who jointly account for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. ...The new initiatives announced in Washington on Wednesday would see China and the US extend their climate co-operation to five new areas – beginning with heavy trucks, which are a significant cause of greenhouse gas emissions in both countries. ...That spirit of co-operation represents a drastic change from the calamitous Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, when diplomatic snubs and general distrust between the two countries wrecked any prospect for a deal. ...The countries also agreed to work together to develop carbon capture technologies, increase energy efficiency in buildings, promote smarter grids and improve reporting of greenhouse gas emissions.... http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jul/10/america-china-cooperation-reduce-climate-change. Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian.

2013-06-11.  New York City Climate Change Adaptation Plan Way of Future.    Excerpt: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg today will share the city’s plan for adapting to climate change.... [It's posted at http://www.nyc.gov/html/sirr/html/report/report.shtml; & Presentation (PDF)] Without support from Congress, cities are forced to take steps on their own to protect themselves from the impacts of climate change. ...New York City ... carefully mapped the city’s flooding risk using the latest science on sea level rise projections and exposure to storm surge. ...solutions are neither cheap nor easy. Protecting residents, their homes, and critical infrastructure, like energy, stormwater, and mass transit systems, requires good long-term planning, in addition to emergency preparedness. .... http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/nyc-adaptation-0388.html. Rachel Cleetus, Union of Concerned Scientists.

2013-06-10.  Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic? Excerpt: Permafrost zones occupy nearly a quarter of the exposed land area of the Northern Hemisphere. NASA's Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment [CARVE] is probing deep into the frozen lands above the Arctic Circle in Alaska to measure emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane from thawing permafrost - signals that may hold a key to Earth's climate future. ..."Permafrost soils are warming even faster than Arctic air temperatures - as much as 2.7 to 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius) in just the past 30 years," Charles Miller said. "As heat from Earth's surface penetrates into permafrost, it threatens to mobilize these organic carbon reservoirs and release them into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and methane, upsetting the Arctic's carbon balance and greatly exacerbating global warming." ... The CARVE science team is busy analyzing data from its first full year of science flights. What they're finding, Miller said, is both amazing and potentially troubling. ...We saw large, regional-scale episodic bursts of higher-than-normal carbon dioxide and methane in interior Alaska and across the North Slope during the spring thaw, and they lasted until after the fall refreeze...." Ultimately, the scientists hope their observations will indicate whether an irreversible permafrost tipping point may be near at hand. While scientists don't yet believe the Arctic has reached that tipping point, no one knows for sure.... http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-197. NASA/JPL release 2013-197.

2013-06-06.   NASA Flights Target How Pollution, Storms and Climate Mix.  Excerpt: ...NASA aircraft will take to the skies over the southern United States this summer to investigate how air pollution and natural emissions, which are pushed high into the atmosphere by large storms, affect atmospheric composition and climate. ...More than 250 scientists, engineers, and flight personnel are participating in the Studies of Emissions, Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS) campaign. ....Aircraft and sensors will probe the atmosphere from top to bottom at the critical time of year when weather systems are strong enough and regional air pollution and natural emissions are prolific enough to pump gases and particles high into the atmosphere. The result is potentially global consequences for Earth's atmosphere and climate. "In summertime across the United States, emissions from large seasonal fires, metropolitan areas, and vegetation are moved upward by thunderstorms and the North American Monsoon," Toon said. "When these chemicals get into the stratosphere they can affect the whole Earth. They also may influence how thunderstorms behave. With SEAC4RS we hope to better understand how all these things interact." SEAC4RS will provide new insights into the effects of the gases and tiny aerosol particles in the atmosphere. The mission is targeting two major regional sources of summertime emissions: intense smoke from forest fires in the U.S. West and natural emissions of isoprene, a carbon compound, from forests in the Southeast. Forest fire smoke can change the properties of clouds. The particles in the smoke can reflect and absorb incoming solar energy, potentially producing a net cooling at the ground and a warming of the atmosphere. The addition of large amounts of chemicals, such as isoprene, can alter the chemical balance of the atmosphere. Some of these chemicals can damage Earth's protective ozone layer. For more information on the mission, visit: http://espo.nasa.gov/missions/seac4rs  ....http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/jun/HQ_13-167_SEAC4RS_Campaign.html. NASA Release 13-167.

2013 March. White House Council on Environmental Quality Releases 35 Federal Agency Climate Adaptation Plans for Public Review. Center for Climate Strategies (CCS), www.climatestrategies.us. Excerpt: Executive Order 13514 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/2009fedleader_eo_rel.pdf), signed by President Obama on October 5th, 2009, mandates Federal agencies to develop Sustainability Plans that provide an overview of how agencies are saving taxpayer dollars, reducing carbon emissions, cutting waste, and saving energy. On February 7th, 2013, 35 federal agencies released their third annual Sustainability Plans, which for the first time included Climate Change Adaptation Plans to help federal agencies reach sustainability and climate change resilience goals. These adaptation plans (within the broader sustainability plans) are now available for public review and comment by the week of April 9, 2013. ...links to each of the Agency Plans... at http://www.climatestrategies.us/agencyplans. ...review examples of adaptation-planning activities by States and Localities on the CCS website ... (use the search engine for “adaptation”), and at the Georgetown Federal State Climate Resource Center at http://www.georgetownclimate.org/adaptation. You can learn more about sustainability and climate change impacts and resilience planning in the United States at http://sustainability.performance.gov.

2013-02-27.  South Africa to tax carbon emissions from 2015. | Science, AlsertNet. Excerpt: CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa, the continent's top greenhouse gas producer, plans to tax carbon emissions from January 2015, but will introduce some exemptions to protect industry and jobs, South Africa’s finance minister said on Wednesday. The tax, set at 120 rand ($14) per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent, has been criticised by carbon-intensive companies such as petrochemicals giant Sasol and ArcelorMittal South Africa who argue the state’s attempt to curb emissions blamed for global warming would hit profits. ...The Treasury proposed a 60 percent tax-free threshold until 2020 on annual emissions for all sectors, including electricity, petroleum, iron, steel and aluminium. ...South Africa wants to cut CO2 emissions by a third over the next decade but has little flexibility to make fast changes with major employers among the top polluters. Its cash-strapped power sector almost fully reliant on coal. The carbon tax, to be phased in over time, is one of several green initiatives aimed at reducing the carbon footprint in the continent's largest economy, including a biofuels production incentive and higher vehicle emissions taxes.... See South Africa Parliament News Release. See full article at http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/south-africa-to-tax-carbon-emissions-from-2015/.

2013 February 03. Rise in Oil Tax Forces Greeks to Face Cold as Ancients Did. By Suzanne Daley, New York Times. Excerpt: ...In the fall, the Greek government raised the taxes on heating oil by 450 percent. Overnight, the price of heating a small apartment for the winter shot up to about $1,900 from $1,300. ...In raising the taxes, government officials hoped not just to increase revenue but also to equalize taxes on heating oil and diesel, to cut down on the illegal practice of selling cheaper heating oil as diesel fuel. ... Many Greeks, like Ms. Pantelemidou, are simply not buying any heating oil this year. Sales in the last quarter of 2012 plunged 70 percent from a year earlier, according to official figures. So while the government has collected more than $63 million in new tax revenue, it appears to have lost far more — about $190 million, according to an association of Greek oil suppliers — in revenue from sales taxes on the oil. Meanwhile, many Greeks are suffering from the cold. In one recent survey by Epaminondas Panas, who leads the statistics department at the Athens University of Economics and Business, nearly 80 percent of respondents in northern Greece said they could not afford to heat their homes properly. The return to wood burning is also taking a toll on the environment. Illegal logging in national parks is on the rise, and there are reports of late-night thefts of trees and limbs from city parks in Athens, including the disappearance of the olive tree planted where Plato is said to have gone to study in the shade. At the same time, the smoke from the burning of wood — and often just about anything else that will catch fire — has caused spikes in air pollution that worry health officials. On some nights, the smog is clearly visible above Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, and in Athens, where particulate matter has been measured at three times the normal levels. ...Elias Bekkas, who provides oil to 65 buildings around the city, said that many of his clients had not ordered any oil, and that some who had could not pay the bill. Last winter, he said, his company sold a little more than a million gallons. This season, it has sold only about 65,000 gallons, and he doubted the total would get to 225,000....

2013 January 14. Federal Advisory Committee Draft Climate Assessment Report Released for Public Review | National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee (NCADAC).  Excerpt:   Draft Climate Assessment Report includes: Executive Summary; chapters on various Sectors (Water Resources; Energy Supply and Use; Transportation; Agriculture; Forestry; Ecosystems, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Services; Human Health; Water, Energy, and Land Use; Urban Systems, Infrastructure, and Vulnerability; Impacts of Climate Change on Tribal, Indigenous, and Native Lands and Resources; Land Use and Land Cover Change; Rural Communities; Interactions of Climate Change and Biogeochemical Cycles). There are also chapters on specific Regions (Northeast, Southeast and Caribbean, Midwest, Great Plains, Southwest, Northwest, Alaska and the Arctic, Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands, Oceans and Marine Resources, Coastal Zone Development and Ecosystems. Also chapters on Decision Support, Mitigation, Adaptation and Research. Read the full article: http://ncadac.globalchange.gov/

2013 January 09. NASA Chases Climate Change Clues Into The Stratosphere. NASA Release 13-013.  Excerpt:  Starting this month, NASA will send a remotely piloted research aircraft as high as 65,000 feet over the tropical Pacific Ocean to probe unexplored regions of the upper atmosphere for answers to how a warming climate is changing Earth. … flights of the Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX; http://espo.nasa.gov/missions/attrex) …will study moisture and chemical composition in the upper regions of the troposphere, …tropopause layer between the troposphere and stratosphere, 8 miles to 11 miles above Earth's surface, … where water vapor, ozone and other gases enter the stratosphere. …Water vapor and ozone in the stratosphere can have a large impact on Earth's climate. … even small changes in stratospheric humidity may have significant climate impacts….

2012 December 27. Carbon Taxes Make Ireland Even Greener. By Elisabeth Rosenthal, The New York Times. Excerpt: …Ireland… imposed taxes on most of the fossil fuels used by homes, offices, vehicles and farms, based on each fuel’s carbon dioxide emissions, a move that immediately drove up prices for oil, natural gas and kerosene. Household trash is weighed at the curb, and residents are billed for anything that is not being recycled. The Irish now pay ...yearly registration fees that rise steeply in proportion to the vehicle’s emissions. Environmentally and economically, the new taxes have delivered results. Long one of Europe’s highest per-capita producers of greenhouse gases, with levels nearing those of the United States, Ireland has seen its emissions drop more than 15 percent since 2008. …when the Irish were faced with new environmental taxes, they quickly shifted to greener fuels and cars and began recycling with fervor. … as fossil fuels became more costly, renewable energy sources became more competitive, allowing Ireland’s wind power industry to thrive. Even more significantly, revenue from environmental taxes has played a crucial role in helping Ireland reduce a daunting deficit by several billion euros each year.  …A recent report estimated that a modest carbon tax in the United States ... could generate about $1.25 trillion in revenue from 2012 to 2022, reducing the 10-year deficit by 50 percent.... ...Some of Europe’s strongest economies, like Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, have taxed carbon dioxide emissions since the early 1990s, and Japan and Australia have introduced them more recently. …Gas, always expensive in Europe, sells here for about $8 a gallon, around 20 percent more than in 2009  …. Read the full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/28/science/earth/in-ireland-carbon-taxes-pay-off.html

2012 December 24. California Law Tests Company Responses to Carbon Costs. By Felicity Barringer, The New York Times. Excerpt:   …Beginning Jan. 1, under the terms of a groundbreaking California environmental law known as AB 32, … 350 companies statewide will begin paying for those emissions, which trap heat and contribute to global warming. Companies ... have lobbied state regulators to minimize the costs. In the meantime they are weighing their options. Should they stay and adapt or move operations elsewhere? Should they retrofit and innovate to reduce emissions? Should they swallow the regulatory costs or pass them on to customers? … Regulators do not want California companies to lose their competitive edge, because that could make other state governments reluctant to adopt this approach. …For the 200,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted annually by Morning Star’s three plants, the company is being awarded about 192,500 free allowances the first year; the company must buy the remainder on the open market. In the first allowance auction in November, the allowance price settled at $10.09 a ton, meaning in the first year Morning Star has to pay roughly $75,000 to cover its emissions. But over the next five years, the number of free allowances will decrease sharply to encourage further emissions cuts. At current rates, that means Morning Star will have to buy 100,000 allowances for both 2017 and 2018, by which time the prices may have doubled or tripled in an open market. The company estimates the law will cost it an extra $20 million over the next seven years. Nick Kastle, a company spokesman, said it would almost certainly pass on the new costs to makers of ketchup and frozen pizza, which would be likely to share the extra costs with consumers. “People nationwide are going to be affected by AB 32,” he said.….

2012 November 23. Cap-and-Trade for California. From Science, News of the Week.  Synopsis:  Sacramento. Last week California launched a cap-and-trade system to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It is the first such comprehensive scheme in the United States. It began with an auction on emissions permits for the electricity sector, with a price floor of $10 per ton of carbon dioxide to prevent a crash of emissions prices. In 2015 the system will regulating 85% of California's total greenhouse gas pollution, covering transportation, commercial, and residential fuels….

2012 November 19. Shell, Swiss Re want ‘unambiguous price on carbon’. By Ben Geman, The Hill.  Excerpt:  Over 100 corporations including Royal Dutch Shell, food and consumer products giant Unilever, and the big re-insurer Swiss Re called Monday for a “clear, transparent and unambiguous price on carbon emissions.” Their joint statement arrives ahead of the next round of United Nations climate talks in Doha, Qatar, that gets under way in late November. “The private sector invests trillions of dollars into energy and other infrastructure projects, but, in most cases the goal of reducing [greenhouse gas] emissions does not guide such spending. A more effective approach is required, one that provides the right incentives to shift this private investment and makes best use of the limited pool of public funds,” states the “carbon price communiqué” released Monday. The companies say that creating a cost for carbon emissions should be part of nation-based climate policies that can eventually be interwoven. Policies to “price carbon” include a tax on emissions, and imposing a cap on emissions coupled with the buying and selling of emissions credits among polluters. The companies say that while there are multiple ways to set a price on emissions, they prefer market-based approaches like emissions credit trading “which offer both environmental integrity and flexibility for business.” However, proposals to price carbon have sputtered in the U.S. and face long odds politically. Cap-and-trade legislation collapsed in Congress in 2010...

2012 November 19. No nation immune to climate change, World Bank report shows. By Anna Yukhananov, Reuters. Excerpt:  All nations will suffer the effects of a warmer world, but it is the world's poorest countries that will be hit hardest by food shortages, rising sea levels, cyclones and drought, the World Bank said in a report on climate change.  Under new World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, the global development lender has launched a more aggressive stance to integrate climate change into development.  …The report, called "Turn Down the Heat," highlights the devastating impact of a world hotter by 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, a likely scenario under current policies, …. As the first scientist to head the World Bank, Kim has pointed to "unequivocal" scientific evidence for man-made climate change to urge countries to do more. …Kim said 97 percent of scientists agree on the reality of climate change. …Kim said the World Bank plans to further meld climate change with development in its programs. Last year, the Bank doubled its funding for countries seeking to adapt to climate change, and now operates $7.2 billion in climate investment funds in 48 countries. The World Bank study comes as almost 200 nations will meet in Doha, Qatar, from Nov. 26 to Dec. 7 to try to extend the Kyoto Protocol, the existing plan for curbing greenhouse gas emissions by developed nations that runs to the end of the year....

2012 November 19. Holding Back Floodwaters With a Balloon. By Henry Fountain, New York Times.  Excerpt:  … The idea is a simple one: rather than retrofitting [New York City’s subway system] tunnels with metal floodgates or other expensive structures, the project aims to use a relatively cheap inflatable plug to hold back floodwaters. In theory, it would be like blowing up a balloon inside a tube. But in practice, developing a plug that is strong, durable, quick to install and foolproof to deploy is a difficult engineering task, one made even more challenging because of the pliable, relatively lightweight materials required….

2012 October 13. A Grand Experiment to Rein In Climate Change.  By Felicity Barringer, The NY Times. Excerpt: …California embarks on its grand experiment in reining in climate change. On Jan. 1, it will become the first state in the nation to charge industries across the economy for the greenhouse gases they emit. Under the system, known as “cap and trade,” the state will set an overall ceiling on those emissions and assign allowable emission amounts for individual polluters. A portion of these so-called allowances will be allocated to utilities, manufacturers and others; the remainder will be auctioned off…The outsize goals of California’s new law, known as A.B. 32, are to lower California’s emissions to what they were in 1990 by 2020 — a reduction of roughly 30 percent — and, more broadly, to show that the system works and can be replicated....

2012 September 11. New York Is Lagging as Seas and Risks Rise, Critics Warn. By Myreya Navarro, New York Times.  Excerpt:  With a 520-mile-long coast lined largely by teeming roads and fragile infrastructure, New York City is gingerly facing up to the intertwined threats posed by rising seas and ever-more-severe storm flooding. …So far, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has commissioned exhaustive research on the challenge of climate change. His administration is expanding wetlands to accommodate surging tides, installing green roofs to absorb rainwater and prodding property owners to move boilers out of flood-prone basements. But even as city officials earn high marks for environmental awareness, critics say New York is moving too slowly to address the potential for flooding that could paralyze transportation, cripple the low-lying financial district and temporarily drive hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. Only a year ago, they point out, the city shut down the subway system and ordered the evacuation of 370,000 people as Hurricane Irene barreled up the Atlantic coast.  …Others express concern for areas like the South Bronx and Sunset Park in Brooklyn, which have large industrial waterfronts with chemical-manufacturing plants, oil-storage sites and garbage-transfer stations. Unless hazardous materials are safeguarded with storm surges in mind, some local groups warn, residents could one day be wading through toxic water. …Other cities are also tackling these issues, .... New shoreline development around San Francisco Bay must now be designed to cope with the anticipated higher sea levels under new regional regulations imposed last fall. In Chicago, new bike lanes and parking spaces are made of permeable pavement that allows rainwater to filter through it. Charlotte, N.C., and Cedar Falls, Iowa, are restricting development in flood plains. Maryland is pressing shoreline property owners to plant marshland instead of building retaining walls…. …Unlike New Orleans, New York City is above sea level. Yet the city is second only to New Orleans in the number of people living less than four feet above high tide — nearly 200,000 New Yorkers, according to the research group Climate Central. …Klaus H. Jacob, a research scientist at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, said the storm surge from Irene came, on average, just one foot short of paralyzing transportation into and out of Manhattan. …In 2009, a commission warned that global warming posed “a new and potentially dire challenge for which the M.T.A. system is largely unprepared.”. …. Read the full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/nyregion/new-york-faces-rising-seas-and-slow-city-action.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120911

2012 July 24. Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt. By Steve Cole, NASA. Excerpt: On average in the summer, about half of the surface of Greenland's ice sheet naturally melts...this year the extent of ice melting at or near the surface jumped dramatically. According to satellite data, an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface thawed at some point in mid-July. Researchers have not yet determined whether this extensive melt event will affect the overall volume of ice loss this summer and contribute to sea level rise...The melting spread quickly. Melt maps derived from the three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet's surface had melted. By July 12, 97 percent had melted. This extreme melt event coincided with an unusually strong ridge of warm air, or a heat dome, over Greenland. The ridge was one of a series that has dominated Greenland's weather since the end of May. "Each successive ridge has been stronger than the previous one," said Mote. This latest heat dome started to move over Greenland on July 8, and then parked itself over the ice sheet about three days later. By July 16, it had begun to dissipate....

2012 July 10. State of the Climate in 2011 : Highlights. By Caitlyn H. Kennedy, David Herring, Katy Vincent, LuAnn Dahlman, Rebecca Lindsey, and Susan Osborne, ClimateWatch Magazine. Excerpt: State of the Climate in 2011 report provides a detailed peer-reviewed update on global climate indicators and notable weather events from 2011.... See also NOAA news story http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2012/20120710_stateoftheclimatereport.html

2012 June 26. D.C. appeals court upholds EPA regulations to fight global warming. By Darryl Fears, The Washington Post. Excerpt: A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s finding that greenhouse gases contribute to global warming and are a threat to public health, a major victory for the Obama administration and a setback to states and trade groups that oppose government regulations on carbon emissions. The opponents, including Virginia’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli II (R), argued that EPA rules setting emissions standards for cars and light trucks, and requiring construction and operating permits for the nation’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases, such as coal-fired power plants, were based on a faulty interpretation of the Clean Air Act, and therefore capricious and heavy handed. …But in a sharply worded opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the challenge to the agency’s authority, saying the EPA’s "interpretation of the . . . Clean Air Act provisions is unambiguously correct." It said the EPA’s rules targeting large polluters could not be challenged because of the authority granted the agency in an earlier Supreme Court ruling. …In its remarks, the three-judge panel seemed to bristle at the opponents’ argument that the EPA improperly relied on assessments of climate science by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Research Council and the U.S. Global Change Research Program to support its findings that greenhouse gases contribute to warming, posing a threat to human health.  …"This is how science works. EPA is not required to re-prove the existence of the atom every time it approaches a scientific question, the court said. The unanimous decision covered dozens of suits bundled together under a group called the Coalition for Responsible Regulation….

2012 May 10. Science Academies Issue 'G-Science' Statements to Call World Leaders' Attention to How Science and Technology Can Help Solve Global Challenges. By William Skane and William Kearney, The National Academies. Excerpt: National science academies from 15 countries issued joint statements today calling on world leaders who are about to meet at the upcoming G8 Summit and other international gatherings this year to give greater consideration to the vital role science and technology could play in addressing some of the planet's most pressing challenges. The "G-Science" statements recommend that governments engage the international research community in developing systematic, innovative solutions to three global dilemmas: how to simultaneously meet water and energy needs; how to build resilience to natural and technological disasters; and how to more accurately gauge countries' greenhouse gas emissions to verify progress toward national goals or international commitments... one of the G-Science statements says insufficient attention is being paid to the links between energy and water or, in other words, to the fact that energy requires water and water requires energy.  Without considering water and energy together, inefficiencies will occur, increasing shortages of both, the statement warns.  It recommends that policymakers recognize the direct interaction between water and energy by pursuing policies that integrate the two, and emphasize conservation and efficiency.  Regional and global cooperation will also be required....

2012 May 25. U.N. climate talks stall over rich-poor divisions. By Associated Press, SFGate. Excerpt: U.N. climate talks ran into gridlock Thursday as a widening rift between rich and poor countries risked undoing some advances made last year in the decades-long effort to control carbon emissions that scientists say are overheating the planet…At the heart of the discord was the larger issue of how to divide the burden of emissions cuts between developed and developing nations….  

2012 May 02. Experiments Underestimate Climate Change Impacts to Plants. By Jessica Robertson, USGS Science Features. Excerpt: As the climate has warmed, many plants are starting to grow leaves and bloom flowers earlier. A new study published in the journal, Nature, suggests that most field experiments may underestimate the degree to which the timing of leafing and flowering changes with global warming. Understanding how plants are responding to climate change will help develop more accurate indicators of spring, forecast the onset of allergy season or the chances of western wildfires, manage wildlife and invasive plants, and help inform habitat restoration plans. …the USA-National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) also provided support and assisted with assembling and analyzing historical phenological observations and climate data. ...The USA-NPN brings together citizen scientists, government agencies, non-profit groups, educators and students of all ages to monitor the impacts of climate change on plants and animals in the United States.  … sign up through the USA-NPN website (http://www.usanpn.org/participate/observe), or contact the USA-NPN Executive Director Jake Weltzin at jweltzin@usgs.gov. Read a University of California, San Diego, press release--http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressreleases/study_shows_experiments_underestimate_plant_responses_to_climate_change, as well as a NASA feature--http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/early-bloom.html, on this new article.

2012 Apr 13. NSF Press Release 12-071: Scientists Determined First-ever Census for Emperor Penguins.   Excerpt:  A new study using satellite mapping technology reveals there are twice as many emperor penguins in Antarctica than previously thought.
The results provide an important benchmark for monitoring the impact of environmental change on the population of this iconic bird, which breeds in remote areas that are very difficult to study because they often are inaccessible with temperatures as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit. Reporting this week in the journal PLoS ONE, an international team of scientists describe how they used Very High Resolution satellite images to estimate the number of penguins at each colony around the coastline of Antarctica….

2012 Apr 06. NASA's New Ultra-green Building | Relevant to GSS Energy Use chapter 6, 7, 8, and Climate Change chapter 9. Excerpt: MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- NASA's newest building also is one of the nation's greenest. Sustainability Base is a highly intelligent facility designed to anticipate and react to changes in sunlight, temperature, wind and occupancy. It is designed to achieve, and is presently under consideration for, the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum status, which is the highest LEED rating. Meeting the White House challenge to lead by example, NASA has repurposed its technologies and incorporated them into the new building. Sustainability Base features a Bloom Energy Box, for example, that uses fuel cell technology in a clean electrical-chemical process to produce electricity. The facility also has a water recovery system, derived from one originally designed for the International Space Station, which reduces unnecessary consumption of potable water. Digital press kit of Sustainability Base: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/events/2012/sustainability-base-presskit.html  Info about Sustainability Base: http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/sustainability-base  Info about Ames' green technologies: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/greenspace

2012 Mar 23. The U.S. Navy – Navigating Through a Changing Climate | By David Titley and Robert S. Freeman, e-International Relations.  Excerpt: …As a globally-distributed force, the U.S. Navy may be the first military service to fully experience the impacts of climate change.  …Any objective evaluation of the data will verify that the Earth’s climate is changing, a fact the U.S. Navy acknowledges.  …the appropriate approach is to determine the impact of climate change on future naval readiness and ensure we are prepared for the challenges that may confront us in the future. ... the Navy has been observing the changes in the Arctic and considering the ramifications for future operations.   … Thermal expansion of the warming ocean and melting ice sheets and glaciers over land may cause sea levels to rise as high as one meter in some locations by the end of the century[6].  Since the majority of naval facilities are located on the coasts, this could create significant problems for our bases, including the piers and approaches.  Enhanced tides and storm surges could create infrastructure damage and salt water intrusion may compromise water supplies.  Rising sea levels will significantly expand the area of flooding and level of damage of the most routine storms experienced today.…

2012 March 7.  NASA RELEASE 12-079: Multi-Agency Satellite Begins Climate and Weather Studies.  Excerpt: NASA has completed commissioning of the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite (NPP), which is now making global environmental observations. The satellite will provide scientists with critical insight into the dynamics of the entire Earth system, including climate, clouds, oceans, and vegetation. It will also gather enhanced data for improving our nation's weather forecasting system….

2012 March. Our Changing Planet for Fiscal Year 2012 Report Released (PDF). Since 1990, the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) has developed and submitted an annual report, Our Changing Planet, to Congress describing the current state of the USGCRP and ongoing Federal research activities focused on global change. The USGCRP is committed to building a knowledge base that informs human responses to global change through coordinated and integrated federal programs of research, education, communication, and decision support. Download the Report here: http://downloads.globalchange.gov/ocp/ocp2012/ocp2012.pdf

2012 January 19.  NASA Finds 2011 Ninth-Warmest Year on Record [includes a video of warming from Goddard Institute for Space Studies].  Excerpt:  The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880, according to NASA scientists. The finding continues a trend in which nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record have occurred since the year 2000….
…The difference between 2011 and the warmest year in the GISS record (2010) is 0.22 degrees F (0.12 C). This underscores the emphasis scientists put on the long-term trend of global temperature rise. Because of the large natural variability of climate, scientists do not expect temperatures to rise consistently year after year. However, they do expect a continuing temperature rise over decades….

2012 Feb 8. NASA Mission Takes Stock of Earth's Melting Land Ice. NASA RELEASE : 12-048. Excerpt: In the first comprehensive satellite study of its kind, a University of Colorado at Boulder-led team used NASA data to calculate how much Earth's melting land ice is adding to global sea level rise. Using satellite measurements from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), the researchers measured ice loss in all of Earth's land ice between 2003 and 2010…. The total global ice mass lost from Greenland, Antarctica and Earth's glaciers and ice caps during the study period was about 4.3 trillion tons (1,000 cubic miles), adding about 0.5 inches (12 millimeters) to global sea level. That's enough ice to cover the United States 1.5 feet (0.5 meters) deep. …About a quarter of the average annual ice loss came from glaciers and ice caps outside of Greenland and Antarctica (roughly 148 billion tons, or 39 cubic miles). Ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica and their peripheral ice caps and glaciers averaged 385 billion tons (100 cubic miles) a year….

2012 Jan 12. NASA Study Shows Health, Food Security Benefits From Climate Change Actions (Release 12-017). A new study led by a NASA scientist highlights 14 key air pollution control measures that, if implemented, could slow the pace of global warming, improve health and boost agricultural production. The research, led by Drew Shindell of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City, finds that focusing on these measures could slow mean global warming 0.9 ºF (0.5ºC) by 2050, increase global crop yields by up to 135 million metric tons per season and prevent hundreds of thousands of premature deaths each year. While all regions of the world would benefit, countries in Asia and the Middle East would see the biggest health and agricultural gains from emissions reductions. "We've shown that implementing specific practical emissions reductions chosen to maximize climate benefits also would have important 'win-win' benefits for human health and agriculture," said Shindell. The study was published today in the journal Science.