Environment

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.

Wildlife groups sue for wolverine protections

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A coalition of advocacy groups on Monday challenged the government's denial of federal protections for the snow-loving wolverine, filing a lawsuit that contends officials ignored evidence a warming climate will eliminate denning areas for the so-called "mountain devil."

An estimated 250 to 300 wolverines survive in the Lower 48 states. The elusive but ferocious members of the weasel family raise their young in deep mountain snowfields that many scientists say could be at risk of disappearing as the climate changes.

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. 

Supreme Court to discuss Kansas-Nebraska water dispute Tuesday

Source: 
E&E

The Supreme Court will make its first considerations on a long-standing water-use disagreement between Kansas and Nebraska over an interstate compact allocating water from the Republican River, E&E reports.

Nobel-winning economist presses for binding carbon emissions cuts

Source: 
E&E

French academic Jean Tirole, winner of this year's Nobel Prize in economics, urged nations to act quickly on implementing binding greenhouse gas cuts, arguing that emissions may become more difficult to counter if nations jockey for more favorable regulations, E&E reports.

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.

Satellites see hot spot of methane in US Southwest

WASHINGTON (AP) — A surprising hot spot of the potent global-warming gas methane hovers over part of the southwestern U.S., according to satellite data.

That result hints that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considerably underestimates leaks of methane, which is also called natural gas.

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