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Category Archives: Climate Change

EPA Approves New Climate-Friendly Refrigerants

“As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is increasing the options for refrigerants used in various kinds of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment in the United States that offer better climate protection without harming the ozone layer. This final action addresses refrigerants under the Climate Action Plan that calls on EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program to identify and approve additional climate-friendly chemicals. “Today’s rule is an example of how we can turn the challenge of climate change into an opportunity to innovate our way to a better future,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “By working together, businesses and EPA are bringing new, climate-friendly refrigerants to market that better protect our health and the environment.”  Under the authority of the Clean Air Act, EPA’s SNAP Program evaluates substitute chemicals and technologies that are safe for the ozone layer. This final rule expands the list of SNAP-approved substitutes to include more low-global warming potential (GWP) alternatives that can replace both the ozone-depleting substances and high-GWP hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The approved substitutes have GWPs that range from 3 to 675 and can replace older compounds with GWPs between 1400 to 4000.”

NASA satellite project maps rain and snow around the world

“Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) is an international satellite mission to provide next-generation observations of rain and snow worldwide every three hours. NASA and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the GPM Core Observatory satellite on February 27th, 2014, carrying advanced instruments that will set a new standard for precipitation measurements from space. The data they provideContinue Reading

Climate Change Adaptation by Federal Agencies: An Analysis of Plans and Issues for Congress

Climate Change Adaptation by Federal Agencies: An Analysis of Plans and Issues for Congress. Jane A. Leggett, Coordinator, Specialist in Energy and Environmental Policy. February 23, 2015. “This report reviews current actions (as of January 2015) of selected federal departments and agencies to adapt their own missions, infrastructure, operations, and personnel to projected climate change.Continue Reading

Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?

National Geographic – March 2015: “We live in an age when all manner of scientific knowledge—from the safety of fluoride and vaccines to the reality of climate change—faces organized and often furious opposition. Empowered by their own sources of information and their own interpretations of research, doubters have declared war on the consensus of experts.Continue Reading

New Research Paper: How Uncertainty in Climate Science Turns Good News Bad

News release: “Can good news actually be bad news when it comes to the effects of global climate change?  That is the question Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Professor Richard Zeckhauser and his co-authors are attempting to answer in a new HKS Faculty Research Working Paper.  Their report, titled Climate Sensitivity Uncertainty: When is Good NewsContinue Reading

Report – 12 Risks that threaten human civilisation

“This report [via Global Challenges Foundation] has, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, created the first list of global risks with impacts that for all practical purposes can be called infinite. It is also the first structured overview of key events related to such risks and has tried to provide initial rough quantifications forContinue Reading

New Scientist – Your Warming World

“The heat is on for the planet as a whole, but what has been happening where you live? Click on the map to find out, or enter a location in the search box at top right. The initial map shows average temperatures over the past 20 years; use the drop-down menu to see maps forContinue Reading

Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains

Benjamin I. Cook, Toby R. Ault, Jason E. Smerdon. Science Advances 01 Feb 2015: Vol. 1 no. 1 e1400082. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1400082.  “In the Southwest and Central Plains of Western North America, climate change is expected to increase drought severity in the coming decades. These regions nevertheless experienced extended Medieval-era droughts that were more persistent thanContinue Reading

Newly Launched NASA Satellite Will Monitor Western Drought

News release: “In one of the space agency’s bolder projects, a newly launched NASA satellite will monitor western drought and study the moisture, frozen and liquid in Earth’s soil. It’s true that a satellite can’t possibly fix the devastating drought that has been plaguing the American West for the last years. It is also trueContinue Reading

Surveying American Attitudes toward Climate Change and Clean Energy

“Resources for the Future has teamed up with Stanford University to conduct an in-depth survey of American perceptions of climate change and energy policies. The most recent poll was released in January 2015 in partnership with The New York Times. The survey asked respondents questions on a range of topics, including: How serious a problemContinue Reading

White House releases new flood risk management standard

FACT SHEET: Taking Action to Protect Communities and Reduce the Cost of Future Flood Disasters “Across the country, extreme weather and other impacts of climate change are threatening the health, safety, and prosperity of our communities. This month, NOAA and NASA announced that 2014 was the hottest global year on record.  And as the planetContinue Reading

Study – Melting Glaciers Release Vast Amounts of Carbon

Newsweek: “As the world warms, glaciers around the world are rapidly hemorrhaging ice and threatening catastrophic sea level rise. But melting glaciers also pose another kind of menace: the release of vast amounts of stored organic carbon into waterways. Florida State University assistant professor Robert Spencer and his colleagues have spent nearly a decade researchingContinue Reading