Climate Change

State Department Photo

Stern: U.S. won't seek binding carbon cuts in climate talks

The U.S. wants a new United Nations climate deal next year that allows countries to set their own climate emissions cuts, State Department climate envoy Todd Stern said Tuesday, in his most expansive comments yet on the upcoming negotiations.

Stern's speech at Yale University largely confirmed reports that the Obama administration will back the so-called "name and shame" plan suggested by New Zealand that stresses voluntary commitments, combined with mandatory reporting and transparency.

Such a plan would also take the administration off the hook to submit a final deal to the Senate, where it would face substantial opposition.

With their mark on Earth, humans may name era, too

WASHINGTON (AP) — People are changing Earth so much, warming and polluting it, that many scientists are turning to a new way to describe the time we live in. They're calling it the Anthropocene — the age of humans.

Though most non-experts don't realize it, science calls the past 12,000 years the Holocene, Greek for "entirely recent." But the way humans and their industries are altering the planet, especially its climate, has caused an increasing number of scientists to use the word Anthropocene to better describe when and where we are.

Ryan: Humans might not be cause of climate change

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — The planet has faced climate change forever and humans' pollution might not be to blame for shifts, Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said Monday during a debate against his Democratic challenger.

Ryan, favored to win re-election to his seat representing GOP-leaning southern Wisconsin, faced off against businessman Rob Zerban for an hourlong forum that touched on world events, domestic politics and the economy. One of the sharpest differences came when the moderator asked each candidate if he thought human activity is to blame for changes to the planet's climate.

IKEA eyes changes to carbon policy

Source: 
Reuters

IKEA Group, the world's largest furniture supplier, is considering implementing an internal carbon price to incentivize alternative power sources and limit the company's total emissions, Reuters reports.

Associated Press

Hagel: climate change a national security threat

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday renewed the Obama administration's calls for U.S. allies to view climate change as a "threat multiplier" that must be addressed through multilateral action, particularly in the Western Hemisphere.

Speaking at gathering of defense ministers in Peru, Hagel pointed to "worrying signs that climate change will create serious risks to stability in our own hemisphere," according to prepared remarks.

His comments followed the release of the Defense Department's first climate change response roadmap. Hagel is on a six-day trip to South America with stops in Chile and Colombia. 

NASA: Last month hottest September on record

Source: 
The Hill

According to NASA, the average temperature worldwide last month was 58.586 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the hottest September on record at the agency, The Hill reports.

State Department photo.

Stern leads latest Obama administration push for climate deal

While most of the attention in Washington is focused on the midterm elections, the administration is already looking past November to upcoming United Nations climate talks that could define President Barack Obama's environmental legacy. 

His U.N. speech last month on the need for a global climate change agreement with developing countries was followed last week by a similarly urgent call by Secretary of State John Kerry.

This week, Kerry's special climate envoy, Todd Stern, is expected to lay out those arguments in more detail in an address Tuesday at Yale University and Thursday on a panel at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Climate scientists debating significance of 2 ocean temp studies

Source: 
E&E

Two studies published in the journal Nature Climate Change this week have sparked a big debate among climate scientists: One found more warming in Southern Hemisphere oceans than previously thought, while the second detected little warming in the deepest water of oceans generally over the past decade, E&E reports.

Boots, Holdren address Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit

Miami Beach, Fla., October 1, 2014, 10:00 am

White House Council on Environmental Quality Acting Chairman Mike Boots, White House Science Adviser John Holdren deliver afternoon keynote speeches at the annual two-day Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit. 

Studies fault warming in much of 2013 wild weather

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists looking at 16 cases of wild weather around the world last year see the fingerprints of man-made global warming on more than half of them.

Researchers found that climate change increased the odds of nine extremes: Heat waves in Australia, Europe, China, Japan and Korea, intense rain in parts of the United States and India, and severe droughts in California and New Zealand. The California drought, though, comes with an asterisk.

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