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Archive for August, 2012

Changing Climate, Changing Forests: The Impacts of Climate Change on Forests of the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada

(August 15)

USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station

U.S. and Canadian scientists analyzes decades of research and concludes that the climate of the Northeast has changed and is likely to change more. The report outlines the effects of climate change on multiple aspects of forests in the northeastern corner of the United States and eastern Canada and concludes with recommendations on adaptive and mitigating strategies for dealing with future effects.

Icy relations: extreme-weather question drives wedge between climate scientists

(August 8)

Discover Magazine

Last year, after Al Gore said in a speech that climate change was responsible for various extreme weather events around the globe, he got spanked by Oxford climate scientist Myles Allen, who wrote a column in the Guardian entitled, “Al Gore is doing a disservice by overplaying the link between climate change and the weather.” 

I have to wonder if Allen is now thinking the same thing of NASA climatologist James Hansen. Because, as New York Times reporter John Broder puts it, Hansen, this week, has “roiled” the climate science community “with a new scientific paper explicitly linking high concentrations of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to recent severe heat waves and drought.”

Feds seek breakthrough in decades-old Northwest timber war

(August 7)

EE Daily News via Redlodge Clearinghouse

On a mist-veiled mountain in western Oregon, pink ribbons mark Douglas fir trees that federal officials hope will revive the area’s teetering timber industry and potentially spark a biological renaissance.  The sale is one of three “ecological forestry” pilots that seek a middle ground between light-on-the-land thinnings and the industrial clear cuts BLM abandoned decades ago.

Forest Service orders “aggressive initial attack” on wildfires – despite consequences

(August 7)

Mother Jones

On July 12, lightning sparked a forest fire in western Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex — a place where wildfires are common this time of year. Usually, if they’re small and don’t threaten to get out of control, the U.S. Forest Service will let them burn. Small fires are good for the forest ecosystem, burning off dead timber and creating habitat for many woodland species; because of that, all U.S. agencies adopted a policy in 1995 to reintroduce fire on federal land.  In recent months, however, the Forest Service has been ordering extreme resources on fires that in the past would have been allowed to spread naturally and burn out on their own, for fear of the fire spreading in recent hot, dry conditions, and consuming even more of the strapped firefighting resources available.

The vast potential for renewable energy in the American west

(August 6)
Center for American Progress

Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah—the “Four Corners” states plus their western neighbors—are home to some of the best renewable electricity potential in the country. These states have consistently sunny skies for solar power, wind-blown plains and deserts for turbines, and underground heat perfect for geothermal energy. They also have incredible potential for smaller-scale technologies like rooftop solar panels and energy efficiency improvements.

Wyoming senators urge approval of proposed Northwest coal export terminals

(August 7)

EE Daily News via Redlodge Clearinghouse

Two Senate Republicans who support increased U.S. coal exports to Asia urged federal permitting agencies to ignore environmentalists’ call for a broad review of six proposed shipping terminals in the Pacific Northwest.

Science And The Fracking Boom: Missing Answers

(August 9)

National Public Radio

A technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has kicked off an energy boom in the United States. Fracking lets drillers unlock vast reservoirs of natural gas that were previously inaccessible. Over the past decade, about 200,000 gas wells have been drilled across the country.  Use this graphic to explore some of the common questions associated with fracking:  What kinds of pollutants are entering our water and air, and are those pollutants making us sick?

Seven climate change diseases to ruin your Monday

(August 6)

Climate Desk

From the known and treatable (Lyme Disease) to the unpronounceable and potentially deadly (Cryptococcus gatti) climate change is giving nasty diseases a leg-up, clearing their way onwards to the US. Increased rainfall, warmer temperatures, dying reefs and hotter oceans are handing diseases that afflict humans—algal, fungal, mosquito-borne, tick-borne—a chance to spread, meaning diseases previously unheard in the US of are now emerging.

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Republican senators prepping bills to expand drilling, limit regulations

(July 26)

EE Daily News via Redlodge Clearinghouse

Senate Republicans this week plan to introduce a sweeping energy bill that is expected to largely mirror a recently passed House package in calling for expanded drilling in federal lands and waters and delay of U.S. EPA oil refinery regulations — with a dash of Keystone XL approval thrown into the mix.

Interior finalizes zone-based solar plan

(July 25)

EE Daily News via Redlodge Clearinghouse

The Obama administration today finalized a sweeping new plan to accelerate development of commercial solar projects on public lands in the Southwest, pointing developers to areas with the fewest cultural and environmental conflicts.

The true cost of coal: the coal industry’s threat to fish and communities in the Pacific Northwest

(July 31)

National Wildlife Federation

The era of Big Coal in the United States is on the ropes. Over the last decade we have steadily reduced our reliance on this dirty fuel, both because of its impacts on public health and our global climate, and because coal has been eclipsed by cheaper, cleaner energy options. But despite the gains we have made, the coal industry remains a political powerhouse that isn’t going down without a fight: Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and the other mega-producers have now set their sights on the Asian market, where pollution and climate concerns have taken a backseat to a rabid demand for cheap energy.

New study links wildfires and climate change

(July 30)

Deseret News

A new study has found a strong link between climate change and wildfire.  It appears to explain long-term changes in the frequency of fire over many centuries, and it may explain what’s been happening in the West in recent years.

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