Climate Change

NASA to launch global warming satellite after loss

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Five years after a NASA satellite to track carbon dioxide plunged into the ocean after liftoff, the space agency is launching a carbon copy — this time on a different rocket.

The $468 million mission is designed to study the main driver of climate change emitted from smokestacks and tailpipes. Some of the carbon dioxide is sucked up by trees and oceans, and the rest is lofted into the atmosphere, trapping the sun's heat and warming the planet.

But atmospheric CO2 levels fluctuate with the seasons and in different regions of the Earth. The natural and human activities that cause the changes are complicated. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, or OCO-2 for short, will be able to take an ultra-detailed look at most of the Earth's surface to identify places responsible for producing or absorbing the greenhouse gas.

Groups seek protection of iconic Alaska tree

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Four conservation groups have petitioned the Interior Department to list an iconic Alaska tree as threatened or endangered because of climate change.

Yellow cedar for centuries has been carved by Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people for canoe paddles and totem poles. They could remove a lengthwise strip of bark from a living tree to use for weaving baskets and hats, and as backing in blankets because the trees can compartmentalize the damage and heal themselves.

Yellow cedar can resist insects and rot and live more than 1,000 years but their shallow roots are vulnerable to freezing. Climate warming over the last century has been deadly.

Bloomberg, Steyer, Paulson tally cost of climate change

NEW YORK (AP) — Climate change will exact enormous costs on U.S. regional economies in the form of lost property, reduced industrial output and higher health expenses, according to a report backed by a trio of men with vast business experience.

The report, released Tuesday, is designed to convince businesses to factor in the cost of climate change in their long-term decisions and to push for cutting emissions that are heating the planet.

IMF drops 2014 US growth estimate, Lagarde mentions climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy is poised to accelerate after a dismal start to the year even though the job market won't return to full employment until 2017.

That was the forecast offered Monday in a report by the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF noted that steady job gains and other recent data suggest that the economy is rebounding. Employers have added 200,000-plus jobs for four straight months, and the unemployment rate has fallen to 6.3 percent. Auto sales and factory activity are increasing.

Obama says climate change deniers ignoring science

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — President Barack Obama said denying climate change is like arguing the moon is made of cheese, as he issued a call to action on global warming to Saturday's graduates of the University of California, Irvine.

Obama issued the call to the tens of thousands gathered at Angel Stadium even though he said Congress "is full of folks who stubbornly and automatically reject the scientific evidence" and say climate change is a hoax or fad.

Obama said others duck the question.

Power plant debate prompts war of stats

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's new pollution limits for power plants have set off an avalanche of information about what the rules will cost, how they will affect your health and how far they will go toward curbing climate change.

There's just one problem: Almost none of it is based in reality.

That's because Obama's proposed rules, which aim to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants 30 percent by 2030, rely on states developing their own customized plans to meet their targets. Among the options are switching to cleaner fuel sources, boosting efficiency to reduce demand for electricity and trading pollution permits through cap-and-trade.

Greenhouse gas case among SCOTUS remaining issues

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's crunch time at the Supreme Court, where the justices are racing to issue opinions in 17 cases over the next two weeks.

Environmental Protection Agency regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, lawsuits over securities fraud, the religious rights of corporations and the privacy rights of people under arrest are among the significant issues that are so far unresolved.

Summer travel, European teaching gigs and relaxation beckon, but only after the court hands down decisions in all the cases it has heard since October. In rare instances, the justices will put off decisions and order a case to be argued again in the next term.

Water woes force big brewers to tighten the tap

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Some of the largest brewers in the U.S. are trying to reduce their water-to-beer ratio as drought and wildfire threaten the watersheds where they draw billions of gallons every year.

No independent group tracks beer-makers' water usage, but MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch both say they have made reductions. MillerCoors released a sustainability report Wednesday that shows it has cut its water use by 9.2 percent from 2012.

"Water is just critical to us," Kim Marotta, the Chicago-based company's sustainability chief, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "Looking ahead, we needed to find a way to brew more beer but use less water."

EPA promotes global warming proposal to governors

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The head of the Environmental Protection Agency promoted proposed clean power plant rules to Western governors Tuesday, framing the plan as a way to deal with destructive wildfires and floods that have ravaged the region in recent years.

"There are some states that are really feeling some of the brunt of the changing climate most dramatically with wildfires and floods and droughts and all of those challenges," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Tuesday after a two-hour meeting with 10 governors in Colorado Springs where the annual Western Governors' Association conference is happening.

McCarthy emphasized that states will have flexibility in developing plans to reduce carbon output. But she acknowledged that some governors whose states depend heavily on coal expressed concern about the new rules.

Obama pitches wildfire plan to governors

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday encouraged a group of governors to support a plan to pay for wildfire suppression, and the proposal got a positive reception from the 10 leaders gathered for an annual summit.

Obama made the pitch by telephone to governors meeting in Colorado Springs at the Western Governors Association conference. Under the plan, the federal government would budget money for fighting wildfires instead of raiding funding allocated for mitigation efforts.

The change is pending in Congress, and Obama encouraged the governors to urge enactment.

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