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Climate Ark

Devastating Drought Continues Plague California (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:51
EcoWatch: As California enters its third consecutive dry winter, with no sign of moisture on the horizon, fears are growing over increased wildfire activity, agricultural losses and additional stress placed on already strained water supplies. California`s Central Valley--prime agricultural land--is being hit the hardest by the state-wide drought which could cause catastrophic losses to crops and food supply. The city of Los Angeles has received only 3.6 inches of rain this year--far below its average...

70+ USS Ronald Reagan Crew Members, Half Suffering From Cancer, to Sue TEPCO For Fukushima (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:51
EcoWatch: After U.S. Navy sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan responded to the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan for four days, many returned to the U.S. with thyroid cancer, Leukemia, brain tumors and more. At least 71 sailors--many in their 20s--reported radiation sickness and will file a lawsuit against Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which operates the Fukushima Daiichi energy plant. The men and women accuse TEPCO of downplaying the danger of nuclear radiation on the site. The water contaminated the...

Unwanted Greenhouse Gas Could Boost Geothermal Power Output (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:51
Environment News Service: Researchers are developing a new kind of geothermal power plant that will lock away unwanted carbon dioxide, CO2, underground -- and use the greenhouse gas in liquid form as a tool to boost electric power generation 10-fold in geothermal power plants. Teams of researchers at the University of Minnesota, Ohio State University and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are collaborating on using CO2 in its liquid form as a supplemental fluid in geothermal power plants. The CO2 would otherwise be emitted...

Guess who?s cashing in on fracking? The Amish (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:51
Grist: Since the Amish are opposed to cars, electricity, and orgies, you might think they?d frown on money, too. Like, ?Keep your wealth in hay bales? could totally be an Amish saying, or maybe ?bonnets over Benjamins.? But while greed and materialism aren?t part of an Amish paradise, nearly 40 Amish families in eastern Ohio are taking piles of cash from oil and gas companies. Chesapeake Energy and others are paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars, tax free, in order to drill on their property....

Endangered species could be screwed by rising seas (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:51
Grist: Sea-level rise isn`t just bad news for coastal-dwelling humans. It`s also bad news for coastal-dwelling critters and plants, including one out of every six threatened and endangered species in the U.S. That`s according to a Center for Biological Diversity analysis of federal data. From the new report: Left unchecked, rising seas driven by climate change threaten 233 federally protected species in 23 coastal states. ... The most vulnerable groups are flowering plants, which represent a third...

Climate-change warning to region (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:50
Jamaica Gleaner: The time of good cheer has turned out to be a time of sadness for some of our neighbours in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Fate dealt a cruel blow to many families in the Eastern Caribbean when their loved ones were cruelly swept away in flood waters on Christmas Eve. As the grim picture of the event becomes clearer, it has been reported that more than a dozen lives have been lost, some villages marooned, and thousands are without electricity and water. The tragedy is especially painful as traditional...

A Newly Discovered Underground Lake in Greenland Will Help Us Understand Climate Change (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:50
Time: The Earth may be more than 4.5 billion years old, but it can still surprise us. Scientists have discovered a gigantic liquid water reservoir underneath Greenland`s massive ice sheet. (The discovery was reported in an article in this week`s edition of Nature Geoscience.) Uncovered accidentally by a team of glaciologists who were drilling ice cores in southeastern Greenland in 2011, the aquifer is more than 27,000 sq. miles (69,930 sq. km) large--bigger than West Virginia--according to data from NASA`s...

New Energy Struggles on Its Way to Markets (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:50
New York Times: To stave off climate change, sources of electricity that do not emit carbon will have to replace the ones that do. But at the moment, two of those largest sources, nuclear and wind power, are trying to kill each other off. In the electricity market, both are squeezed by pressure from natural gas, which provides some carbon reductions compared with coal but will not bring the country anywhere near its goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Natural gas has a carbon footprint that is at least...

Energy-wasting light bulbs are out; lower utility bills are in for the New Year (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:50
Examiner: As Americans ring out the old year next week, unbeknownst to most, they are also ringing out the 19th century, energy-wasting, inefficient incandescent light bulb. The net result is consumers will soon save $13 billion a year on their electric bills. Starting January 1, light-bulb companies will not be allowed to manufacture or import 40 and 60- watt incandescent light bulbs. If stores have been stockpiling these dinosaurs of the lighting world for nostalgic friends of yester-year, they will be...

How it snows for days in the Arctic (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:50
LiveScience: For snow to form, there has to be stuff in the atmosphere ? microbes, specks of dust ? for water molecules to freeze on and then form ice crystals. But in the pristine Arctic, where the atmosphere is very clean and the ocean is covered in ice, it can sometimes paradoxically snow for days on end. Researchers at Michigan Technological University in Houghton set out to investigate the mystery of where snow in the Arctic comes from, and how it can fall so persistently in the region. "Within a few...

Oil Company Looks To Great Lakes As Shipping Demand Booms (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:50
National Public Radio: North Dakota and western Canada are producing crude oil faster than it can be shipped to refineries. Rail car manufacturers can't make new tank cars fast enough, and new pipeline proposals face long delays over environmental concerns. So energy companies are looking for new ways to get the heavy crude to market. One proposed solution is to ship the oil by barge over the Great Lakes ? but it's a controversial one. Crews are working around the clock in North Dakota, where there's a lot of oil under...

Greenpeace activists leave Russia after Putin's amnesty (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:50
Reuters: Most of the 30 people arrested for a Greenpeace protest against Arctic oil drilling left Russia on Friday under an amnesty initiated by President Vladimir Putin, the environmental group said. The activists' departure, after charges against them were dropped, removes an irritant in Putin's prickly ties with the West as Russia prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in February. The demonstrators had faced up to seven years in jail for a protest at an offshore rig. The first activist...

Japan to tap smart meters, fuel cells to tackle climate change (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:50
Bloomberg: Japan plans smart meters in every residence and factory by the early 2020s and 5.3 million fuel cells in homes by 2030 to tackle climate change, according to a report to be submitted to the United Nations. The country will also promote renewable energy as much as possible over the next three years, the Japanese government said in the biennial report, which developed countries are asked to submit by January 1. Nuclear reactors will be restarted after safety is confirmed and thermal power generation...

Toronto Hydro study warned of increased risk of power outages due to climate change (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:50
Globe and Mail: A Toronto Hydro vulnerability study published last year warned that climate change could result in more severe freezing rain storms, increasing the risk of major power outages. The study, published in September, 2012, says warmer winter temperatures can increase the intensity and quantity of freezing rain and wet snow, which can damage tree branches and overhead wires. Toronto Hydro estimates that about 26,000 customers were still without power on Friday, six days after a massive ice storm swept...

United Kingdom: David Cameron confronted by angry residents of flooded village (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:50
Guardian: David Cameron has been confronted by angry residents of a village in Kent that was flooded by waist-high waters over the Christmas holidays. When the prime minister swept into the devastated community in his Range Rover to talk to residents and members of the emergency services on Friday morning, despair at nature's power turned to recrimination over the perceived inadequacy of the official response. Erica Olivares, 49, was among the residents of a row of early-18th-century cottages in Yalding...

Antarctic mission on ice as rescue ship is forced back (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:49
Guardian: Cape de la Motte, East Antarctica: the Xue Long appeared as a dot on the horizon, against a bright blue sky, to the starboard side of our ice-locked ship just after dinnertime on Friday evening, local time. After two days of intense blizzards, with biting cold that had forced us to spend all our time below decks, the break in the weather and the approaching rescue had put the crew and passengers of the MV Akademik Shokalskiy in good spirits. With temperatures at a pleasantly bearable -1C, some...

Inspector General Report Finds EPA Should Act Protect Texas Drinking Water From Oil (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:49
Energy Collection: A new report was released by the EPA Inspector General (IG)--the environmental agency?s independent internal watchdog-- regarding drinking water contamination linked with natural gas operations in Parker County, Texas, just west of Ft. Worth. The report is a result of an extremely in-depth investigation by the IG of EPA?s enforcement of this case, which started in 2010, and then the agency?s controversial move to abruptly drop the case in 2012. It?s a complicated case with various legal and scientific...

A Tutorial on Humanity?s Path to and Beyond 7 Billion (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:49
New York Times: On Facebook, a friend posted a link this morning to a much-watched David Suzuki riff on exponential growth, bacterial reproduction and humanity?s 59th minute: hat led me to sift for other video content on this issue of meshing human development and planetary limits, which I?ve explored here of course more than a few times. I found ?Malthus Miffed: Are People the Problem, the Solution, or Both? An Introduction to Demography and Populations Study Through an Examination of the World?s Population?:...

Climate change threatens Ghana's coast (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:49
Al Jazeera: Ask anyone in this fishing village along Ghana's eastern coast where they grew up, and they'll likely point south, towards the blue waves of the Gulf of Guinea. The ocean has encroached on areas that were once land, dry enough for the villagers of Totope to grow crops, build homes and raise families. It's all gone now, buried by crushing waves and shifting sands that have forced the village of a few thousand to move onto swampy land reclaimed with an unreliable mix of sand and trash. The...

Haze, dengue, floods are issues of future environmental challenges (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:49
Channel News Asia: This year's record high PSI levels during the haze, the dengue epidemic and more intense rains are "amber lights", or early warning signs, of the need to be better prepared for future environmental challenges. Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, said this in an interview with Channel NewsAsia. His ministry plans to get tough on transboundary haze by taking to task, companies which contribute to the haze. Planned measures include the tabling of an Act to hold...

Climate Change May Bode Ill for Bat Populations (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:49
Climate News Network: Who'd be a bat? Global warming is about to make your life ever more difficult, because higher air temperatures will make echo-location of insect prey so much less effective. And if the world reacts, stops burning fossil fuel, and invests in green energy, then your chances of being killed by a wind turbine become just so much higher. Holger Goerlitz, of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany, and colleagues report in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Interface that...

Ships may sail over North Pole by 2050 due Arctic melt (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:49
Financial Express: The Arctic sea ice cover, melting rapidly due to global warming, will be so thin by 2050 that ships will be able to sail directly across the North Pole for the first time, experts have predicted. Researchers said it could also lead to unprecedented geo-political tensions between countries that have territorial claims in the region. Global warming will make these frigid routes much more accessible than ever imagined by melting an unprecedented amount of sea ice during the late summer, a University...

Brazil?s Rousseff surveys flood damage in home state (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:49
Herald Tribune: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff flew over flood-ravaged areas in her native state of Minas Gerais on Friday and announced more humanitarian aid for the victims of the torrential rains that up to now have left 41 people dead in the southeastern part of the country. ?It?s terrible,? the head of state told reporters, along with Minas Gerais Gov. Antonio Anastasia and other state and local officials. Minas Gerais has been, together with neighboring Espiritu Santo, the state hit hardest by the...

'Fracking' the Monterey Shale -- boon or boondoggle? (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:49
LA Times: "Eureka!" reads the California motto, originated in the 19th century Gold Rush. Now some believe the state is on the cusp of a 21st century bonanza, only this time it will be oil that fuels a Golden State boom. Modern prospectors are eyeing the Monterey Shale formation, a 1,750-square-mile resource-rich swath of land in the San Joaquin Valley. Lying deep beneath the valley's surface is a trove of shale oil -- some 15.42 billion barrels' worth, according to an estimate by the U.S. Energy Information...

Tragic Year For Wildland Firefighters Ends In Reflection (View Original Story)
Source: climateark.org Posted: 01-01-2014 at 12:00:49
National Public Radio: Thirty-four wildland firefighters died in the line of duty this year. Some of those fatalities were isolated incidents, but one event captured the nation's attention, sparking a larger conversation about the new dangers firefighters face. That event unfolded in central Arizona on Sunday afternoon, June 30. "I'm here with Granite Mountain Hot Shots, our escape route has been cut off," says a crew boss on recently released radio traffic from the Yarnell Hill Fire. "We are preparing a deployment...

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