Climate Change

Wary of climate change, Vanuatu villagers seek higher ground

TAKARA, Vanuatu (AP) — Many people living in this coastal village in Vanuatu believe the March cyclone that sent waves surging through their homes was the latest and most dramatic sign of climate change. They are now considering rebuilding their entire community on higher ground.

Cyclone Pam struck the Pacific archipelago three months ago, blasting the islands with winds of 270 kilometers (168 miles) per hour, killing at least 11 people and affecting 180,000 more by destroying their homes and crops. Many residents saw it as part of broader environmental changes they've witnessed in recent years, from higher sea levels to trees bearing fruit out of season.

Study: American, European bumblebees feeling climate sting

NEW YORK (AP) — Climate change is shrinking the geographic range of many bumblebee species in North America and Europe, putting them in danger of future extinction, scientists say.

In a study of 67 species, researchers found that a geographic squeeze occurred on both continents over the past 40 years: While the northern borders of each species' territory remained about the same on average, the southern borders generally moved northward.

Federal report: Polar bears in peril due to global warming

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Polar bears are at risk of dying off if humans don't reverse the trend of global warming, a blunt U.S. government report warns.

"The single most important step for polar bear conservation is decisive action to address Arctic warming," the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a draft recovery plan, part of the process after the agency listed the species as threatened in 2008.

W. Knight photo

China, Brazil and U.S. make plans for carbon cuts ahead of Paris

Supporters say the prospects for a global climate deal during December's United Nations climate talks are growing stronger, as China unveiled its long-awaited commitment for carbon reductions Tuesday, while the U.S., Brazil, and others laid out new efforts to cut pollution and boost clean energy.

China, the world's largest emitter, released its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, formalizing an agreement struck with the U.S. last year to its cap carbon emissions by 2030 or earlier.

Study: Melting ice could disrupt ocean circulation

The Washington Post

Melting Arctic ice could work to alter ocean circulation patterns that transfer cold and warm water between the poles and the tropics, a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change says, a development that could shift climate patterns in Europe, The Washington Post reports.

Climate top item for Obama sit-down with Brazil leader

WASHINGTON (AP) — The issue of climate change and steps to slow its progress are expected to dominate the agenda when President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff meet at the White House, but the leaders will also be striving to show they've smoothed things over following revelations that Brazil was a target of American spy programs.

Rousseff arrives at the White House on Monday for dinner with Obama. They meet again Tuesday for more formal talks and a joint White House news conference.

Pope applauds ecology advocates in Rome from many religions

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday encouraged people of different religions to work together in caring for the Earth, which he called our "common house."

Speaking from his window in a Vatican palazzo to tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists, Francis singled out a few hundred people who had marched to St. Peter's Square under the banner "One Earth, one family."


McCarthy: Bleak climate outlook intended as 'wake-up call'

Failure to address climate change could cost 12,000 lives from extreme temperatures and 57,000 lives from poor air quality in the year 2100, and will cost the country hundreds of billions of dollars per year, according to a new federal report released Monday.

The Environmental Protection Agency report sought to quantify the risks of inaction ahead of United Nations climate change negotiations in December, administration officials told reporters at a briefing. The report analyzed 20 potential types of cost across six economic, environmental and health sectors. 

Weather Channel taking active stance on climate change

NEW YORK (AP) — The Weather Channel is looking beyond cold fronts and summer showers with a project featuring the voices of 25 prominent people talking about the need to take action on climate change.

The network says its "The Climate 25" series is about science, not politics. But its message is unmistakable, and is consciously designed to reach people who may be doubters about the causes of global warming.


EPA, DOT unveil plan to slash truck emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department's National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration on Friday unveiled proposed fuel efficiency and carbon reduction standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, which they said would cut 1 billion metric tons of carbon when they take full effect.

The Phase 2 standards cover the 2021 to 2027 model years, and build upon a previous standard for trucks with model years between 2014 and 2018, would aim to cut emissions from combination tractors - large freight vehicles -  by 24 percent, compared with the previous standard, by 2027.

It would also seek a 16-percent emissions cuts for pick-up trucks, light vans and vocational vehicles, compared with the Phase 1 standard, on the same timeline.

Trailer emissions, which would be cut by 8 percent by 2027 compared to a 2017 average, would be phased in starting in 2018.

The agencies estimated that the standards would save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of vehicles covered.


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