Climate Change

Much-needed rain, snow to hit parched California

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Meteorologists forecast a pair of storms could dump several inches of rain on parched cities and croplands throughout California in the coming week, bringing welcome news to a state that has just endured its driest year in recorded history.

While the rain won't be enough to end the drought, the National Weather Service projected Sunday that the much-needed precipitation could nearly double the amount of rainfall in parts of Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area this year.

By next Saturday, the twin Pacific storms are expected to bring as much as 2 inches of rain to the coast and several feet of snow to the Sierra Nevada.

High court climate case looks at EPA's power

WASHINGTON (AP) — Industry groups and Republican-led states are heading an attack at the Supreme Court against the Obama administration's sole means of trying to limit power-plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.

As President Barack Obama pledges to act on environmental and other matters when Congress doesn't, or won't, opponents of regulating carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases cast the rule as a power grab of historic proportions.

The court is hearing arguments Monday about a small but important piece of the Environmental Protection Agency's plans to cut the emissions — a requirement that companies expanding industrial facilities or building new ones that would increase overall pollution must also evaluate ways to reduce the carbon they release.

Senate Environment subcommittee hearing on natural resource adaptation

Washington, February 25, 2014, 2:00 pm

Senate Environment and Public Works Oversight Subcommittee hearing, "Natural Resource Adaptation: Protecting Ecosystems and Economies." White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John P. Holdren, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe to testify.

UN chief counting on Bloomberg's help on climate

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that former mayor Michael Bloomberg helped reduce carbon emissions in New York and he is now counting on the billionaire philanthropist "to work for humanity" in his new job as United Nations Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.

The U.N. chief said he was counting on Bloomberg's "dedicated and visionary leadership" to help countries around the world address the climate change phenomenon.

Ban made the comments as he welcomed Bloomberg to U.N. headquarters for the first time since his appointment on Jan. 31.

World had 4th warmest January as eastern US froze

WASHINGTON (AP) — The globe cozied up to the fourth warmest January on record this year, essentially leaving just the eastern half of the United States out in the cold.

And the northern and eastern United States can expect another blast of cold weather next week.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday that Earth was 1.17 degrees warmer in January than the 20th century average. Since records began in 1880, only 2002, 2003 and 2007 started off warmer than this year.

Scientists examining whether climate change accelerates health problems

Source: 
E&E

Scientists and public health officials are looking at whether increasingly extreme weather patterns that could be linked to climate change may bring more medical problems, including malaria, lyme disease and cholera, E&E reports.

John Kerry mocks those who deny climate change

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday called climate change perhaps the world's "most fearsome" destructive weapon and mocked those who deny its existence or question its causes, comparing them to people who insist the Earth is flat.

In a speech to Indonesian students, civic leaders and government officials, Kerry tore into climate change skeptics. He accused them of using shoddy science and scientists to delay steps needed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases at the risk of imperiling the planet.

A day earlier, the U.S. and China announced an agreement to cooperate more closely on combating climate change. American officials hope that will help encourage others, including developing countries like Indonesia and India, to follow suit.

Sutley exits, confident EPA will meet carbon rules deadline

The departing chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality on Friday said she was confident the administration will meet President Barack Obama's aggressive timetable for limiting carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Nancy Sutley, speaking on her last day on the job, called the push by the Environmental Protection Agency to write the rules a "big undertaking", but one the agency will finalize by 2015 as mandated by Obama in his Climate Action Plan.

Associated Press

Obama proposes $1 billion fund to help states cope with climate change

President Barack Obama plans to urge Congress on Friday to fund a new $1 billion program to help communities in water-starved California and other states cope with climate change impacts.

The new Climate Resilience Fund will be part of his fiscal 2015 budget blueprint to lawmakers next month, officials said, and will mark the first time Obama puts a price tag on the community assistance, adaptation research and infrastructure development he included in the Climate Action Plan unveiled last summer.

Stroke risk tied to cold, humidity, weather swings

There may be a link between weather and the risk of suffering a stroke, say researchers who analyzed climate trends and hospital records on millions of Americans.

Cold weather, high humidity and big daily temperature swings seem to land more people in the hospital with strokes. As it got warmer, risk fell — 3 percent for every 5 degrees, the study found.

"Maybe some of these meteorological factors serve as a trigger," said Judith Lichtman, a Yale University stroke researcher who led the study. With global climate change and extreme weather like this week's freak storm in the South, "this could be increasingly important," she said.

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