Climate Change

Study finds slowdown in ocean circulation

The Washington Post

A study in the Nature Climate Change periodical documents a slowdown in circulation in the world’s oceans -– particularly the North Atlantic Gulf Stream  -– and warns the changes have the potential to cause destructive rises in sea level in the future, The Washington Post reports.

Feds document seabird loss in North Pacific waters

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The number of seabirds, including gulls, puffins and auklets, has dropped significantly in the Gulf of Alaska and northeast Bering Sea, a possible consequence of warmer waters, according to a preliminary federal analysis of nearly 40 years of surveys.

U.S. Geological Survey experts found the seabird population density declined 2 percent annually from 1975 to 2012 in the northeast North Pacific, said John Piatt, research wildlife biologist at the USGS Alaska Science Center.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

With federal emissions order, White House aims to lead private sector

President Obama on Thursday signed an executive order for the federal government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 2008 levels over the next decade, a move the White House touted as an effort to lead the private sector in an effort to increase efficiency and combat climate change.

“The federal government is the single largest energy user in the United States economy,” Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the Council on Environmental Quality, told reporters on a conference call. “We can serve as a model for businesses and organizations across the economy as they work to cut emissions and increase efficiency.”

Obama signs order to cut federal greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent

President Obama on Thursday signed an executive order to slash, in the next 10 years, the federal government's greenhouse gas emissions to levels 40 percent below 2008 levels.

The executive order also sets 2025 as the year in which the federal government will get 30 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources.

Also in the next decade, the order requires an increase in the proportion of clean energy vehicles in the federal fleet, so GHG emissions per mile are cut by 30 percent from 2014 levels.

The White House said the order would result in up to $18 billion in taxpayer savings from lower energy costs.

Study finds some fish can live in low-oxygen dead zones

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Scientists say they have found that some fish can survive in low-oxygen dead zones that are expanding in deep waters off the West Coast as the climate changes.

While the overall number and kinds of fish in those zones are declining, some species appear able to ride it out, according to a study published this month in the journal Fisheries Oceanography.


Energy-sector emissions stalled in 2014, even as global economy grew: IEA

Carbon emissions from the energy sector stayed constant with 2013 levels last year, despite global economic growth - the first time that has happened since the International Energy Agency started keeping records 40 years ago.

The intergovernmental energy watchdog said that the energy sector emitted 32.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide last year, on a par with 2013 levels. The group noted that in the past, steady or declining carbon emissions always had been coupled with economic decline.

Cardinal indicates themes of pope's climate change document

A Vatican official who helped write a first draft of Pope Francis' upcoming encyclical on climate change acknowledged disagreement over the causes of global warming but said "what is not contested is that our planet is getting warmer" and Christians have a duty rooted in "ancient biblical teaching" to address the problem.

In a speech last week in Ireland, Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said Francis isn't making a political call to arms or an attempt at "greening the church." The pope instead is emphasizing Roman Catholic social teaching that links protecting life with fighting global inequality and preserving the environment, Turkson said.

EPA, with industry backing, approves new lower-emission refrigerants

Moving forward with a key part of President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan, the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday, with industry backing, approved a set of five refrigerants aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

The move is part of the administration's ongoing efforts to phase out and replace older chemicals used for refrigeration and air-conditioning, especially hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, that deplete the ozone layer and have high global warming potential, or GWP.

Scientists witness carbon dioxide trapping heat in air

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have witnessed carbon dioxide trapping heat in the atmosphere above the United States, chronicling human-made climate change in action, live in the wild.

A new study published in the journal Nature demonstrates in real-time field measurements what scientists already knew from basic physics, lab tests, numerous simulations, temperature records and dozens of other climatic indicators. They say it confirms the science of climate change and the amount of heat-trapping previously blamed on carbon dioxide.

More sick sea lion pups washing up on California beaches

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Four times more sick and dying sea lion pups have gotten stranded on California beaches this year, and experts say unusually warm ocean water along the West Coast is to blame.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday about 940 sick and starving young sea lions have washed up on California beaches so far in 2015.


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